It was the season opener — his first game back in college football — and Rick Neuheisel’s team had fallen behind Tennessee at halftime.
The UCLA coach proceeded to give an unusual locker room speech. He mentioned a horseshoe. And the vagaries of chance.
“Don’t worry,” he told his players. “This is the Rose Bowl — I’m lucky here.”
The Bruins came back to win in overtime that night and, despite several home losses since, Neuheisel continues to believe he is charmed in the Arroyo Seco. Like he might have enough magic in his pocket to upset fifth-ranked USC on Saturday.