Colorado: Facts and Factors

Colorado is going through its worse era in its football history, and former UCLA assistant Jon Embree is trying to turn it around...

-- UCLA hosts Colorado Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with the game set to kick off at 4:35 p.m., and televised nationally by Versus.

-- Colorado is 2-9 overall and 1-6 in the Pac-12, coming off its first conference victory last week when it beat Arizona, 48-29, in Boulder.

-- UCLA is 5-5, and 4-3 in conference, having lost at Utah last week after achieving its first two-game win streak of the season in the two previous weeks.

-- This is, of course, Colorado's first season in the Pac-12.

-- It's interesting since it's only the 7th time the two programs have ever played each other, with the series dating back to only 1980. UCLA holds a 4-2 lead, with a 2-1 edge in games played in Los Angeles.

-- Colorado's wins have been the last two match-ups in the series, in 2003 and 2002, in Boulder and at the Rose Bowl. In 2002, UCLA was ranked 20th and lost to Colorado, 31-17.

-- UCLA beat the Buffaloes four times in the ‘80s, by a combined score of 150-43.

-- Colorado's head coach is Jon Embree, who is in his first year as the head guy in Boulder. Embree is, of course, UCLA's former assistant coach under Karl Dorrell from 2003 to 2005, coaching the wide receivers and the tight ends while being the assistant head coach. After UCLA, Embree was the tight ends coach with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Redskins, and then also briefly tried to join the Bruin staff as a graduate assistant before the Colorado head job became vacant last December when Dan Hawkins was fired. Before he came to UCLA with Dorrell, he was an assistant at Colorado for 10 seasons, and played at Colorado.

-- Former UCLA assistant Eric Bieniemy, who came to UCLA from Colorado with Embree, is Embree's current offensive coordinator with the Buffaloes.

-- Embree, of course, is the father of Taylor Embree, the UCLA wide receiver. Taylor's real first name is John, like his father and his grandfather, who played for the Denver Broncos in 1969 and 1970.

-- Rick Neuheisel and Embree are pretty close friends.

-- Counting the current season, Colorado has had a string of six straight losing seasons, which ties the school record (previously from 1979 thru 1984).

-- Colorado is a very old, traditional program, dating back to 1890. It's 16th on the all-time win list (671) and was 22nd in all-time winning percentage (.600) to start the 2011 season.

-- The Buffaloes won a national championship in 1990 under coach Bill McCartney, and then finished then next six seasons ranked in the top 25. In the 15 seasons since that run, Colorado has finished only two seasons ranked nationally.

-- After McCartney won that championship in 1990, he coached the team for four more years, culminating in 1994 when he finished the season ranked 3rd nationally. Rick Neuheisel then took over for McCartney, led the Buffaloes to season-ending rankings in both 1995 (5th) and 1996 (8th), and then two unranked seasons in 1997 and 1998 before departing to coach Washington. Neuheisel's first two seasons, with McCartney's players, he went 10-2 both seasons; then in his last two he went 5-6 and 8-4.

-- UCLA has won its three previous Pac-12 conference home games, the longest streak under Neuheisel.

-- UCLA's Nelson Rosario will look to become only the 10th wide receive in UCLA history to gain 2,000 receiving yards. He currently sits at 1,989.

-- Running back Johnathan Franklin has risen to 12th on the all-time school rushing list, totaling 2,388 for his career.

-- It's the final home game for 18 Bruin seniors: DE Nate Chandler, RB Derrick Coleman, DB Jeff Dickmann, DB Tony Dye, DL Justin Edison, WR Taylor Embree, PK Tony Gonzalez, DB Jamie Graham, TE Cory Harkey, OL Mike Harris, TE Austin Hill, LB Glenn Love, OL Kai Maiava, WR Nelson Rosario, OL Sean Sheller, WR Josh Smith, WR Ryan Sublett and LB Sean Westgate.

-- The Bruin seniors are usually met on the field by their parents, so it will be interesting to see if Embree is met by his.

-- UCLA controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South, making the Pac-12 Championship Game if it wins out. If it wins one game among its last two, and Arizona State loses one of its last two, UCLA still goes.

-- If UCLA did finish the season 6-6, it would then be bowl eligible. But, if UCLA lost in the Pac-12 Championship game, finishing 6-7 overall, by NCAA rules it wouldn't be bowl eligible, having to finish with a winning season as one of the criteria. UCLA could, however, appeal to the NCAA.

-- The weather in Pasadena for Saturday calls for a high of 62 degrees.


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