UCLA's last visit to Austin is one of those games Texas fans want to forget. It would be hard to imagine this one being anywhere near as bad a memory.
The seventh-ranked Longhorns look to open 4-0 for the fourth consecutive season in a rematch with the visiting Bruins on Saturday.
The Bruins embarrassed Texas 66-3 on Sept. 13, 1997, handing the Longhorns their worst loss since 1904 when they were beaten 68-0 by Chicago. UCLA forced eight turnovers and Cade McNown threw a school-record five touchdown passes in the first half.
Texas coach Mack Brown was on the sidelines at North Carolina at the time, but is well aware of that awful memory for the Longhorns faithful.
"Last time they were here it wasn't good for us. It was 66-3," Brown said. "We need the crowd to be pumped. We need them to be excited. ... (UCLA) will come in here with a lot of excitement with the understanding that they can turn their year around by coming in here and getting after us."
The Bruins (1-2), though, share the worst record in the Pac-10 and have lost 15 consecutive road games against ranked teams since a 2001 win at Oregon State.
They'll be hard-pressed to stop two long streaks at stake for Texas (3-0), which has won 17 in a row at home and 17 straight regular-season games in non-conference play.
The Longhorns are coming off a 24-14 win over Texas Tech last Saturday, holding the Red Raiders to 144 yards of total offense -- their lowest output in 20 years.
Texas boasts the nation's second-ranked defense, allowing 206.7 yards per game.
"I think if you play defense, especially at Texas, you have to have a sense of pride," defensive end Dravannti Johnson said. "You have to have a sense of, 'We're going to go out there and stop every single play.' The rankings don't matter to us. For us, we are going to continue to do what we are doing, and we don't care about that."
The Longhorns lead the country in run defense, giving up 44.0 yards per game after holding Texas Tech to minus-14.
UCLA is averaging 203.6 yards on the ground, a vast improvement from the 114.6 it managed in 2009.
"It's an undefeated team with great tradition," Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel said of the Longhorns. "We've got to make sure that we're not caught looking at all the people wearing burnt orange."
One of those wearing it on the field that should most concern Neuheisel is Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert. The sophomore was 21 of 36 for 227 yards and two touchdowns against Texas Tech. He was picked off three times -- two were tipped at the line -- but Brown was pleased by Gilbert's poise and focus.
"He didn't look any different on any play," Brown said. "It's amazing to me. His demeanor didn't change at all."
The Bruins' demeanor wasn't very good after a 35-0 home loss to then-No. 25 Stanford on Sept. 11, but they bounced back last Saturday to pick up its first victory by defeating then-No. 23 Houston 31-13.
UCLA put up 365 yards of offense, including 266 rushing for its highest single-game total since 2007.
Jonathan Franklin led the way with a career-high 158 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries, and he seems to be enjoying the new Pistol offense that Neuheisel implemented during the offseason.
"It's opened our running game up, and it's opened our offense," Franklin said. "It keeps the defense on their toes, because we have more weapons. It definitely benefits us. We did a good job, but we still have a long way to go."
Texas and UCLA have split the all-time series 2-2, with the Bruins winning the last two and posting a 49-31 home victory in the most recent matchup in 1998.
Top 25 Overview
Things have changed quite a bit since UCLA's last visit to Austin. That game in 1997 resulted in a 66-3 Bruins win in which they forced eight turnovers. Now UCLA comes in having lost 15 consecutive road games against ranked teams. The Longhorns have won 17 in a row at home. Texas and UCLA have split the all-time series 2-2.