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Gameday Bruin Bites: The Focus Is On Utah

The team appears ready to avoid a letdown by maintaining focus on the Utah Utes rather than looking ahead to next week's game versus the wounded Ducks.

Stephen Dunn

It's gameday! But before you head out to the Rose Bowl later on today, we have some Bruin Bites for you to keep you up-to-date on the latest news and info regarding tonight's game.

Of course, everyone of us knows what's on the horizon and that's next week's game against Oregon. And, by now, you know that the Ducks lost at home on Thursday to Arizona. The Ducks didn't seem to have their usual focus Thursday night.

Speaking of focus, Chris Foster of the LA Times has an article today talking about UCLA's focus. In the article, he quotes Coach Mora:

I have said it before, the Pac-12, top to bottom, is the most competitive conference in the country. You see it every week. What people perceive as upsets is just great competition. We don't talk about the next week, and we don't talk about last week. I think if you do bring that [into the team] it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You're putting bad stuff in their minds.

He also spoke with Utah's Kyle Whittingham, who has his team focused on UCLA:

There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. There is no rewind button in life. You have to forget about it, but you have to learn from it. You have to learn from your mistakes and understand that, but you can't sit there and sulk and dwell on it. UCLA gets our attention now.

Knowing how tough Utah has been in the past, it's good to hear that the players appear to be focused on tonight's game. Anthony Jefferson refused to talk about Oregon because he's focused on Utah while Jordan Payton said this about the Utes:

It's Utah. It will be just another fistfight for us.

Meanwhile, Ryan Kartje of the OC Register has two articles focused on the Offensive Line. One of them talks about how the line has adapted to handle the pressure they've faced each week. In that article, Kartje quotes Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone, who earned the O's in his name back, at least for the time being, after the ASU victory:

We keep forgetting that even through camp and going into the first couple weeks, it was a different guy at guard or at center. And I think, finally, these guys have played long enough next to each other to jell a little bit....It's kind of like a girlfriend, you date her long enough, you get to know her good habits and her bad habits.

If that offensive coordinator thing doesn't work out, Mazzone may have to try stand up.

Kartje's other article focuses on the sprained ankle of Guard Alex Redmond. Whether Redmond plays will be a gametime decision. He also discusses some of the other injuries facing the Bruins this week. Coach Mora confirmed that Kenny Orjioke is out for the year due to his torn ACL.

He also mentions that UCLA is going to attempt to get Orjioke a medical redshirt for this season. While any injury hurts, sophomore Deon Hollins has played well at outside linebacker. Mora said:

He's playing extremely well. He probably should be recognized more. That usually comes with sack numbers, but his pressures and the way he's been playing the run, he's been real active for us on defense.

That will wrap up this edition of Bruin Bites. If you're heading to the Rose Bowl this afternoon, get there early, stay cool, stay late and STAND UP AND GET LOUD!

And, if you aren't heading to Pasadena, GET LOUD anyway!

Go Bruins!