Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
To put it lightly, the Washington State football team has struggled this season.
Through nine games, the Cougs are winless in conference play, including an embarrassing fourth-quarter collapse at home against Pac-12 doormat Colorado.
But lackluster play isn't the only thing holding Wazzu back, as dissension in the locker room has gotten Mike Leach's team the worst kind of national publicity.
The unrest in Pullman reached a head when WR Marquess Wilson, the Cougars' leading receiver and senior superstar, stormed out of practice and was suspended indefinitely.
Considering UCLA's skyrocketing stock, it would seem that the Bruins are poised for a big win over a troubled Wazzu squad.
But don't let them hear you say it.
Everyone in the UCLA program, from coaches to starters to the scout team, has been saying the right things this week in practice.
In a report from ESPN Los Angeles, Jim Mora and freshman QB Brett Hundley dismissed questions about the Bruins' perceived advantage over WSU.
"That stuff doesn’t matter to us," Mora said. "Once you let temperature, environment and the psyche of another team bother you, you’ve got issues. So we don’t address it. It doesn’t matter to us. It’s not in our orbit. We don’t care. We’re worried about the UCLA Bruins."
Quarterback Brett Hundley said,"We know that we have to come in to every game and play it like every team is the same. The way I like to say it is, 'We don’t play the record, we play the team.' So we have to come out and play our game no matter who we are playing against."
While every team knows how to employ coach-speak to advantage, it looks like UCLA actually believes its own message.
If UCLA shows up to play in Pullman, the game shouldn't be close.
But if the Bruins get caught sleeping like they did in Berkeley, the Cougs' offense will be ready to light it up. The WSU passing attack ranks No. 2 in the conference and No. 11 in the country.