It’s rivalry week and with the likes of Michigan and Ohio State or ‘Bama and Auburn, there is going to be an abundance of passionate football. Nonetheless, here at Go Joe Bruin we know that the best rivalry in college football is UCLA v. USC, and a win for UCLA this year would mark their first two plus win streak against the Trojans in quite some time. Kickoff is at 5 PM in the Coliseum, and here are the two things UCLA is going to need if they want to take home the “W”.
1. Myles Jack.
Need I say more? Yes, and much more. As one of the most versatile players in college football with not only a unique set of athletic gifts but intuitive and mental gifts, “The Jackhammer” is one tough tree to chop. One thing he doesn’t have though, which nobody does, is the physical capacity to play his best at both linebacker and halfback throughout a game. It’s tough to say where he is needed most – nonetheless Jim Mora and Noel Mazzone will figure it out. As valuable as Jack is carrying the ball, let’s face it, Cody Kessler can escape the pocket and make throws on the run. If Jack isn’t pressuring Kessler with Anthony Barr, Kessler is going to have quite the game. On the other hand, if Jack and Barr do bring the heat, a young Cody Kessler may make some ill-advised throws, and they could end up in the hands of a Bruin. Then consider that Jordon James is set to return (even though he was on the field for one snap last week), yet he remains a question-mark when it comes to productivity. Next on the depth chart would be Damien Thigpen, but his injury also remains a constant setback. Malcom Jones has shown flashes of brilliance, but merely that, and Paul Perkins is beat up from trying to carry the load. Steven Manfro is injured, and Roosavelt Davis doesn’t seem to have the size for college ball as he stands at 5’3 and 155 lbs – then again, he may make up for size in talent. So maybe Myles Jack will need to carry the ball some more. It seems best that Jack is UCLA’s third down back when they really need the yards, but predominantly plays linebacker. Let’s call that the “Arizona Formula” because that’s what happened when the Wildcats and Bruins faced off. The final thing that comes into play is the strength of the SC wideouts. The breakaway speed, ability to haul in the ball, and rout running set Marquise Lee and Nelson Agholor apart from most of the wideouts in the nation. No DB is going to stop them, so UCLA is going to have to do what they did last year: Slow them down. It’s all anyone can do, anyways. How are they going to do that? Well, pressure Cody Kessler and press cover the wideouts – give the plays less time to develop. The keys to that? Myles Jack and Anthony Barr.
Yes! YOU. THE BRUNS NEED SUPPORT AT THE COLISEUM. Buy nosebleed seats if need be, but do what you can to support your team. I’ll say it, the Coliseum isn’t an inviting place, especially if your dressed like me (and yes, I’m wearing that into Trojan territory) :
Okay, so there is no need to go that hard, but nonetheless, paint the stadium blue (and gold)! We all know it! The Trojans are a rowdy bunch! We need to make them feel as least at home as we can. The team is going to need every man, woman, and child! Get loud when they have the ball, get proud when UCLA has the ball, and most importantly, GO BRUINS!!!!!