This is my first football article since since the decable at the Rose Bowl last Friday night. I still cannot get the bad taste out of my mouth from that game. I need a good tune to cheer me up and get my excited about UCLA’s game agaisnt the Arizona Wildcats tomorrow night at the Rose Bowl, kickoff at 7:30 p.m. PT.
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I am a bit pressed for time today so I am foregoing looking back on the PGG responses from last week to declare a winner. Is any UCLA football fan a "winner" after last Saturday night? I think not. Let’s close the book on that one as fans.
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I am not looking for a football connection with my musical selection this week. I need something to get my spirits up and something to get me fired up at the same time. One of my favorite albums of all time came out my senior year in high school and was a staple of my UCLA experience. It has energy and is upbeat. It gets me excited.
Although this band’s second album is the one that put it on the map, it is somewhat gothic and, although I love it, it isn’t the "pump you up" type of music I am looking for right now. The band experienced its best commercial success with its fourth album, and multiple songs from that one received extensive radio and MTV airplay. But it is this band’s third album that I personally consider to be its masterpiece. It is a throwback album in some respects, harkening back to some hard rock bands of the early to mid 70s. Every song has a sweet guitar solo and the entire album just kicks ass, so I could pick any song from the album here.
The band is The Cult. The year was 1987 (though it feels about 12 years earlier). The album is "Electric." And the song I am going with this week is "Lil Devil."
Even the video takes you back to 70s hard rock. If you have never listened to this album but like this song, I strongly recommend listening to the entire album. They even do a great cover of Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild" and it fits right in with the tenor of the rest of the album.
OK, I feel better after listening to that. Moving forward with the Guesses!
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A good starting point for me in creating PGG each week is BN's previews of the opponent's offense and defense. In this week's preview of Arizona's defense, AnteatersandBruins expanded upon the undersized nature of of Wildcats. Against Hawai'i two weeks ago, the 'Cats gave up 170 yards on the ground. After that game, RichRod said:
We’re undersized. . . They came right down at us. We’ve got to play with better leverage. We’ve got to figure out something, or everybody we play is just going to pound us. We’re not going to get bigger overnight.
Arizona also has some key injuries on the defensive front. The days of Scooby Wright stuffing the run appear to be over.
UCLA, on the other hand, has a stable of backs, but none of them have had breakout games against good competition. Soso Jamabo had a nice game against UNLV, but that was UNLV. The Bruins run blocking looked a bit better last week against good competition, but it wasn't close to what could be. UCLA is presently #113 in the nation in rushing, averaging 118 yards per game on the ground.
PREGAME GUESS #1: PGG #1 is a two parter. True or false? UCLA will rush for more than 200 yards (82 more than their average) against Arizona. Follow up: which UCLA player will lead the Bruins in rushing yardage?
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Arizona is #16 in the nation in rushing yards through four games, with a 248 yard average. UCLA has shown that, unlike last year, it is stout with its rushing defensive. This will be a team strength on team strength. Pregame Guess # 2 is the same question as number one, except that the teams are reversed and the follow-up question is slightly different. PREGAME GUESS #2: True or false? Arizona will rush for more than 200 yards (48 less than their average) against the Bruins tomorrow. Follow up: Will Arizona's quarterback lead the team in rushing? (as of the time of this writing, Anu Solomon is NOT expected to play and the expected starter, Brandon Dawkins, leads the team in rushing with 391 yards in three games).
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Due to time constrains, no intro for this one. PREGAME GUESS #3: Will any Bruin receiver exceed 100 receiving yards against Arizona? Josh Rosen likes to spread the ball around. Kenneth Walker III had 115 yards at Texas A&M and he is the only Bruin receiver who has gone over 100 on the season. Darren Andrews came close, with 91 yards against BYU, as did Nate Iese, with 89 yards against Stanford.
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BONUS GUESS: I'm just going to keep doing this for home games. Guess the attendance at the Rose Bowl. It was OK last week against Stanford, exceeding 70,000 (frankly, it looked like more on TV). There may be a drop off this week with a later game, after a tough loss, and against a lesser opponent.
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Finally, we have this week's Crowd's Line widget which will let you predict the score of this week's game.
And, with that, this week's Pregame Guesses comes to a close. Fire away with your predictions in the comment section.
Go Bruins!!! Tame the 'Cats!!!