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Exorcising the Stanford demons ...

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Another road trip game, and another huge demon for this UCLA football program to exorcise. Brian Dohn as usual is right on the narrative:

STANFORD - There is no long flight followed by a longer bus ride to the middle of nowhere. The weather isn't cold, and fans aren't screaming everything imaginable during the walk from the locker room to the field.

Yet, beyond the obvious discrepancies, UCLA knows a very painful similarity exists between a trip to out-of-the-way Pullman, Wash., and a quick flight and bus ride to play at Stanford.

History says both places create big headaches.

The Bruins already exorcised their Washington State demons during a trip to Martin Stadium earlier this month, and next on the list is the surprising Cardinal today at Stanford Stadium.

Before an overtime win at Wazzu two weeks ago, the eighth-ranked Bruins (7-0, 4-0 Pacific-10 Conference) last won on the Palousse in 1993. When it comes to cavernous Stanford Stadium, success has been fleeting for the Bruins, who lost their past three games on the Farm, including a painful 10-point loss in 2001 when UCLA was ranked fourth in the nation.
Well we also have to keep in mind UCLA lost those games to Stanford because they were also being outcoached. Bruins had a hard time winning up in Palo Alto because Tyrone Willingham was at helm, who always had his troops ready and focused for the Bruins. The loss up there two years ago (Dorrell's first season) was simply an inexcusable loss to a Buddy Teevens coached football team. Kuwada reminds us of that ugly game in 03:
It can't reasonably be the Cardinal - Stanford has had only two winning seasons since 1996. And when UCLA last played at Stanford, in 2003, the Bruins were 6-2 and the Cardinal was just 2-4 in the middle of a season that they would go 4-7 under Coach Buddy Teevens.

The Bruins held the Cardinal to only 206 yards in total offense in that 2003 game, but could gain only 287 against what was a porous Stanford defense. Luke Powell returned a punt 90 yards for a Stanford touchdown. The Cardinal had eight sacks against UCLA. And it was the Bruins' first Pac-10 loss that year after starting with four victories. The final score was 21-14.

Asked what he remembered most about that 2003 game, inside linebacker Justin London said it was the silence.
Remember JLo, no excuses.  Not this season. This season has to be another story.  If they truly want to continue to let the good vibes roll, they are going to pull out a win.  Because, if they don't all on a sudden lot of old demons not to mention questions will be popping out of a pandora's box. Because right now the only way to pull UCLA out of the abyss of last seven years is to continue this winning streak and run up a double digit winning season.

I have a feeling the seniors are going to come through today.  For some reason Drew Olson and Jarrad Page's senior class in a weird way reminds me of that senior basketball class of 1995 of Ed'O, Tyus, and George who had been though so much in their 4-5 years in Westwood. This senior class seems like have been on a mission all year to exorcise demons of yester years. They got a huge one up in Pullman, and they know they need to get this one up in Palo Alto:
"As a matter of fact, I've lost every game that we've played in the Bay Area and that needs to change," said senior safety Jarrad Page of the Bruins, who have lost their last six games at Stanford and California. "We have to go out with a win up there."

From the Bruins' only Heisman Trophy winner, Gary Beban (San Mateo County), to the school's all-time leader in receptions, Craig Bragg (San Jose), the Bay Area has a special connection with UCLA football.

There are at least 14 players from the Bay Area on the Bruins' roster, including quarterback Drew Olson, running back Maurice Drew, kicker Justin Medlock and Page.
They are all going to have to bring it today.  I keep going back and forth between being nervous and calm about this game.  It is our time.  We have gotten our hearts ripped out so many times in the Bay Area it's not even funny any more.  And after that Washington State game this year started to feel different.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that there won't be another let down today.  I can't get any more jaded when it comes to Bruin football.  They have to win today and exorcise the demons of last seven years. In 2LiveDrew we trust:


Photo credit: the OC Register

GO BRUINS.