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Spaulding Roundup: #Hundley4Heisman Talk, Senior Day, & UCLA Football vs the Cardinal Lines

As the Bruins continue to prepare for the all important game Friday against Stanford (and a great Thanksgiving meal), we have news and notes from Spaulding Field and beyond.

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Friday will be the last time many of our Seniors and almost certainly one notable redshirt Junior play their last regular season game at the Rose Bowl.  Among them are Eric Kendricks, Jordan James,  Anthony Jefferson, Drew Huusfeldt, Librado Barocio, Tre Hale, Ryan Hofmeister, Malcolm Bunche, and Owamagbe Odighizuwa.  Yes, that is correct, nine seniors.  There number is small but their impact huge.  These men have been great leaders on and off the field and we thank them for their dedication to the team and congratulate them on their success on and off the field.  I really don't want them to go.

Among them is defensive back Anthony Jefferson who has proven himself invaluable to the team this year.  After practice today he spoke with the media about Stanford's pass game:

Video courtesy of Ryan Kartje, OC Register.

Jefferson talks about how much Stanford relies on the run game and how this really puts pressure on the secondary to have great contain and great eyes.  The play action is something "you have to key into."  "We've got to eliminate the big plays."

Coach Ulbrich echoes Jefferson's remarks saying the physical run game is still Stanford's main identity.  Even though he has been ruled out, UCLA is preparing as if Ty Montgomery is going to play.  He says if he doesn't, someone else will step in and play well.   He also talks about the development of Kenny Young and the intelligence of Owa and the balance he is finding between wanting to do everything right and "letting it rip".

Video courtesy of Ryan Kartje, OC Register.

"What isn't challenging about the Stanford defense?"  Noel Mazzone asks before praising the Cardinal defense, their front seven, and the difficulty they make because they're not an up-tempo team, so their is a "premium on possessions".  One difference this year is that UCLA has an intact offensive line which should help.  The interview ends with a pretty funny moment when Mazzone is asked about play calling changes on 1st and 2nd down, given the importance of 3rd downs against Stanford.  You will have to listen for yourself, but suffice it to say that the regulars were clear the press conference needed to end on that remark.

Video courtesy of Ryan Kartje, OC Register.

As for the lines, Chris Foster says our linemen are looking forward to the Cardinal challenge on Saturday.  From o-line leader Jake Brendal:

Whenever you go up against a good front like Stanford, it's always a good time for us to showcase our skills.  They have that Big Ten style. This is going to be fun on Friday.  This is old-school football.

Eddie Vanderdoes echoes the same sentiment from the other side of the ball:

We know the spotlight is on the front seven this week.  Those spread offenses attack the outside and try to make you tired. Stanford comes at you every single play. It's the kind of football we want.

On the injury front, according to Chris Foster of the L.A. Times, Thomas Duarte (left leg),  Devin Fuller (leg), Priest Willis (head trauma), and Ishmael Adams (ankle) all practiced today and are expected to play on Friday.  Now there is some news to be thankful for.

He thought of her as he wrapped his hands around the football and refused to let go, wide open in the back of the end zone.

Ryan Kartje of the OC Register, describes the touchdown catch Devin Lucien made last Saturday and the elation this must have brought to Devin's mom who was diagnosed with breast cancer in August.

Me not being as productive as I thought I’d be, it’s been an extra weight on her because she sees me frustrated. But I know she was screaming at home tonight.

His mom was actually in the hospital (rushed there Friday night) when Devin made this catch.  And despite being in the hospital, she finally got to feel some relief for the burden her son has been carrying all season.  We wish Trina Matthews all the best!

#Heisman4Hundley talk has been popping up again, as UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has led his team to some important victories these last few weeks.  USA Today wonders if Brett will get some votes and Paul Myerberg (again from USA today) and both have Hundley 6th on their Heisman list.  Each week is big, clearly last week was, but if Brett leads the Bruins past the Cardinal, who have given UCLA so much difficulty the last two years, Brett's name will be coming up on a lot more.

That's it for today and I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving (and day after!).  And as always...

Go Bruins!