Let's start our Friday with an update on Tyler. Our fundraising total for Tyler is now at an jaw-dropping $6,660. The way everyone here has stepped up for our favorite Bruin helping us blow past our initial and adjusted goals has been simply surreal. However, since we are so close to $7,000 perhaps we can break that ceiling before the day and send everyone into this weekend in a thunderous, uplifting note?
FWIW Tyler's BN story was picked up by Ted Miller on ESPN yesterday thanks to a reader from LA. Miller also tweeted the BN link from his ESPN account as well. Good for Miller despite the fact that we have gone pretty hard at him in recent months for his disappointing coverage on other stories (I will not reference for the time being). From what we hear Tyler might not be done as he is emerging as the ultimate superstar from BN. So might as let's keep this baby going for our big guy.
As for the game it appears Nick Foles is expected to be "100 percent" (according to Mike Stoops at least) on Saturday:
Stoops: QB Foles to travel to UCLA
Quarterback Nick Foles will accompany the Arizona Wildcats to UCLA this weekend, the first step in what he hopes will be a quick return from a dislocated right kneecap.
"I think Nick's ready to go," coach Mike Stoops said. "We're pleased with the progress he's made. We expect him to be 100 percent on Saturday."
Stoops likely won't name a starting quarterback before kickoff.
I think Stoops might still end up going with Matt Scott and have Nick Foles available to step in if he is needed. We will see. Doesn't matter who plays for Zona at QB, Chuck Bullough's defense will have its hands full with Arizona's offense. More after the jump.
As for our offense, Richard Brehaut and his guys are going to have their hands full with the killer duo of -Defensive ends Ricky Elmore and Brooks Reed - the defensive ends, who have been terrorizing Pac-10 QBs and OL. From the LA Times:
"Obviously, you've got to get rid of that ball real quick," Brehaut said. "They try to disguise everything they do. What you see presnap is not what you're going to get. You have to have your eyes up and your eyes on what they are doing. You can't predetermine anything."
The one advantage the Bruins take into the game is familiarity, center Ryan Taylor said.
"We run kind the same defense, so we see it every day," Taylor said. "The most important thing is to not dig ourselves a hole."
Uh, I am sorry Ryan. Chuck Bullough may "run kind the same defense" but from what we have seen to date, our D looks nothing like what we have seen from the Wildcats in last couple of seasons. It is going to be a monster challenge for UCLA OL to handle the Arizona front-7. Peter Yoon from ESPNLA points out a positive factor for UCLA:
One thing UCLA has going for it is that the Pistol offense is designed to take advantage of aggressive defensive ends. Texas boasts a formidable pair of ends in Sam Acho and Eddie Jones, but UCLA ran for 264 yards in a 34-12 victory over the Longhorns on Sept. 25.
"All the different options we have going on in the backfield is going to help me, so yeah, that's comforting," Kia said. "But we're still going to have our hands full with these two guys."
Bruins are also going to be a little thin. Sean Sheller is out at LT (Brehaut's blind side). Kia is filling in at that spot this Saturday. It sounds like our other backup tackle Brett Downey has a sprained ankle, so we are going to have true freshman Chris Ward backing Kia up. It is going to be tough.
Yoon also listed other Wildcats we will have to keep track of on Saturday:
Nic Grigsby, RB, Sr.--His 55.71 rushing average won't make anyone lose sleep, but Arizona is a pass-first offense and Grigsby splits carries with Keola Antolin. He's averaging 5.1 yards per carry after averaging 7.2 last year.
Juron Criner, WR, Jr.--At 6-4, 210, he makes for a difficult size matchup and his speed makes him a big-play threat. He's averaging 16.1 yards per catch and has three 100-yard receiving games.
Trevin Wade, DB, Jr.--A shutdown cornerback, Wade has 10 career interceptions in only 20 games started. He only has one interception this year as teams shy away from him, but he returned that one 85 yards for a touchdown.
Note Trevin Wade has had to miss couple of games this season. The guy who stepped up in his absence has been none other than Shaquille Richardson. Richardson made the most of it with 2 picks. Just imagine the excitement building up among these guys, if Richardson does something with a Brehaut tomorrow afternoon.
Well, speaking of Brehaut, apparently he and his team had a great practice. As Rick Neuheisel noted in his post practice comments It was perhaps "our best Thursday in a long, long time":
He was "really, really pleased with the intensity, the effort and the way the kids came to the office." As usual, I found Neuheisel's comments on QBs pretty interesting. I liked the comparison he made between a QB and a golfer when asked about competition among QBs for the starting spot. Let's hope Brehaut can block everything out of his mind and focus on attacking that golf course Arizona's defense and managing the game as much as possible.
Also, when asked by Jill Painter, CRN expressed his thoughts and prayers for the extended Notre Dame family for the recent tragedy in South Bend involving a student videographer. Painter had little more on the story with comments from Ken Norris, who is in charge of UCLA's video crew in her UCLA report today. Needless to say our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Fighting Irish nation as well.