Spaulding Roundup: Handling Adversity, the Spirit of Jeff Garcia & Other UCLA-Nebraska Notes

Jim Mora compared Taylor Martinez to former 49ers QB Jeff Garcia using the term ""fierce competitor." (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)

With just 2 days left till game day we don't have a lot of practice related notes from Spaulding. Coach Mora met with the reporters after practice and as usual just gave his general big picture take on the game. You can see the video here.

For those who are heading out to the Rose Bowl this weekend and want to welcome the team during the "Bruin Walk" note that Mora mentioned the boys will get there about two and hours early before the kickoff. There were couple of other things that Mora mentioned in his post-practice presser that kind of stood out ... at least to yours truly.

First, Mora mentioned that for Bruins to be successful this weekend they will need to show maturity. I think this is probably one of the most pivotal factors for Saturday. For the Bruins to win this game they will have to show poise when they either fall behind by a touchdown or when Nebraska makes a run to make the game close in case we get off to an unbelievable start. With three freshmen in our OL and a redshirt frosh at QB, it will be interesting to see how the Bruins handle adversity even at our home stadium.

Second, I thought it was amusing to hear Mora compare Taylor Martinez to Jeff Garcia - the former 49ers QB who took over after Steve Young. Mora was coaching the 49ers defensive staff under Steve Mariucci at the time. Mora used the term "fierce competitor" while comparing Martinez to Garcia, who didn't have the best arm in the NFL. I haven't seen Martinez throw an ugly jump pass though. Ugh, I rather forget those days as a Niners fan because that's when that franchise started its death spiral before coming alive under the leadership of Jim Harbaugh.

Some interesting items to read and watch related to Saturday's game:

  • Miguel Melendez has video of interview of Bruin DL Eli Ankou who just arrived in Westwood from Ottawa, Canada. Coach Mora mentioned Eli in his post-game presser video shared above. Ankou should be a good addition to our team, building up depth at the DL. Coaches expect him to redshirt this season and get on the field next year.
  • Speaking of DL, Melendez also posted video interview of EFMC Mr. Ellis McCarthy. I want to go with those initials really bad but then that brings me nightmares of SPJ (oy). Not the same I know, but still ... gives me pause.
  • Chris Foster's practice report leads with a write up on Damien Thigpen, who so far is thriving under Noel Mazzone's offense. Per Thigpen the coaching staff is putting him in position where he can be "effective, with the ball in space," adding "They want me one on one with a linebacker. If I'm one on one with a linebacker, I win." Works for us.
  • Our friends at Corn Nation, SBN's awesome Nebraska blog have been putting together their scouting reports on Saturday. You can read up their notes here and here. Those guys are pretty cool and provide good reminder why we hope the Bruins welcome the Huskers at the Rose Bowl and show them a good time (except for the game score).
  • Speaking of UCLA-Nebraska series Foster from the LA Times actually wrote a decent piece on the historic game from 1972 when the Bruins pulled off a huge upset against two time defending national champions, and snapped the Huskers' 32 game winning streak. The article is actually worth a read and what was news to me was finding out the Big Red's brother - Bruce Walton - played as an offensive lineman for the Bruins. Who knew? Not me.

Those are my morning notes for this Thursday. If you have other football related quick notes you want to share fire them away in the comment threads or fanshots.

GO BRUINS.

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