Leading up to their game against Arizona State on September 24th, several members of the USC Trojans were asked about facing feared Sun Devil linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
They didn't hold their tongues.
"I'll drill him," offensive tackle Matt Kalil said.
Quarterback Matt Barkley referred to Burfict as a "dirty player"--a tactic that drew a reprimand from the Pac-12. Burfict intercepted Barkley at a key point of ASU's 43-22 win over the Trojans.
Now, it's a UCLA Bruin who's taking aim at Burfict days before the two teams meet at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
"He's another guy," junior tight end Joseph Fauria said. "I played him in high school, I don't think he's anything special at all."
Fauria did go on to say, "I'm not going to knock him, he's a great player."
So, which is it?
The timing is interesting if nothing else. Burfict played arguably his best game of the season last Saturday in a win over Colorado, registering 9 total tackles. Burfict was also in on three of four tackles during a third quarter goal line stand.
In case you're wondering, Fauria is the Bruins' 2nd- leading receiver on the year, catching 16 balls for 231 yards and four touchdowns.