Colorado coach Jon Embree predicted the Buffs would end their 22-game road losing streak this week at UCLA in the euphoria of a victory on senior day last week. Quarterback Tyler Hansen took it a step further and guaranteed it.

Neither man and nobody else in the program felt any regret Tuesday in providing the Bruins and coach Rick Neuheisel with bulletin board material.


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"It does not change how teams are going to play," Embree said. "Rick Neuheisel wants to beat Jon Embree's behind, in anything we do, and it goes all the way back to noon hoops when he was here as an assistant. So I don't expect it to change. ... There is not a coach in America that doesn't go into a game thinking his team is going to go win.

"So whether it's said in the locker room, whether it's said publicly, to me it doesn't change anything."

Embree, whose oldest son, Taylor, is a senior wide receiver at UCLA, assured reporters that his son has made his teammates and coaches aware of his father's comments. Embree said his son is also likely guaranteeing victory inside the UCLA locker room.

The Bruins have more riding on Saturday's game to be sure.

They can become bowl eligible with a win and also keep alive their hopes of winning the South Division and playing in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship game next month, likely at Oregon.

Predictions for victory from anyone in the Colorado program are bold considering the program's extended struggles to win on the road.

Colorado's road losing streak is easily the longest in the Football Bowl Subdivision and dates back to Oct. 27, 2007 at Texas Tech.

The Buffs have lost 23 consecutive games played outside the state since that day, including the 2007 Independence Bowl against Alabama.

There are almost as many UCLA Bruins who know what it's like to go on the road and win as members of the Colorado football team as there are Buffs who have had the experience. UCLA seniors Kai Maiava and Josh Smith both played for CU as true freshman in that win at Texas Tech. They transferred to Westwood later in their careers.

Ryan Miller and Brian Lockridge are the only current Buffs who played in the program's last road victory, but several other players were on the roster then.

Coach Jon Embree smiles during his weekly press conference at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado November 15, 2011.  CAMERA/Mark Leffingwell
Coach Jon Embree smiles during his weekly press conference at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado November 15, 2011. CAMERA/Mark Leffingwell ( MARK LEFFINGWELL )

Despite the lack of success the Buffs have experienced on the road this season, Embree said he believes the Buffs are improving down the stretch of the season, which feeds his confidence that the Buffs can end the streak this week.

There might be a little psychology behind Embree's prediction as well.

"I just believe part of reaching success and attaining some things, you have to say it," Embree said. "If you want to win a championship, you have to say, 'I expect us to win a championship.' And then you got to go do it.

"I think every team that has done that and has that success, that's what they've done. You don't just sit there and try to sneak up and then get in after the fact."

Embree said former CU coach Bill McCartney had the same approach. He said Neuheisel also has embraces that philosophy.

"You have to expect that you're going to win," Embree said. "Every time you go out there and compete in something, as corny as it sounds, that's the first step in being able to win is believing that you can."

Hansen grew up rooting for UCLA and attending games in the Rose Bowl. He is as excited for this game as he has been for just about any game in his career.

"We've talked about this game before and the importance of playing at the Rose Bowl and playing against UCLA and playing these type of teams, and the importance of the road losing streak and getting it over with," Hansen said. "I think this is kind of the same mentality as going into senior day. It's a huge game for us and everyone has got to be up for this game."

Was it wise for Hansen to guarantee a victory?

"I don't know," Hansen said with a smile. "Ask me on Sunday."