Everyone in the stadium knows it’s a TD by Ayres… except the Official, who is still deciding.

Manic Depression:  This was the LAST Rose Bowl appearance for some Bruin legends.

UCLA’s Defense snatches SIX (as in “666”) Sun Devil Turnovers and scores Touchdowns on two of them, as the Bruins become Bowl-eligible with their 3rd straight win, 23-13

From Dancing with the Devils this Saturday, right onto the Highway to Hell next Saturday night.

The Bruins just reached Rick Neuheisel’s preseason goal:  To not only improve on last year’s 4-win total, but also to win 6 games, thereby becoming Bowl-eligible.  And despite losing their first five Pac-10 games, the Bruins were able to capture their 6th W on Saturday, by overwhelming Arizona State, 23-13.

UCLA’s Defense made big play after big play, carrying the team on a day when the Offense struggled to complete drives.  It all started when Alterraun Verner got a GIFT Pick 6 from ASU’s first-time starter QB.  The Bruins were up 7-0, but early in the game, the Bruins’ Defense still had holes, and Running Back Dimitri Nance was exploiting them with powerful runs (he had 110 yards rushing for the game).  But before the Devils could reach the end zone again on all but one subsequent drive, they would fumble, get sacked, or throw an errant pass, thanks to stellar pressure, especially from Brian Price.

Brian Price had an All-American kind of game, as did Akeem Ayres.  On one play in the 2nd quarter, both Ayres, a Linebacker, and Price, an Interior Lineman, lined up on the ends of the Defensive line, and both got in.  Ayres forced the QB into Price, who forced a fumble, which Ayres recovered and returned for a dramatic, diving, review-surviving TD.

The Bosworths, Datone Jones, Damien Holmes, Jerzy S., and Verner all had shining moments, and Reggie Carter really rang some Devil bells out there, including one brutal hit on their young QB.  And the D picked a good day to show up, because the Offense wasn’t as sharp as they could be.

The pocket was still much stronger than it was earlier in the year, but Kevin Prince still had to work hard to avoid ASU’s pressure.  And the pass blocking is still better than the run blocking, as there weren’t a lot of holes for the Running Backs to exploit.  But that doesn’t concern Chane Moline.  Chane the Train just carried Devil tacklers, for 84 yards rushing, and several big gainers.  Adding to the Bruins’ rushing totals were several more big gainers, by Kevin Prince!  Prince scrambled or bootlegged for 42 yards, including two 17-yarders for 1st Downs.  Prince hit only 15 of 31 passes for 161 yards, but what he did with his legs MORE than compensated for a few bad tosses… Especially because he did not turn the ball over at all, via fumble or Interception.  And obviously, Turnovers were the story of the game.

By beating the Devils by 10, the Bruins have once again out-performed sc against a common opponent.  I don’t want to spread any false hope, but the Bruins did better than the trojans did against not only ASU, but also WSU, Washington, Stanford, and Oregon too.  The Bruins have won three straight, and are flying high emotionally, after coming back from the brink of disaster, while sc has already conceded that this season is a complete and total failure, no matter what transpires from here on out.  So UCLA COULD actually have some sort of edge.  Okay, go ahead… ask me if I think the Bruins are going to win.  My answer would be that all the confidence that you’ll see exuded by Bruin fans this week will not be coming from me.


Below are 28 photos from the game on Saturday.  18 are from the game itself, and 10 are Cheerleader photos.  And about that…  As hard as I have tried over the last few years to NOT post any shots that the girls don’t like — while still trying to show you just how amazing, fit, and gorgeous they are, apparently I have failed.  Not to get overly-dramatic, but it was requested on Saturday that I please be more conservative with my cropping, and with my shot-selection.  This is very sad to me, as I have been approaching every pictorial with the absolute knowledge that some of the girls’ Dads are checking it out.  I honestly thought that I was doing an admirable job, drawing the line in JUST the right place.  And they were the ones who told ME that “sidekicks” were okay.  I thought I had found the perfect happy medium, with no complaints coming in, from girls, Dads, or readers.  Oh well.  I hope Mollie knows that I wasn’t trying to slip anything past her, and I still believe that my shots have been MORE conservative than Mollie’s official shots on their own website.  HOWEVER — None of that matters.  All that DOES matter is that the girls don’t hate me.  Therefore, the requested adjustment is a done deal.  That being said, the policy is still in effect, that any time any squadmember dislikes any shot, all they have to do is let me know, and I’ll take it down.  

Getting the request was really depressing, just because I felt like I let them down.  The only reason I was able to go into the game after that without being upset is that a couple of members of the squad were personally really nice to me, and that cheered me up.  I was glad that I got to share a “moment,” with one of the girls who was enjoying her final home game on the squad (she’s always been the nicest one to me, and I appreciate it more than she will ever know). 

Speaking of nice, I saw former Cheerleader “Crystal” at the game, and I want to remind you about her awesome project: 

…a very special kind of Internet destination, that encourages conscious living, and the empowerment of Women.  It’s a great concept, and worth a minute of your time, to check it out, and to support a loyal Bruin.  By the way, Crystal, if you see this:  I LOVED your hair on Saturday.  It was like a perfect, sweeping, Kim Possible wave of silkiness, going across, so smooth.  I hope you take this as the polite compliment that it is meant to be, and I wish you the best of luck with your difficult but quite worthy endeavor.

Now, here are the Football pics, and the Cheer pics, which I’m confident that you will still enjoy, as it is not difficult to capture beauty and grace when it is THIS profound (and I’m not talking about the Offensive Line).  All the pics enlarge when clicked, and all the pics have hidden, mouse-over captions.  Enjoy your completely safe pictorial.  Love you Mollie!!  KW and friends, too!

It was “Senior Day” on Saturday — Here’s Reggie Carter with a bouquet, and several others celebrating with family.  They WILL be missed.

The ASU Cheerleaders were cute, so no offense to them, but they are still living reminders of how fortunate Bruin fans are.  Here they welcome their Starting QB Samson Szakacsy to the field.

And this is how Alterraun Verner welcomes the new Starting QB to the Rose Bowl… with a Pick 6!

Despite the off-numbers, Prince is still showing growth:  Poise in the pocket, throwing it away, and scrambling at the right time (to the right place).

Perfect example:  It looks like Prince is toast here, but he broke through for a 17-yard scramble for a big 1st Down.

Well, nobody’s perfect.  He didn’t escape the pressure EVERY time.

While the Bruin Offense struggled a bit, the Devils’ Dimitri Nance was piling up the yards on runs like this, where he had more open space than a free range chicken.

Perfect example:  After Birthday Boy Bosworth misses, it’s clear sailing for Nance.

It wasn’t like they were being tricky, ala Oregon;  As the TV announcers remarked, the Devils just kept calling the same simple (Nance power running) plays, because they kept working.

But ASU wasn’t the only team with a bruising Running Back — UCLA may have found THEIR OWN Toby Gerhart, in Chane Moline.  And you saw what Toby did to troy, right?

  Good luck trying to ARM-tackle Chane Moline… especially around the helmet.  Yeah — Good luck with that.

These Bruins are NOT soft, and don’t back down from anyone.  However, when ASU’s #77 almost started a huge fight, the Bruins didn’t take the bait.

Glenn Love would have stopped this 2-pt conversion, if the guy didn’t drop the ball first.  A successful try would have made it a one-possession game in the 4th quarter, and would have given the momentum to ASU.

How would you like to see a javelin the size of Brian Price flying at you in midair?  Javelin?  More like a heatseeking ICBM.

And here’s Brian Price lunging at Dimitri Nance.  Price was as active (and airborne) as I’ve ever seen him.  Hope he’s not auditioning for the NFL.

Lunging at the QB again.  The Defense bent often, but only “broke” twice, once on a fluke TD-broken play where LB Kyle Bosworth got stuck trying to guard a Wide Receiver who alertly adjusted his route and went deep.

The ASU QB had some moves, and made some guys miss, like on this early TD pass, but he has less expeience than Prince, and that was ASU’s undoing.

It wasn’t that rare for more than 1 guy at a time to get to the ASU QB.  They will absolutely HAVE to do the same thing to Barkley to avoid getting blown out.

Brian Price wasn’t the only Price who went airborne on Saturday — Sheldon Price did also, to celebrate Ayres’ TD.

And speaking of going airborne, the season finale inspired some leaps of joy.  (Now a leap of faith is in order, as the Bruins head to the Mausoleum).

Jump Around, jump around — When Brian says “Jump,” they ask, “How high?”

Saturday was the first time ever that the girls did these “jump-poses” in front of me.  Verdict?  I LOVE ‘em, and hope they do them all the time.  Perhaps they can be the heir-apparent to the sidekick shots.

Okay, now the sad part:  I KNOW that it was my favorite person’s last Rose Bowl, but, I have a terrible feeling that it was my FOUR faves’ last one as well.  Go ahead and laugh, but it is more emotional (for me) than you think (or than it should be, I guess).

OH.  MY.  GOD.  They are SO cute.  This is SO sad.  I already can’t wait until Homecoming.  (If this shot is too “personal,” let me know, and I’ll reluctantly pull it down).

Am I being way over-the-top today?  I know a couple of angels who would NOT be surprised by that at all.  One is probably smiling now (I hope), while the other one is probably rolling her eyes on the inside (but I hope not).

By the way, don’t let all this adulation of the veterans take ANYTHING away from the new girls.  If they turn out to be HALF as nice as their royal predecessors, I’ll be a happy, happy Bruin.

If Basketball had tailgating, with a Spirit Squad pre-game performance in the sun, I’d go more often, and I wouldn’t be conflicted right now.  [Again, please pardon the “drama.”  I don’t want anyone to think i’m “obsessing.”  :) ]

Last one for today.  I hope EVERYONE liked it, despite it being more conservative, and most of you being more “liberal.”  And… I apologize sincerely to the girls who felt that a line was crossed,  Please let me know if there are shots up now that you want taken down, if it’s not “too late.”



  1. Rick Avatar

    Nice to get a W, but I agree with you that any subsquent confidence would be misplaced.
    It seemed like almost every single big play we had–on offense or defense–was nullified by a penalty. 10 penalties for 85 yards is not gonna get it done against a good team. And neither will the continued rash of missed tackles, or failure to execute on offense. So far, we have only managed to beat teams that screw up more than we do, and that is not a source of pride. A victory next week will require something that we have yet to see this year: fundamentally sound, disciplined, mistake-free football. That, combined with the relentless desire to kick the trash out of the trojans, would get it done.

    P.S. Catering to Mollies every whim is enough. No need for any further genuflection–she should be THANKING you, not busting your chops (OR your crops)!

  2. JP Avatar

    You’ve done a great job. The pics here have always been wholesome and show the squad in the best light. Believe me, there are tacky websites out there who exploit cheer and dance squads, but this site is far from it…it’s actually the opposite.

    Anyways, it sucks to lose Elise, Brianna, Katie, and whoever else is leaving. They deserve Bruin fans’ gratitude for making the UCLA Dance Squad famous all across the nation. The past few years have brought so much national recognition for having one of the best and most beautiful squads in the nation.

    Mollie, please continue to set high standards and for making the Dance Squad the best in the country.

  3. SVCA to SCMO Avatar
    SVCA to SCMO

    Rick is 100% correct in his entire post. Right now, at best, UCLA is an ordinary team that will need much help to beat sc. I predict 26-17 sc. 10 points just seems a little too much of a spread. However, next year should be much better, especially offensively. This means defensively, too, since the offense will not exhaust the defense with so many 3 and outs.

    As for the cheerleaders, it seems like the rules of decency are changing on you. Standards that were good enough for years, suddenly aren’t?? Get used to it, it will likely happen again, because it appears that those with the power to dictate terms to you are most interested in satisfying the complaining few who are the lowest common denominator of prudishness.

    Also, your “genuflecting” (great description, Rick), manufactured or not, it’s totally excessive. You are the cheerleading squad’s [w**] dream – willing to give them limitless coverage, ON THEIR TERMS.

    [T-H’s Note: It wasn’t outsider, prude complainers. It was some of the girls themselves. And MAYBE it wasn’t changing standards — MAYBE it was one of the new girls, who reacted badly the first time she saw the site this year, and complained to Mollie right away, and then Mollie forgot to tell me until Saturday. If that’s the case and that’s how they feel, then that’s how they feel, and there is not 1% of me that wants to defy them. I know, I know, you weren’t suggesting that I defy them. None of this note is meant to imply a hostile or confrontational tone. And sorry for editing out a word, but I thought it was a little on the disrespectful side to them. And as much as I may like to agree with your sentiment, I can’t.

    This is going to sound like shameless pandering, but they aren’t fortunate to have me — It is definitely the other way around. Just as I started my site and got a half-decent camera, the Spirit Squad developed into the consensus best-looking group in the Nation. They make going to some of these losses worthwhile. You know how hard it is to maintain my morale, at our age, when the teams suck? And I’m a die hard. So I thank God (and/or Mollie) for the Spirit Squad. They help to keep UCLA’s image at the TOP, they help to keep some school spirit in the stands, and they help to keep me enthused enough to come join those stands, game after game, year after year. I OWE THEM, they don’t owe me. Think about it: They are a major part of what makes UCLA look so great, and isn’t that what I want most of all? Like I said, I know it sounds like I’m just sucking up to them, but I’m being sincere. I guess you’ll just have to trust me. Okay? And by the way, stop agreeing with Rick, or I’m sending you to see your Proctologist. You know — To look for your head. (Just kidding!!).]

  4. Robert Carrillo Avatar
    Robert Carrillo

    I have to agree with you, it was a sad day indeed for those of us that have been accustomed to seeing Katie, Elise, Brianna, and Michelle, I’ve had the opportunity several times to take photos with them and chat with them over the last 4 years and they are the sweetest and classiest young ladies you could ever meet…I will specially miss Katie and Michelle 🙁 I will miss their beautiful smiles and I really hope to see them at the homecoming game,

    Thank you girls for beautifying the Rose Bowl and adding one more thing to look forward to on Saturdays, your awesome dance routines…