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WFF: Maize’s UCLA Bruins

LC January 13, 2012 0


First off, give us a quick summary of your chise up to this point.
I am just about to start the 2014 season, so the fourth season of this dynasty. The Bruins are ranked 20th and the offense is something special with Leach’s Air Raid and Brett Hundley running the show. Year one, we went 4-8 and Rick Neuheisel was quickly fired in favor of Mike Leach. Year two was full of tight games and I started really getting into some of the story lines. 7-6 that year, winning the bowl game and beating USC.

Then last year we had a great year, my best in any of the dynasties I’ve done. 10-4, losing twice to Oregon, in OT to Nebraska, and upset at Utah. Some of those strong recruiting classes of Neuheisel’s paid off, players like Owmagbe Odighizuwa and Cassius Marsh were big for me. This year, I think we are good but lost so much talent that replacing it all has been difficult. I think 8-4 would be a solid season. Stay tuned…

What made you choose this team?
Basically, I wanted to start a dynasty with a big program that had been struggling lately. I also like to bring in new coaches, so I wanted to pick a school with a coach on the hot seat. Plus, I am a big Mike Leach fan so I wanted to take over a program and have him be the Head Coach. I was between North Carolina, Washington State, and UCLA. I picked the Bruins because they had some really good young players and playing at the Rose Bowl is a plus. Also, getting to play in the new Pac-12 in the winnable South Division was a bonus.

What’s your teams strengths and weaknesses? 
The strength is definitely the passing game. Last year, we had 4,000+ passing yards and 40+ passing touchdowns. But throwing the ball 70% of the time, numbers like that are expected. The offensive line has been awful in just about every season (Allowed 47 sacks last year). On the defense, the defensive line has always been good. Last year, it was great but I think it will be solid this year as well. The linebackers have always been a weak spot, minus a special player here and there (Larimore & Zumwalt come to mind).

Who is your favorite player on your team?
It’s a toss-up, but I will go with Tommy Waller (“Waller the Mauler”). I really like Hundley, but that is the easy answer. Waller is a sophomore that is listed as a full back. I recruited him as a tight end, thinking he would play offensive line. His ratings are nuts, so I just start him all over the field. He is 6’8″ and wears a neck roll and one of those Peyton Hillis-style facemasks. He is fast and strong and can do everything. Using him in the game feels like cheating.

Who has been your best acquisition? (through sign/trade)
Best recruit would be Jason Matthews. He is my best mainly because I fought off Cal. to get him and he was only a low three-star athlete. He has improved big time since coming in and now he is starting at running back. His speed is 95, acceleration at about 90. So he is a weapon and I think could be pretty special this year.

Greatest moment in your chise so far?
Definitely beating USC this past season. They were only 6-5 going into the game, but they have a really talented team. Plus it was the last game of the season, on the road, and we won the Victory Bell the season before. I dominated early, but they started making a comeback in the fourth. They scored and we were up 25-23, but then Hundley threw a pick and they got down to the 30. The defense stepped up and when we got it back, I wanted to make a statement so we marched down and scored to put it away 31-23. It gave us 9 wins, put us in the Championship game and secured a good bowl.

What other chises do you follow on here?
Not sure if all of them is an answer, but I follow all of the active ones in the NCAA section. I closely follow the work of the veterans; guys like BDawg (the legend), TBMiz, St. Francisco, r3dnek, and Toy Soldier. Maybe not vets of the site, but guys I have followed on other sites. Its strange to think I have been doing this for 7 years, but its a hobby that keeps me writing and it is fun to follow guys I’ve been following well before VSN was a site.

If you could improve/change one thing about DSS, what would it be?
I would bring back some of the guys that aren’t on the site or have disappeared from being active on the site. Not one to name names, but it would be great to see some of the old crew from DC and MM that aren’t around right now.

Have any tips for other chisers?
My biggest tip has always been to stick to a formula that works for you. Do not compare your work to others because there is no objective template for what is considered “good.” I would say, don’t try to do too much. This happens a lot, as I am noticing in the NBA section (as a newer member). It is (usually) an 82 game slate, updates of each with pics, a full box score, and write-ups will be difficult to sustain. If you can, it might be HoF worthy after one season! Have fun, do you.

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