UCLA football to star in The Drive on Pac-12 Networks in 2014

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

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In terms of original programming for the Pac-12, they got it right with their Hard Knocks programming their first year, landing two programs willing to get the full camera treatment. The Pac-12 had their difficulties with the California Golden Bears (how do you cover a 1-11 season?), but Todd Graham and the Arizona St. Sun Devils proved to be quite the program to cover in their run to a Pac-12 South championship and a near Rose Bowl bid.

In Year Two, the Pac-12 appears like they will scale back to covering one school, and it's another potential home run. The UCLA Bruins could be a national title contender this upcoming season, and they definitely deserve the full-court press. With all their TV time devoted to one program, the Pac-12 should be able to give UCLA even more in-depth treatment than they afforded Cal and ASU in this year's program.

Here is the full press release from the Pac-12.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (April 28, 2014) - Following a successful series debut in 2013, Pac-12 Networks' ambitious documentary series The Drive: Pac-12 Football returns for a second season this fall and focus on the 2014 UCLA Bruins football program.

Season two of The Drive will debut in early September 2014 and consist of fifteen 30-minute weekly episodes airing across all seven Pac-12 Networks, offering an unprecedented look inside UCLA football, from the first whistle of training camp to the Bruins' final game.

Different from season one, where the series split time between Arizona State and California football programs, UCLA Bruins players and coaches will be the primary focus throughout the college football season, with Pac-12 Network film crews capturing the ins and outs of their lives, both on and off the field.

"The high expectations, coupled with the talent and personalities surrounding the 2014 UCLA football team, creates an opportunity for the Pac-12 Networks to capture an incredible sophomore season of The Drive," said Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans. "Coach Mora has brought UCLA back to prominence with a new, unique identity. And, the unpredictable stories that unfold throughout a football season will provide viewers with an inside look at a first-class football program in a most compelling way."

Following a convincing 42-12 victory over Virginia Tech and a school record-tying 10-win season, the Bruins finished 2013 ranked 16th in the nation and early polls place UCLA in the Top-10 to start the 2014 season.

Head coach Jim Mora's squad returns Heisman Trophy candidate Brett Hundley behind center, who has taken full ownership of his role as a leader heading into the season. In addition to Hundley, the program returns an immense amount of talent on both sides of the ball, including the first-ever Pac-12 Offensive/Defensive Freshman of the Year in Myles Jack. With freshman All-Americans Eddie Vanderdoes and Alex Redmond combined with defensive standouts Eric Kendricks and Kenny Clark, not to mention the return of Eldridge Massington and Owamagbe Odighizuwa from season ending injuries a year ago, the Bruins have all the key components to contend for a Pac-12 Title when their season opens Saturday, August. 30 at Virginia.

"Being part of The Drive is obviously a great way to showcase the program that we have been building here at UCLA," said Mora. "But more importantly, this is an opportunity for our student-athletes to be part of a show that is dedicated to highlighting their hard work and effort while also giving them an opportunity to tell their story. Someday, when they're old like me, they will have a copy of The Drive, sit their kids down and be able to share these memories with them in a very tangible way."

Season one of The Drive redefined all-access sports programming with Pac-12 Networks production teams mastering aggressive editing timelines to turn around 30 minutes of all-access content in a 3-5 day window. Each installment captured exclusive footage and sound from games and practices, as well as a glimpse of what life is like for players and coaches away from the field; From moments at home with family and friends to the time spent in the classroom and on campus, fans receive a complete picture of life during the college football season for individuals in and around the program.

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