Well the game week is off to a roaring start. Thanks to everyone who stepped up to show support for our gutty little Bruin. This spirit and camaraderie in this community is pretty awe inspiring. As mentioned in the comment thread even though we went past our goal, let's keep it going letting the little guy know we are all thinking about him heading into Saturday.
Speaking of Saturday here are the official notes from UCLA and San Diego State. We don't have any new updates on the fire situation beyond what we blogged yesterday. If you hear any updates today please make sure to fire it up in the fanposts, fanshots or comment threads. My gut feeling is that we will have a game. Certainly the Bruins want to play. They want to play badly. See Hasiak's comment to Jon Gold (who again is doing a great job at the Daily News):
"We'd be pretty fierce if we didn't get to play Saturday. We wouldn't have it. We'd be pissed, practicing all summer, real hard, getting ready for a team we know nothing about. Everybody would be pretty much heated. We'd be waiting for the next game, definitely."
This kid might be a true freshman but he sounds like a natural leader. I also love his fierce competitiveness. Remember we have already heard stories about how he had no problem going toe to toe with Brian Price during the training camp. He lost out the starting position for the time being to Jeff Baca (after sitting out couple days due to stinger in his shoulder). But I wouldn't count him out. Anyway ... moving on.
Also another depth chart issue got settled yesterday (at least for now). Dye is going to get the start at SS:
Tony Dye may have to wait a few days to get the official nod, but all signs point to him starting at strong safety.
Dye spent Monday's practice working with the first team, and even defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough was having a hard time keeping alive the competition between Dye and Glenn Love.
"Right now, [Dye] has been playing better," Bullough said. "Until the other guy steps up, he is leading the competition."
Dye, a redshirt freshman, has some experience as the team's nickel back. He combined that applied knowledge with some basic study skills and came to camp ready to win the job.
"I got in the film room and I got into the play book," Dye said. "I've dragged that big, old play book up to my room every night."
Can't wait to see Tony out there on Saturday. Here is the full depth chart is now out for the San Diego State game. Some of my quick thoughts:
- The youth movement is obvious at the flanker/split end positions where 7 of the 8 guys are either sophomore of freshmen. Terrence Austin (who has embraced his mentor role) is the only upperclassman in that group.
- Interesting to see Jeff Baca also listed as backup at LT and RT. I think it means that Palcic has probably settled on 6-7 men rotation which will include Stan Hasiak and when Hasiak is in Baca will slid into one of those tackle positions. Here is what Baca had to say about it:
"Being in this scheme is pretty universal, everybody almost has the same job," Baca said. "That helps a lot, switching positions. The gap zone part of it, I wouldn't say it's easier, but if you just play your gaps, you're good."Guess another way to look at despite the infusion of young talents at OL, we are going to need more blue chippers so that kids like Baca doesn't have to back up multiple positions.
- Looks like Dalton Hilliard is officially part of the DB crew listed behind Moore and Ware at the FS spot.
- It will be interesting to see how the coaches use Presley. He is currently listed at the 5th spot at TE (where there is a log jam). I am guessing he might be linning up as a receiver sometime on Saturday?
- Not a shocker (since we have gone over this endlessly during last few weeks). We are thin in the defensive front-7.
Meanwhile, San Diego State also released it's depth chart (PDF) for our game. What stuck out to me was their size on defense. Remember they are going to playing that 3-3-5. Their front-3 stack up like this: LDE B.J. Williams at 240, DT Ernie Lawson at 270, and RDE Jonathan Soto at 260. So the Bruins will definitely have size advantage up front. The question will be whether our offense which is going to feature so many new staters will be able to handle the chaos of 3-3-5.
As mentioned yesterday, the Aztecs are going to be flying all over defense. Their LBs/DBs are going to guess a number of times and they will get it right every now and then. I can definitely see situations where their defense will come up with big plays. The key is going to be how our offense will react. It will come down to our OL imposing its will on their defensive front and opening it up for our tailbacks. The game will also present an opportunity to show what kind of game mobility Kevin Prince has. I think there will be some occasions where he might have to roll out a bit to avert pressure and locate the open targets.
In other words, T.J. Simers can BS all he wants. The fact is that given the Bruins are going to be facing a pretty unpredictable defense with so many new starters on Saturday this game is not a gimme. I sure hope the players are focused and ready to go. They sure sound excited. Hope it will translate into smart and aggressive football on Saturday.