Factors of the Tennessee Game

UCLA kicks off its season against Tennessee on Monday, and here's everything you need to know about the series history between the two programs, some key historical factors that pertain to the game, the coaches, and more...

-- UCLA begins the 2008 football season with its first game against Tennessee Monday, September 1st, in the Rose Bowl. Game time is 5:15, with ESPN carrying the game. Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe are the commentating team.

-- Tennessee is ranked 18th in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN pre-season, top-25 polls.

-- UCLA is unranked.

-- The Volunteers are coming off a 10-4 season (6-2 in the SEC East) in 2007, culminating in a win over Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl and a #12 national ranking.

-- They were within a fourth-quarter turnover of winning the SEC Championship last season.in their showdown with eventual National Champion, LSU.

-- Tennessee has been one of the best programs in the country over the last 20 years, with 10 seasons where they accomplished ten or more wins, four SEC championships and the one national championship in 1998.

-- It had been thought that Phil Fulmer, who is in 17th year as the Volunteers' head coach, might have been on the downhill slide after the 5-6 hiccup in 2005, but he's responded with two seasons of 9-4 and 10-4 in the last two years. Fulmer is 147-45 overall, giving him a winning percentage of .766, which makes him the winningest active coach in college football (with over ten years of head coaching experience).

-- UCLA is, of course, embarking on a new era for Bruin football, this being the first game for Rick Neuheisel as his alma mater's head coach. As just about everyone is aware, he made a big splash after being hired by bringing onto his staff two coaches who were considered for the UCLA head coaching spot themselves, Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow and Defensive Coordinator DeWayne Walker. The three were immediately dubbed "The Dream Team."

-- The history between the two schools in football tilts toward the Volunteers, 4-7-2 alltime since their first meeting in 1965. Tennessee has a record of 2-1 in Pasadena against the Bruins, but UCLA has won three of the five games played in Los Angeles.

-- The last time UCLA played Tennessee was in 1997, when the Volunteers edged the Bruins, 30-24, in a contest at the Rose Bowl. The third-ranked Volunteers were led by quarterback Peyton Manning, but UCLA almost pulled out the game, with quarterback Cade McNown throwing for 400 yards, while Manning managed 341 yards through the air.

-- After that loss, UCLA went on to win the next 20 games in row over the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

-- UCLA's last win in the series was a 25-23 victory in 1994 in the Rose Bowl. 14th-ranked UCLA was led by Wayne Cook, who threw for a then-career best 295 yards, to be the 13th-ranked Volunteers.

-- Tennesee has fared well against Pac-10 foes, having a 14-11-3 all-time record against the Pac-10.

-- Fulmer has only lost two season openers during his stint as Tennesee's coach, and one of those was against UCLA, in 1994.

-- Neuheisel is the third coach to begin his UCLA head coaching career with a game against Tennessee. Bob Toledo (a loss in 1996) and Dick Vermeil (a tie n 194) both did also.

-- UCLA's non-conference opponents – Tennessee, Fresno State and BYU – each won bowl games last season and finished with a combined record of 30-10.

-- The Bruins have won 16 of the last 19 gmes played at home in the Rose Bowl.

-- UCLA has won five of its last six home games against AP-ranked opponents, with wins over Oregon (2007—9th), Cal twice (2005—10th, 2007--10th), USC (2006—2nd) and Oklahoma (2005—21st), and then the loss to ASU (2007—9th).

-- UCLA is expecting a crowd of 65,000.


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