UCLA football 2015 season preview: Virginia Cavaliers

By now, most of you are probably jonesing for the start of college football season. Fret not — it’s the perfect time to start looking at each of UCLA’s upcoming opponents. Let’s start with the Virginia.

UCLA Bruins vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Saturday, Sept. 5 | Rose Bowl
12:30 p.m. PT, FOX

The skinny: Virginia is not known for a deep, proud football tradition. While the program has been closer to mediocre than truly bad over the last decade, this remains a team that has not won a bowl game since 2005, and one that has not won its conference since 1995.

Can Mike London, a perennial coaching hot-seater, finally notch his second winning season in Charlottesville? The 54-year-old has some very interesting bullet points on his resume, but his recent coaching career hasn’t offered him much to brag about.

London peaked early, debuting as Richmond’s head coach in 2008 by winning 13 games and the FCS Championship. He put the Spiders back in the quarterfinals the following year, after which Virginia poached him to replace Al Groh. He won four games, then broke through in 2011 with eight wins and an appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He won ACC Coach of the Year, and earned a five-year extension.

The Cavaliers haven’t fared well since, slipping back to four, two, and five wins in the last three seasons. Continue reading

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Four more UCLA kickoff times announced on 2015 schedule

UCLA coach Jim Mora prior to the Bruins' game against Utah at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 4, 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA coach Jim Mora prior to the Bruins’ game against Utah at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 4, 2014.
(Keith Birmingham/Staff)

For all your tailgating planning purposes, UCLA’s nonconference schedule is now fully set with kickoff times.

The Bruins will open their season on Sept. 5 at the Rose Bowl with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff against Virginia, which they will then follow with a pair of 7:30 p.m. starts at UNLV (previously announced) and against BYU.

UCLA’s Thursday games at Stanford and at home against Cal in October are also set for 7:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. kickoffs, respectively.

Here’s what the 2015 schedule looks like so far, with TV broadcast information: Continue reading

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VIDEO: Angus McClure reviews UCLA defensive line’s debut

UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure talked about how impressive defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa looked in last weekend’s season opener at Virginia — but admitted he may have played the senior a little too much. He also reviewed the career debuts of true freshmen Matt Dickerson and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner.

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Receiver Jordan Payton hits career highs in UCLA’s win at Virginia

Watching Jordan Payton play football can sometimes feel like watching a battering ram dressed in pads and a helmet.

UCLA’s junior receiver doesn’t jump the highest. He won’t wow anyone with pure speed. But you can be damn sure the 6-foot-1, 213-pound wideout isn’t going down on the first tackle.

Payton caught eight passes for 98 yards on Saturday, setting new career highs and playing a key role in the Bruins’ 28-20 win at Virginia.

His capped the game in fitting fashion. With 3:07 left in the fourth quarter, the Bruins were backed up on their own 18-yard line. On third-and-9, quarterback Brett Hundley zipped the ball to Payton, who shook off a defensive back and took off for a 35-yard reception. With a fresh set of downs, the team had enough time to run down the clock and escape its season opener unscathed. Continue reading

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