UCLA Football Under Terry Donahue – 1996-2015

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Jan 7, 2014; Newport Beach, CA, USA; General view of the crystal football on the Coaches Trophy at 2014 BCS National Championship press conference at Newport Beach Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


After a mild let-down ’99 season – in which the Bruins broke in new freshman quarterback JP Losman, went 6-5, and beat USC for the ninth year in a row – UCLA roars back onto the national scene with two top-five victories (Alabama and Michigan) in the first three weeks of the season. The Bruins defense has improved considerably in its second year under Snow, while the offense – powered by Losman and Foster – overpower all comers.

The Bruins face tough road tests at Cal and #7 Washington, but cruise into the final game of the season against USC with a 10-0 record. Trojan head coach Paul Hackett is fighting for his job, and his players go all out for him, but it isn’t enough. The #2 Bruins prevail (for the 10th straight time against USC) by a score of 38-35.

This sets up a highly anticipated Orange Bowl against Oklahoma under Bob Stoops, who in his second year has turned around the Sooners’ program to the tune of a 12-0 record with two top five wins of their own and a #1 ranking since late October. Oklahoma’s defense is the toughest the Bruins have seen all year, but the Bruins respond in kind by shutting down Josh Heupel and the Sooner offense. Nursing a 17-14 lead late, the Bruins try to kill the clock with Foster, who breaks through the line and runs 60 yards for the game sealing touchdown. The Bruins prevail 24-14, winning their first national championship since 1954.

Next: 2001