REVIEW: Last week the Bruins rolled into Manhattan, Kansas in hopes of kicking off the season with a solid win against an average Kansas State Wildcat football team, but a late rally fell short as the Bruins were run over by last year’s Big 12 leader rusher, Daniel Thomas. The Wildcat’s tailback ran for 235 yards on 28 carries and shut the door on the Bruins late rally by scampering 44 yards for his second touchdown of the day.
The Bruins led at halftime, 10-7, but were unable to get their offense clicking after halftime. Quarterback Kevin Prince was rusty after a back injury limited his reps in fall camp and a shoulder injury hampered his practice time leading up to the Kansas State game. Prince was 9 for 26 passing with only 120 yards. His highly touted receivers didn’t help out his cause by dropping eight passes.
PREVIEW: The Bruins let a victory get away and when you look at their schedule, they might have been counting on that victory to get them bowl eligible. However this week, against the mighty Stanford Cardinal, their goals maybe different but they just might have history on their side.
The Cardinals dismantled Sacramento State with ease last week, but then again everything is broken in Sacramento. The Bruins are no Sacramento State but they will need to play a near perfect game in order to have a chance to steal a victory, although the Bruins will benefit from a little home cooking. UCLA has won the last six home games against the Cardinal, dating back to the 1996 season when Stanford captured a 21-20 victory.
THE BRUIN KEYS TO VICTORY:
Stop the Run – Last week, the Bruins were run all over. This week, they can thank their lucky stars that Toby Gerhart is now playing for the Minnesota Vikings, but they can’t relax. The Cardinal “running backs by committee” rushed 38 times for 213 yards last week and was more than efficient. The defense is supposed to be a strength for the Bruins but they were steamrolled last week. Look for the defense to play with pride and step up to shut down the Cardinal run attack.
Confuse the Super-Soph – Andrew Luck could be the best quarterback in the Pac-10 though Jake Locker from Washington and Matt Barkley from “that other school across town” might have something to say about that. Nonetheless, the sophomore quarterback is quickly becoming elite. Last week, he was 17 for 23 passing with 316 yards in just three quarters of play. He had zero interceptions and was only sacked one time. Neuheisel’s scheme has to confuse the sophomore with a mix of zone and man-to-man coverages, and he must pressure Luck with the blitz and just with his front four defensive linemen.
Don’t Shoot Yourself – Clean up the dropped passes. No “non-hustle” penalties especially on a fourth-and-goal from the 1. And make tackles. The Cardinal lived off the “run-after-catch” last week while the Bruins died because they couldn’t bring Thomas down. If the Bruins can clean up the mental errors, look for a different and more confident Bruins football team.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“While the conventional wisdom is that Stanford's offense, post-Toby Gerhart, will lean on talented sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck, coach Jim Harbaugh owns Big Ten sensibilities and has worked hard to cultivate an edgy physicality within his team. As in: Yeah, it's Stanford, one of the nation's elite universities, but on the football field it plays like bikers whose manhood has been questioned.” – Ted Miller, ESPN Writer
TAKE THAT TO THE BANK:
The consensus All-American and Lou Groza Award winner in 2009, Kai Forbath, kicked three field goals in Saturday’s game running his streak to 40 in a row from inside 50 yards.
WHO’S IN AND WHO’S OUT:
Stanford will be without one of Luck’s big weapons as starting tight end Levine Toilolo will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.
UCLA’s Prince will start despite having a sore back and shoulder. Forbath will also play despite a sore groin.
TELL ME SOMETHING COOL:
To commemorate Sept. 11, the UCLA coaching staff and non-performing players will wear specialized Adidas game shirts on Saturday, with the "U" and "C" on the breastplate in blue with white stars, and the "L" and "A" with red and white stripes.
This will be the first game in the history of UCLA where the UCLA head coach will wear even a stitch of red on his sideline wear.
UCLA v. Stanford (Rose Bowl) 7:30 p.m. Kickoff
TAKE SOME PICS AND GET INVOLVED:
Here is a great way for you to get involved and show your school spirit! Take some pictures at your pre-game party or at the tailgate. Take them of yourself or your friends watching the game at the stadium, the local bar or wherever you choose to watch the game.
We want you, your friends or your family sporting their UCLA gear. Send your pictures directly from your phone to firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back tomorrow to see if your picture made the "team."
@ Kansas State
The Bruins need this to go bowling at the end of the year.
Bruins 17 - Wildcats 13
Stanford's offense will be too much for the Bruins.
Bruins 10 - Cardinal 34
vs. Washington State
vs. Oregon State
@ Arizona State