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Spaulding Roundup: Optimism, Hundley’s Thoughts & the “Black Mamba” is “Hungry” for Bruins

News and notes from UCLA football program as the Bruins get ready for a date with the Ducks.

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Let's get to the news and notes from Monday as Bruins get ready for the most challenging game week of the season. Bruins are currently 21 point underdogs against the Duckie, who are going to be looking to making a "statement" on national TV to inch up the BCS ranks.

As for us ... I really have no idea what to expect from the team given what we saw on Saturday. But, I will go ahead and share this note of "optimism" from one of our community members, who checked out the Ducks in person last weekend:

I was at the Oregon game last night due to my cousin, Gabe Marks being a starting receiver for WSU and due to me living in Portland, first things first, Autzen is a great experience, love the facilities and the atmosphere is incredible.

To the football game, Oregon comes out swinging, we all know that they'll be ready to go come kick off, and in that first half and really the whole game the cougar defense gave them all they could handle and more, they forced 4 fumbles and recovered 2 if I remember correctly, two of them strip sacks by the Cougs dline.

On more times then I could remember they had Marriotta scrambling to make something happen. The defense was the reason that they had the score within a touchdown in the first half at 13-20.

Now as far as we go I believe our defense is miles ahead of WSU and we are a lot more talented in our front 7 then they are. We can get to Marriotta, and we can force turnovers. Another thing is I believe if Connor Halladay hadn't thrown 4 picks to Oregon that it's a one or two possession game. Those picks were all on momentum building drives and it took the air out of WSU' s sideline.

Brett will not make the same mistakes, he's a lot smarter, he's more mobile and has more weapons around him. Final thoughts, I believe we can absolutely beat Oregon, IF we come out prepared, play our game, play with intensity, take care of the ball and force turnovers, WSU silenced the zoo briefly last night, and I think we can do it,

I believe in our team and I think this lost came at the perfect time to reset, and refocus ourselves on Oregon and the second half of the season. #GoBruins #beatUO

Now's that's the spirit. FWIW a reminder from the official site:

BRUINS VS. DUCKS - The Bruins lead the series, 39-26.

In 2004, UCLA earned its last win over Oregon in Eugene. The Bruins pulled off the win despite playing without leading rusher Maurice Jones-Drew and the fact that receivers Craig Bragg, Tab Perry and Marcedes Lewis did not record a reception. The Bruins jumped out to a 21-10 halftime lead in the contest. After a Bruin field goal early in the second half, Oregon scored the game's next 10 points to get to within 24-20. Quarterback Drew Olson then connected with Junior Taylor on a slant pass which turned into an 83-yard scoring play with 2:57 remaining in the third quarter. Oregon returned a punt for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, but UCLA answered with a 50-yard field goal by Justin Medlock to finish the scoring. True freshman running back Chris Markey registered 238 all-purpose yards (131 rushing, 84 receiving) that day for the Bruins.

2004 was the third year of UCLA football under Chianti (second year under Karl Dorrell) and that's just a good reminder of how far the football program has fallen under the incompetent leadership of this stooge.

Some other notes as we get ready for this long game week. First, here are Brett's comments to the reporters today as he took questions on numbers of issues (via Jack Wang on Inside UCLA):

I honestly didn't find anything noteworthy from his comments except for the fact that Hundley was his usual gracious and humble self, always sticking up for his team-mates, and vowing to get things right, heading into next week. As I said in the comment thread today, I haven't appreciated a Bruin athlete this much since the days of AA, and I think suffice to say that the entire Bruin Nation is pulling hard for him to get out of his two game funk. Hopefully the coaches will figure out fast how to put him in position to succeed and get most out of his talent.

Apparently Nick Aliotti ran his mouth off after Oregon's win over Washington State as he was upset that Mike Leach was making his players go all out (what a concept) till the very end. The League fined him today for his comments and also apparently for taking some shots at the officials (okay, they are terrible). Aliotti owes the Bruins for December 5, 1998.

Ready for this? Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas has been out since September 28 since he suffered a sprained ankle against UC Berkeley. He is apparently now "ready" for his return and "hungry" to get back on the field. Oh goodie. But, it's not like Oregon has been really missing him all that much. While he was out, sophomore Byron Marshall got the start and rushed for more than 100 yards in all four games, including 192 yards and three touchdowns last week against Washington State.  Also, true freshman Thomas Tyner rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown against the Bears and 99 yards and two touchdowns against the Cougs.

Here are also LA Times football notes from Monday with quotes from Jordan Payton about how the offense needs to help the defense out by staying on the field. It'd also help if the OC was actually calling plays that are not predictable and the HC is not settling for punts when the ball is past the opponents 40 yard line.