SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - It will be a homecoming of sorts at UCLA this weekend for Utes wide receiver Dres Anderson. His father, Willie "Flipper" Anderson, was the Bruins leading receiver in 1986 and 1987 and went on to play ten years in the NFL with the Rams, Colts, Redskins and Broncos.
But Flipper, who still holds the NFL record for most receiving yards in a single game with 336, will be rooting hard against his alma mater this Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
"There is no trash-talking at all," Dres said. "My family is all going for Utah. I mean, I'm his son and I'm family, so they are all rooting for me."
Asked if his dad will be wearing Utah gear, Dres said, "Of course!"
Anderson grew up in Riverside and attended plenty of UCLA games as a kid, so his first trip back to the Rose Bowl as a player will be something special.
"It is a game that I have been looking forward to for a long time," Anderson said. "It's going to be an exciting game for me because a lot of my family is going to be there."
Anderson expects a few dozen family members to attend the game. Coming out of high school, Anderson was recruited by UCLA, but he never felt any pressure by his famous father to go to Westwood.
"My family knew going into my decision that I was going to pick what I wanted to do and they were going to be with me no matter what," he said. "UCLA was most definitely a team I was talking to, but Utah ended up being the place that I liked the most."
Anderson had just one catch for 33 yards in his first game against UCLA last season, a 31-6 blowout at Rice-Eccles Stadium. This year, he hopes to make a bigger impact. Anderson also hopes the Utes offense has turned a corner after a 28-point performance against USC.
"We've been through adversity, but our team is still together," Anderson said. "We still have hope of a Pac-12 championship. We started 0-4 in the Pac-12 last year and we still had a chance to win it. So, we're all still together and all still going for that."
But the Utes must win at least four of its final seven games just to become bowl eligible, and that has become a concern.
"Seriously," Anderson admitted. "We have to make sure we get to six wins, if not more than that. So, that's definitely the goal."
A good start would be for Dres to help the Utes beat his father's former team.