Utah Game: Facts and Factors

The Utes have started off their season 2-3, but started off 2001 poorly before bouncing back, while UCLA is coming off its big loss to Cal...

• UCLA hosts the Utah Utes at the Rose Bowl Saturday at 12:00 p.m. PT, the game being televised by FOX, with Craig Bolerjack and Joel Klatt in the booth and Petros Papadakis on the sideline.

• UCLA is 4-2 (1-1 in conference), coming off its worst performance of the season in losing to Cal in Berkeley, 43-17.

• Utah is 2-3 (0-2), having lost its last two, at home against USC (38-28) and on the road against Arizona (37-7). Before that it beat then-#25 BYU (24-21), lost to Utah State (27-20) and beat FCS Northern Colorado (41-0).

• The series between the two schools goes back to 1933, with UCLA leading 8-2. The Bruins played the Utes 8 times from 1933 to 2006 and won all eight of those games. Utah has won the last two games in the series, in 2007, and last season in Salt Lake City, 31-6.

• The game in 2007 was the infamous blowout, in which Karl Dorrell took his #11-ranked Bruins to Salt Lake City and got pummeled 44-6.

• The last UCLA win was in 2006, which was quarterback Ben Olson's first start as a Bruin, throwing three touchdown passes.

• In the series, UCLA is 5-0 when the game was played in Los Angeles.

• Last season the Utes started conference play 0-4 before winning their next four Pac-12 games, including the victory over UCLA.

• UCLA is currently 4th in the Pac-12 South, and Utah is 5th. Arizona State leads at 2-0, then USC (2-1), Colorado (1-1), UCLA and Utah, followed by Arizona (0-3).

• Since joining the Pac-12 last season, the Utes are 2-3 on the road in the conference, with their two wins coming last year against a 4-8 Arizona team, and 4-8 Washington State.

• In its two road games so far this season, Utah lost to Utah State and Arizona State, and averaged 13.5 points and 267 yards per game. They scored only 7 points total in the second half of both games.

• UCLA has won 16 straight games when holding opponents to less than 20 points.

• UCLA has played 25 freshmen this season -- 12 true freshmen and 13 redshirt freshmen.

• UCLA has won 14 of its last 18 games when winning the turnover battle, and lost 28 of its last 39 games when losing or tying the turnover comparison. Last week the Bruins committed six turnovers against California.

• Utah is coached by Kyle Whittingham, who is in his 8th season as the Utes head coach, with an overall record of 68-27. He was named head coach in 2004, after Urban Meyer left for Florida. Before that he was Utah's defensive coordinator for 10 seasons. Interestingly, he was offered both the Utah job and the head position at his alma mater, BYU, but chose the Utes. A good little piece of trivia: Since Meyer had accepted the job at Florida before the Utes were going to play in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl that year, Meyer and Whittingham acted as co-head coaches, and the NCAA credits both with a win. Whittingham took over he reins from Meyer, and maintained the Utes' winning ways, posting 7 winning seasons in a row, taking them to seven bowl games and six out of seven wins in those games. In 208, the Utes finished the season 13-0 and ranked 2nd in the AP Poll. From 2008 to 2010, Whittingham led the Utes to a record of 33-6. His 8-win season in 2001 was the worst since 2006. Whittingham, who is 53, won the AFCA National Coach of the Year and the Paul Beat Bryant Award for Utah's magical season of 2008.

• In 2010, the Utes started the season 8-0; in 2009, 9-1; and in 2008, of course, 13-0. Last season, Utah started out 3-5, and this season 2-3.

• Utah's starting wide receiver, Dres Anderson, is the son of Flipper Anderson, the former UCLA wide receiver who played for the Bruins in 1984-87, and currently ranks 10th in school history with 2,023 receiving yards.

• Utah's defense, which is third in the conference and 35th in the nation, has allowed just three points in the third quarter.

• UCLA committed 12 penalties against the Bears, and are currently ranked 115th in the nation (out of 120 teams) in fewest penalties per game, averaging 8.83.

• Utah's offense is dead last in the conference and 114th in the nation, averaging 299 yards per game.

• Gaining 102 yards Saturday against Cal, UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin is now just 263 yards away from being UCLA's all-time leading rusher. He has 3,468, trailing just Gaston Green (1984-87), who has 3,731.

• The weather forecast calls for a pleasant high of 80 degrees Saturday.

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