Bruin Bites: Rick's Defeated Team, Basketball Recruiting Arms Race, Men's Soccer Keeps Winning (Barely), Beavers' "Must-Win" Game

Rick Neuheisel's mentally defeated team will head to Corvallis for a road trip that, on paper, should be an easy Bruin win, but with Rick at the helm and too many talented players languishing on the bench, it's no surprise that the Beavers are the favorites to win.

Once again we find ourselves in the middle of the work week, with the weekend tantalizingly close, but yet so far.  Well, actually, with the way Rick has our football team playing, I can't blame folks if they dread Saturday now.  Kind of a real damning indictment of Dan Guerr-error's tenure at Morgan Center when UCLA fans can't even look forward to Saturday out of fear that the Bruins will be flat-out humiliated.

But, since it's Wednesday, it's time once again to go through all the bits and pieces from around the UCLA-iverse in this mid-week edition of Bruin Bites:

  • Now, time to turn to the not-so-good news. The Oregon State Beavers look to use a reeling UCLA squad as the springboard to turn their season around, with several key players, including James Rodgers, the play-making wide receiver brother of Jacquizz, possibly returning to face the Bruins.  Of bigger concern to UCLA is that Oregon State's players aren't planning on taking the game lightly, calling their home conference opener against the Bruins a "must-win" game.  In other words, the Beavers will come out firing, so Rick better have our guys prepared for a hostile Reser Stadium crowd and a fired-up Beavers squad that can smell blood in the water with a mentally weak UCLA team in town.
  • Sticking with football's piss-poor performance so far this year, ESPN's Peter Yoon has a piece highlighting UCLA's complete ineptitude on third down situations, on both offense and defense.  So, not only can the Bruins not sustain an offensive drive and convert when necessary, they can't get anyone off the field either.  Suffice to say, the numbers Yoon highlights aren't pretty.
  • Finally, Jon Gold has a very troubling dispatch from inside the UCLA locker room, which if it proves accurate, is a strong signal that these players have given up and that this season is only going to get uglier.  Gold noted that, following the loss to Texas, UCLA players were either unable to cool off or throwing one another under the bus, UCLA coaches "nearly in tears" (how f**king pathetic is that?!), and that the entire atmosphere was one of a mentally defeated team:
  • The UCLA locker room on Saturday afternoon after a 49-20 loss to Texas was not quite a morgue, but it wasn't too far off. When we were finally allowed in after a double-length cooling-off period, those who were left hadn't cooled off. Tony Dye, a stand-up guy and someone the media has always been able to rely upon for a level-headed response, completely brushed us off. "I'm not talking today, guys." That was a first. Then you had players bashing each other and questioning the coaches and coaches nearly in tears. It was the locker room of not just a defeated team, but a defeated team. Neuheisel needs to know that the message that no one has given up, that no one has lost faith, does not play well when players are so openly upset. Things need to change, and they need to change now.

    Things aren't looking so good for Rick.  On the field, they look like a weak and defeated team and apparently, per Jon Gold, they act like a weak and defeated team in the locker room.  I hope Rick is ready to dust off the old law degree because, at this rate, coaching football isn't looking too good for him.  With that, those are your Bruin Bites for the middle of the week.

    Fire away with your thoughts, comments, or additional tidbits of news from around the UCLA-iverse.

    GO BRUINS

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