Johnathan Franklin broke UCLA's all-time rushing record Saturday… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
Running back Johnathan Franklin didn't just break the UCLA all-time rushing record. He broke it in style.
Franklin dipped and juked his way 37 yards for a touchdown on the Bruins' first possession against Arizona on Saturday. He eluded two defenders after taking the handoff, then left another Wildcat waving at air 10 yards downfield.
The run allowed Franklin to pass the UCLA record of 3,731 yards, set by Gaston Green from 1984 to '87.
UCLA Coach Jim Mora called timeout before the extra point so the crowd at the Rose Bowl could honor Franklin. A congratulatory message by Green was shown on the video board.
Franklin started the game needing 530 yards to break Karim Abdul-Jabbar's UCLA season record. Abdul-Jabbar gained 1,571 yards in 1995.
UCLA receiver Darius Bell was cleared medically to play against Arizona, but he was held out of the game after missing practice on Thursday, according to a person in the program.
Bell missed the last two games after suffering a broken rib and separated shoulder against California on Oct. 6. He was on track to return to the lineup Saturday but missed practice. Bell said his alarm clock did not go off.
He has seven receptions for 143 yards, averaging a team-high 20.4 yards per catch. Bell is also one of the top blockers among the receivers.
What has helped the Bruins' success, thus far, is the team's relatively good health.
There have been the usual contact injuries, among them receiver Devin Lucien's broken collarbone and cornerback Ishmael Adams' shoulder surgery. But the Bruins have not been hit with the number of hamstring and groin pulls that have been prevalent in the past.
Mora credited first-year strength coach Sal Alosi.
"We're conscious of stretching, hydrating and eating the right things," Mora said. "We have a good warmup protocol before practice."
Running back Damien Thigpen agreed that Alosi's program has been beneficial. He also cited the synthetic turf installed before summer training camp at the Bruins' practice facility.
Thigpen suffered a pulled left hamstring during spring practice of 2011 and then missed the 2011 season after tearing the same hamstring during summer training camp. He pulled his right hamstring last spring.
"The turf we had before was real lumpy," Thigpen said. "It was something that was hard to run on. This one is a lot better. There is less potential that you'll be hurt. It was a good investment."
Nose for end zone
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley scrambled six yards for a touchdown in the first quarter Saturday. It was his sixth touchdown rushing this season, the most by a Bruins quarterback since Tom Ramsey ran for seven in 1982.