The 1953 UCLA Bruins football team represented the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the 1953 college football season. They played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and were coached by Red Sanders. It was Sanders' fifth season as the UCLA head coach. The team completed the season with an 8–2 record and was the Pacific Coast Conference champion. They played in the 1954 Rose Bowl and were defeated by eighth-ranked Michigan State, 28–20. The Bruins finished ranked fourth in the Coaches Poll and fifth in the AP Poll.
|1953 UCLA Bruins football|
|Conference||Pacific Coast Conference|
|Record||8–2 (6–1 PCC)|
|Home stadium||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum|
|1953 Pacific Coast Conference football standings|
|No. 5 UCLA $||6||–||1||–||0||8||–||2||–||0|
|No. 19 Stanford||5||–||1||–||1||6||–||3||–||1|
Rankings from AP Poll
|September 18||Oregon State||No. 4||W 41–0||39,209|
|September 25||Kansas*||No. 4||W 19–7||42,829|
|October 3||at Oregon||No. 5||W 12–0||24,587|
|October 9||Wisconsin*||No. 6||W 13–0||52,887|
|October 17||at Stanford||No. 4||L 20–21||45,000|
|October 24||Washington State||No. 12||W 44–7||27,608|
|October 31||California||No. 10||W 20–7||70,073|
|November 14||Washington||No. 7||W 22–6||13,302|
|November 21||at No. 9 USC||No. 5||W 13–0||85,366|
|January 1||vs. No. 9 Michigan State||No. 5||NBC||L 20–28||100,500|
By winning this game, the Bruins were the PCC Champions and received the Rose Bowl bid. California assisted with a 21–21 tie with Stanford. Bob Heydenfeldt and Paul Cameron scored in the second and fourth quarter respectively.
Michigan State (Rose Bowl)Edit
This was the first meeting between the two schools. It was the first Rose Bowl appearance for the Spartans. They had previously only played in the 1938 Orange Bowl. It was the third bowl appearance for the Bruins. The weather was sunny. The Spartans wore their green home jerseys and the Bruins wore their white road jerseys.
The Spartans fumbled twice in the first half, which allowed the Bruins the first two scores. Michigan State had only one completed pass and 56 yards in the first half. The Spartans scored a touchdown with 4:45 remaining in the first half.
Victor Postula knocked down four Bruin passes. Coach Biggie Munn instituted a "split line offense" against the Bruins.
The Spartans assembled two long drives in the third quarter to pull ahead 21–-14. The Bruins recovered another Spartan fumble and scored to make the score 21–20. But the extra point kick failed. Billy Wells of Michigan State returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown with 4:51 left in the game.
First quarter scoringEdit
- UCLA — Bill Stits 13-yard pass from Paul Cameron. John Hermann converts.
Second quarter scoringEdit
- UCLA — Cameron, two-yard run. Hermann converts.
- MSU — Ellis Duckett, six-yard blocked punt return. Evan Slonac converts.
Third quarter scoringEdit
- MSU — LeRoy Bolden, one-yard run. Slonac converts.
- MSU — Billy Wells, two-yard run. Slonac converts.
Fourth quarter scoringEdit
- UCLA — Rommie Loudd, 28-yard pass from Cameron passes 28 yards to Rommie Loudd. Kick failed.
- MSU — Wells, 62-yard punt return. Slonac converts
Awards and honorsEdit
- 2014 UCLA Bruins Football Media Guide (p108), UCLA Athletics Department, August 2014
- Hyland, D. (26 September 1953). "CAMERON LEADS BRUINS TO 19-7 VICTORY". Los Angeles Times.
- Hyland, D. (4 October 1953). "BRUINS DOWN DUCKS, 12-0, TO END JINX". Los Angeles Times.
- Hyland, D. (18 October 1953). "INSPIRED INDIANS STUN BRUINS, 21-20". Los Angeles Times.
- Geyer, J. (1 November 1953). "70,073 'smoggies' see bruins take 3rd straight over bears". Los Angeles Times.
- Richmond, Jim - Postula family traveled long road to America Archived 2012-07-22 at archive.today. Battle Creek Enquirer, September 5, 2005
- 1975 UCLA Media Guide, UCLA Athletic News Bureau, 1975