1965 UCLA Bruins football team

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1965 UCLA Bruins football
AAWU Champions
Rose Bowl Champions
Rose Bowl vs. Michigan State, W, 14–12
Conference Athletic Association of Western Universities
Ranking
Coaches #5
AP #4
1965 record 8–2–1 (4–0 AAWU)
Head coach Tommy Prothro
Home stadium Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Seasons
1966 »
1965 AAWU football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#4 UCLA 4 0 0     8 2 1
#10 USC 4 1 0     7 2 1
Washington State 2 1 0     7 3 0
Washington 4 3 0     5 5 0
Stanford 2 3 0     6 3 1
California 2 3 0     5 5 0
Oregon State 1 3 0     5 5 0
Oregon 0 5 0     4 5 1
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1965 UCLA Bruins football team represented University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the 1965 college football season. The team was coached by Tommy Prothro, who replaced William F. Barnes. Under freshman quarterback Gary Beban, the team finished the season with a 8–2–1 record and the conference championship.[1]

Regular season[edit]

The Bruins lost their season opening game 13–3 at Michigan State, who then rose to become the top-ranked team in the country. The unheralded Bruins would go on a seven-game undefeated streak, surprising national powers like Syracuse and Penn State. Going into the 1965 UCLA-USC rivalry football game ranked #7, the conference championship and 1966 Rose Bowl were on the line. #6 USC, led by Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett led 16–6 until UCLA got a touchdown on a pass from Gary Beban to Dick Witcher with four minutes to play. After the two-point conversion made it 16–14, UCLA recovered an onside kick. Beban then hit Kurt Altenberg on a 50-yard bomb and UCLA won, 20–16. Integrated UCLA then faced all-white Tennessee in the newly built Liberty Bowl stadium in Memphis, Prothro's native city. On the last play of the game, Tennessee defensive back Bob Petrella intercepted a UCLA pass to save a Volunteer win by a score of 37–34. Tennessee's winning drive was aided by a controversial pass interference call, the clock had questionably stopped twice, and a dropped pass that appeared to be a lateral was recovered by UCLA but was later ruled an incomplete forward pass. After the game, Prothro stated, "For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be a Southerner."

The Bruins went to the 1966 Rose Bowl as a 14½ point underdog in a rematch with undefeated and #1 ranked powerhouse Michigan State. UCLA, now dubbed "The Miracle Bruins" by Sports Illustrated, vanquished the heavily favored Spartans 14–12. That victory gave UCLA an 8–2–1 mark, prevented the Spartans from winning the AP title, and resulted in Prothro earning Coach of the Year accolades from his coaching colleagues. UCLA finished #4 that season, and due to their small size, earned the moniker "Gutty little Bruins]."

Schedule[edit]

Game Date Opponent Result Bruins points Opponents Record
1 Sep. 18 @ Michigan State Loss 3 13 0–1
2 Oct. 2 @ Penn State Win 24 22 1–1
3 Oct. 9 Syracuse Win 24 14 2–1
4 Oct. 16 @ Missouri Tie 14 14 2–1–1
5 Oct. 23 California Win 56 3 3–1–1
6 Oct. 30 @ Air Force Academy Win 10 0 4–1–1
7 Nov. 6 Washington Win 28 24 5–1–1
8 Nov. 13 @ Stanford Win 30 13 6–1–1
9 Nov. 20 @ USC Win 20 16 7–1–1
10 Dec. 4 @ Tennessee Loss 34 37 7–2–1
11 Jan. 1 vs. Michigan State (Rose Bowl) Win 14 12 8–2–1

Awards and honors[edit]

  • All-Coast/Conference First Team: Kurt Altenberg (E), Russ Banducci (T), Gary Beban (QB), Jim Colletto (E), Mel Farr (H), John Richardson (G), Bob Stiles (H)[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2013 UCLA Football Media Guide, UCLA, 2013
  2. ^ 1975 UCLA Media Guide, UCLA Athletic News Bureau, 1975