It's Saturday, and it's time for some Bruin football. This game will be a big test for UCLA, as they will face conference favorites, the #6-ranked Stanford Cardinal in Palo Alto, led by easily the best QB, if not the outright best player in college football, Andrew Luck. Game time is at 7:30 p.m. PST on FSN. The Bruins and Rick Neuheisel can instantly turn the season around and quiet the nay-sayers with a huge road victory over a top-ten conference opponent on the road.
Rick has the horses to run with the Trees and despite having an elite QB and a top-tier team this season, attendance at Stanford home games hasn't exactly turned their new stadium into an intimidating atmosphere like, say, Autzen. This game has all the makings of a big UCLA upset, if, and only if, Rick pulls out all the stops, plays to win, sheds the conservative game-plan, and takes some chances.
The pre-game thread should be going up around 2 p.m., but before we get to that, let's take a look at some of the bits and pieces of football news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Starting with Jon Gold, he notes that the Bruins have a more experienced front-seven than the last time they faced the Cardinal, when Andrew Luck blanked the Bruins 35-0. Gold notes that the coaching staff was pleased with increased production against Oregon State and recognized that the key to stopping Luck will be to prevent him from extending plays like he did last season (or as the two Texan Cases - Keenum and McCoy - did this year).
- The L.A. Times summarized the beat-up condition of UCLA's secondary heading into this weekend, with Sheldon Price still recovering (and likely out) from a knee injury (which he needlessly and stupidly inflicted on himself), Tony Dye still questionable, and just barely getting Hilliard cleared to play. Andrew Abbott remains questionable due to a concussion, but the Bruins will be boosted by the return of former Vanderbilt cornerback Jaime Graham, who should be able to play if needed in Palo Alto.
Also returning for the Bruins will be the lightning to Coleman's thunder, in the person of Johnathan Franklin. With Stanford losing Skov for the season, expect to see Franklin and Coleman get a heavy load, trying to force the Cardinal to adjust without their best linebacker and emotional leader of their defense.
Those are your pre-game Bruin Bites. Sit tight and the pre-game thread will be up this afternoon. For now, this will be our morning college football open thread for those of you watching other games.
If you're a Bruin not in Northern California, we have all the latest information on where to watch the game with fellow Bruins here. If you're anywhere remotely close to the greater San Francisco Bay Area, you should be at Stanford Stadium in blue and gold. No excuses, so go check out ticket and travel information to make your way to Palo Alto. If you haven't done so already, make sure you get your pre-game guesses in before kick-off at 7:30 p.m. PST.