Nebraska: Facts and Factors

Nebraska's coach Bo Pelini has had a successful four-year run in Lincoln, while the UCLA/Nebraska series has had some memorable wins for the Bruins...

-- The Nebraska Cornhuskers come to the Rose Bowl Saturday to take on UCLA at 4:30 PT. The game will be nationally televised by Fox with Gus Johnson and Charles Davis in the booth and Julie Alexandria on the sideline.

-- Nebraska is ranked 17th/16th in the country.

-- The Cornhuskers are 1-0 on the season, beating Southern Miss, 49-20, at home in Lincoln last week.

-- UCLA is 1-0, beating Rice 49-24 last Thursday.

-- The Nebraska/UCLA series dates back to a first meeting in 1946, and the Cornhuskers hold a 6-4 advantage overall. UCLA, however, leads 3-2 in Los Angeles.

-- UCLA and Nebraska have not met on the football field since 1994, when 2nd-ranked Nebraska beat the Bruins 49-21 in Lincoln. The two teams last played in California in 1993, with Nebraska winning in the Rose Bowl, 14-13.

-- Perhaps one of the most memorable UCLA games in the last 25 years was the Bruins' win over Nebraska in 1988. The Cornhuskers were ranked #2 and UCLA #5, but the Bruins ran over Big Red, 41-28, in the Rose Bowl. UCLA jumped off to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter, behind the passing of Troy Aikman and rushing of Eric Ball and Shawn Wills.

-- Another big win over Nebraska came in 1972, when first-year quarterback Mark Harmon beat the Cornhuskers, who had won back-to-back national championships in 1970 and 1971, and snapped their 32-game win streak. A field goal at the end of the game by UCLA's Efren Herrera won it, 20-17.

-- Nebraska is, of course, one of the most winningest programs in college football history, one of just seven schools with 800 or more all-time victories (847-349-40). It's currently 4th on the all-time wins list, with 847, behind Michigan (895), Texas (860), and Notre Dame (854). It's won five national championships (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997), and 43 conference championships, while its 48 all-time bowl appearances ranks fourth nationally. Since 1970, NU has 413 wins, #1 in the nation and 26 victories more than any other program in the country.

-- Bo Pelini is in his fifth season as Nebraska's head coach, owning a 40-16 record, guiding the Cornhuskers to nine or more wins in each of his first four seasons. Pelini took charge of the Nebraska program after being a defensive coordinator at Nebraska, Oklahoma and LSU. He coached in the NFL for nine seasons before that. Pelini, then, is known for his defensive teams, and has had the Cornhuskers ranked highly in many defensive statistics since taking over as head coach. Even though Pelini has brought Nebraska back to consistent national prominence, he still had to defend his program late last season against the incredibly high expectations of Nebraska fans.

-- Nebraska four consecutive nine-win seasons is its first since the school's NCAA-record streak of 33 from 1969 to 2001.

-- The Cornhuskers will be in the their second year in the Big Ten. In its first year in 2011, it did moderately well, with a couple of big wins over Michigan State and Penn State, but losses to Northwestern, Winsconsin and Michigan. It ended its 2011 campaign with a disappointing loss to South Carolina, 30-13, in the Capital One Bowl, to finish the 2011 season 9-4.

-- UCLA played eight true freshmen last week in its season opener, OL Simon Goines, WR Jordan Payton, F Kenny Walker, DB Ishmael Adams, DB Fabian Moreau, DL Ellis McCarthy, PK Ka'imi Fairbairn, and DB Randall Goforth.

-- UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin became the first UCLA running back with two runs of 72 yards or more in a game (74/78). He is now only 32 yards shy of moving into 7th on the all-time school rushing list.

-- UCLA started three freshmen OLs (Torian White, Simon Goines, and Jake Brendel) for the first ever in a season opener.

-- UCLA has won 21 of its last 26 non-conference matchups in the Rose Bowl (dating back to 1998).

The Bruins have won eight of their last 15 home games against AP-ranked opponents. Last season it lost to #24 Texas and beat #20 Arizona State.

-- Check out UCLA and Nebraska in national statistical rankings after the first week.

The Rose Bowl is in the midst of completing renovations worth $165 million, and the official word is that it won't impact fans much, even though the work is not completed. The improvements will include a new press box, less cluttered stadium rim, wider tunnels, added aisles, restoration of the historic field hedge, and added concession and added restrooms, but we are unsure what specific additions will be completed by Saturday. The renovations have been over budget and behind schedule, and at one point Rose Bowl officials estimated that the entire renovation job might not be completed until late 2014.

-- The weather forecast at the Rose Bowl is for a high of 91 and a low of 69 degrees on Saturday.


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