Q: The Bruins usually tank in Arizona. What’s your take on how the trip may turn out this Saturday? Do the young guys know about the team’s history playing in Tucson? Has there been any extra motivation and focus this week for the trip in light of what happened in 2011 with the blowout loss and bench-clearing brawl that was the beginning of the end of the Neuheisel era?
I think they’ll come out on top this Saturday, though it could end up a close one. They match up well against Arizona, but the Wildcats will be able to set up the run a lot more than it did last year as long as it doesn’t fall into a huge early hole. None of the players are even much acknowledging last year’s game let alone the 2011, at least publicly. I think too many just weren’t around then for that to have a significant impact. The recent losses at Stanford and Oregon probably weigh more heavily in terms of motivation.
Q: Is Marcus Rios just going to take a medical redshirt year at this point?
Most likely. He needs the time to put weight back on after fending off that life-threatening fungal infection.
Q: Any talk about Devin Lucien wanting to transfer after that tweet?
He denied that his tweet was about football, so I think it’s safe to say it was just a momentary outburst.
Q: Any prediction on UCLA’s early signing period basketball recruits? Who they are and are we in the running for any at the spring signing period?
I think they have a decent shot at Thomas Welsh, who should announce in the next week or so. Not sure about Justise Winslow (who should sign for UCLA) or the spring period.
Q: On a different sport: My senior HS daughter is being recruited by UCLA’s women’s club lacrosse team. Do you see women’s lacrosse becoming a varsity sport at UCLA any time soon?
Congratulations to your daughter! I wouldn’t on a transition to varsity soon though, particularly with the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA still pending. If schools have to contract their athletic programs, these niche sports are the ones that would most likely get slashed. A sport like lacrosse could also run up disproportionate travel costs since a lot of competition is on the East Coast.
Q: You’ve been covering this beat now for a while. What has been your experience so far? Are you surprised to see the passion of UCLA fans on this blog? If we get Thiggy and James to full health we can be even deadlier on offense than we were earlier in the season right?
I’ve enjoyed the job very much. I don’t know if I’m really surprised by it, but I also do appreciate how active the comments section has been on the blog.
I don’t think the offense will ever look quite as good as it did since, say, the second-half of Nebraska. Competition is stiffer at this point, and losing left tackle Torian White for the season is still significant — even if the line is playing pretty well with three true freshmen.