What a Drag — UCLA takes an offramp from the Freeway to the Playoffs, as the Offense sputters early, the Defense breaks down late, and the Special Teams idle throughout (except for Ka’imi Fairbairn’s career-long 53-yard Field Goal), leading to Arizona State pulling away 29-10 after three quarters, then surviving a furious comeback, and pulling away again, 38-23
The Bruins’ dreams are gone. Hopes of a National Championship are dust in the wind, after a stunning HOME defeat at the hands of 13-point underdog 2-2 Arizona State. For the fifth time in a row, the visiting team has won in this series, as this match-up against the Sun Devils proved to be the trap game that some people feared. Just like last year, when the undefeated Bruins choked at Home against Utah, this time it was ASU to ruin a promising season.
It’s not that a team can’t overcome one loss and get back into National Title contention; It’s more about being exposed as a pretender. Two more Defensive contributors were missing on Saturday evening, as Marcus Rios and Jayon Brown joined Myles Jack, Fabian Moreau, and Eddie Vanderdoes on the inactive list, forcing Randall Goforth to move from Safety to Cornerback, and forcing the Bruins to lose depth, and rely on more inexperienced players. With all these problems, the Bruin Defense should have been the weakest link of the team, but in the early stages of the game, that was NOT the case.
In the first quarter, both defenses dominated play. There were 7 punts in the first 12 minutes, and no one scored until UCLA QB Josh Rosen grounded the ball in the end zone, giving the Devils 2 points. The Bruin Offense was manhandled at the line of scrimmage. Paul Perkins couldn’t find any running room, and Rosen was pressured on most pass plays. The Bruins mustered only 7 yards rushing in the first half.
After a last-second 53-yard Field Goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn — his career best — it was 15-10 ASU at the Half, but Continue Reading »