Huskers and Bruins Set for Top-20 Matchup
GAME 3: NEBRASKA vs. UCLA
SEPT. 14, 2013 | MEMORIAL STADIUM
LINCOLN, NEB. | 11 a.m. (CT)
TV - ABC
RADIO - Husker Sports Network
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 91, XM 91
NATIONAL RADIO - WestwoodOne
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com
Record: 2-0, 0-0
Rankings: Coaches-15; AP-23
Last Game: def. Southern Miss, 56-13
Coach: Bo Pelini
Career/NU Record: 51-20/6th year
vs. UCLA: 0-1
Record: 1-0, 0-0
Rankings: Coaches-17; AP-16
Last Game: def. Nevada, 58-20
Coach: Jim Mora
Career/UCLA Record: 10-5/2nd Year
vs. NU: 1-0
Nebraska is set for its most high-profile game of its non-conference schedule as UCLA will visit Lincoln on Saturday for an intersectional matchup between nationally ranked teams. The contest will be televised to a national audience on ABC with kickoff set for shortly after 11 a.m. CDT at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska comes into the game at 2-0 following a 56-13 victory over Southern Miss last Saturday in Lincoln. The Husker offense rolled up 285 yards on the ground and 479 yards of total offense in the victory over the Golden Eagles. The Husker defense was also strong against the Golden Eagles, forcing four USM turnovers, including two interception returns for touchdowns.
The Bruins head to Lincoln with a 1-0 record. UCLA opened with an impressive 58-20 victory over Nevada in its season opener on Aug. 31, then had a bye week last weekend. The Bruins’ explosive offensive attack topped 300 yards both rushing and passing in the opener, while gaining 647 yards of total offense.
Nebraska will head into Saturday’s contest ranked 23rd by the Associated Press and 15th in the coaches poll, while UCLA checks in at 16th and 17th, respectively. Saturday’s game will mark the first time a pair of ranked teams have met at Memorial Stadium since Nebraska defeated Michigan State during the 2011 season. It will also be the first time NU has hosted a ranked non-conference opponent in Lincoln since No. 1 USC visited in 2007. Nebraska has won its past four games at Memorial Stadium against ranked opponents.
Nebraska and UCLA will be meeting for the 12th time overall, with Nebraska holding a 6-5 advantage in the series. Nebraska owns a 4-1 edge in games played in Lincoln, with the most recent game in Lincoln a 49-21 victory by No. 2 Nebraska over 13th-ranked UCLA in 1994. UCLA won last year’s matchup at the Rose Bowl, 36-30.
Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, ‘90) owns a 51-20 record (.718) in his sixth season. Pelini has guided NU to nine or more wins in each of his first five seasons as head coach, joining Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne in accomplishing that feat at Nebraska. With Nebraska’s win over Wyoming in the season opener, Pelini became the fifth coach in NU history to win 50 games on the NU sideline, joining Dana Bible, Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich.
UCLA: Jim Mora (Washington, ‘84) is in his second season as the head coach at UCLA and has guided the Bruins to a 10-5 record. Last season, Mora led the Bruins to the Pac-12 South Division crown and a trip to the Holiday Bowl. Thi s is Mora’s first collegiate head coaching job, but he served as head coach in the NFL with Atlanta and Seattle.
Nebraska is 858-353-40 all-time, one of just eight schools with 800 all-time victories
- Nebraska has won five national championships (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997).
- The Cornhuskers have won 43 conference championships.
- NU’s 49 all-time bowl appearances rank third nationally.
- Since 1970, NU has 424 wins, 26 more than any other school.
- Nebraska’s 106 football Academic All-Americans lead the nation.
- The Huskers have 110 All-Americans in school history.
Scouting the UCLA Bruins
UCLA was off last weekend after defeating Nevada, 58-20, in its season opener on Aug. 31. The Bruins began the year ranked 21st in the Associated Press preseason top 25, and UCLA enters Saturday’s game with a No. 16 ranking.
The Bruins put together an impressive performance in their only game of the year, totaling more than 300 yards both rushing and passing. Overall, UCLA gained 647 yards, averaging 7.9 yards per play. The Bruins scored touchdowns on six consecutive possessions to open the second half eight of their 12 possessions overall. UCLA never punted against Nevada, with its four non-scoring drives including a missed field goal, two kneel downs at the end of the half and a late fourth-quarter fumble.
Brett Hundley completed 22-of-33 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 63 yards on the ground and two more rushing touchdowns. Jordon James added 155 yards on the ground, while 12 Bruins caught at least one pass.
Defensively, the Bruins held Nevada to 353 total yards and 4.1 yards per play. After scoring on three of their five first-half possessions, the Wolfpack scored only once on six secondhalf possessions. UCLA recorded 11 tackles-for-loss against Nevada and broke up six passes. Eric Kendricks led UCLA with 11 tackles, while Keenan Graham recorded 2.0 sacks.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with UCLA, 6-5, but the Bruins handed the Huskers a 36-30 loss in Los Angeles last season. The Huskers are ranked entering a matchup with UCLA for the 10th consecutive meeting dating back to 1972. Both teams are ranked at game time for the first time since 1994 and for only the fifth time in series history. Nebraska owns a 4-1 record against UCLA at Memorial Stadium and has won four straight in Lincoln.
In last year’s meeting, UCLA totaled 653 yards of offense, including 344 rushing yards. Nebraska ran for 260 yards, including a career-long 92-yard touchdown run by Taylor Martinez, the longest rush by a quarterback in Big Ten history.
Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini
Bo Pelini is in his sixth season as Nebraska’s head coach and owns a 51-20 record with the Huskers. Pelini added a Big Ten Legends Division title in 2012 to three straight Big 12 North Division crowns from 2008 to 2010, when Pelini was the the first coach in the history of the Big 12 to win at least a share of a division title in each of his first three years.
He has guided Nebraska to at least nine wins each of his first five seasons in Lincoln, and three 10-win seasons. With the win over Wyoming in the opener, Pelini reached 50 career wins at Nebraska, making him just the fifth Husker coach to reach that milestone, joining Tom Osborne, Bob Devaney, Frank Solich and Dana X. Bible.
Pelini took charge of the Huskers after a highly successful five-year run as a collegiate defensive coordinator, including orchestrating NU’s defensive efforts in 2003. Pelini picked up his first college head coaching victory as NU’s interim coach in the 2003 Alamo Bowl against Michigan State.
Following his one season at Nebraska, Pelini served as the co-defensive coordinator at Oklahoma in 2004, helping the Sooners to the Big 12 title and BCS title game. He then followed with three seasons as the defensive coordinator at LSU. With the Tigers, Pelini led three consecutive defenses to No. 3 national rankings in total defense. He culminated his time in Baton Rouge by helping the Tigers to the 2007 national championship.
In addition to his five seasons as an assistant at the collegiate level, Pelini coached in the NFL for nine seasons, serving three years each with the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. Pelini was a team captain and four-year letterman as a safety at Ohio State from 1987 to 1990.
UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora
Jim Mora is in his second season at UCLA, where he owns a 10-5 record. The Bruins went 9-5 in 2012 - including a victory over Nebraska - and a trip to the Holiday Bowl.
A former NFL head coach, Mora’s only experience in the college game prior to taking the UCLA job was as a graduate assistant at Washington, his alma mater, in 1984. Mora coached 25 seasons in the NFL ranks from 1985 to 2009 before spending the 2010 and 2011 seasons as an analyst and contributor for the NFL Network and FOX.
In his 25 seasons in the NFL, Mora coached at five stops, including two stints as a head coach. He worked with the San Diego Chargers’ defense from 1985 to 1991 and served as the New Orleans’ Saints secondary coach from 1992 to 1996. Mora held the same title for the San Francisco 49ers in 1997 and 1998, before being promoted to defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003.
Mora’s first head coaching job came with the Atlanta Falcons from 2004 to 2006, when he guided the Falcons to an 11-5 record and an NFC South title in his first season. For his efforts, Mora was named NFC Coach of the Year after the Falcons advanced to the NFC Championship Game.
Mora finished with a 26-22 record in Atlanta, before becoming the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008. In 2009, Mora took over for Mike Holmgren and led the Seahawks to a 5-11 record. Overall, Mora owned a 31-33 record in four seasons as an NFL head coach.
Huskers to Wear Alternate Uniforms vs. UCLA
Nebraska will wear an alternative TECHFIT football uniform on Saturday when the Huskers host UCLA at Memorial Stadium for adidas’ annual Unrivaled Game.
The new adidas TECHFIT black jersey features white stencil font numbers and a unique pattern throughout. The Cornhuskers’ helmet is matte white with a wide black stripe, stencil numbers and a face mask that fades from red to matte black. Nebraska’s famous straight red “N” featured on its helmets for decades remains unchanged. Nebraska’s black adidas TECHFIT baselayer has an N in the design. The pants are white with black stripes and the straight red “N” on the front left hip and the Cornhuskers will wear adidas Team Speed Vertical socks and Crazyquick Mid cleats.
Nebraska’s uniform marks the introduction of adidas’ TECHFIT ShockWeb technology, designed to keep players fast, cool and mobile onfield. adidas ShockWeb features engineered body mapping, which maximizes compression zones across the chest and sides, in a lightweight knit structure that provides a tight fit with enhanced range of motion. Integrated CLIMACOOL mesh zones create airflow to keep players cool in every temperature.
Nebraska also wore an alternate uniform in last year’s matchup with Wisconsin in Lincoln.
Nebraska Hopes to Continue Success Against Ranked Teams in Lincoln
Nebraska has won each of its past four matchups against ranked teams at Memorial Stadium, picking up one victory in each of the past four seasons. NU is 4-1 overall against ranked teams in Lincoln under Head Coach Bo Pelini, and NU has a 9-6 record against ranked opponents in Lincoln since 2000. UCLA will head into Saturday’s game ranked 16th by the Associated Press, while Nebraska checks in at No. 23.
- Saturday’s game marks just the third matchup between a pair of ranked teams at Memorial Stadium under Bo Pelini. No. 14 Nebraska defeated seventh-ranked Missouri in 2010, and No. 13 NU knocked off ninth-ranked Michigan State in 2011.
- UCLA is the first ranked non-conference team to visit Memorial Stadium since No. 1 USC defeated 14th-ranked Nebraska in 2007.
NU-UCLA Series has History of Ranked Teams, Memorable Moments
Saturday’s matchup of two ranked teams is nothing new for the Nebraska-UCLA series. This week’s matchup will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two schools, with five of those games being matchups of two ranked teams, including four of the past five meetings in Lincoln.
- The most recent game in Lincoln in 1994, featured No. 2 Nebraska knocking off 13th-ranked UCLA, 49-21. NU was also ranked No. 2 in 1987, when it defeated No. 3 UCLA, 42-33 at Memorial Stadium.
- The teams also met as ranked opponents in Pasadena in 1988 (No. 5 UCLA 41, No. 2 Nebraska 28) and in 1973 in Lincoln (No. 4 Nebraska 40, No. 10 UCLA 13).
- Overall, Nebraska has entered each of the past 10 meetings with UCLA nationally ranked (eight in top 10), including last year when the No. 17 Huskers were defeated by unranked UCLA, 36-30.
- This week’s game will mark the fifth time in 12 meetings UCLA has been nationally ranked.
- UCLA’s win in 1972 in Los Angeles ended Nebraska’s 32-game unbeaten streak dating back to 1969.
- The Huskers’ 1973 win in Lincoln came in Tom Osborne’s first game as NU head coach. The 1983 win over the Bruins in Lincoln was Osborne’s 100th victory as NU head coach.
- The 1994 game marked the debut of the HuskerVision screens at Memorial Stadium, while this year’s contest is likely to feature a stadium record crowd.
Frazier to be Saluted for College Football Hall of Fame Induction
Former NU quarterback Tommie Frazier will be honored at halftime of Saturday’s game against UCLA. The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame will honor Frazier with an NFF/College Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute. Frazier was one of 14 FBS players selected for the College Football Hall of Fame in May, and he will be officially inducted later this year in New York City.
Frazier will become the 16th Nebraska player in the College Football Hall of Fame, along with six former Cornhusker coaches. Frazier earned induction into the College Hall of Fame in his third year on the ballot. He is the third Husker in the past five years to be named to the Hall, joining 2009 inductee Grant Wistrom and 2011 honoree Will Shields.
Frazier is the first Nebraska quarterback to be selected for the College Football Hall of Fame. The Bradenton, Fla., native was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Huskers from 1992 to 1995, guiding Nebraska to three straight national title games in his final three seasons, including national championships in 1994 and 1995. Frazier posted a 33-3 record as a starting quarterback for the Huskers.
Frazier was the starting quarterback in a pair of Nebraska victories over UCLA in 1993 and 1994.
Abdullah Looking for Back-to-Back 1,000-Yard Seasons
Junior I-back Ameer Abdullah became one of the Big Ten’s top running backs in 2012, as he broke out with a 1,000-yard rushing season. Abdullah carried a heavy load in the rushing game, teaming with quarterback Taylor Martinez to give Nebraska a pair of 1,000-yard rushers.
The 5-9, 190-pound Abdullah finished the 2012 season with 1,137 yards, while averaging 5.0 yards per rushing attempt. Abdullah averaged 81.2 rushing yards per game and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from the league’s coaches, while being an honorable-mention pick by the media.
Abdullah and Martinez posted the 32nd and 33rd 1,000-yard rushing seasons in Nebraska history, and Abdullah’s 1,000-yard campaign was the eighth in school history by a sophomore. His 1,137 yards ranked as the 19th-best single-season effort at Nebraska.
Abdullah has picked up where he left off last season with a pair of 100-yard rushing games to open the season. Abdullah rushed 19 times for 114 yards against Wyoming, including a career-long 62-yard rush in the second quarter. He ran 17 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns against Southern Miss. Abdullah now has eight career 100-yard efforts.
Click on the "Game Notes" link in the related links section at the top of this page for more notes on this weekend's game.