I ran across these comments from Pat Forde of the WWL. The article glosses over many things, but this section focuses on coaches making big debuts. Rick Neuheisel clocks in:
Rick Neuheisel (26) and UCLA versus Tennessee. Quarterback injuries, a dearth of returning talent and a heavyweight opponent might make this the toughest debut game in the country. Anyone expecting big things from the Bruins this year should fast-forward to basketball.
I think this would be great bulletin board material (not that there isn't enough already) prior to the Tennessee game. I think the players know that they are huge underdogs, but sometimes these kinds of remarks can stir up a little extra motivation.
For all of the negativity surrounding our program's talent, I feel like we are being underestimated by many "pundits" like Marcia What'sHerName (see what I just did there?).
We have a great defensive line, a shutdown corner, solid special teams, a stable of running backs, and a very underrated tight end. Like Nestor has noted on several occasions, I think the key will be to absolutely run the ball down Tennessee's throat and ask Craft to complete short passes to Paulsen and our backs. If our defense can stay fresh and our special teams can create a short field...we might have a shot at a big upset. I'm not usually into predictions, but...
UCLA: 16 Tennessee: 14
Now, I'm not saying this team is going to go 12-0, but I can definitely see us winning 5 or 6 games with very similar scores to what I've predicted above. I can't wait for September 1st.