TB Chris Markey

2005 Statistics

Coach: Karl Dorrell
22-15, 3 years
2005 Record: 10-2
at San Diego State WON 44-21
RICE WON 63-21
at Washington State WON 44-41 (OT)
at Stanford WON 30-27 (OT)
at Arizona LOST 14-52
at USC LOST 19-66
vs. Northwestern WON 50-38

2005 Final Rankings
AP-16, Coaches-13, BCS-16

2006 Outlook

Karl Dorrell managed to guide a team with a potent offense and a porous defense to a 10-win season, and the offense should be equally, if not more dangerous in 2006. Depth is almost no question offensively where there are at least two capable halfbacks, a host of wide receivers, two capable quarterbacks and six offensive linemen with starting experience.

The addition of junior Taylor and Terrence Austin to an already deep wide receiving corps will only help Ben Olson's emergence as a starter. The only question is how efficient can this offense be? Last year's perfectly balanced offense took care of the football and put up points against every team it played. Can this offense, which may get more big plays, be as consistent with their all-world recruit Olsen at the helm?

With strong returning special teams players the key to the season will likely be the defense. How many times can you win 10 games in a season giving up 34 points and 468 yards per game? Dorrell and new defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker will put a defense on the field that will be an asset instead of an eyesore, that’s why Walker was brought on board. Health is an issue, but even an injury-depleted defense showed flashes of improvement this spring.

Will that continue and translate onto the field in the fall? Bottom line, it can't be much worse defensively, and some young talent will help this unit improve, even if it is still far from dominant.

The schedule will help a team that will be young. Four of the first five games are at home and those first five are against teams with a combined 18-38 record in '05. Get past Utah in the opener and things may seem Ok, but the conference onslaught, broken up by a visit to South Bend, will humble the Bruins. Southern Cal to close is at “home” and is winnable. Bruin fans cannot see more losses as a huge step back, and progress to give them momentum into ’07 cannot be undervalued with the new QB.

Projected 2006 record: 7-5
QB - 3.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 2
WR - 4 DB - 2.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Ben Olson, 4-2-0, 11 yds., 0 TD

Rushing: Chris Markey, 110 att, 561 yds., 3 TD

Receiving: Joe Cowan, 35 rec., 469 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Brandon Breazell, 6 TD, 36 pts.

Punting: Aaron Perez, 54 punts, 39.9 avg.

Kicking: Jimmy Rotstein, 5-5 PAT, 5 pts.

Tackles: Dennis Keyes, 57 tot., 41 solo

Sacks: Justin Hickman, 5.5 sacks

Interceptions: Michael Norris, Rodney Van, Trey Brown, Eric McNeal - 1 each

Kickoff returns: Chris Markey, 17 ret., 22.5 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Chris Markey, 3 ret., 16.0 avg., 0 TD


DE Justin Hickman
OFFENSE: Drew Olson-QB, Marcedes Lewis-TE, Mike McCloskey-C, Robert Cleary-OG, Ed Blanton-OT, Maurice Drew-TB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Wesley Walker-OLB, Justin London-ILB, Spencer Havner-ILB, Marcus Cassel-CB, Jarrad Page-SS

Ben Olson will take over for Drew Olson to be seeing his first legitimate playing time since prep (2001). That will be the ultimate test for Olson. No one questions the redshirt sophomore’s physical tools, he spent the offseason working to tighten up his throwing motion and Dorrell complimented his decision-making in the spring. The coaches can’t change the fact that Olson threw all of four passes last season and will be leading an offense that is likely to throw 350-400 times, but he has the tools as he was the nation’s top rated QB in 2002 when he was recruited. In other words, we feel that it shouldn’t take much time to shake off the inevitable rust. Those will be the key questions. Classmate Pat Cowan is the probable backup, though he has a strong grasp of the offense and has good athletic ability, too, so he may make this a tighter race than most expect, which is all good for the Bruins.

Running Back
The Bruins ran the ball less than 30 times in a game just twice last season. With that many carries, Dorrell and the offensive staff like to use two backs. The Bruins will again be strong and deep in the backfield. Junior Chris Markey averaged 5.1 yards per carry, piled up 580 yards and caught 17 passes last year in Drew’s shadow, finishing the year with an MVP performance in the Sun Bowl. Markey has excellent vision, balance and quick acceleration to compliment his shifty style. Sophomore Kahlil Bell, a near physical double of Markey, should respond well to an increased workload after averaging 6.1 yards per carry last year. Bell, not highly recruited, doesn’t have blazing speed but is a powerful one-cut runner. All-conference Michael Pitre returns at fullback and though he doesn’t log the snaps his backfield-mates do, the 240-pounder is a powerful blocker and effective when he gets touches the ball. This unit just needs to be given the chance and it could “carry” the offense even more.

The Bruins lose their top target (TE), but Olson will have a talented, deep set of wide receivers to work with. Three returning receivers have caught at least 30 balls in a season, led by flanker Joe Cowan. Cowan, a senior, is has big-play ability but thrives on using his massive frame (6-4, 220) and good hands. Marcus Everett has good size as well and, after starting just six games in ’05, still caught 32 balls. Classmate Brandon Breazell had a standout performance in the spring and, though undersized, should prove a speedy threat and will certainly factor into the rotation. The key may be Junior Taylor, a player who was a dangerous threat in ’04 before a knee injury sidelined him for ‘05. If healthy, Taylor has the most big-play potential of the top returnees. Two young players, sophomore Gavin Ketchum and super-quick freshman Terrence Austin (turned down Miami and Notre Dame, among others) should add a deeper threat to the controlled passing game.

Tight End
J.J. Hair will likely step in for Lewis as the starter. Hair excels as a blocker but what passes are directed at the tight ends are likely to go to sophomore Ryan Moya. Moya has decent size (6-2, 230) but has good hands and averaged more per catch (15.3) than anyone with 10 or more catches last season. The chances of either player making Bruins fans forget Lewis is unlikely, but the duo should be more than adequate, surrounded by a ton of talent.

Offensive Line
The biggest unknown is along the line, which lost three dependable starters from a group that paved the way for a dangerous offense. A solid, versatile group is essential for an offense that prides itself on balance, and Mauling guard Shannon Tevaga leads a group of six returnees who have some starting experience, though two of those players, Chris Joseph and Robert Chai are working back from injuries. Tevaga, who has started 18 straight games and earned honorable mention all-conference last year, will be one of the best linemen in conference again. The group will have the benefit new coach Jim Colletto, who is renowned for his work in this area. Early in spring, Tevaga was working with P.J. Irvin at guard, tackles Noah Sutherland and Brian Abraham and center Nathaniel Skaggs, who started the Sun Bowl. Skaggs was only converted from the defensive line during the bowl practices and could be one to watch as he acquitted himself well at a critical position in a pressure situation. JUCO transfer Nick Ekbatani will factor in as well after showing glimpses in the spring and guard Aleksey Lanis is massive (6-6, 338) and talented, but was not overly impressive yet. The Bruins added a strong recruiting class but it’s unlikely any freshmen reach the field this fall. If they do play, it will reflect the lack of production from those ahead of them, and UCLA will likely be struggling at that juncture.

This offense has improved in each of Dorrell’s previous three years. They are unlikely to improve again (23rd ranked in ’05), but they should have plenty of efficiency and firepower to worry opponents. The key will be consistency. As explosive as the offense was last season, it was its ability to constantly put drives together and avoid turnovers (only 15 total) that made it lethally wear out foes. With Markey, Bell and Pitre in the backfield and a host of wide receiving talent, the questions lie in the performance up front and at quarterback. Olson must play well enough to win early and improve as the year goes along, avoiding the big mistake that puts the defense in a tough spot. The line has talent but must jell.


OG Shannon Tevaga


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Ben Olson-So (6-5, 227) Pat Cowan-So (6-4, 215)
FB Michael Pitre-Jr (5-11, 240) Jimmy Stephens-Jr (6-2, 244)
TB Chris Markey-Jr (5-11, 203) Kahlil Bell-So (5-11, 206)
WR Marcus Everett-Jr (6-1, 200) Gavin Ketchum-So (6-4, 199)
Junior Taylor-Sr (6-1, 203)
WR Joe Cowan-Sr (6-4, 220) Brandon Breazell-Jr (6-0, 165)
TE J.J. Hair-Sr (6-5, 248) Logan Paulsen-So (6-5, 237)
OT Brian Abraham-Jr (6-6, 300) Noah Sutherland-Jr (6-4, 290)
OG Shannon Tevaga-Jr (6-3, 310) Chris Johnson-So (6-3, 280)
C Robert Chai-Sr (6-3, 285) Nathaniel Skaggs-So (6-4, 275)
OG Aleksey Lanis-Fr (6-6, 338) P.J. Irvin-Jr (6-4, 310)
OT Nick Ekbatani-So (6-5, 280) Scott Glicksberg-So (6-4, 300)
K Brian Malette-So (5-11, 179) Jimmy Rotstein-So (6-0, 160)
Justin Medlock-Sr (suspended)




Defensive Line
New coordinator DeWayne Walker comes over from the Washington Redskins and has vowed to be more aggressive. That starts with the attitude up front. One thing that will help this team is if DT Kevin Brown, the Bruins’ best lineman, can get healthy. Brown had five sacks in ’04, but missed last season with an ankle injury and was not playing during spring. This unit simply has to play better after it surrendered nearly 233 yards per game rushing in ‘05. DE Justin Hickman, battling broken ribs in the spring, had 5.5 sacks last year but must be tougher against the run as the lone senior returning starter. DT Chase Moline could make a difference as well. Moline battled as a freshman but was ultimately undersized, coming to UCLA at less-than 260 pounds last summer. Listed at 274 pounds, Moline should have more impact, though he also missed time in the spring as did starting tackle Bringham Harwell, who was second on the team in tackles-for-loss last year. Harwell has excellent quickness.

The emphasis here will be on tackling. Not only did the Bruins struggle in that area last season – opponents averaged 5.4 yards per carry, a direct reflection on the quality of a defense to make basic tackles – but it lost its best player and playmaker in Spencer Havner. Two other starters left, too, so addition by subtraction will have to be the hope. This year’s group will be speedy…by default. None of the backers weighed more than 225 pounds entering spring. Eric McNeal moves from a safety position to the weak side. The coaches hope McNeal can pick up the position quickly and that his speed can make up for any mistakes he makes. McNeal’s experience makes him an odds-on favorite to start, but outside of that the positions appear wide-open. Reggie Carter, a redshirt freshman, will get a long look in the middle. John Hale got seven starts as a true freshman last season and should fill the void on the strong side. However, he was not particularly impressive in the fall, making just 20 tackles and doing little else in his 11 games.

Defensive Back
UCLA’s secondary managed just five INTs (team had eight) last season and surrendered more than 235 yards a game passing. The pressure should increase on the secondary as Walker’s more aggressive scheme has the corners out on an island. FS Dennis Keyes and corner Trey Brown return after each ranked in the top five in tackles, a bad trend. Keyes took a backseat to four-year starter Jarrad Page but will be the leader this year and must make more game-changing plays. He’ll likely be paired with redshirt freshman Aaron Ware, the younger brother of former UCLA standout Matt Ware. The younger Ware dominated scout team practices last season and was impressive in the spring. His backup at FS, Eric McNeal, will be relied upon as the only senior with much experience. At corner, Brown returns and this legacy (father was RB here from 1976-78) will improve in the new scheme. A few more picks and the vet could easily play himself into postseason all-conference recognition. Rodney Van has good size and much athletic ability, but has not seen much action outside of special teams.

Walker wants to be more aggressive. Well, we see that he has some athletes to work with, but it all starts up front. The opportunity to be aggressive won’t present itself if the defense is constantly facing second-and-3. The injuries up front couldn’t have come at a worse time. New system, new coordinator and a promising set of players, would have accounted for significant optimism. Instead, the front seven remains a great unknown. There will be a lot of pressure on Hale, Carter and McNeal and the secondary will only be as good as the players in front of them. The defense looked good in the spring, battling in scrimmages and playing better as the spring season went on, but that could be fool’s gold, given the offense was replacing so many starters.


DT Kevin Brown


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Justin Hickman-Sr (6-1, 261) Nikola Dragovic-Jr (6-3, 256)
Kenneth Lombard-So (6-1, 268)
DT Kevin Brown-Jr (6-2, 297) Chase Moline-So (6-1, 274)
DT Brigham Harwell-Jr (6-1, 274) Jess Ward-Fr (6-4, 284)
DE William Snead-Jr (6-4, 253) Bruce Davis-Jr (6-3, 230)
SLB John Hale-So (6-4, 225) Kyle Bosworth-So (6-2, 215)
MLB Christian Taylor-Jr (6-0, 220) Reggie Carter-Fr (6-1, 225)
WLB Eric McNeal-Sr (6-2, 209) Aaron Whittington-Jr (6-2, 210)
CB Trey Brown-Jr (5-10, 189) Michael Norris-Jr (5-11, 185)
CB Rodney Van-Jr (6-1, 178) Byron Velega-So (5-10, 177)
SS Chris Horton-Jr (6-1, 200) Bret Lockett-Fr (6-2, 204)
FS Dennis Keyes-Jr (6-1, 192) Robert Kibble-So (5-10, 175)
P Aaron Perez-So (6-2, 220) ..




With a career field goal percentage of .750, fifth-year senior Justin Medlock is at once both a strength and this team's biggest question mark. As of spring, Medlock was still suspended for violating team rules. If he plays, UCLA will again have an advantage in close games after going 3-0 in games decided by four points or less last season. Medlock is more than just consistent, kicking four field goals of 50 yards or longer in his career. If he's unavailable, it'll be one of two untested sophomores, potentially leaving a gaping hole in the UCLA special teams. Kickoff coverage was solid and an improvement from '04. If Medlock is back, this number will improve.

Sophomore Aaron Perez doesn't have the strongest leg, but he gets decent hang-time and put 19 kicks inside the 20-yard-line last season. He'll need to duplicate that type of performance to help a defense that is still developing. Perez was in the middle of the pack in net punting average but will improve as his leg gets stronger and he benefits from a year of experience. Perez allows for team net results to continue being strong.

Return Game
Markey was the top kickoff return man last season, though Bell and Breazell, the latter of whom returned a pair of onside kicks for amazing touchdowns in the Sun Bowl, should get more work with Markey's increased duties in the backfield as the feature back. The Bruins should be fine replacing Drew in the backfield, but replacing a player that had a 28.5 yard return average on 15 punts last year will prove more difficult. Markey was solid in limited duty and is the odds-on favorite to replace Drew here as well. A shifty, quick runner, Markey should prove dangerous.