Hey guys, just wanted to wish you good luck and no injuries tonight.
I read the 3 part preview and have a few comments...
1) Overall a very strong effort by the writer. I've been a paying member of the UCLA site for almost 15 years and have read a lot Bruin previews written on other sites.... You guys have a top 5-10% for sure. Seeing as you guys are a Texas school I am not surprised.
2) One slight quibble I would have with the UCLA breakdown would be that the writer stated a number of times that Franklin does not break tackles. This would have been accurate for his first 3 years, but I beg to differ WRT this year. I years past Franklin would often seem to be a step away from breaking a long run when he would be tripped up by a hand on the ankle.... No more. UCLA signed Sal Alosi as it's new S&C coach this year and he is a miracle worker. Watch for Franklin to bounce off hits, plant his hand on the ground and burst forward for 5-10 additional yards or more. Keeping his feet has been a revelation this year and he is only 230 yards short of reclaiming the D1 rushing lead. He has already set the UCLA Career rushing mark as well as UCLA's single season record.
3) My key matchup of the game would be the Baylor OL Vs the UCLA DL. Let me start by saying I don't know much at all about the Baylor OL and hope to get some good feedback. As for the UCLA DL, once again I will have to credit a great deal to S&C coach Sal Alosi and also new DL coach Angus McClure. For 3-4 years (at least) UCLA has had a host of All Airport DLmen. Guys that for the most part were highly recruited and looked like they should be monsters but come game time seemed to lack technique, strength and quite frankly heart. Not so with the new coaching staff. These Bruins are anything but soft. SR DE Datone Jones is a 6'5 275 lbs wrecking machine. Guy plays with a motor and really lays a pop on the ball carrier given a chance. JR DE Cashius Marsh is 6'4 290 lbs and very quick and active. JR NT Sealii Epenesa is a solid 6'2 320 lbs that has done a very nice job at controlling the middle of the line. Last but not least is JR DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (say that name 5 times fast, or even once slowly LOL) who is 6'5 280 lbs of chiseled muscle (guy looks like the Predator). Owa has always looked the part, but this year he is finally living up to the hype. He would have easily started on any of the UCLA DL's in the last 5 years, which tells you a lot about how well the starting DE's are playing this year. I think of myself as a fairly realistic fan and I would see 3 of the 4 (and maybe all 4) playing on Sundays in the NFL.
So can some break down the Baylor OL for me?
Thanks and here's to an injury free game.