clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pregame Guesses: Washington State

<em>Can the Bruins hold on to the good vibes up in Palouse? Photo Credit: Telemachus</em>
Can the Bruins hold on to the good vibes up in Palouse? Photo Credit: Telemachus

Not sure what it means, but Rick Neuheisel was in a very good mood on the Dan Patrick Show this morning. (Update:The link to the interview is now here.)

Neuheisel played sang, played guitar and outlined why the Bruins will be successful the rest of the year.

Neuheisel also explained to Dan why he's hopeful the Bruins have a lot of success in their future. He pointed to freshman quarterback Kevin Prince and some of the young playmakers around him.

Patrick asked RN if UCLA was going to a bowl game and the coach immediately went into "coach-speak" about how the team was going to work hard or try or whatever he said. Patrick cut him off and asked again if the Bruins are going to a bowl game.

Neuheisel said flat out:

"We're going to be bowl eligible."

Well, that's what I like to hear.

No bull, no equivocation, just:

"We're going to be bowl eligible."


Neuheisel expects to win at least two of our last three games against Washington State, Arizona State and USC.

There is a paradox involved here.

On one hand, finishing 6-6 and being "bowl eligible" (and by that I think RN means that once we have six wins we're at the mercy of the bowl games issuing invites and even with six wins we can't control whether or not we get an invitation) is nothing really to brag about. If we're 6-6 every year, eventually the natives are going to get restless. A .500 program is not what we're ultimately aiming for.

On the other hand, when one considers we only won four games last season, that we are very inexperienced at many key positions including the offensive line and at quarterback and especially when you remember (and how could anyone forget) we were 0-5 in October -- well -- a 6-6 year is actually a sign of progress and hope for the future.

(Speaking of the future, I want to go on record right now with a semi-prediction: We are going to have a very good record in the PAC 10 next season. You know, I've already seen some prognostications that next year is another rebuilding year and that "our year" doesn't come until 2011. Most of that is based on a murderous non-conference schedule that includes trips to Kansas State and Texas and a home game with Houston. And, yes, I've heard the rumor that UCLA might drop one of those games to play TCU in Cowboys Stadium, but TCU is in the Top Ten right now so that's no easy game. My point is, even though UCLA plays a difficult non-conference schedule next season and could even lose all three, we are going to go 6-3 or better in conference. It's going to be a very Terry Donahue like final record, where we have a fair to worse non-conference schedule, but get on a roll and become a very dangerous team by year's end. I'm serious and if it happens, I'll be linking to this post all next season. If it doesn't I'll "accidentally" delete it or just edit out this paragraph. But, I digress ... )

In the Patrick show today, Neuheisel was particularly pumped about how the team has looked in practice the last few weeks. He didn't actually use the cliche "the lights went on for some guys" but that was the impression I got. He just seemed to feel that things were starting to click, that Prince was finally seeing and doing the things he needed to do, that Rosario had emerged as a go to receiver and that the defense was coming together and playing like a team.

I like what I'm hearing and expect UCLA to win on Saturday. Washington State is the worst team in the conference and we're 17 point favorites (or 17.5 depending on where you look).

Look, I'm not polyanna, no cockeyed optimist. When I was less than impressed with our 3-0 record I said so. When I say I like what I saw last week and like what I'm hearing this week and expect to win, it's not just being a fan. I really think we go to 2-0 for the month and if we do, I expect to be favored at home next week against Arizona State. A win there would get us bowl eligible before the cross town trip to the Coliseum.

Here are your Pregame Guesses for Washington State:

  1. Nelson Rosario has two straight 100 yard receiving games. Within five, how many yards receiving will Nelson Rosario have this week?
  2. Will UCLA convert a fourth down this week? (For our purposes, a conversion is either a first down or a touchdown.)
  3. Name a Bruin who snags an interception this week.