It's Monday morning, and we're once again experiencing the all-too-familiar feeling of frustrating disappointment following a loss to a team that, by all accounts, the Bruins should have beat. Mike Riley and his Beavers came to the Rose Bowl and went to work, out-playing, out-hustling, out-executing, and out-coaching Jim Mora and our hapless Bruins. Despite the Bruins playing no where close to the high standard they set out against Rice and Nebraska, UCLA still only lost by one touchdown. Whether that is a testament to Oregon State's ineptitude or UCLA's improvement (in years past, one feels like this would have been a terrible blow-out by the Beavers) remains to be seen as we get further into the first year of the Jim Mora era.
So, with that said, let's get to the bits and pieces of news floating around the UCLA-iverse at the beginning of this work week that finds the UCLA Bruins licking their wounds following their humbling loss to Oregon State. Here's the Bruin Bites for this Monday morning:
- Beginning with football, WWL's Peter Yoon posted an injury update on the right guard position, one of the more problematic holes in our OL this past Saturday. As Yoon notes, Baca missed the Oregon State game with an undisclosed head injury which the coaching staff hopes to have more information on by Monday. The big blow for Saturday was that Greg Capella was slotted into replace Baca, but he also went out with a head injury, leaving RG to Brett Downey and Alberto Cid, neither of whom were effective.
- Among the many oddities of Saturday, was this clip of defensive coordinator Lou Spanos (HT Larry Brown Sports), doing some kind of horse riding dance. Whatever defense this was, it sure didn't work, so hopefully we've seen the last of Spanos and his pony defense dance.
- In campus news, the university is getting ready for the return of Carmageddon, as Interstate 405 will be closed again to finish demolition of the Mulholland bridge through the Sepulveda Pass, beginning on Friday evening and ending early Monday morning. So, if you're planning on driving to campus at all this weekend, be prepared for delays if you typically use the 405.
- Turning to the non-revenue sports, the #9-ranked men's soccer team got their weekend started by taking on #3-ranked UCSB in front of a hostile Gaucho crowd in Santa Barbara, picking up a 1-1 tie. Fernando Monge opened the scoring early for UCLA (11') but the Bruins were unable to capitalize on other opportunities in front of goal. UCSB responded late, with Ema Boateng scoring on the counter (68'). After a lot of close calls in OT, neither team could break the deadlock, giving the Bruins a tough-earned tie at UCSB. The Bruins continued heading north on the 101, taking on Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Sunday, picking up a close 1-0 win on the road. Monge once again scored the only UCLA goal (46') and Earl Edwards made four key saves to record the clean sheet and ensure a UCLA victory. The only cause for concern was the number of wasted opportunities in front of the Cal Poly goal in a game that could easily have ended up 4-0 or 5-0 for the Bruins. The Bruins now stand at 5-1-2 on the year and will get their Pac-12 season started in the Bay Area against Stanford and Cal next weekend.
- On the female side of the pitch, the #2-ranked women's soccer team only had one game, taking on Washington State at Drake Stadium. Despite the friendly confines of home, the Lady Bruins weren't able to break the dead-lock, failing to convert seven shots on goal into a score, ending the match with a disappointing 0-0 tie. With the tie, the women remain undefeated, now at 7-0-2, and will get Pac-12 action started against the Arizona schools this upcoming weekend on the road in Arizona.
- Likewise, the #2-ranked men's water polo team only had a single game this week, dropping the #10-ranked LMU Lions, 16-8. Paul Reynolds had a huge game for the Bruins, scoring a double hat-trick, while Josh Samuels added a hat trick, and Chris Fahlsing netted a brace. With the victory, the Bruins now stand at 12-1 for the year, and will head to Santa Barbara for the SoCal Tournament this upcoming weekend.
- Finally, turning to the defending national champion and #1-ranked women's volleyball team, the ladies took on hated crosstown rival, #2-ranked U$C at the Galen Center in mid-week, but fell in four sets, 3-1 (26-28, 20-25, 26-24, 17-25). Rachael Kidder led the Bruins (18 kills, 6 digs) with help from Tabi Love (14 kills), Karsta Lowe (13 kills, 7 digs), Becca Strehlow (52 assists, 7 digs), and Bojana Todorovic (5 assists, 22 digs), but it wasn't enough as the Lady Bruins fell in a tight match. On Friday, the Lady Bruins came back strong, handling Oregon State in convincing fashion, winning 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-17). Rachel Kidder (14 kills, 4 digs) and Tabi Love (12 kills) led UCLA, with another solid performance from Becca Strehlow (37 assists, 6 digs) and Bojana Todorovic (17 digs). The Bruins now stand at 9-2 on the year, 1-1 in conference play, and will next take on the Washington schools this weekend in Washington.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites to start the work week with. Fire away with your thoughts, takes, and additions in the comments thread.