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Sunday, October 30, 2011
Upon further review: Neuheisel on Cal

By Peter Yoon

UCLA's rally cry for Saturday's victory over California was "Burn the Boats," a reference to a war story in which generals, invading by boat, told their troops that they had to succeed or die because the boats would be burned and there would be no way to retreat.

The win-or-die mentality worked. UCLA, with injured players all wearing shirts adorned with "BTB" in large block letters, dominated both sides of the ball in a 31-14 victory.

"You had to get the job done or that was it," coach Rick Neuheisel said Sunday during his weekly conference call with reporters. "That was the idea. And that’s where our football team was."

Neuheisel said he came up with the idea to have the injured players wear the shirts. The "BTB" writing was so large that it was conspicuous to anyone watching on television or even in the stands. Lots of guesses circulated about the meaning, such as "Back to Basics" or "Beat the Bears," but it turns out it was far more inspirational than that. Neuheisel hopes it will continue to be.

"I reminded them today that the boats are still burned," he said.

Other highlights from the call: