U.C.L.A. has a bye this weekend and Coach Mora is taking adantage of it by giving his players the weekend off as well as giving the groundskeepers time to replace the diseased turf at Spaulding. Between our practice field and Marcus Rios, I think the Bruins should have had more than enough with fungal infections already this year to last decade. As such, we look forward to a fungal-free Spaulding and Rios reuniting on Monday along with the rest of our football team, when the Bruins begin preparations for the trip to Lincoln to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
For any non-football players making the trip, be sure and check out the fanpost from Muircoach here and follow this link from KSBruin to join up with other BN'ers who will be there to shout down the sea of red.
With the practice field being quiet today, there isn't much for new news making its way out of Westwood. I did find a quick cover of my favorite offensive unit though. Rant Sports discussed the 2013 Bruin OL:
All-American Xavier Su'a-Filo led a dominant effort from the left guard spot and set the tone for the entire line with aggressive play and big pancake blocks. He combined with center Jake Brendel to dominate the interior of the line as the anchors of the group entering this season. It was no surprise that Su'a-Filo dominated, but it was pleasantly surprising to watch the rest of the line follow suit, particularly the Bruins' true freshman right guard Alex Redmond.
The run blocking last weekend made everyone feel perfectly fine with Jordon James taking over for Johnathan Franklin, but it was the pass protection that was the biggest difference from last year. After giving up a whopping 52 sacks last season, the Bruins' pass protection last week against Nevada was virtually perfect. Some of that was credited to QB Brett Hundley being more decisive and willing to throw the ball away, and some was due to better pass blocking by the offensive line, which benefits from returning 4 starters from last season.
OL Coach Adrian Klemm said that he picked Redmond to fill the fifth spot at right guard over fellow true freshman Caleb Benenoch due to his "violent disposition" (which are complimentary words for an offensive lineman). Benenoch did see playing time last Saturday, also, and will continue competing with Redmond as well as the two tackles, Simon Goines and Torian White for a starting spot as the season goes on.
Across town, Southern Cal officially took the keys to the Los Angeles Coliseum:
"We get to control our own destiny [at the Coliseum], which we didn't before," USC athletic director Pat Haden told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "But we are going to have to pay for the renovations that were supposed to be paid for by somebody else. So in some ways, it's like picking up somebody else's responsibility, but we do finally have control."
Contrast this to U.C.L.A.'s lease of the Rose Bowl or Jackie Robinson Stadium, where U.C.L.A. has little to no control over the long term management or development (or in the case of JRS, the mere existence) of the facility, and also loses out on revenues from parking, concessions, advertising, etc. The deal also gives control of the LA Sports Arena to *$c which they plan on demolishing and building a 22K capacity soccer stadium. I wonder what *$c is going to do with a 22K seat soccer stadium? The lease is for 98 years, which is a joke because the Coliseum will not be usable for half of that and *$c will likely renegotiate the deal to build something new in that spot. I just hope Lane Kiffen is there for 98 years too.
On a slight U.C.L.A. tangent, and ICYMI, when the Colorado Buffaloes beat in-state rival Colorado State last Sunday, new coach Mike McIntyre (from SJ St) became only the second out of 15 coaches at CU since 1932 to win his debut. The other was Rick Neuheisel. Also in that game, former Bruin Paul Richardson, who was dismissed from U.C.L.A. in 2010 by that same Coach Neuheisel, returned from an ACL injury in 2012 and had 10 catches for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns.
For anyone watching either the Wake Forest v Boston College or the Central Florida v Florida Int'l games tonight (and really, what better way is there to spend a Friday night?) we'll continue our conversation in our open thread here that uclaluv started last night.