The last time the UCLA Bruins traveled to Austin, they crushed the Texas Longhorns 66-3. But, that was 1997, and a lot has happened since then. At Bruins Nation, Nestor reflects on that game and the direction of the UCLA football program in the last 13 years:
So with that gloomy background in context it is getting difficult to get excited for Saturday. One hand I fully appreciate it is unrealistic at this point to expect UCLA to pull out a victory against what will assuredly be a supremely confident but fired up Texas team, which is going to feed off an emotional crowd. On the other hand, even if the Bruins play a tough, hard fought game, it is going to be difficult to get excited over some kind of moral victory. Of course, if the Bruins pull of a miracle somehow in Austin tomorrow, then the question is going to be whether they will be able to follow that up with consistent success.
Of course all of this needs to be balanced out with the perspective that the team - like it or not -is still going through a rebuilding mode thanks to the completely shattered talent pool in the trenches at the QB position when CRN inherited this program. No matter what happens tomorrow, it will be important not to lose the perspective that we are not going to know the ultimate results of this rebuilding experiment under Neuheisel for at least two more years.
As for the 2010 game, running back Jonathan Franklin, who rushed for a career-high 158 yards last week, is expected to start tomorrow, writes Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times. Foster also writes that tackle Mike Harris is expected to start in place of Micah Kia, who is nursing an ankle injury.
The Bruins have won three of their last six games against top 10 teams, dating back to 2006:
- December 2, 2006: UCLA 13, No.2 USC 9
- October 20, 2007: UCLA 30, No. 21 California 21
- November 10, 2007: No. 9 Arizona St 24, UCLA 20
- Nocember 24, 2007: UCLA 16, No. 9 Oregon 0
- December 1, 2007: No. 8 USC 24, UCLA 7
- December 6, 2008: No. 5 USC 28, UCLA 7
UCLA coaches and staff will wear commemorative "Coaches to Cure MD" patches to help raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research.
Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999