Finally, game day is here. I am excited about it but at the same time dreading what could go wrong in Salt Lake City. Should I dread about the outcome of tonight's game? After reading through all the analysis of last few days, it's pretty clear to me that in terms of talent (and potential) we have the advantage of the Utes.
Even the Utah fans who have been visiting this community (and have been gracious) acknowledge that the Bruins should be favorites tonight. But at the same time, we all know what has happened to our Bruins on Thursday nights and in the state of Utah in recent years. Yes, I get that there is a #BruinRevolution that maybe happening under the current coaching regime, but I cannot shake of the embarrassing and humiliating losses against Berkeley and Baylor from last season.
I think it is silly to call this the "biggest" game of the season. But this is the exactly the kind of game UCLA has been choking in for last few years. I guess some will point to the win we had against Arizona State last year on the road, but that win came against a Sun Devils team that was playing without it's best defensive player (Will Sutton) who was sitting out with an injury.
So, I think we are going to learn something about Mora's Bruins tonight. Can they come out, locked in and focused against a fired-up and a well-coached Utah team, which has been preparing for UCLA as if it was a "rivalry" week for them? We will find out starting around 7:00 pm PST on Fox Sports 1.
Some articles and videos of notes on this game-day:
- Aaron Torres of Fox Sports Live has a profile piece on Mora that hypes up a "brewin' success story at UCLA." The article is a good read with comments from validators such as ____ Aikman, Johnathan Frankin and Brendon Ayanbadejo. It goes over the narrative of culture change and how Mora has toughened up the program. What it misses though is how the Bruins ended last year with three straight losses, including a humiliating blowout in the Bowl Game. For the Mora story to be a full "success" in Westwood, he will need to build on a good first year (not a spectacular one), a 3-0 start to put the Bruins in position to go to the Rose Bowl (or possibily bigger stage) in this year's conference championship game. And, that starts with taking caring of business against Utah tonight.
- Chris Foster has a general preview of the game in the LA Times in which he lets us know that Bruins haven't scored a TD in state of Utah since 1995 (that'd be my senior year in college), when we beat BYU by a score of 23-9. Yikes.
- Jack Wang from Inside UCLA blogged this capsule on tonight's game. Jack's notes aren't as extensive as the collective scouting reporting we have gotten from AHMB, IE Angel and Bellerophone here in last few days. But Jack did note that Utah's stand-out wideout Dres Anderson is indeed the son of former Bruin great Flipper Anderson, who was a terrific receiver in Westwood, before shining in the NFL with the Rams except when that team routinely choked against the Niners in game that mattered. We kid Flipper. We kid (well, sort of).
- If you haven't seen it, here is a cool video Sal Alosi tweeted out this vide this game-week:
- And here is the official video preview in which Anthony Jefferson says the Bruins will try to play some "smash-mouth" football against Utah, while Eric Kendricks asserts that "no one can touch" the Bruins if they play within their schemes.
The preview also has comments from Shaq Evans and captain XSF who is going back to his home state.
You can get our full notes on Utah by going to the game hub here, which also includes info. on game-watching parties that we know of taking place across our (Bruin) nation. Enjoy rest of your game-day.