All the angles to this game...the media hype, Beat $c week and bonfire, #ProtectOurTurf, the Pac-12 South title, Win or Fail.
The run up is over.
U.C.L.A. and Southern Cal, the way it is supposed to be...for the Pac-12 South title and a shot at the Rose Bowl.
The game is on Fox and kickoff is set for 12:05. Oh, and it's going to rain in Pasadena.
Our season has had a lot of positives and the Bruins have done pretty much what we hoped for so far. At U.C.L.A., we expect to have a team that competes for the conference title and a major bowl every year. Still, one major task remains. No season at U.C.L.A. can be truly successful without a victory over our hated cross-town obnoxious arrogant vandalizing cheating lying deflating rivals.
Unlike recent years, these teams are pretty evenly matched, and today comes down to which ever team executes better on the field. Coach Mora has been right to ask our team to ignore the hype and to treat this like just the next game. If our Bruins stay focused and play our game, then we will truly leave the past behind today.
For our Bruins, there are a couple areas that look especially critical today. On defense, the Bruins will face a powerful trogan offense with some great skill players. Coach Mora stressed the importance of winning first down. That means forcing the trogans into long 2nd and 3rd down situations and giving the Bruins' pass D the benefit of knowing what's coming. If $c has time to get the ball to its great duo of receivers, the Bruins' secondary is vulnerable. If the pass rush can get to the southern cal QB and force early and errant throws, we'll have a great advantage.
On the other side of the ball, the Bruins' offensive line needs to have its best game of the year. The Bruins will need a balanced attack with Johnathan Franklin carrying the ball and Brett Hundley picking from his array of receivers. For this to succeed, the line needs to open holes and protect the QB, and give Mazzone a wide open playbook to find what works best and then to keep hammering a southern cal defense that is thin and has given up points.
Bruins Nation has been exploding for the last couple weeks in the run up to this game, and this community has shown how much this game matters. Bring that passion today, Bruins, but remember, this is a 60 minute game. Be classy. Play the whole thing.
For the first time in a long time, I feel good about this one. Watch this and you'll feel the same...
Sixty minutes of BOOM!