Bear Republic Podcast Behind Enemy Lines: Cal vs. UCLA

In this pocket edition of the Bear Republic Podcast, David Woods joins us to talk about the Bruins, Myles Jack, injuries on both sides of the ball and quarterback Josh Rosen.

California and UCLA face off on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on ESPN, and we've got BruinReportOnline beat writer David Woods on air with us for about 12 minutes to break down the Bruins ahead of the primetime Pac-12 match-up.

  • Injuries have plagued UCLA, with linebacker Myles Jack, defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes and cornerback Fabian Moreau out for the season, but that's not all. The Bruins are dealing with two key injuries on the offensive line, as well, in tackle Conor McDermott and guard Alex Redmond. How bad are those guys hurt, and will they play? 
  • Agatinst Stanford, defensive end Deon Hollins also suffered a knee injury, which puts a kink in the Bruins' pass rushing ability.
  • Nate Starks is likely out for the week with a head injury.
  • How competent is Kolton Miller?
  • The Bruins are unranked (having dropped out after a 56-35 loss to Stanford), and have lost two in a row, but are still 4.5-point favorites over the Bears. How has the absence of Jack affected the team, and how much has his absence contributed to the two losses? "It's been huge," Woods says. Hear why Jack was a "Swiss Army knife" at 2:50 into the podcast.
  • With Jared Goff looking to atone for those five picks against Utah, he's got two Los Angeles natives on the outside in Kenny Lawler and Bryce Treggs.
  • How similar does Josh Rosen look to a young Goff? Wel, he's certainly had to throw the ball a lot lately. Check out the start of that discussion at the 4:00 mark.
  • Are Rosen's numbers indicative of how good he really is?
  • Woods says that UCLA needs to be balanced, and that means more Paul Perkins at 5:20.
  • Can UCLA be too predictable with a simple offense? Woods brings up that querry at 5:30.
  • Stanford has been quite predictable all year, but last Thursday was another story. Did that catch the Bruins off balance? Find out at 6:06.
  • Was the Stanford game UCLA's worst defensive performance in Jim Mora's tenure?
  • At 7:50, we talk about the Bruins playing two straight Thursdays, and Mora's saltiness on that topic. This is the most pressure he's been under in Westwood. Is it finally starting to get to him?
  • "This team is in a much more relaxed place than they've been in a few weeks," Woods says at 9:30. Why is that?
  • "Cal's significantly better than they were last year," Woods says.
  • Cal's relative weakness up front on the offensive line is a target for the Bruins, but can the UCLA defense do enough? It's prediction time in the final minute.

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