I thought that was a pretty solid preview for the Sun Bowl, at least the best I've seen so far.
UCLA started practice in El Paso for the Sun Bowl against Virginia Tech today and there are some videos and other interesting news coming out of the area, the first of which was a interview with Cassius Marsh focusing on his 4 seasons as a Bruin and the preparation for his final game at UCLA.
Cassius talks about how he's grown throughout the years and the he and Ralph Irvin (thanks to UCLA Athletics for posting the video, by the way) go through a few a Marsh's highlight plays throughout his career on both sides of the ball. It's worth a watch just to see Cassius change numbers 3 times in 3 years before sticking with 99 as a senior and progressively getting more and more tattoos as the years went on. Look forward to seeing Marsh one last time and then keeping track of his path to the next level.
Some fun stuff from the Bruins first night in El Paso on Thursday, with Carl Hulick with a drum solo, then moving on to the secondary along with Ryan Davis showing off not once, not twice, but three times on stage. Featured in that one are Anthony Jefferson, Ishmael Adams, Randall Goforth, Justin Combs and many others watching from the crowd. Rounding up videos from that dinner is a guitar solo from Nate Iese. Safe to say that the Bruins are taking a much better approach to the ceremonies than the school across the city did last season. Something that should surprise no one.
Moving back to football, here is a post-practice interview with Isaako Savaiinaea from Jack Wang of Inside UCLA.
First off, Savaiinaea might be the most fun name to spell of any player on the roster. Hawaiian and other Pacific Island names are actually easy to spell after you get it right once, at least from my experience.
Savaiinaea will be taking over one of the starting inside linebacker spot from Eric Kendricks as Kendricks recovers from surgery on his ankle. He talks about the importance of staying within his technique that he got away from during the Stanford game after Eric Kendricks left with a kidney injury. He addresses the difference in his play from that 2nd half against Stanford to the next game against Colorado, He's got big shoes to fill, but he is capable of being a big-time player for the Bruins in this game and will have to be moving forward as the Bruins lose both Jordan Zumwalt and Anthony Barr to graduation/the NFL after this contest against Virginia Tech.
In other news from Inside UCLA with Jack Wang, it has been confirmed that Brandon Tuliaupupu will be transferring out. That's not a massive loss, as Tuliaupupu missed all of this season with an injury and saw players like Ellis McCarthy and Kenneth Clark break out on the interior of the defensive line and the top DT in California, Ainuu Taua committed to the Bruins. There were not going to be a ton of reps available for him, so I wish him the best of luck moving forward. Wang reports that he is looking at schools like UC Davis and Sacramento State.
I also recommend taking a look at this breakdown from The Key Play on Brett Hundley. Really goes into great detail about the concepts within the UCLA offense and the strengths and weaknesses in Hundley's game from an objective outsiders point of view. Maybe a slight overstatement on how effective the read option has worked this season for the Bruins, but not by much. I've been gobbling up whatever that site has been publishing on the Bruins because it is interesting to get the perception of UCLA from other conferences and parts of the country.
That's about it from today, be sure to check out Nestor's notes on Jim Mora's post-practice presser as well.