UCLA announces five kickoff times for 2014 season

Five kickoff times for UCLA’s 2014 season are now set, with only one being slotted for a Pac-12 Networks broadcast.

The culprit is the Bruins’ home opener against Memphis, which will start at 7 p.m. on Sept. 6. The game follows a week after UCLA opens its season at Virginia with a 9 a.m. PT start on ESPN, which was first announced last week.

The team’s primetime visit to Texas at AT&T Stadium will start at 5 p.m. PT on FOX, while the conference slate begins with a 7 p.m. PT visit to Arizona State on Fox Sports 1.

Seven games in October and November are still without finalized kickoff times, but UCLA’s regular-season finale against Stanford will start at 12:30 p.m. on ABC.

Here’s the full UCLA football schedule for 2014 right now: Continue reading

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Oddsmaker gives UCLA eighth-best chance at College Football Playoff berth

The college football season doesn’t start for another three months, but oddsmakers are already taking early bets.

Online sportsbook Bovada.lv gave UCLA a 12-to-5 shot to make the inaugural College Football Playoff, good for an eighth-best chance at the field of four.

Defending national champion Florida State led with 2-to-7 odds, followed by Alabama (11-to-10), Oregon (1-to-1) and Ohio State (20-to-21). The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host national semifinals on Jan. 1, with winners advancing to the Jan. 12 title game at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

USC closed the 11-team list with 6-to-1 odds.

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UCLA radio announcer Chris Roberts will retire in 2015

UCLA radio announcer Chris Roberts will retire after the 2014-15 season, ending a tenure that has spanned over two decades.

Having served as the school’s radio voice for football and basketball since 1992, Roberts will leave as the program’s longest-serving play-by-play announcer — tying the late Fred Hessler. Also presence on Los Angeles radio since 1982, Roberts has won the Golden Mike Award four times and joined the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2012.

He will be honored at both the Rose Bowl and Pauley Pavilion during his final run, and will retire with lifetime football and basketball season tickets.

“I cannot put into words what it has meant to be the ‘Voice of UCLA’ for all these years,” Roberts said in a statement. “The Bruins have played a major role in my life for the past two-plus decades and hopefully my broadcasts have reflected this. Our athletes, coaches and administrators here in Westwood are first-class, and it has been an absolute delight providing the soundtrack for some of their greatest accomplishments.

“All athletes would love the chance to go out on top, and with both UCLA Football and Basketball poised to do great things in 2014-15, as a broadcaster, I am in the envious position of actually having that very opportunity.”

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Former UCLA quarterback John Sciarra enters College Football Hall of Fame

Another Bruin is in.

Former UCLA quarterback John Sciarra became the program’s latest member of the College Football Hall of Fame, joining a 14-player 2014 class announced Thursday. Sciarra was a consensus first-team All-American in 1975, and led the Bruins to a Rose Bowl victory over top-ranked Ohio State that following January. He threw two touchdown passes on his way to an MVP performance, guiding the team to a 23-10 upset.

Sciarra also finished seventh in Heisman voting that season, and still leads all UCLA quarterbacks with 1,813 career rushing yards. (Current starting quarterback Brett Hundley enters his final season with 1,103.) Continue reading

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NFL roundup: Anthony Barr signs for guaranteed $12.7 million over four years

» After being picked ninth overall in the NFL draft, linebacker Anthony Barr officially signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, inking a fully guaranteed contract worth $12,743,596 over four years. He will get a signing bonus of $7,588,072, and the team can exercise a fifth-year option.

He and other former UCLA players must return to campus through spring quarter, however, since NFL rules dictate that anyone who hasn’t graduated cannot stay their teams until their school sessions end.

» Houston Texans sideline reporter John Harris said Xavier Su’a-Filo will become the starting left guard by Week 1, and be a “key figure” in the run game for at least the next five to seven years. Continue reading

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Brett Hundley does his best Terry Tate impression

In a short for UCLA’s annual Spring Sing, Brett Hundley became UCLA’s campus enforcer — a nice play off of the famous Terry Tate Reebok commercials.

Fullback Luke Gane, featured as Hundley’s hype man, is part of the Spring Sing company. He also played the Joker two years ago in a team talent show short with quarterback Jerry Neuheisel.

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UCLA’s season opener at Virginia scheduled for 9 a.m. PT

UCLA will start its 2014 season bright and early.

The Bruins’ opener at Virginia will tip off at 9 a.m. PT, and be broadcast on ESPN. They fell into an 18-point hole at Nebraska last season in a similarly early start before rallying back, but also were also still grappling with the death of receiver Nick Pasquale.

The Cavaliars are coming off a 2-10 season and a winless trek through its ACC schedule.

UCLA last opened a season on ESPN in 2008, when it beat No. 18 Tennessee in a 27-24 overtime win at the Rose Bowl.

No other kickoff times have yet been released.

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Four-star recruit Jaason Lewis decommits from UCLA

Four-star prospect Jaason Lewis has decommitted from UCLA, leaving the Bruins with six names in the class of 2015.

Lewis told Rivals.com that he reopened his recruiting due to family reasons. Rated a top-20 athlete nationally, the Virginia Beach product said he is still considering UCLA along with every other school on his list.

At 6-foot-4, 246 pounds, Lewis would have likely played running back as a Bruin. Three-star tailback Bolu Olorunfunmi committed to UCLA in March, roughly a month after Lewis did.

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Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation hosts eighth annual Celebrity Golf Classic

The eighth annual Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Classic takes place on Monday at the Riviera Country Club. The event is the main fundraiser for the Count on Me Family Foundation run by Mora and his wife, Shannon, which benefits children who are in need and at risk.

This year’s golf event will include actors Joel McHale and Kevin Nealon, as well as several former NFL players such as Jonathan Ogden and Rod Woodson.

The 11 charities that received partnership grants in the most recent cycle include Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the Special Olympics of Southern California, Washington and Georgia.

The foundation takes donations via PayPal, and also has an Amazon Associates program that donates up to 8.5% of your Amazon.com purchases.

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UCLA to host Fresno State at Rose Bowl in 2018

UCLA has almost found enough nonconference opponents for the next five years.

The Bruins have beefed up their schedules significantly since head coach Jim Mora arrived, and the latest addition is a 2018 date with Fresno State. UCLA will host the Bulldogs at the Rose Bowl on Sept. 15 that year, a week after it visits Oklahoma to start a home-and-home series.

Fresno State is 20-6 in two seasons under Tim DeRuyter, but has yet to win a bowl game.

UCLA’s 2018 season opener is not yet filled.

The Bruins also have home-and-home series scheduled against Texas A&M, Rutgers, Michigan and LSU. See the rest of their future nonconference slates after the jump. Continue reading

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