- 2007 UCLA Bruins football team
UCLA continued their unpredictable season by losing to underdog Washington St., who had not won a Pac-10 game until this one. The Cougars rolled up 545 yards of total offense to UCLA's 267 yards. After the Washington State loss, UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero addressed UCLA's inconsistent football performances for the first time, stating "I will be very interested to see how we finish the season. And you can use that." Many took this as a hint that Dorrell's job may be in serious jeopardy. [ [http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-ucla30oct30,1,6767340.story?coll=la-headlines-sports Guerrero Turns Up the Pressure on Dorrell] Chris Foster (Los Angeles Times). October 30, 2007] .
H4=0The Bruins suffered their fourth loss of the year to Arizona, and talk about coach Karl Dorrell's job security continues to increase. UCLA rallied in the fourth quarter to come within a touchdown but the Arizona lead was too much to overcome. Quarterback Pat Cowan suffered a concussion and a collapsed lung that knocked him out of the game, and Osaar Rasshan came in to lead the Bruins to 13 points. Rasshan had been the third-string quarterback last year, then converted to a wide receiver this year, but quickly converted back to a quarterback in the past few weeks as UCLA suffered injuries to the quarterback position.
Arizona State Sun Devils
H4=0Arizona State had been undefeated, and ranked as high as number #6 before losing #5 Oregon, a game which would prove to be one of the factors in the Sun Devils being tied with USC for the PAC-10 title, and the Trojans getting the Rose Bowl berth, and the Sun Devils being knocked out of a BCS berth.
This game had PAC-10 title implications for both teams. UCLA kick returner Matthew Slater returneda kickoff for a touchdown, his third of the season, to bring the Bruins to within 24-20 in the third quarter. Osaar Rasshan, in his first start as quarterback, threw an interception in the final minutes of the game, giving the game to Arizona State, as neither team could score in the fourth quarter. Rasshan threw for 181 yards while rushing for 41.
H4=7The Bruins managed to knock off a top-10 team by shutting out the Oregon Ducks, who were without QB Dennis Dixon. The Ducks went through three quarterbacks, none of which were effective against the UCLA defense. On UCLA's side, Osaar Rasshan started the game, but original starting QB Ben Olson came in for the second half.
But the game was won by the UCLA defense. Turnovers set up first-half field goals for UCLA, and the Ducks could not move the ball at all. With the win, UCLA became bowl-eligible.
H4=7The USC Trojans beat the Bruins, avenging last year's game where the Bruins upset the Trojans, knocking USC out of the BCS Championship Game. USC was in control of the entire game in this year's contest. UCLA's only score of the day came in the final seconds of the first half, when WR Dominique Johnson made an incredible one-handed leaping grab of a fade pass from Pat Cowan.
The rest of the day, UCLA's offense could do nothing against the Trojan defense. UCLA's defense played respectably, but turnovers and the anemic offense doomed the Bruins' chances.
The Bruins ended the regular season at the
Los Angeles Coliseumagainst the USC Trojans, who were led by head coach Pete Carroll, in the 77th edition of their annual crosstown rivalry game for possession of the Victory Bell. In the 2006 season, the Bruins' 13–9 upset of the then-No. 2 Trojans in the final week of the regular season ended the Trojans' hopes for reaching the National Championship game.David Duffey, [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/preview07/news/story?id=2973803 Don't miss these conference games in 2007] , ESPN.com, August 14, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.] With both teams ranked going into the season (USC first, UCLA 14th in the AP Poll), there was buzz in Los Angeles that both teams might reach their December 1 game undefeated.Chris Dufresne, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/sep/01/sports/sp-decfirst1 Talk of the town] , "Los Angeles Times", September 1, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.] UCLA made it as high as 11th in both polls before suffering a 44–7 upset loss at unranked Utah in week 3 that knocked them out of the top 25.Doug Alden, [http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/recap?gid=200709150094 Utah takes advantage of UCLA miscues in 44-6 win over No. 11 Bruins] , Associated Press, September 15, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008..] It was the 36th time that a Rose Bowl berth was on the line in the game: A USC victory would guarantee them at least a share of the Pac-10 Conference title and a berth in the 2008 Rose BowlGame; UCLA, despite entering the game 6–5 (5–3 in the Pac-10), also entered the game with a chance at the Pac-10 title and a Rose Bowl berth if they could defeat the Trojans and Arizona could beat Arizona State in a game later in the day.Matt Becker, [http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/preview;_ylt=AooqnyYB6MIDnE5FEvDddhvyvbYF?gid=200712010062 UCLA vs. (8) USC] , Associated Press, December 1, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008..] Gary Klein and Chris Foster, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/26/sports/sp-rose26 Unexpected Rose arrangement] , "Los Angeles Times", November 26, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.]
During the 2006 contest, UCLA Defensive Coordinator
DeWayne Walkerhad the Bruins apply aggressive pressure to John David Booty, limiting the quarterback's ability to drive the passing game while holding the Trojans to 55 yards rushing and an average of only 1.9 yards per carry. USC entered the 2007 game averaging 186.6 yards rushing and 4.8 yards per carry, significantly higher than the 128 yards rushing per game in 2006.Lonnie White, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/27/sports/sp-xando27 Can UCLA stop USC?] , "Los Angeles Times", November 27, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.]
In the week leading up to the game, a dispute between USC and the Coliseum Commission, the public managers of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, went public. USC threatened to move to the Rose Bowl (home of the UCLA Bruins since 1982) if an agreement could not be reached.Sam Farmer, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/28/sports/sp-rose28 USC considers leaving Coliseum for Rose Bowl] , "Los Angeles Times", November 28, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.] Bill Plaschke, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/28/sports/sp-plaschke28 Coliseum can't let USC complete fade pattern] , "Los Angeles Times", November 28, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.] David Wharton and Sam Farmer, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/29/sports/sp-rose29 Mayor benches NFL bin in favor of Trojans] , "Los Angeles Times", November 29, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.] Bill Dwyre, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/01/sports/sp-dwyre1 USC’s threat to leave may be (com)mission impossible] , "Los Angeles Times", December 1, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.] USC entered the game as a 20 point favorite.Lonnie White, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/01/sports/sp-lines1 Numbers favor the Trojans] , "Los Angeles Times", December 1, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.]
The Trojans defense dominated the Bruins in a 24–7 victory before a sold-out Coliseum crowd. The Trojans held the Bruins to a season-low 168 yards, sacking quarterback Patrick Cowan four times for 31 yards in losses and held the Bruins to 12 net rushing yards. USC forced four turnovers, recovering three UCLA fumbles and intercepting a pass. The Bruins did not convert any of its 11 third down situations. The Bruins sole score came in a drive in the closing minutes of the first half. USC gained 231 rushing yards and 437 overall. On the ground, running back Joe McKnight rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown, Stafon Johnson ran for 73 yards and senior Chauncey Washington gained 66 yards and scored a touchdown. Booty completed 21 of 36 passes for 206 yards with a touchdown and an interception.Gary Klein, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/02/sports/sp-rivals2 Pasadena Residents] , "Los Angeles Times", December 2, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.]
The victory assured USC a share of the Pac-10 title. Although Arizona State would defeat Arizona later in the night to become co-champions, the Trojans clinched a berth in the Rose Bowl by virtue of their victory over the Sun Devils the previous week. USC extended its unprecedented streak of Pac-10 titles to six in a row, having already broken the record the previous season with five.Bill Dwyre, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/02/sports/sp-dwyre2 Carroll gives no signals for a fade pattern] , "Los Angeles Times", December 2, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.] Dorrell was fired by UCLA the following Monday by UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero.Chris Foster, [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/04/sports/sp-dorrell4 Bruins ready for next step] , "Los Angeles Times", December 4, 2007, Accessed July 6, 2008.] USC's victory, coupled with another week of upsets, led the Trojans to rise to No. 6 in the AP Poll, No. 6 in the Coaches Poll, and No. 7 in the BCS standings. [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/rankings?seasonYear=2007&weekNumber=15&seasonType=2&pollId=1 AP Top 25 - Week 14 (Dec. 2)] , ESPN.com, Accessed July 6, 2008.] [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/rankings?seasonYear=2007&weekNumber=15&seasonType=2&pollId=2 USA Today Coaches Poll - Week 14 (Dec. 2)] , ESPN.com, Accessed July 6, 2008.] [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/BCSStandings?week=8 BCS Standings - December 2, 2007] , ESPN.com, Accessed July 6, 2008.]
Las Vegas Bowl
HT=17Eathyn Manumaleuna blocked a last second field goal by UCLA and hung on to beat the Bruins 17-16.
BYUquarterback Max Hall went 21-35 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Manase Tonga led the rushing with 3 carries for 21 yards. The MVP of the game, Austin Collie had 6 catches for 107 yards and 1 touchdown. For UCLA, quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson went 11-27 for 154 yards and 1 touchdown and interception. The rushing game was led by Chris Markey who ran 27 times for 117 yards. This was the first time the Cougars gave up 100 yards rushing to a single player. Bethel-Thompson's favorite target was Brandon Breazell who caught 4 passes for 44 yards and 1 touchdown. The Bruins struck first with a 22 yard Kai Forbath field goal. A 29 yard field goal by BYU kicker Mitch Payne made it 3-3 after the 1st quarter. In the 2nd, Hall hooked up with Austin Collie for 14 yards and a touchdown to make it 10-3. Forbath then hit a 52 yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-6. With 1:03 left in the 1st half, Hall found Michael Reed for 13 yards and a touchdown. As time expired, Bethel-Thompson hit Breazell to make it 17-13 in favor of BYU at the end of the 2nd quarter. There was no scoring in the 3rd. In the 4th, Forbath made it 17-16 with a 50 yard field goal. BYU punted to UCLA with around 2 minutes left to set up a final drive for the Bruins. Bethel-Thompson, a fourth-string walk-on quarterback, along with Chris Markey drove to the BYU 49. On 3rd and 8 Bethel-Thompson hit Logan Paulsen to get to the BYU 13. That set up a chip-shot 28 yard field goal for Forbath, who already hit 2 50+ yarders. The kick was too low and Manumaleuna blocked it and sealed the game for the Cougars. [Las Vegas (AP), [http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=273560252 Manumaleuna blocks UCLA's last-ditch FG to save No. 17 BYU's bowl win] , ESPN.com, December 22, 2007.]
Karl Dorrell- Head Coach - 5th year
* Jay Norvell - Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks
* DeWayne Walker - Defensive Coordinator / Cornerbacks
*UCLA Bruins football 2007 media guide (preseason information)
*UCLA Bruins football 2008 media guide (postseason information on the 2007 season)
* [http://www.uclabruins.com UCLABruins.com] - Official web site of the UCLA Athletic department
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