The Bruins will face their biggest challenge of the season when they meet up with perennial power (and it still sounds weird to say that) Stanford this afternoon in Palo Alto. Lots of the talk around the game focuses on whether the Bruins recent strides can continue to elevate them to one of the elite teams in the conference and beyond.
Today's game is scheduled for a 12:30 Pacific kickoff and will be televised on ABC or ESPN2. Our game thread will go up at 12:15. You can look back at our previews and practice notes from the week at our hub here.
But before we get to our game, let's look around the internets and see what some of the media is saying about today's game.
- Our friend Chris Foster at the LAT looks at where the Bruins have been and where they hope to go, and sees this game as a defining moment oin that process. Receiver Shaq Evans agrees and calls this game a measuring stick that will show just where the Bruins stack up, both in the conference and on the national scale. We'll certainly have a lot better idea later on this afternoon.
- Sports Illustrated's Campus Union also has a nice preview the the two teams and their recent paths. They correectly point out what we have been saying all week that this week is a big opportunity for the Bruins to take that next step toward national prominence. That same article also realizes how dire the situation is in Palo Alto where maintaining national prominence is the goal. Today has become almost a must-win game for the Cardinal if they want to get back to a BCS bowl game this season. The writer feels that Stanford's sense of urgency, combined with their desire to make up for last week's loss at Utah, will be enough to get the Cardinal past the Bruins this weekend. Let's hope our team keeps hearing how little people believe in them, and they come out of the tunnel with a chip already on their shoulders.
- Foster has his own look at the matchup between the two teams. He hits on one potentially crucial factor in that the Cardinal defensive line is playing with some injuries and isn't at full strength. This may provide an opportunity for our young offensive line, particularly the two freshmen on the right side, to open some holes for a running game which never really got on track last week and take soome pressure off of Brett Hundley and the passing game.
- Yahoo! Sports Jeff Eisenberg took an up close look at freshman phenom Myles Jack and the relationship between Coach Mora and the Jack family several years ago in Seattle that paved the way for Myles to become a Bruin. That has worked out extraordinarily well for the Bruins so far as Myles has emerged not just as a starter but as a bona fide playmaker, leading the team in passes defended and ranking second in tackles.
With our relatively early start today, there will be a few college games on the schedule this morning before our main event gets under way, so you can use this as our open thread to talk about other games today or share your thoughts on what the Bruins will need to do to take down Stanford on the Farm this afternoon.