Good morning, Bruins!
I hope everyone got to bed early, got a good night of sleep, and has had his/her coffee this morning, because it's time to let 'er rip! The U.C.L.A. Bruins are in Lincoln and are hoping to deliver a (very early) wake up call to the hosting Nebraska Cornhuskers. Kickoff is set for 9am Pacific on ABC.
Radio coverage for the game is on 570 KLAC in the Los Angeles area and on Sirius XM Channel 91. An online radio stream will be available on TuneIn.com here. Live game stats can be found here. You can click back to see our Nebraska offense and defense previews, our Spaulding updates, and Achilles' awesome Pregame Guesses.
After an incredibly difficult week, it can seem a bit disingenuous to get fired up about a football game. U.C.L.A. will honor Nick Pasquale with #36 patches on their uniforms. And in a move of real class, Nebraska will put #36 stickers on their helmets and will hold a moment of silence before the game. But despite the tragedy, the game is going to get played nevertheless. We will see if the Bruins can channel their emotions today and zero in on the task at hand. Meanwhile, the Cornhuskers will be looking for some payback for last season when the Bruins surprised them at the Rose Bowl and came away with over 600 yards in offense and a 36-30 win.
Nebraska again looked vulnerable on defense in week one against Wyoming before tightening up last week against Southern Miss, but the Bruins offense should have an opportunity today to show what it can do. The run game looked very good against Nevada behind an improved offensive line, and QB Brett Hundley has a dozen receivers ready to make plays downfield. The key will be on the U.C.L.A. defense and whether they can contain dual threat QB Taylor Martinez and his own high powered offense. The Bruins tended to overcommit against a good rushing QB in the first half of week 1, and maintaining discipline and keeping good gap and edge control will be even more important today.
Frankly, the Bruins have a lot to overcome in Lincoln, and today will be a real test of their focus and could give us a clue if this team is ready to take that next step we are looking for. A road win in one of the most hostile environments after a tumultuous week would be an incredible sign of things to come. But first, the Bruins will have to beat not just that famous defense but an entire team of blackshirts. Let's see if Coach Mora and the Bruins can get it done.
This is our first half open thread. Fire away.
For Nick and for U.C.L.A...