UCLA Banquet Award Winners

Running back Chane Moline, safety Rahim Moore and defensive tackle Brian Price were selected winners of UCLA’s Henry R. “Red” Sanders Award for Most Valuable Player at the Annual UCLA Football Awards Banquet, held Monday evening at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel.

Moore led the nation with nine interceptions, tied for the No. 2 total in school history. He tied a school record with three against San Diego State and made two each versus Tennessee and Arizona.

Price led the Pac-10 with 22.5 tackles for loss, including 7.0 sacks. His TFL total ranks No. 2 in school history while his career total of 43.5 ranks No. 2 (tied) on that list.

Moline played both fullback and tailback for the Bruins. He scored three touchdowns at Washington State and helped control the football in the victory over Arizona State with 84 yards on 25 attempts. He also led the Bruins with six touchdowns.

The complete list of winners:

Charles Pike Memorial Award for Outstanding Scout Team Player: Offense: lineman Nik Abele, wide receiver Josh Smith, wide receiver Ricky Marvray; Defense: lineman Keenan Graham, linebacker Isaiah Bowens, linebacker David Allen; Special Teams: wide receiver Jerry Rice, Jr., wide receiver Jeff Dickmann

Jack. R. Robinson Award for Highest Scholarship of a Senior Player: tight end Logan Paulsen

N.N. Sugarman Award for Best Leadership: Offense: tight end Logan Paulsen; Defense: linebacker Reggie Carter

Captain Don Brown Memorial Award for Most Improved Player: Offense: wide receiver Nelson Rosario, tackle Mike Harris ; Defense: linebacker Akeem Ayers, tackle David Carter

John Boncheff, Jr. Memorial Award for Rookie of the Year: Offense: tackle Xavier Su’a-Filo, quarterback Kevin Prince; Defense: cornerback Sheldon Price, cornerback Andrew Abbott

Ed Kezirian “Coach K” Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence: defensive back Marlon Pollard

Tommy Prothro Award for Outstanding Special Teams Player: place kicker Kai Forbath, punter Jeff Locke, linebacker Sean Westgate

Kenneth S. Washington Award for Outstanding Senior: Offense: tight end Ryan Moya; defense: tackle Jerzy Siewierski

George W. Dickerson Award for Outstanding Offensive Player vs. USC: wide receiver/kick returner Terrence Austin

Donn Moomaw Award for Outstanding Defensive Player vs. USC: cornerback Alterraun Verner

Paul I. Wellman Memorial Award for All-Around Excellence: Offense: wide receiver Terrence Austin; Defense: cornerback Alterraun Verner

Jerry Long “Heart” Award: Offense: quarterback Kevin Craft; Defense: end Korey Bosworth, linebacker Kyle Bosworth

Henry R. “Red” Sanders Award for Most Valuable Player: Offense: running back Chane Moline; Defense: tackle Brian Price, safety Rahim Moore

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The Early Words: UCLA Football Notebook

As tempers have cooled and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel has had some time to think about the end of Saturday’s 28-7 loss, he still maintains he made the right call.
Down by 14 with 52 seconds left and three timeouts remaining, Neuheisel called a timeout. On the ensuing play, USC called a play-action pass, and freshman quarterback Matt Barkley found a streaking Damien Williams for a 48-yard touchdown.

“You don’t keep trying until that final whistle,” Neuheisel said in his Sunday night conference call with reporters. “Had there been 15 seconds left, I can understand. There were 50! There’s a chance for a fumble. I just don’t understand why people don’t see why you keep trying. If (Carroll) took offense, then certainly I send apologies over.”

The Trojans certainly appeared upset after the game.
Running into the locker room, USC senior tight end Anthony McCoy said that the team wasn’t trying to send a message or show the Bruins up.
His expression said the opposite.

“We wanted to just kneel the ball down and they wanted to get cute and call a timeout, so we came at them with a play-action pass and caught them off-guard,” USC senior tight end Anthony McCoy said. “If they want to get mad about it, they can. We don’t really care what they do. It’s about us.”

Meanwhile, after a cooling-off period, the Bruins appeared more upset at themselves than the Trojans. UCLA committed four turnovers and had five penalties for 60 yards, while averaging just 4.4 yards per play.

“It wasn’t anything they did,” said senior running back Chane Moline, who had 15 yards on 12 rushes with a two-yard touchdown. “It was us shooting ourselves in the foot. We were driving on them all game long, but then we’d get a personal foul, a holding. We beat ourselves. They’re a good team, but they didn’t beat us. We beat ourselves.”

Looking Back
In assessing the season, Neuheisel broke it down succinctly, for both sides of the ball.
“We improved in pass protection, we did not improve enough in the running offense,” Neuheisel said. “I thought we were a pretty good pass defense, but we still need to go a ways in terms of tackling.”

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Notre Dame players reportedly no-go bowl game

UCLA’s prospects for a bowl game took a turn for the better today, as it appears Notre Dame players have chosen to deny a bowl game bid, multiple sources are reporting.

The Bruins still have to hope for a little luck, but its appearing that they could still have a decent chance. More info when I get it.


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Some UCLA football rankings

Stat Tracker
Sophomore safety Rahim Moore finished the regular season as the NCAA leader in interceptions with nine and finished fifth in the NCAA – and first in the Pac-10 – with 1.33 passes defended per game. … Junior Kai Forbath finished No. 2 in the country in both field goals (2.17 per game) and field goal accuracy (89.7). … Junior defensive tackle Brian Price finished third in the NCA with 1.88 tackles for loss per game. … Freshman punter Jeff Locke finished 12th in the NCAA and second in the Pac-10 with 44 yards per punt.

Stat Tracker (continued)
As a team, UCLA finished at No. 88 in total offense (339.33 yards per game), No. 99 in scoring offense (21.33 points per game), No. 52 in passing offense (222.92 ypg) and No. 98 in rushing offense (116.42 ypg). The Bruins finished No. 37 in total defense (338.33 ypg), No. 31 in scoring defense (21.25 ppg), No. 30 in passing defense (193.92 ypg) and No. 62 in rushing defense (144.42 ypg).

As a team, UCLA led the Pac-10 in interceptions (18) and tackles for loss (7.83 TFL per game) and finished second in net punting yards (37.76 yards per punt).

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UCLA-USC Report Card


Kevin PrinceCraft put the team in an unwinnable situation, throwing three picks.

Chane Moline and Co. managed just 44 yards on 17 carries.

Drops, drops, drops. Just a sub-par effort.

For the second straight week, the unit reverted to the uninspired group of old in the running game

A great effort – eight tackles for loss – against a great offensive line.

Steady and effective; can’t really blame this crew for the loss.

Alterraun Verner had another interception, and despite the late touchdown, a good effort.

Another solid effort out of Jeff Locke, even though Kai Forbath wasn’t put to work.

Norm Chow could not find the right combination in the running game yet again.

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A pretty clear bowl picture

Here are the remaining bowl-eligible teams without current tie-ins:
1. Middle Tennessee State (9-3), Second in Sun Belt
2. Northern Illinois (7-5), Second in the MAC West
3. Bowling Green (7-5), Third in the MAC West
4. Idaho (7-5), Fourth in WAC
5. SMU (7-5), second in Conference USA West
6. UConn (6-5, plays South Florida next week). Sixth in Big East
7. UCLA (6-6), Seventh in Pac-10
8. Notre Dame (6-6), at-large
9. Hawaii (6-6, plays Wisconsin next week). Fifth in WAC. If Hawaii beats Wisconsin, then Fresno moves into the at-large picture.
10. Marshall (6-6), fourth in Conference USA East
11. Louisiana-Monroe (6-6), Third in Sun Belt
12. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6), Fifth in Sun Belt

And here are the likely five bowl slots:
1) EagleBank in Washington D.C. – 2 spots (ACC didn’t qualify and Army needs to beat Navy, which is probably not going to happen)
2) GMAC in Mobile, Ala. (ACC didn’t qualify).
3) Humanitarian (TCU likely in BCS and MWC didn’t qualify a sixth team).
4) Little Caesars Pizza (Iowa likely in BCS and Big Ten didn’t qualify another 6-6 team).

In other words, UCLA needs a lot of help…

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My take on the last minute of the game

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t mean to imply that those who didn’t play football can’t judge how the end of the UCLA-USC played out, I just have a certain perspective as a former football player.
Both coaches were correct.

His team down 14 with 52 seconds left and three timeouts left, Rick Neuheisel reasoned that with two more plays came two more chances for USC to fumble the ball. Was there probably a twinge of gamesmanship in the decision, a half-hearted jab at Carroll? Probably.
But once Neuheisel made his call, Carroll followed with the correct call himself.

If a coach calls a timeout, it means game on.
Carroll certainly had a bit of bitterness toward the timeout, but he made the right call. He tried to score when he knew the game was still in doubt, at least in the Bruins’ minds.

Now, the “skirmish” escalated not after the touchdown, but after USC’s blatant taunting on the sidelines. Did things get out of hand? A bit. I love the passion and the pride that the players have in their teams.

Where does that leave us? I think this rivalry just stepped up a notch. That 28-7 score is deceiving: USC realized that UCLA has caught up a little bit. Really, the Trojans had one sustained drive and benefitted from mistakes by some of UCLA’s youngest players.

All I know is both coaches were right and this is going to be fun.

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On the chat


The chat turned into a free-for-all, and that’s not cool. Sorry I wasn’t there to monitor it better. I’m not in the business of banning people or anything like that, but seriously, keep it cleaner next time. This chat has been deleted.


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USC 28, UCLA 7

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel caught a bit of deja vu after the Bruins’ 28-7 loss to USC tonight.
Neuheisel saw tremendous similarities between the team’s 23-13 win over Arizona State last week and the loss, from both sides.
Like last week, an early quick-pick-six changed the complexion of the game, as USC’s offense was able to play a bit more conservatively against the reeling Bruins.
UCLA held strong, though, at least defensively.
The Bruin offense was pummeled often by the Trojans, who caught ground on UCLA at the line of scrimmage and used tremendous team speed to gang tackle.
UCLA managed just 322 yards for the game, and the running game was downright porous in the first half.
The bright side: The Bruins defense played valiantly, stopping drives short and dropping the Trojans for eight tackles for loss.

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