Colorado Facts and Factors

UCLA going on the road in the conference has not been a fun trip in recent years, while Colorado, a struggling program, is coming off a big conference road win...

• The UCLA Bruins travel for the first time nearly a month when they go to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes Saturday at 3:00 PT. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network with Ted Robinson and Adam Archuleta in the booth.

• UCLA, which is now 3-1 after losing to Oregon State last week, fell out of the AP and USA Today Polls.

• The two-week, top-25 ranking was the first time UCLA was ranked in four years. In a statistical loophole, the Bruins were ranked No. 23 in 2008 but never actually played a game as a ranked team. They were ranked during a bye week after beating Tennessee 27-24 in overtime, but then lost the ranking before being thrashed 59-0 by BYU. It was the only time the team was ranked under Rick Neuheisel.

• The last time UCLA actually played games as a ranked team was to start the 2007 season, the last season under Karl Dorrell, for the first three weeks. In 2005, UCLA was ranked for 9 consecutive weeks.

• Before that, of course, UCLA was a program that was very familiar to the top 25 rankings. From 1980 to 2001, UCLA was ranked for a big portion of the season in 19 of those 22 years.

• Colorado comes into the game 1-3, coming off their first win of the season, a pretty big one for what was a winless team, going to Pullman to beat Washington State, 35-34. The Buffs came back from a 17-point deficit with 7 minutes left in the game. Colorado quarterback Jordan Webb scored with 9 seconds remaining to tie the score 34-34, setting up placekicker Will Oliver to win it with his PAT.

• UCLA leads the all-time series 5-2, going back to just 1980. UCLA won last year's match-up, 45-6, in the Rose Bowl, with Johnathan Franklin rushing for 162 yards and two touchdowns.

• It will be Colorado's home conference opener and UCLA's first conference road game for 2012.

• On the road in the conference has not been a welcoming environment for UCLA in recent years. UCLA has won only three conference road games in four seasons, and those three wins were Washington State in 2009, a team that finished 1-11, Washington in 2008, a team that went 0-12, and Oregon State last year, which was 3-9. In Neuheisel's four seasons, UCLA got trounced on the road in conference, losing by an average of 24 points. Last season, in UCLA's conference road losses, it averaged losing by 31 points.

• Colorado is the Pac-12 team UCLA has played the least in its all-time history.

• Speaking of a history of being ranked, Colorado was ranked for a majority of the season in 10 out of 13 seasons from 1989 to 2002.

• Neuheisel, actually, had Colorado ranked quite a bit more often than UCLA, his alma mater. Neuheisel was Colorado's head coach from 1995 to 1998, and the Buffaloes were ranked for a majority of each of those four seasons. Interestingly, though, in his last two seasons in Boulder, the Buffaloes began the season ranked but ended it unranked. And then, after he left, Colorado experienced its first two seasons of not being ranked for a majority of the season for the first time in a decade.

• UCLA is 2-1 in Boulder, having lost its most recent game there, in 2003, 16-14. It did, however, win its other two match-ups against Colorado in Boulder during the 1980s. In 1984, freshmen running backs Gaston Green and James Primus combined for 169 yards and quarterback Matt Stevens threw for 193 to prevail, 33-16. UCLA also won in Boulder in 1982.

• Colorado's program is in a slump, to put it mildly. For 21 years, from 1985 to 2005, the Buffaloes had 17 winning seasons and 10 in a row. It has, now, not had a winning season in the last six years, going a combined 24-50.

• Jon Embree is in his second year as head coach in Boulder trying to resurrect the once-successful program. He was a long-time assistant, in both the college ranks and in the NFL, before getting the head coaching job at his alma mater in December of 2010, succeeding the woeful Dan Hawkins. He was, of course, an assistant at UCLA for three seasons under Dorrell, and is the father of the former UCLA receiver, Taylor Embree. After he left his job in 2010 as tight ends coach with the Kansas City Chiefs, Embree was trying to be brought on as a graduate assistant at UCLA when he was then hired as Colorado's head coach. Embree and Eric Bieniemy, his offensive coordinator and running backs coach, played at Colorado during its heydey in the '80s. Bieniemy, of course, also coached at UCLA under Dorrell.

•UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin ranks fourth in the nation in rushing, averaging 146 yards per game. He led the nation after the first three weeks.

• Freshman quarterback Brett Hundley is the first UCLA quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards in three straight games.

• The most 300-yard passing games in a season was set by Cade McNown in 1998, when he did it six times. McNown also holds the record for the most 300-yard passing games in a career at UCLA, 11.

• Hundley's 404 yards of total offense against Oregon State ranks fifth all-time at UCLA. He currently ranks 10th in the nation in total offense (337).

• Saturday calls for a 30% chance of rain in Boulder, with a high of 73 degrees.


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