They say know your enemy and right now Utah's enemy happens to be UCLA, who they open up against on the road September 2nd. And right now, UCLA might be having some problems leading up to the start of the 2006 season. Over at Bruins Nation there are talks of possible tension in the training camp, including this very telling statement UCLA quarterback Ben Olson gave the LA Times.
It doesn't sound as if he's happy with the way Karl Dorrell and the UCLA coaching staff are handling the current situation. I'll give Olson credit though, he's not making a federal case out of it, but tension within camp only two weeks before the season kicks off can't bode well for a UCLA team stuck in transition.
Outside of the potential damaging squabble between the coaching staff and Olson, he's also struggled during some significant aspects of this year's training camp. But realistically you can't base success off of a player's training camp performance. It's always about game day ability and Olson still may prove to have "it".
UCLA also might have lost stud defensive tackle Kevin Brown for the Utah game after a high ankle sprain he suffered through during practice today. That's a definite blow to an already suspect Bruins defense. This coming only a week after the Bruins found out that their best returning receiver Joe Cowan might miss the entire season due to an injury -- though it's looking more and more likely he'll only be out for a couple of weeks. Of course, that would probably put him out of commission for the Utah game. But don't get too excited just yet Utah fans, UCLA has a pretty solid receiving core and while the loss will definitely hurt, the Bruins should do a good job at plugging in another good receiver.
Look for Utah to blitz the Bruins unmercifully out of the gate in hopes of flustering Ben Olson. If the Utes can get into his head early, shaking his confidence, it may be a long day for the Bruins offense. The Utes quick striking offense might also give the Bruins problems, especially without Kevin Brown and their defensive retooling since the hiring of defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker.