Establishing UCLA’s Single-Season Total Offense Record

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Since the NCAA first started officially keeping formal track of gridiron football statistics in 1937, there have been exactly eight UCLA Bruins who have been able to reset the Westwood school’s record for total offensive yardage (rushing & passing) in a single season :

1,025 yards … 210 plays … 1937 …… Kenny Washington
1,370 yards … 260 plays … 1939 …… Kenny Washington
1,482 yards … 293 plays … 1951 …… Paul Cameron
1,889 yards … 292 plays … 1960 …… Billy Kilmer
2,073 yards … 326 plays … 1965 …… Gary Beban
2,305 yards … 423 plays … 1970 …… Dennis Dummit
3,124 yards … 470 plays … 1982 …… Tom Ramsey
3,142 yards … 391 plays …. 1997 …… Cade McNown
3,652 yards … 432 plays … 1998 ……. Cade McNown
4,095 yards … 638 plays … 2012 …… Brett Hundley

It has always been rather difficult to make meaningful comparisons between football players from different time periods. This is due to a number of different factors, the most influential of which is, perhaps, the evolutionary nature of the game of football, itself. Changes to the playing rules of the game, varying lengths of the annual season schedule as well as strategic & tactical innovations all must be considered carefully.

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Although Brett Hundley came extremely close as a redshirt freshman just a few years back, it is southpaw slinger CADE MCNOWN (# 18) who remains the only UCLA Bruins player in the Westwood school’s distinguished history who has been able to average more than three hundred yards of total offense per game for the length of an entire football season.
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UCLA Single-Season Total Offense Record, Yards Per Game
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102.50 yards per game … 1937 …… Kenny Washington – soph
137.00 yards per game … 1939 …… Kenny Washington – sr
164.67 yards per game … 1951 …… Paul Cameron – soph
188.90 yards per game … 1960 …… Billy Kilmer – sr
209.55 yards per game … 1970 …… Dennis Dummit – sr
260.33 yards per game … 1982 …… Tom Ramsey – sr
304.33 yards per game … 1998 …… Cade McNown – sr

It is certainly very interesting to observe that there have been eight Bruins players who have re-established the UCLA school record for net total offensive yardage gained in a single season but, in contrast, there are only six Westwood gridiron warriors who have ever been able to reset the school’s single-season mark for average net total offensive yards per game. T-formation quarterback GARY BEBAN, who ultimately won the Heisman Trophy awarded to the nation’s very best collegian player in 1967, became the very first Bruins player ever to exceed 2,000 yards of total offense in a single season in 1965 but his average yards per game (188.45) was fractionally short of the school record which had been already been set in 1960 by Single Wing left halfback BILLY KILMER. Similarly, “spread formation” quarterback BRETT HUNDLEY became the very first UCLA player to accumulate more than 4,000 yards of total offense in a single campaign but his average yards per game (292.50) was still almost a dozen yards shy of the existing school record set in 1998 by Rose Bowl quarterback CADE MCNOWN.

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Operating as one of two halfbacks in head coach Pepper Rodgers’ powerful Wishbone offense, UCLA Bruins speedster KERMIT JOHNSON (# 37) broke a long held Westwood school record for total offense which had gone unbroken for three decades by averaging more than seven and a half yards per carry as a senior in 1973; after gaining 1,129 yards on the ground in his final collegiate season, the running back who was chosen First Team All-America in 1973 by three major accredited organizations also broke Kenny Washington’s formidable UCLA school record for career rushing yards, a rather durable mark which had gone unchallenged for 33 years.
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UCLA Single-Season Total Offense Record, Yards Per Play
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5.099 yrds per play … 1937 ……. Kenny Washington
5.269 yrds per play … 1939 ……. Kenny Washington
7.090 yrds per play … 1942 …… Bob Waterfield
7.527 yrds per play … 1973 ……. Kermit Johnson
8.036 yrds per play … 1997 ……. Cade McNown
8.454 yrds per play … 1998 ……. Cade McNown

(minimum of 100 plays, rushing / passing, per season)

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