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Fun Stat Nerd Tidbit: UCLA

I honestly don't have much to share here that I didn't already put in the UCLA profile itself, so instead we'll just look back at the 1984 Rose Bowl, Rick Neuheisel's crowning achievement, as a player or coach, at Westwood. After starting the season 0-3-1 with tough losses to No. 15 Georgia, No. 1 Nebraska and BYU, the Bruins caught fire, going 6-1-1 in the Pac-10 and securing a Rose Bowl berth. They were strong underdogs against quarterback Jack Trudeau and No. 4 Illinois ... and they destroyed the Illini, 45-9.

Via the great

Mistakes repeatedly led to UCLA scores. Craig Swoope’s fumble after Illinois blocked a field goal gave the Bruins the ball at the Illini 14 and led to a 3-yard touchdown pass from Neuheisel to Paul Bergmann for a 7-0 lead.

After Chris White’s field goal cut the lead to 7-3, Kevin Nelson, the U.C.L.A. tailback went through the middle of the Illini defense for a 28 yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead.

Don Rogers’s second interception, which tied a Rose Bowl record, led to Neuheisel's 16 yard pass to Karl Dorrell and a 21-3 lead. Keith Taylor, the Illinois freshman cornerback from Pennsauken, N.J., who won a job in the fifth game of the season, was beaten by Dorrell and then was beaten by Mike Young on a 53-yard touchdown that gave the Bruins a 28-3 lead.

Via the Press-Enterprise:

The 10-1 Illini were routed, 45-9, by 6-4-1 UCLA in the "Rick Neuheisel show," as the Rose Bowl's official site proclaims. Neuheisel completed 22 of 31 passes for four touchdowns -- two to recently fired Bruins coach Karl Dorrell -- and safety Don Rogers picked off Trudeau twice.

"I remember Neuheisel had one good game in college, and it happened to be against us," said Chris White, who still holds the school's scoring record and was a three-time All-Big Ten kicker.

Best thing that happened to Illinois that day? A group of Caltech students, in an effort to duplicate the great Caltech flip-card hoax, turned the scoreboard off near the end of the game.

"The only highlight of the game for me was when the scoreboard went out," Mike White said at the time. "It eased the pain a little."

So, you know, Neuheisel has THAT going for him...