UCLA has more talent accumulated right now according to our weighted recruiting measure than at any point in the Rick Neuheisel or Karl Dorrell eras. UCLA has been recruiting like one of the top programs in the country, so no one should be too surprised if Mora delivers early returns.
HONORARY CAPTAIN — Three-time All-Pac-10 nose guard Terry Tumey (UCLA ’88, MBA ’93) is Saturday’s Honorary Captain.
Tumey is probably best remembered for his sack of Miami’s Bernie Kosar in the 1985 Fiesta Bowl. In that game, Tumey had just two tackles playing as a redshirt freshman in his fi rst collegiate bowl game.
The Bruins had taken a precarious two-point lead late in the fourth quarter, but Kosar and the Hurricanes were driving and owned possession and a timeout with 31 seconds remaining on their 48-yard line.
On first down, Kosar looked to pass, but Tumey broke through, sacking the quarterback and forcing a fumble that was recovered by UCLA.
Game over, victory secured for the Bruins.
[T]he outside pressures to get UCLA's program turned around don't really bother Neuheisel much. It's the pressure coming from inside that has taken a toll. Neuheisel wants to win as badly as any UCLA fan because he is one. He cares as much about the program as any alum because he's one of those, too. [...]
So all the talk from fans and the media about Neuheisel needing to win in order to save his job means little to him. Neuheisel doesn't want to win to save his job; he wants to win because he wants to win.
"I evaluate myself all the time," Neuheisel said. "I've always looked at myself as a guy who is going to do my damndest to get this done. I keep trying to think differently about how to get it better. I'm always thinking that way."
...one thing that has become abundantly clear during the first two weeks of training camp is the impact rookie SLB Akeem Ayers is going to have on the unit.
Ayers, who has been working with the first-team defense since camp began, has been "everything we thought he was and more," according to a team source.
"We have to win eight. I'll be crushed if we don't win eight. How do you win eight? You win every one you line up."
"They were crying about the quarterback situation; I knew darn well they'd be ready for us,"
"I met Kahlil before I heard anything about him, so I had an impression before I heard any of his history. My impression was a very confident young man, a very gifted kid from the leadership standpoint because I saw him with his teammates, and I turned on the tape and saw him play and I knew this was a guy who was going to be a leader on the team, rather I wanted him to be or not. I've been an admirer of his. I understand there have been some hiccups along the way, but that happens in most people's lives, myself included. I told him, hey, this is about going forward, its about you making the most of your senior year. He's done remarkably well. I am pleased and have my fingers crossed that he will have a great senior year."
Bell is appreciative of a second chance -- "blessed" he says twice -- both in terms of health and the locker room. So he's sympathetic with Neuheisel's struggle to reclaim his reputation.
"A lot of things have been said about me and I've been judged in a certain light, so I've kind of learned not to judge people until I get a chance to talk to them," Bell said. "Since the day he got here, he's been nothing but positive with this program."
Perhaps both will cause some collateral improvement.
There's a great allure to Norm Chow. His resume gives him almost rock star status. I could not be any happier with the harmony that exists on our coaching staff.
Similar to Washington, the Bruins don't have any easy games. Opening against Tennessee will be tough, as will a road trip to BYU. Fresno State sounds more manageable since the Bruins are 6-1 all-time against the Bulldogs. Then again, a lot of people are touting Fresno as a top-25 team this year.