You guys all know who we are talking about here. Whatever you do this week don't approach college football the way Taylor Gaspar from ESPNAustin did leading up to last weekend. Don't sound like a clueless fan saying how Bruins are going to destroy the Cougars just by showing up at the Rose Bowl. Don't look forward to the game after by sounding like a jerk calling this weekend a "tuneup" Saturday.
Leave that garbage for the MIMBO reporter in the LA Times, who is already working overtime to come up with manufactured bulletin board material for Bruin opponents this Monday. Yes, Chris Foster from the LA Times, who we usually hear ask clueless questions following daily practices is trying to get the Cougars all riled up by calling them "toothless."
I am not going to bother excerpting this hack's junk this am, who wrote up trash just to concoct up visceral emotion against the Bruins up in Pullman this week. Instead I will just reiterate what everyone here already knows. UCLA as a program is in no position to over look any team. From Coach Rick Neuheisel in the Daily News (emphasis added):
"If we can't learn a lesson from just the last weekend in terms of counting one team out, then we aren't very smart," Neuheisel said.
"We've got to understand that for us to get where we're going, we have to be a better football team. We get to play only one game this week, and we have to play it as well as we can.
"It's about us. We have to play our best."
For the Bruins to continue to be successful, they need to prepare for every game with the same dedication and respect for opponents they have shown these past two weeks. If the entire Bruin Nation make the bone headed mistake of looking past the Cougars, we are going to find ourselves in a position just like Gasper, who after being embarrassed and humiliated removed that infamous video from her YouTube channel. No need for that.
We were 0-2 just 14 days ago and the world was looking at us like ‘What's the matter with you guys?' And calling us names and so forth," Neuheisel said. "What we mustered up in the way of pride and dedication to each other can't be lost just because now we get to enjoy a wonderful victory. We've got to keep whatever that feeling was as our energy to get better as we get back now into the Pac 10 conference."
After reviewing game tapes from Texas, Neuheisel said the Bruins were not nearly as good as they looked. They failed to capitalize on several scoring opportunities and pass protection is still a work in progress. Two turnovers brought the season total to 12 -- tied for most in the nation.
"It's too early in the season to start pounding our chests and say, hey, we're here," Neuheisel said. "But, I like that we've found a formula to get better. The kids know what it takes in the way of preparation throughout a week, both mental and physical preparation."
In terms of physical preparation it appears two of UCLA's captains - Akeem Ayers and Kevin Prince - are bit dinged up. Akeem has a "slightly" bruised shoulder while Prince tweaked his knee a bit (before he had that epic moment brushing off the trainer to throw a TD pass). Neuheisel didn't sound too worried about them on Sunday:
Prince had his knee examined when the team returned and Neuheisel said there was "no damage."
"He's a little sore, but he'll be fine," Neuheisel said.
Ayers, who had two tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and an interception against Texas, may sit out a few reps early in the week, Neuheisel said.
"I don't think it's anything critical," Neuheisel said. "I would say he'll be ready to go by Tuesday. He may be a little limited in terms of how many hits he gets on Tuesday, but I expect him to be at practice."
Hopefully those guys don't miss much action at Spaulding beyond today. It's clear that getting back to regular practice rhythm has already made a discernible impact on how Prince leads the offense.
As for Washington State, we will have more on the Cougars during the week. However, if you want to get a head start you should be tracking CougCenter.com, very closely all through the week. On the scoreboard, the Cougars got wiped out by Southern Cal on Saturday. However, according to the bloggers at CC even though the game was a blowout, there were "plenty of positives that deserve attention" as their young QB showed "improvement" against the Trogans.
As a program, the Cougars are going to come in a desperation mode with nothing to lose, looking to get their marquee moment for a head coach, who is scrapping and clawing to jump start a struggling program. If the Bruins are not focused and locked in they are going to learn their lessons the hard way just like the Longhorns in Austin. Hopefully that won't be the case as the Bruins will stay in their zone and work to improve upon their performances from last two weeks.