Earlier in the week - prior to our podcast - we laid out the following factors in play for UCLA, if the Bruins were to have shot in winning tomorrow afternoon:
- Ball control
- Winning the turnover battle
- Rattling Riley
- Limiting big play
Rahim Moore brought up few more interesting factors during this give and take with Jon Gold. He talked about eliminating mistakes and the need to tackle. He referred to them as the "little things" that cost us against the Bears last year (resulting in those big plays). Those "little things" also cost us earlier this season and almost embarrassed us last weekend against Washington State. So hopefully Rahim and co. are learning their lessons fast. What really stuck out to me though was the Moore's use of the phrase "meet me at the ball" wrt to Bruin defense (starting around 1:50 mark of the video):
Essentially Moore was talking about the need for the Bruin defense to swarm the ball tomorrow afternoon, gang tackle and help each other out. We saw that kind of defensive intensity against Texas. We saw that against Tennessee in Knoxville last season as well. We haven't really seen that from UCLA while taking on good Pac-10 teams on the road in last 2+ seasons under Rick Neuheisel. Perhaps that will change tomorrow afternoon.
A side note to that video interview. I really hope Gold stops baiting our players gotcha quotes (i.e. "is the real battle for California"?). I totally get that he is kidding around but those are the kind of gotcha quotes that ends up being taken out of context. Not sure why he feels the need for it considering his body of work in these videos are pretty good stuff in general. There is no need for the cheap lines. He should leave that for hacks like Adam Maya.
Going back to the main pont. While the odds are stacked in favor of the Bears and there is no pressure on the Bruins. Rahim and his team-mates could do a lot of good for our program, if they can come out with the kind of gang tackling, ferocious mindset they displayed in those aforementioned games. Not sure if that is going to be enough to get a victory against a well balanced Cal football team on their home turf, but it will go a long way in gaining confidence for this football program. Here is to Akeem, Rahim and rest of their defensive team-mates constantly "meeting" each other "at the ball" when they take on the Bears tomorrow.