Good morning from Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!
The trip into town yesterday could have been a little smoother, but wasn't too bad. The worst part was the 210 from the 134 interchange out to the 15. Once we got on the 15, it got a lot better and a lot hotter. The temperature on the way here went as high as 109. Then we hit a "cold" front where the temp dipped down to a manageable 90 degrees! Ha!
It was great meeting a bunch of BN members last night at Wildfire Valley View. Gene Karzen, Donovan Carter, Dietrich Riley and Aaron Hester dropped by to rep the Bruin Fan Alliance. It was a good evening seeing some old friends and making some n
ew ones. Big thanks and kudos go to BN member LVBruin who manages Wildfire Valley View for hosting us last night. Thanks so much!
Let's take a look at some of the news, shall we?
Chris Foster of the LA Times looks at the dangers and distractions UCLA can face in tonight's game. at the same time, he quotes a bunch of players talking about how they need to stay focused.
He quotes LB Deon Hollins saying that "this could be a trap game." But he finishes up with words of wisdom from "Coach" Jake Brendel:
People have their own opinion about games. Our opinion as a team is we just have to do our jobs.
Simple enough, but easier said than done.
Meanwhile, Jack Wang looks at the matchup on the LA Daily News website. Wang echoes the theme of the week -- focus -- as it pertains to Josh Rosen facing an opponent who is a four TD underdog. Wang writes:
[W]hile Sam Boyd Stadium is known more for its outdated amenities than its hostile crowds, the trip should nevertheless provide a measuring stick for Rosen’s progression.
Obviously, Jack did not get the memo about all the Bruin fans who have come to town for the game. Sam Boyd Stadium should have a hostile crowd tonight. But, the hostility may very well be directed to the home team due to the large number of Bruin fans expected to attend.
Want proof that a lot of Bruin fans are in town? In a 50-minute time span this morning, Caesar's Palace moved the point spread from -30 to -32, meaning people placing bets on the game at Caesar's are betting heavily on the Bruins.
Over at the OC Register website, Joey Kaufman has an article which discusses UCLA's need to maintain their focus. He also looks at the expected game time weather conditions and quotes Jim Mora as saying, "We're accustomed to that dry heat." That's an obvious reference to what the Bruins faced in San Bernardino, but even that can't totally prepare you for the harsher weather in Vegas.
In a separate article, Kaufman breaks down the various game matchups. In it, he gives UCLA the edge in every category, but one, intangibles, which he says is even. I've been saying it all week. This can become a trap game. If UCLA isn't focused on football when the game kicks off at 7:30, this could be much closer than anyone expects. Make no mistake, UNLV will be focused. Why? This is their game of the year. It's their bowl game. It's a chance to take out the 13th ranked team in the country in front of their home fans. They will be VERY motivated tonight.
How To Watch & Listen
Location: Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Kickoff: 7:30 pm PT
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: 1150 AM in LA, 670 AM in Las Vegas, SiriusXM Channel 81 and, of course, the TuneIn player which will be in the Bruins Nation Game Thread later on today.
98 degrees, Mostly clear 19% humidity
Anyway, that wraps up the news this morning.
Here's a list of all games on tap today, some of which are already in progress.