UCLA Preview

Tracy Pierson of Bruin Report Online previews the 3-1 UCLA squad.

Record and rankings:
UCLA is 3-1 with wins over Colorado State, Oklahoma State, and San Deigo State. The Bruins only loss of the season came against Colorado. Currently, the Bruins are not in the top 25, but are #33 in the AP poll and #29 in the coaches poll.

 

Key Players:

Offense:
Manuel White, RB. At 6-3 and 240, he's a load and in the last several games he's emerged as the real workhorse of the backfield.

Mike Seidman, TE. Senior has been waiting for a big game for four years, and had it last week. Big, talented and UCLA's #1 target.

Craig Bragg, WR. He's UCLA's go-to guy and a big-play guy in one package. He combines very good speed with very sticky hands.


Defense:
Rod Leisle, DT. All Pac-10 team a year ago, the anchor of UCLA's defensive line.

Marcus Reese, MLB. Tied for the lead for tackles on the team and is all over the field.

Ricky Manning, CB. Had a great game against SDSU last week. If he shuts down a receiver, the UCLA defense is so much more effective.


Injuries:
  • Mike Saffer, senior starting offensive tackle, broken rib. It will be a game-time decision whether he plays.


  • Two fullbacks, Pat Norton and J.D. Groves are nursing injuries. Without the lead blocker solid, it has impacted the effectiveness of the running game.


  • Reserver linebacker Patrick Pierre-Louis is out with a dislocated shoulder.


Who's Hot:
Mike Seidman, TE. Coming off career best performance against San Diego State and coming into his own.

Craig Bragg, WR. The sophomore wideout is UCLA's go-to wide receiver and has caught a deep TD pass in three of the four games this season.

Spencer Havner, WLB. A redshirt freshman, he's the co-leader of tackles on the team, and living up to the hype he had as a prospect.




The best player nobody's heard of:
Junior Taylor, WR. The true freshman wide receiver is still getting comfortable, and he's big, very fast, and talented. He took a reverse for a touchdown the first time he's ever touched the ball in a college game, and last week had a couple of good catches.



Weaknesses:
Offense hasn't been able to establish a running game early on, which has made the offense sputter in the first half. Pass protection has also been suspect.

On defense, there is a vulnerability to a strong, smash-mouth running team. The defensive line hasn't been as dominating as was anticipated in fall practice.

If the defense isn't creating turnovers, or the offense isn't generating big plays, UCLA has struggled to sustain drives and convert drives into points.


Strengths:
When UCLA can get the ball into the hands of its receivers, it has many weapons, such as Craig Bragg, Mike Seidman, Tab Perry, Junior Taylor and Ryan Smith.

On defense, it's strong against the pass, with a young but big and athletic secondary.

UCLA is 4th in the nation in turnover margin (+2.25 per game). They are the only team in NCAA Division 1-AA to not lose a fumble so far this season.

UCLA is a big play team, getting most of its points so far this season off of turnovers or offensive big plays.

Special teams were a strength last week. UCLA had a blocked punt for a touchdown, a 55-yard punt return, and a few punts pooched within the opponent's 20-yard line.


UCLA's previous game result:
UCLA had too much for winless San Diego State, beating the Aztecs, 43-7, on the road. The Bruins got most of their points off of turnovers, and from big plays on offense and special teams. Manuel White ran for 76 yards on 14 carries, mostly in the first half, and emerged as potentially the workhorse of the offense. Tight end Mike Seidman had the best game of his four-year career, catching six passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. UCLA's defense shut down San Diego State's high-powered spread attack. It limited the then-#1 receiver in the country, J.D. Tolver, to 3 catches for roughly 30 yards.

Prediction for game:
UCLA struggles to get in sync for its Pac-10 opener on the road in a fairly hostile environment. Oregon State has redemption on its mind after the drubbing it took last week against USC. Oregon State 27, UCLA 20.


Series History and last meeting result:
UCLA holds an edge over OSU all-time, 35-13-4. UCLA defeated OSU at Corvallis a year ago, 38-7.


Probable Starters

Oregon State
(Depth Chart | Roster)
UCLA Bruins
(Depth Chart | Roster)

Offense

Offense

84 Tim Euhus, 6-5, 247, Jr. TE 18 Mike Seidman, 6-5, 254, Sr.
65 Doug Nienhuis, 6-6, 302, So. RT 73 Ed Blanton, 6-9, 330, Fr.
55 Kanan Sanchez, 6-3, 340, So. RG 76 Steven Vieira, 6-6, 302, So.
73 Matt Brock, 6-2, 301, So. C 59 Mike McCloskey, 6-5, 280, Frr.
75 David Lose, 6-2, 206, Jr. LG 64 Eyoseph Efseaff, 6-3, 301, So.
70 Mike Kuykendall, 6-6, 324, Sr. LT 78 Bryce Bohlander, 6-6, 296, Sr.
10 Shawn Kitner, 6-3, 203, Sr. SE 87 Craig Bragg, 6-2, 192, So.
14 Derek Anderson, 6-6, 235, So. QB 10 Cory Paus, 6-2, 212, Sr.
-- FB 29 Manuel White, 6-3, 234, So.
34 Steven Jackson, 6-1, 227, So. TB 27 Akil Harris, 6-0, 216, Jr.
2 James Newson, 6-1, 201, Jr. FL 1 Tab Perry, 6-3, 220, Jr.
1 Kenny Farley, 6-3, 225, Jr. SL --
Defense Defense
91 Noah Happe, 6-5, 238, Jr.

LE

94 Rusty Williams, 6-4, 267, Sr.
99 Eric Manning, 6-1, 300, Sr.

LT

92 Steve Morgan, 6-3, 313, Sr.
98 Dwan Edwards, 6-3, 294, Jr. RT 77 Rodney Leisle, 6-3, 307, Jr.
90 Bill Swancutt, 6-5, 251, So. RE 43 Dave Ball, 6-6, 279, Jr.
42 Nick Barnett, 6-2, 221, Sr. SLB 11 Brandon Chillar, 6-3, 234, Jr.
51 Richard Seigler, 6-3, 230, Jr. MLB 44 Marcus Reese, 6-1, 225, Sr.
58 Erik Tuma, 6-1, 233, Sr WLB 41 Spencer Havner, 6-4, 232, Frr.
3 Terrell Roberts, 5-10, 198, Sr LC 9 Ricky Manning Jr, 5-9, 180, Sr.
21 Dennis Weathersby, 6-1, 208, Sr. RC 17 Matt Ware, 6-3, 204, So.
5 Mitch Meeuwsen, 6-3, 204, So. FS 23 Ben Emanuel II, 6-3, 206, So.
7 Lawrence Turner, 5-11, 193, Jr. SS 4 Jarrad page, 6-1, 200, Fr.
Specialists Specialists
46 Kirk Ylimiemi, 6-0, 188, Jr. PK 14 Chris Griffith, 6-1, 204, Sr.
41 Ryan Cesca, 5-8, 182, Sr. KO 19 Nate Fikse, 5-9, 188, Sr.
91 Noah Happe, 6-5, 238, Jr. S 94 Rusty Williams, 6-4, 267, Sr.
48 Carl Tobey, 6-2, 224, Jr. P 19 Nate Fikse, 5-9, 188, Sr.
19 Seth Trimmer, 6-4, 212, Sr. H 46 Garrett Lepisto, 6-2, 197, Jr.
3 Terrell Roberts, 5-10, 198, Sr. PR 2 Tyler Ebell, 5-9, 170, Frr.
3 Terrell Roberts, 5-10, 198, Sr.
8 Aric Williams, 6-0, 174, So.
KOR 1 Tab Perry, 6-3, 220, Jr.
28 Jason Harrison, 5-10, 197, Frr.

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