I see Red people — Mora hires “trojan-for-life” Kennedy Pola(malu) as Bruins’ new Running Back Coach… and just when I thought Mora really “gets it.” Sigh.
Well, there it goes. UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora just let all the air out of my bubble of joy. I was riding high on the Bruins’ second straight win over u$c. They killed them by 21 points, which is their biggest margin in 43 years, and their first back-to-back in 15. The joy continued when sc settled for a second-rate Coach, while UCLA retained their first-rate Coach, despite being lured by his alma mater. I was ecstatic mainly because the Bruins had a Coach in Mora, who might not have gone to UCLA as a student, but seemed to understand the essence of the Rivalry, and was able to bring out the best in his players for the most important game of the season, two years in a row. But then, he goes and spoils it all, by hiring a damn trojan onto his staff in a very key position.
I don’t want a trojan on our sidelines, in our locker room, or on our recruiting trail. I know that I am in the vast minority on this issue, but I will never change my mind. There is a reason he chose to attend usc, and I do not want someone who made that idiotic decision to be Coaching our young men. Polamalu (Uncle of Troy Polamalu, and formerly just “Pola”) was a big part of the trojans’ dirty years, when they were cheating, abusing steroids, getting accused of Sexual Assaults, Drugs, and DUI’s, and paying players. Why would I want anyone associated with those atrocities anywhere near my team?
I know what most of you are thinking: Who cares? If he can recruit well (as alleged) and if he can Coach up our Running Backs, then why not welcome him to the fold? Anything that helps the Bruins win is a good thing. I scream bull- Continue Reading »
You can’t spell “schadenfreude” without “Haden” — Defying the wishes of every trojan (and Husky) including Pat Haden, Jim Mora decides to stay at UCLA, signing a 6-year extension with the Bruins, while the trojans are still stuck with Steve Sarkisian
If it was REALLY Pat Haden’s plan to get successful UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora out of L.A. by hiring Washington’s Steve Sarkisian to create a vacuum in Seattle, it failed. The only thing that sucks now is the future of u$c, since they are stuck with Sarkisian at their helm, while arch rival UCLA gets to keep the vastly superior Mora.
The Sarkisian hire created absolutely NO buzz, nationally or even locally, and no recruits seemed to care or be impressed. And any publicity or exposure that Haden and sc hoped to receive from the Sarkisian Press Conference was completely eclipsed by UCLA’s announcement that Mora had signed a 6-year extension to stay at UCLA and continue his domination of the trojans. As far as the Rivalry is concerned, UCLA is the current Owner of the City, and based on Continue Reading »
Trojans gobble up leftover turkey — In a move smacking of desperation and an ulterior motive, u$c settles for Steve Sarkisian, hoping to re-capture the “success” of the Pete Carroll Cheating Era and also hoping to induce Jim Mora to bail on UCLA; The dubious move has created a Sharknado-like whirlwind of speculation
What a relief! Just when I thought u$c was gonna spend ridiculous amounts of money to lure an elite Head Coach like Nick Saban or Urban Meyer (I said “LIKE” — I didn’t really think Meyer would leave Ohio State) and thereby forever change the local Football landscape for the worse (for UCLA), they go and surprise me by hiring someone who has already proven that he cannot win big in the Pac-12.
Steve Sarkisian was, until yesterday, the Head Coach at Washington, where he barely cracked .500 in his tenure. His Dorellian numbers will not strike fear into anyone in Westwood, Eugene, or Palo Alto, and is unlikely to wow any recruits either. To his credit, he took a Husky team that was a miserable 0-12, and immediately turned them from miserable to mediocre. He went 5-7 in his first year, then 7-6 the next three years, and 8-4 this year. Of course, one of those 4 losses this year was a 41-31 defeat in Pasadena at the hands of Jim Mora and the Bruins, who led 27-7 early in the game.
So we already know that Sark, even with a 5th-year stud at QB, can’t out-coach Mora, or elevate his team to National Prominence, even after being in control of the Program for 5 years. So why did u$c Athletic Director Pat Haden opt for this proven unsuccessful Coach? After all, he already had Ed Orgeron, if he wanted a Carroll-guy who the fans and players like, who is known as an elite recruiter, and who had a bad record (like Sarkisian) previously as a Head Coach. In fact, Orgeron was so pissed off that he was passed over for a loser like Sark, that he turned down Haden’s lucrative offer to be Assistant Head Coach, and immediately packed his bags and quit the team. Beloved Coach O will not even stick around to coach sc in their Bowl Game, abandoning “his kids” that he purportedly loved so much like they were his own, leaving them with an interim-interim Coach. Talk about a ‘rim job!
The answer to the question of Haden’s motivation is quite simple — Three-pronged (like his tongue), but simple. First of all, Continue Reading »
Hungry Hundley Bruin — In the annual Fight to the Death between UCLA and u$c, Brett Hundley executes the trojans for the second year in a row, running the Bruin Offense with Kat(niss)-like efficiency, throwing for 208 yards and running for 80 yards and 2 TD’s, while the UCLA Defense and Special Teams also win their Battle Royales versus the outmanned, outclassed, and out-hungered trojans, who drop passes, miss tackles, miss Receivers, blow blocking assignments, blow pass-coverage assignments, and probably cost their Coach his job, by getting blown out by UCLA 35-14 at home
“May the odds be ever in your favor” is the catchphrase from “The Hunger Games” but the odds were definitely NOT in UCLA’s favor coming into Saturday night’s Rivalry showdown against u$c. The Bruins were 4-point underdogs, the trojans had won 5 straight games this year coming in to this game, and were playing to prolong beloved Coach Orgeron’s job, while the Bruins were coming off a demoralizing loss, and coming to the Coliseum, where they hadn’t won since 1997.
But when it comes to Rivalry Games, you can throw all the stats and trends out the window. Just ask Ohio State, who earlier in the day had to survive a missed two-point conversion to beat the much lower-ranked Michigan Wolverines. Or you can ask formerly #1-ranked Alabama, who moments before the UCLA kickoff lost to rival Auburn, on a literally last-second 100-yard return of a missed Field Goal. And back in South Central Los Angeles, the local rivalry game didn’t go like most people expected.
Both teams came out nervous and feisty, dropping passes, getting in skirmishes, and going three-and-out Continue Reading »
No Mirage — UCLA’s Aria is Royal Flushes of Nevada and Northwestern in the Vegas Invitational, cashing out at 7-and-0 on the season, a deal that makes Steve Alford the first Bruin Coach in history to win his first 7 games (Wooden was 6-1); Kyle Anderson is the Tourney MVP, Jordan Adams the leading scorer, Zach LaVine and Norman Powell the leading ahh-makers, and Bryce Alford the new shooter coming out
I went to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving, and a Basketball game broke out. In a sheer coincidence, UCLA had two Basketball games scheduled for Vegas during Thanksgiving weekend, and the first one wasn’t on TV in the Sportsbooks, so we hopped in a cab, and headed to the Orleans Arena and observed the Bruins in person. UCLA blew out their competition on Thursday, and turned around and did it again on Friday, never being seriously challenged.
UCLA was explosive on Offense, running, dunking, and shooting the lights out. It didn’t matter this weekend, but their Defense and Rebounding left plenty to be desired, and could be exploited by stiffer competition. These are concerns held not just by me, as Steve Alford has recognized these early season deficiencies as well. Whether playing Man-to-Man or Zone, the opposition is finding some easy hoops and lots of open Three’s.
But right now, the Bruin Offense is so prolific, they can get away with it. The Bruins were so hot on Friday, they came close to setting records for shooting percentage. Northwestern never had a chance. Jordan Adams is leading the charge, with Kyle Anderson running the show, excitingly and efficiently. Anderson almost notched his second triple-double of the year on Friday. Adding to Adams’ scoring have been super-Freshman Zach LaVine, Continue Reading »
Will Coaching TRUMP momentum? U$C is on a roll, but Mora is 1-and-0 in Rivalry Games, and the trojan APPRENTICE Coach is 0-and-1, having lost to Notre Dame, and having never gone against the Bruins as Head Coach until this coming Saturday
If Tuesday night’s BeatSC Bonfire was any indication, the Bruins are going to have fun this weekend. I’m not saying they’re gonna win, but they are gonna go out there, and give it all they’ve got, and have fun doing it.
The Bruins were as loose as ever on Tuesday night, getting hyped up by Coach Mora and a few team leaders. Neither Mora nor the players said anything bulletin board-worthy, laying off the negative campaigning this year. The only negative thing said was when emcee Wayne Cook called the Coliseum a “dump.” Otherwise, the Bruins didn’t make it about sc, they just did an 8-clap, asked for fan support, and showed that they were fired up to notch their second win in a row over the trojans.
My personal favorite part of the Bonfire event was seeing the entire UCLA Spirit Squad rocking out freestyle to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” While the bonfire burned, the hit 80′s song (revived by “Glee” not that long ago) played over the loudspeakers. Usually when I see the Bruin Cheerleaders, they are performing with intense discipline, and structured choreography that takes focus and exhibits breathtaking synchronicity. But for the first time in my life, with the possible exception of when the band plays “Rover” after a Basketball victory, I got to see the squad members really just embrace a song they like, feel the rhythm, and dance and sing and enjoy themselves with reckless abandon, as they grooved to the sound of the music. As some of the photos below will support, Continue Reading »
Hey, hey, hey — No Blurred Lines here. They’re far from plastic, they’re good girls, and I know you want it, so now, to kick off BeatSC Week, I don’t be Robin you — instead I give you a nice Thicke crisply-focused 45-photo pictorial of the UCLA Spirit Squad, including the girls I missed in the last article
It’s gonna get nasty. This is Rivalry Week. The BeatSC Bonfire is tonight on campus. Thursday is Thanksgiving, when relatives get together and fight. Can you imagine a family that contains both Bruins and trojans? Good thing the feast is prior to the game, or the gloating would be more pervasive than the bloating. With any luck, the trojans will still be in a tryptophan haze on Saturday when they take the Coliseum field as 4-point favorites against UCLA.
UCLA is reeling from a series of injuries. Two key Offensive Linemen have broken legs/ankles, FOUR Running Backs have broken wheels/concussions, a Starting Cornerback has a hamstring problem, and a Kick Returner is out as well. Based on all of that, the 4-point spread should be 14. And if you throw in a little thing called “momentum,” make it 40, as the Bruins are coming off a heartbreaking loss, while the trojans ride in on a wave of positive emotion and a lengthy winning streak.
With a raucous trojan crowd in the Coliseum, where the Bruins have floundered for a decade, Continue Reading »
Mazel Tough — UCLA gives up NINE Sacks for 60 yards, circumcising any chance to complete a comeback from 22 down to Arizona State at Halftime, so despite showing heart by cutting the deficit to 5 and having the ball in the red zone in the final minutes, the Bruins can’t finish the deal, going down 38-33. Two missed Field Goals and two Holding penalties on the final drive don’t help
First things first: There is definitely a silver lining to this Bruin loss. That silver lining is the fact that with the win, Arizona State clinches the Pac-12 South Division Title, thus eliminating u$c from the Rose Bowl. The way the Bruins and trojans are playing lately, there is a damn good chance that the home team will prevail next week at the Coliseum, which could have sent the trojans to a rematch with Stanford, the winner of said rematch going to the Rose Bowl. So at least we dodged THAT bullet. Of course, the price was WAY too high, because the Bruins’ loss on Saturday evening also eliminated UCLA.
For a while it looked like the Bruins had no chance to win this game. With Myles Jack moved from Defense to Offense, the UCLA Defense looked pretty awful in the First Half, as the Bruins fell behind 35-13 by Intermission. Brett Hundley threw a bad Pick 6 so only 28 points are on the Defense, but still, that was way too many. ASU shredded the Bruins’ D, and it looked like a blowout.
In the Second Half, the Bruins showed true grit and lots of character, coming back to score two quick TD’s, on short runs by Jack and Paul Perkins. After an ASU Field Goal, the Bruins got another TD, this time on a Hundley pass to Shaq Evans. That 4th Quarter score made it 38-33. The Bruin Defense was a whole different animal in the Second Half, allowing only the one Field Goal. Led by Anthony Barr, Randall Goforth, and Ishmael Adams, who also was a beast returning Kicks and Punts, the Defense got the ball back for Hundley two more times with a chance to win the game. But Sacks, penalties, a second missed Field Goal, and one bad pass that missed an open Receiver for a TD kept the Bruins from completing a miracle comeback.
It’s late now (I had that wedding to attend last night) so I will cut the analysis short, and just give you the 50 best game and CHEER photos of the night. Continue Reading »
He ROSE up — Kyle Anderson Slashes up Morehead State, notching UCLA’s first Triple-Double in 18 years, and Jordan Adams Guns in a career-high 30 Points, as the Bruins now Rock a 4-0 Record after their 81-70 win on Friday night over the Eagles
The Bruins got tested on Friday night. After a couple of easy victories, UCLA found themselves in a dogfight, up by only 3 points over Morehead State in the 2nd Half. But that’s when Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams made sure the Bruins would not fall. Anderson got the first Triple-Double for the Bruins since the Championship year of 1995, and Jordan Adams poured in a career-best 30 Points, as UCLA pulled away from the Eagles to win 81-70. Kyle scored 13, had 12 Rebounds, and 11 Assists, controlling the game down the stretch. He also had 3 Blocks and 2 Steals.
UCLA also got big contributions from Zach LaVine (12 Points, 3 Assists, 1 amazing highlight-reel dunk), and Travis Wear (11 Points, 4 Rebounds, 2 Blocks, 3 Steals). This was Travis’ first game this year, after having his appendix out a few weeks ago. It was good timing for the big man to be ready, since starting Center Tony Parker had his least-productive game of the year, scoring only 2 Points.
The Bruins haven’t started a season 4-0 since 2007 — The last season they went to a Final Four. But the Bruins aren’t a Final Four team right now. They Continue Reading »
36 Degrees of Separation — Here’s a protracted look at the UCLA Spirit Squad’s appearance at the Colorado game from a few weeks ago
Just a few days before the Bruins’ biggest Football game in a long, long time, as they face ASU for the lead in the Pac-12 South Division, and all I want to focus on is Cheerleader photography? The Bruins are two and a half point underdogs at home to Arizona State, in a game that’s sure to be high-scoring, high-flying, and close down to the last drive. With my luck it will go triple-overtime, since I have a wedding to attend on Saturday evening, of one of my best, oldest friends. To make the ceremony in time, I’d need to leave the game at Halftime. So Coach Mora, can you make sure the Bruins are up by 5 Touchdowns by the end of the Second Quarter? Thanks.
ASU has a great team, and if they win, they clinch the South, eliminating U$C. So at least there would be a sliver lining to a Bruin loss. But Continue Reading »
In honor of their participation in Sunday’s Walk To End Epilepsy at the Rose Bowl, here are 55 more photos of the beautiful members of the UCLA Spirit Squad, who spend countless hours supporting multiple charitable causes
Today from 8am to 12 Noon at the Rose Bowl, UCLA Quarterback Brett Hundley and his sister Paris invite you to come down and participate in the Walk To End Epilepsy. The UCLA Spirit Squad will have a presence there, supporting this worthy cause. To motivate you to take part, here are 55 Continue Reading »
UCLA’s Myles Jack scores 4 times, while Washington’s QB Cyler Miles comes in for the injured Keith Price, and can only score twice, in Bruins’ 41-31 win
You never want to win this way… but it beats the hell out of losing.
UCLA outscored Washington 41-31 on Friday night to go to 8-2 on the season, and stay on track to control their own destiny in terms of reaching their first Rose Bowl this Century. And, they looked pretty good doing it. HOWEVER, I do NOT see it as a satisfying win, because the Huskies’ star QB Keith Price got knocked out with a shoulder injury at the end of the first half, and his back-up — Redshirt Freshman Cyler Miles — was just no match for the Bruin Defense.
If the Senior Price were available in the second half, the game would have gone down to the wire. Miles wasn’t bad, but he didn’t have the moxie that Price has shown for the last four years. Despite Miles’ unorthodox throwing motion, he was pretty efficient. He threw two TD passes, the first one closing the gap to 27-24. But in the 4th quarter, he misfired on a 4th down pass, and he later threw two Interceptions that eliminated all hope of a Husky comeback.
I know what many of you are going to say: The Bruins were winning when Price went out. Yes they were. The Bruins built a 27-7 lead early in the game, and it was 27-17 before the Huskies had to turn to Miles. But the Huskies, with Price, had scored the last 10 points, and UCLA got their first 14 points as a direct result of two Washington fumbles. I’m not saying Price would have beat the Bruins, just that it would have been a whole different ballgame. With Price out, Continue Reading »