It's always good to beat a conference opponent, even when it's a ho-hum Berkeley team. With the Trojans struggling, the Bruins back in the top-10, and Berkeley returning to mediocrity in the post-Tedford era, it does feel a lot like the 1990s. But while it feels good to be 5-0 and heading into the weekend against #13-ranked Stanford, the Bruins' win over Berkeley left a lot to be desired. And by a lot to be desired, I mean, 20 or so points left on the field, in a game that was much closer than it should have been. That's to be expected of college kids, especially when they're playing a joke team and looking ahead to Stanford and Oregon, but it needs to tighten up fast for the UCLA offense. So, let's see how practice goes this week as they gear up for a big trip to Palo Alto. So, with all of that said, let's take a look at the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse this Monday morning:
- Starting with Saturday's game, Cassius Marsh reportedly claimed that he was baited into the personal foul that led to his ejection from Saturday's game. Marsh is an emotional player, one who definitely leaves it out on the field, but for a senior in a top-10 program, he's got to learn to ignore that kind of taunting from the low-class opposition. Not a huge deal against featherweights like Berkeley, but we can't afford to lose key players against real competition.
- Speaking of featherweights, the Los Angeles Daily News' UCLA beat-reporter, UC Berkeley alum Jack Wang, was less than impressed with Mora's Bruins in this Saturday's win over Wang's Berkeley brethren. Fortunately for UCLA, as Wang noted, both Mora and Hundley were not impressed with Saturday's effort, so we should expect a concerted effort to tighten up the mistakes leading into next week's big game against Stanford.
- Guess who isn't impressed with Mora yet? John Raffel at Rant Sports writes that Mora still has a lot to prove as a college football head coach. And, well, he's got a point. While all of the Bruin fanboys are quick to jump on the Mora love-fest, remember that we all did that with Howland, and look at where that ultimately ended up. As Raffel astutely points out, let's wait to see if Mora can get us into the big games at the end of the year before we become too emotionally invested in the guy (despite everything good he's done so far).
- Turning to our Bruins in the NFL, our very own Maurice Jones-Drew had a decent day, despite his woeful Jaguars taking on the high-flying Denver
Peyton ManningsBroncos, posting a solid 71 yards on the ground and a TD in Denver.
- Speaking of MJD, the trade buzz around him continues, despite Jacksonville claiming they won't trade him, but as Mike Florio at NBC Sports reports, league sources say the stout running back could be on his way to a team with at least one win if the price is right.
- Finally, Big Joe Fauria had an epic Sunday, catching three passes from Matthew Stafford, all of them for touchdowns. If you started Big Joe this week in fantasy football, give yourself a big pat on the back. And if you didn't, check out Joe's awesome TD celebrations from this Sunday. This dude is just awesome.
Alright folks, those are your bits and pieces of news from around the football-related UCLA-iverse. Fire away with your comments, additions, thoughts, etc. in the thread as we kick off yet another work week.