Let's start with the highlights from a video of the Trogan's bonfire yesterday (HT Bruins#1):
The comment from Coach "O" comes at the beginning of the video:
Come Saturday night, we're gonna let those little boys from across town into our stadium and we're gonna lock the gates.
Hmm, thanks for that Coach "O." Blogging this on the main page here so that everyone in the UCLA community and our guys can see it.
Now, on our side Shaq Evans has been prematurely running his mouth. So we are not exactly innocent. But, the question I have is how fired up are our guys for this game. How badly do they want it? Here is what Brett Hundley said earlier this week:
"When I first got here, the aura may have been that the whole town was SC," Hundley said. "Now it's another game, a big game, but another game, no disrespect to USC."
Let's hope those were just Brett's efforts to stay even keeled publicly, while taking a completely different approach behind the practice walls and within the locker room.
It was disconcerting to see the mindset of Arizona State players and our guys coming into last weekend's game as it seemed the Sun Devils' wanted the game lot more badly than our Bruins. So far this week it appears the Trogans are lot more fired up about this weekend than our Bruins - at least from the public comments.
Perhaps there is a sense of urgency around Jim Mora's program which we are not seeing publicly. As Bellerophon noted earlier this evening Saturday is a critical "must win" game for Mora, who needs to beat the Trojans "to break the worrying trend of UCLA faltering at the end of the year under his watch and to salvage a season where the minimum expectations were 9 wins, beating Southern Cal again, and winning the Pac-12 South":
It's the biggest game of the year and an absolute must-win for Jim Mora against Ed Orgeron. The Pac-12 South crown is gone but if Mora wants to salvage this season, he'll need to overcome a glorified cheerleader coaching to win the permanent job at one of the premier programs in the country who has his limited roster of 55 scholarship athletes fired up on pure emotion. There's no excuse for Jim and his 85 scholarship players to not get it done in the Coliseum. Total victory or don't bother coming back.
Hope Mora, Hundley and rest of the team are operating with the mindset this now just "another game."