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Mitchell, Poli-Dixon Answer Critics


Freddie Mitchell turned in one of the greatest days ever for a UCLA receiver. Michigan deserves a lot of the credit.

Tailback DeShaun Foster was watching TV and heard some Wolverines say they only needed to slow down Foster to beat the Bruins. Foster passed this along to flanker Mitchell and split end Brian Poli-Dixon, either in the name of friendship or, just maybe, motivation.

"That makes it personal," Poli-Dixon said.

In Saturday's 23-20 victory, Mitchell had 10 catches, tying J.J. Stokes and Byron Nelson for fourth place on UCLA's single-game list. Stokes did it twice, in 1993 and '92, and Nelson in 1963. Stokes also has the record of 14, set in the Jan. 1, 1994, Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.

Mitchell's 10 catches were worth 137 yards, the second-best showing of his career, behind only the 149 last season against Fresno State. Poli-Dixon, meanwhile, had 44 yards on four catches after sitting out last week's game because of a hamstring injury, and also completed a 42-yard pass to Jon Dubravac late in the first quarter to help set up a Bruin field goal.

"There's a lot of critics out there who want to down me and Brian Poli-Dixon," Mitchell said. "We wanted to show everyone we're the best group of receivers in the nation."


Starting fullback Matt Stanley suffered a dislocated right shoulder that is expected to sideline him four to six weeks, about the only bad news on the day for UCLA.


UCLA gave a game ball from Saturday's victory to a Bruin who last played a game on Sept. 28, 1996.

Rosco Zamano was going downfield on a kickoff in the rain at Ann Arbor, Mich., and was hit in such an awkward way that the ligaments in his right leg were severed, as was a vein, and his knee was dislocated.

Zamano, then a freshman in UCLA Coach Bob Toledo's first recruiting class, had to learn to walk again and was not able to resume playing football.

Zamano is a senior now and Toledo said he is on schedule to graduate.


In defeating Alabama and Michigan, both ranked No. 3 at the time, UCLA has beaten two top-10 teams in the same season for the first time since 1988, Troy Aikman's senior season.

That year, the Bruins beat second-ranked Nebraska, 41-28, and eighth-ranked Arkansas, 17-3, in the Cotton Bowl.


The 88,044 in attendance Saturday was the largest regular-season crowd at the Rose Bowl for UCLA in a game not involving USC.

The previous high was 85,697 for a game against Washington in 1997.

Scores of spectators suffered from heat-related problems Saturday as the temperature soared to 108. Some 200 sought medical help.

A number were ferried to air conditioned buses on the stadium grounds to cool off and dozens were transported to area hospitals, according to the Pasadena Fire Department.

At Huntington Memorial's emergency room, about 15 people were treated for heat exhaustion, suffering from such symptoms as weakness, nausea, dizziness and a drop in blood pressure.

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