Good morning everyone. Well here we go - this is our last gameday of 2013 football season. While the UCLA didn't get to a New Year's Day bowl game (we can blame Larry Scott and the Pac-12 conference for terrible bowl arrangements and also Jim Mora for not playing Myles Jack on defense v. Arizona State at the Rose bowl), Bruins still met our minimum expectations in Mora's second season and are headed towards the right direction. However, we cannot afford to lose today's game against a Virginia Tech team (which is not as good as class Frank Beamer coached Hokies) who got to the Sun Bowl after stumbling through the ACC conference season.
Winning this game will allow the Bruins to head into 2014 with a lot of momentum on the recruiting trail, and provided that Brett Hundley makes the right decision to come back for one more year, we will be set up for a BCS run in Mora's third season in Westwood. So this is a huge game. On that note here are some interesting reads for this am:
- Let's start with the official video preview of the game as Ralph Irvin (in a cowboy hat) gets thoughts from Hundley, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Anthony Barr and Keenan Graham on the Hokies:
- SBN's Bill Connelly has a detailed breakdown of today's matchup in which he gives our Bruins the nod as he suggests the game could devolve into a "defensive slugfest."
- Chris Foster from the LA Times has a decent overview of this morning's game in terms of big picture impact on UCLA's program. Foster lays out why the Sun Bowl is basically a must win game for the Bruins as it could serve as a "launching pad" to "escalate the momentum" of Mora's program. Foster also noted that while the Bruins are generally headed towards the right direction under Mora, he is 1-6 against teams in the top-25 in his first two year of the program.
- Jill Painter from the Daily News writes how UCLA "has been nearly flawless in its execution of respecting El Paso and the Sun Bowl," which of course is a dramatic contrast from the school across town which in Painter's words were an "an abysmal failure in that department one year ago." Well the Trogans are an "abysmal failure" ... in ... everything.
- Also from the Daily News - Jack Wang has a cool piece with flashback reflections from Brandon Breazell and Kahlil Bell - two Bruins who had big games - the last time UCLA was in the Sun Bowl.
- Speaking of Wang he posted a video (via Twitter) of Virginia Tech's defensive coordinator comparing Hundley to Philadelphia Eagles' legend Donovan McNabb:
VTech DC Bud Foster talked a lot about Brett Hundley as a run threat. Compared him to Donovan McNabb. http://t.co/dGv0sBBPbI— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) December 29, 2013
- Via Twitter - OL Coach Adrian Klemm posted a cool shot of his group getting together for "#UCLA OL dinner" in El Paso:
- As uclaluv blogged few of the BN community members are gathering in Westwood to watch today's gamebut there are also parties around the country in which the Bruins are getting together to watch our football team one last time this season.
Once again the kickoff is scheduled for 11 am PST on CBS. See you guys in the gameday thread.