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Spaulding Roundup: Mazzone Avoids Turnover Talk while the Buffs and Bruins Honor the Quessenberrys

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News and Notes on the Bruins' preparations for their game on Saturday against Colorado.

Will Jordon take a leading role against the Buffs' this weekend?
Will Jordon take a leading role against the Buffs' this weekend?
Doug Pensinger

The Bruins continue to prepare for their Saturday morning meeting in Boulder with the Colorado BuffaloesNoel Mazzone talked to the media after practice on Wednesday, discussing Mossi Johnson's coming out party at Berkeley, while trying not to talk about the spate of turnovers plaguing the Bruin offense.

Video via Jack Wang/LA Daily News

In the LA Times, Everett Cook shared more of Mazzone's thoughts on turnovers.

"It’s like that thing you don’t talk about, and hope it goes away," Mazzone said on Wednesday. "It’s been one of those things, protecting the football is all about the ball, right? Our group of guys have always done a really good job of that, but over the last two weeks, they just kind of hit us and we’ve had some turnovers. That’s something we have to be real conscious of. We’ve got to hang onto the football.

"I always tell them that we always have to preserve the right to punt the football. That’s one play that we’re guaranteed we can do, punt it, so we’ve got to have that."

Remember those good ole Neuheisel days... PUNTING IS WINNING, folks! PUNTING IS WINNING!

Cook also wrote a piece looking at the improving health and conditioning of Ellis McCarthy. He added this quote from Jeff Ulbrich on Ellis's health and the effect on his game.

"That’s the thing with Ellis. He was dealing with his knee, which was just a constant hindrance to him. It would limit his reps, and when he doesn’t have any reps, he’s a guy who is just an enormous human being. So he just gets bigger. The fact that he’s gotten healthier, he’s dropped some weight, and he’s in better shape. You’re seeing that on Saturdays now."

Chris Foster added a story in the Times delving into the relationship between Ulbrich and Coach Mora, describing a bond that was created when Ulbrich first arrived at the San Francisco 49ers headquarters after being selected by the team in the 2000 NFL Draft. There are certainly plenty of elements of friendship and respect between the two as well as the mentor-mentee dynamic that has been clear to see since the two came to Westwood nearly 3 years ago. What goes unexplored is the issue of whether Mora's feelings wrt Jeff have interfered with his professional judgment of whether he is actually ready to lead a major D-1 program's defense.

Colorado's offensive line has been one of the bright spots of that program's season, allowing just 12 sacks over their first 7 game of the season. Takkarist McKinley had some not-so nice ideas on how that unit has found success.

"Colorado and their offensive line, I feel like if we get off with speed, we can beat them," the sophomore said after practice on Wednesday. "They’re dirty, but if you use your hands, use your speed, rip and dip, we can beat them with speed."

When asked to clarify what he meant by dirty, McKinley said, "They try to chop block you. They try to tear your ACL. To me, that’s dirty. But to them, it’s their job. To me, it’s pretty dirty."

Jack Wang has shared video of McKinley's remarks on the Buffs on his Daily News blog and via YouTube:

Video via Jack Wang/LA Daily News.

Wang's colleague at the Daily News, Vincent Bonsignore, reminds us of the battle that Marcus Rios faced just to walk out of the UCLA Medical Center last spring, not to mention working his way back into football shape and onto the field to seal last Saturday's win at Berkeley.

Graham Watson, writing at Yahoo Sports' Dr Saturday blog has reported that the Bruins and Buffaloes will be honoring Houston Texans O-lineman David Quessenberry this weekend as he battles leukemia. David is the older brother of our own Scott Quessenberry, while Mike Macintyre McCarthy and much of his Colorado staff coached David at San Jose State. For their part, this weekend SJSU will be playing a Naval Academy squad that includes a third Quessenberry brother, Paul, at defensive end. Our thoughts continue to go out to David as he fights cancer, and to Scott, Paul and the rest of the Quessenberry family as they support their brother during his struggle.