We know Anthony Barr knows how to get up for this game, but will the rest of the team?
According to Coach Mora, the answer so far is "yes". Mora said after today's practice that UCLA hit the field with great intensity, energy, and hard work. He said that this was one of the better practices of the year and that the players came out and executed great today. Here's the video of the presser following today's practice. Again, HT to Edward Lewis at BSR.
As you can hear it starts with Chirs Foster asking about the stunt played on the Daily Bruin. It seems UCLA students woke up to the Daily Trojan today in it's place. Foster wonders if the Daily Bruin was caught sleeping.
Regarding football Mora began by praising today's practice saying that the players had bounced back from the disappointing loss and that execution was really good.
After being asked about Marqise Lee, Mora praised him saying Lee is "as special as they get" and comparing him to Marvin Harrison. Mora also praised the turn around over at Southern Cal under Coach O. He noted the enthusiasm and passion and fun going on over there and that he even voted for Ed O. for Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
Mora was also asked how far away the Bruins are from the next level. He said they were very close. Mora said it was as simple as experience. He was adamant that "We're taking the next level, we're moving up the mountain", but that "there is no fairy dust that can turn freshmen into juniors". Mora added that every game the players fight and fight and learn what they need to continue to develop.
When asked about his memories of this rivalry, Mora said he remembered being on the sideline in the Colosseum when both teams wore their home jerseys and loves that tradition. He said he was 11 or 12 and his dad was coaching for UCLA at the time. What he remembers about it were the uniforms (don't we all). He is really glad that the tradition of the home jerseys has been brought back and confirmed that UCLA will be wearing theirs this Saturday. (To bad we won't be wearing those UCLA stripes!).
Jack Wang has a nice piece with thoughts from some of great quotes from our players, including the one above from Anthony Barr.
In it, senior Cassius Marsh also spoke of the rivalry:
It's the SC game ... We take pride in being the best team in L.A. We're the reigning champs right now, and I think it's extremely important to us and our fanbase that we win that game.
Shaq Evans said a win would help get the sting out of the loss a bit:
That would help this loss a lot. Anytime you can beat those guys across town, it's a great feeling. Especially to do it on their home turf for the first time since ... I don't even know.
Cassius Marsh is really feeling the pain of last week's loss and what it means for him as a senior:
I think no matter what, it's going to hurt. But I think the SC game will help the wounds heal. It may make us forget about it a little bit.
But for us seniors, who don't have any more college football to look forward to, we're always going to remember the fact that we didn't get to go to the Rose Bowl. It's tough.Ja
Wang also has a really nice piece on Thomas Duarte's biracial heritage. In it Duarte discusses his pride and some of the benefits of being raised in a multi-cultural household, especially when it comes to food:
"We always had tamales around," said the UCLA receiver. "That was probably my favorite. Coming around wintertime, that's pretty much what I think about when it comes to food around the house."
Ordinary by itself, but consider some of the other Duarte household favorites: teriyaki chicken, fried rice, sushi. The platter tends to be diverse when you're the son of a Mexican-American father and a Japanese-American mother.
Wang also has an interview with Devin Lucien who gets to play in his first game against $c. He watched the rivalry as a kid and is really excited to be part of it. Devin discusses the trogans' dbs and the $c pajamas he no longer has:
And for those of you unable to make it to the UCLA beat $C rally and bonfire tonight, it will be a streamed live at 6:30 pm (#BeatSC.). It is too bad it's not interactive. I would love the players to feel the love from all of us.
Enjoy your day, wear your colors, and Beat $C!