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Neuheisel's UCLA Gears Up For Tennessee By Offering Zero Bulletin Board Material

I will open up our notes on the Volunteers tomorrow am. For tonight though let's chew over the official notes from Morgan Center setting up the nationally televised matchup on WWL:

SERIES WITH TENNESSEE -- UCLA trails in the series, which dates back to 1965, with Tennessee by a 5-7-2 margin. The Bruins won last year's meeting in the Rose Bowl, rallying for a 27-24 verdict in overtime. The last time UCLA ventured into Volunteer territory was for a 1996 season-opening encounter won by the then No. 2-ranked host team, 35-20. UT owns a 5-1-2 record in series games played in Tennessee. The lone Bruin win came in the 1978 season by a score of 13-0. UCLA tied the Vols in games played in Tennessee in the 1985 (26-all) and 1974 (17-all) seasons. UCLA owns a 12-12-3 all-time record vs. schools from the SEC.

The kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m Pacific/4:00 Eastern.  Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge will be calling the action and Erin Andrews will be hanging around the sidelines serving up useless information (that often has nothing to do with the actual game). For more formal notes head over to the official site.

Meanwhile, UCLA had its weekly Monday press conference today on campus (so we might expect another BS column from Slimers in the Trojan Times tomorrow am). CRN and Rahim Moore (who met the press after his monster season debut) met the local scribes and offerd up some nice quotes complementing the volunteers.

Here are CRN's toplines on the Volunteers and their new head coach:

On Tennessee:
"They're a very good opponent, a marquee opponent, playing in a marquee venue. You dream about being in college football as either a player or as a coach, and you dream about playing in these environments.
We're going to try to enjoy every moment of it and see if we can't play our best and see where that leads us."

On Tennessee's change from a season ago:
"It's different than it was a year ago, that's no question. But it's not an unfamiliar scheme for us. There's a lot of crossover. Lane worked with coach Chow, and they've got a lot of similarities. (Defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin) and Pete Carroll were very close and there's a lot of similarities in how they play defense. The schemes are familiar."

On Lane Kiffin's brash behavior since becoming head coach of Tennessee:
"I recall some of the same issues, but the difference is, Lane has been a head coach prior to this. I don't think any of that caught Lane by surprise. He's making sure that he's serving notice that Tennessee is not going to take a back seat to anybody."

Obviously if anyone was hoping for bulletin board material, he or she has to be sorely disappointed. Rahim Moore also talked about the challenge he and his team-mates are going to face in Knoxville:

"Even though we beat them last year, that doesn't mean anything," Moore said. "I'm sure they're going to be waiting for us."

But he said SEC teams might underestimate the Bruins. "They think that a lot of our guys are soft, and I don't think you can't label anybody as soft or not so tough until you play them," Moore said.

Well I don't think the Volunteers will be underestimating Bruins this time around given the results from last year. It will be a crazy environment that might turn out to be overwhelming for our Bruins. It will come down to staying cool and maintaining composure. More from CRN on UCLA players not psyching themselves out:

"What they don't know won't hurt them. I thought long and hard about it during the offseason, and I don't think you hide anything. We're going into one of the great venues of college football. When you list the top 5 or top 10, its going to be on it. The crowd they get on a weekly basis, they'll all be in orange, it's going to be a vertical type of stadium, and it's what you dream about when you're a kid. We have to soak that up for a brief time, and then we have to forget about it and pay attention to what's happening between the lines."

It sounds easy on paper. However, we are talking about 18-20 year old kids who will get a jolt when they end up in a setting of 100,000 + thirsty for revenge. I think our coaches will get our boys as prepared as they can be heading into Saturday. Moreover, the game against BYU will be fresh in everyone's memory. So I don't see the win from this Saturday getting into anyone's head. I have got to say I am very intrigued right now to see how our team comes out and respond this weekend. Recent history suggests that UCLA will simply melt under pressure and implode on national television. We will find out how our coaches prepare our guys for a fight.