First look: No. 13 UCLA vs. Virginia

No. 13 UCLA Bruins vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Kickoff:
Saturday, Sept. 5, 12:35 p.m., Rose Bowl
TV: FOX (Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Kris Budden)
Radio: AM 570 (Bill Roth, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Scouting report: The Cavaliers only had 17 sacks in 2012. Since defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta arrived the following year, they’ve totaled 61. When he was a linebackers coach at North Carolina State (2010-12), the Wolfpack averaged more than 38 per season. … Virginia linebackers Daquan Romero, Henry Coley and Max Valles totaled 33 tackles for loss and 18 sacks. All three are gone this season. … None of the team’s starting quarterbacks have finished a season completing more than 61 percent of their passes since 2008. … Mike London has gone 23-38 as head coach, hitting .500 just once in five seasons. His contract runs through Dec. 7, 2016.

Key players:

QB Matt Johns, Jr., 6-5, 210 — 89/162, 1,109 yards, 8 TD, 5 INT, 107 rush yards, 1 TD
– Only saw significant action in five games last season, but won the starting job in spring and forced incumbent starter Greyson Lambert to transfer. His best game remains his career debut: a 154-yard, two-touchdown performance against UCLA a year ago.

RB Taquan Mizzell, Jr., 5-10, 200 — 64 carries, 280 yards, 2 TD, 39 catches, 271 yards
– Nicknamed “Smoke,” which is still sort of appropriate given that Mizzell has been nearly nonexistent through two college seasons. Still, despite not having topped 500 career rushing yards, the former five-star recruit is the most proven member of the Virginia backfield. Continue reading

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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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