Wow, what a weekend: not only did the Bruins win on Saturday, but they pummeled the hapless Arizona Mildcats into total submission, winning 66-10 in a game that wasn't even that close. In every facet of the game, the Bruins were firing on all cylinders (except for some lapses in the defensive secondary by the Toast Twins - Aaron Hester and Sheldon Price - that led to stupid penalties). The Bruins are now in control of their own destiny in the Pac-12 South, find themselves the highest ranked football program in Los Angeles, and are being led on the ground by UCLA's all-time career rushing yard leader. It's a good time to be a Bruin football fan.
So, with that said, let's get to the bits and pieces of news floating around the UCLA-iverse at the beginning of this work week. Here's the Bruin Bites for this Monday morning:
- Following the destruction of the Arizona Mildcats on Saturday, UCLA fans are jubilant. Much of that joy is owed to the outstanding UCLA defense which shut down Arizona's high-powered offense, which was led by MLB Eric Kendricks, who was praised (with some nice quotes from Coach Mora) by Daily News' Steve Ramirez.
- According to WWL (portion not behind subscription firewall), UCLA is the first school to offer Armani Watts, a 6'0", 180-pound athlete from Texas who plays all over the field (six positions, on both sides of the ball) who is a strong candidate for the Class of 2014.
- While we're at the WWL, Peter Yoon graded UCLA following the 66-10 beatdown of the Mildcats. To no surprise, the Bruins got straight A's.
- While the football team is in the hunt for the Pac-12 South title and shot at the Pac-12 conference title (and the corresponding date with the Rose Bowl), the other men's football team, the #4-ranked men's soccer team, is on the verge of clinching the conference title. On Thursday, the Bruins took on Stanford at Drake Stadium, picking up a huge 2-1 win double overtime. Victor Chavez notched his fifth goal of the year in the 16th minute, but Stanford equalized in the 73rd minute, sending it to overtime. But Fernando Monge was set on ensuring the Bruins got the needed win, rippling the net in the 103rd minute to win it for UCLA. But Sunday wasn't as kind to UCLA: the Bruins needed a win to clinch the title, but fell short, drawing to Cal 1-1 at Drake Stadium. Reed Williams scored in the 54th minute to equalize for UCLA and ensure they came away with something, but UCLA couldn't notch a second, despite out-shooting the Bears 28-11. UCLA can still clinch with a victory over SDSU on Friday, and enter their final regular season game at 12-2-3 overall and 7-1-1 in conference play.
- On the ladies' side of the pitch, the #2-ranked Lady Bruins ended their regular season on Friday against hated U$C. Always apt to spoil our fun, the Trojans grabbed a late winner in OT to beat UCLA, 3-2. Zakiya Bywaters brought her season total to 13 when she scored in the 42nd minute to give UCLA a 1-0 lead going into the half, but the Trojans came on strong in the second half, scoring in the 55th and 81st minutes. Sam Mewis salvaged the game for UCLA, grabbing the equalizer in the 89th minute, which ended up being for nothing as U$C scored in the 100th minute to end it. With the loss, the Lady Bruins finish the regular season 15-2-2 overall and 8-2-1 in conference play, and will await to find out where they were seeded in the NCAA tournament.
- Also in the hunt for conference and national title glory is the #2-ranked men's water polo team. The men took on a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning with a 13-8 win over #7-ranked Long Beach State, led by Josh Samuels' hat trick and braces from Chris Wendt, Aimone Barabino, and Griffin White. Later that day, the Bruins turned their attention to #21-ranked Concordia, blasting the minnows 21-7, with David Culpan and Maxwell Vilim-Brozyna both netting hat tricks, with 11 other Bruins also getting on the score sheet. With the pair of wins, the Bruins now stand at 22-2 overall and 4-0 in conference play. They'll be in action next against Stanford this Friday, followed by a road trip against Pacific in Stockton on Sunday.
- For the men's golf team, they had a solid week, beating Duke 18-6 in match-play at the Stanford Classic in Monterey at the very-nice (and exclusive) Cypress Point Golf Club. The men will be in action this week in the Gifford Collegiate Championship at Corde Valle Country Club in San Martin before taking the winter layoff.
- As for their female counterparts, the women's golf team finished their 2012 program off in Texas, finishing in eighth at the Longhorn Invitational, finishing just ahead of Pepperdine. The women will now take the winter break, resuming in February at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at Palos Verdes Golf Club.
- Finally, while the football team swept the Arizona schools, the defending national champs, the #5-ranked women's volleyball team could not, beginning with a shock 3-1 (22-25, 16-25, 24-26) loss to Arizona in Tucson on Friday. The Lady Bruins were swept off the floor, despite the efforts of Tabi Love (11 kills, 6 digs), Rachael Kidder (10 kills), and Megan Moenoa (30 assists, 7 digs). But, the ladies did bounce back the next day in Tempe, dropping Arizona State 3-1 (25-21, 25-14, 24-26, 25-16), led by the outstanding play of Tabi Love (24 kills, 11 digs) with help from Kidder (14 kills), Bojana Todorovic (17 digs), and Becca Strehlow (7 kills, 47 assists, and 7 digs). With the split weekend, the ladies find themselves at 18-5 overall and 10-4 in conference play, with just six games to go.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites to start the work week with. Fire away with your thoughts, takes, and additions in the comments thread.