Stanford is not going to present much of a test for the Bruins tonight at the Rose Bowl. And once again our players are saying that they are not going to take another opponent lightly. Ben Olson is promising to unleash the Bruin beast tonight at the Rose Bowl (emphasis mine):
Junior running back Chris Markey leads the conference in rushing and is eighth in the nation, averaging 121.3 yards a game. In UCLA's last two games, Markey has rushed for 332 yards.
Defensive end Justin Hickman is second in the Pac-10 with four sacks, and the Bruins' defense is giving up an average of only 71.3 yards on the ground.
"We're actually playing pretty well," UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker said of his unit, which ranks third in the Pac-10 in average total yards given up at 240. "Against Washington, we had three takeaways and gave up under 50 yards rushing, but we lost the game. And that's what counts."
Stanford, 0-4 overall, 0-2 in the Pac-10, has been dealing with hurt all season. The Cardinal has been blown out in three games and lost another after leading by 20 points.
"It's going to come because, like I said, you can't survive in this conference and do the things that we want to do as a team, by just running and throwing screens," split end Junior Taylor said. "You've got to keep teams off-guard and keep them not knowing what's coming. You have to challenge a defense up top. You have to challenge them mid-range, challenge them short. We're going to have to start throwing it all around to get the defense to start playing more honest. That's when everything is going to start coming out."
"Angry. Everybody's mad," Tevaga said. "They're really (ticked) off we lost a game we should have won, and everybody knows we should have won that game. So we're really, really mad. We're really angry. We're going to take our aggression out on this team. I'm never going to get over this loss." UCLA is a 23-point favorite, which should provide the Bruins the opportunity to iron out problems rather than be caught in a close game in the fourth quarter.
But to get to that point, UCLA will have to improve on its red-zone offense, which has sputtered. The Bruins have six touchdowns in 15 trips inside an opponents' 20-yard line and last week at Washington got into the end zone once in five opportunities.
"I think we have to get that killer instinct in us," Markey said. "When we get in the other team's red zone, we have to finish, we have to score. We can't win games, especially in the Pac-10, just scoring one touchdown a game."
Elsewhere Dohn is singing the praises of DeWayne Walker's defense. Pardon me for curbing my enthusiasm for this bunch because they have built up their stats against Utah, Rice and Washington, teams that do not exactly strike fear in their opponents with their less than average second tier offenses.
I think it is pretty clear right now is nothing short of a complete beat down of probably the worst team in college football will suffice to restore some sense of confidence in the UCLA program since the debacle of last Saturday.
We will wait for the beast to be unleashed on the Cardinals tonight. A Rice like performance will not do. We will come back with tonight's game thread later today. Have fun watching the morning/aftenoon games.