Oregon State Shags UCLA, Ending The Magic Carpet Ride — Beavers weave a big upset, staining the Bruins’ dream season with a 27-20 munching – through solid scouting – as Oregon State looks prepared for everything UCLA shoots at them
In UCLA’s first three games — all victories — their Offense looked innovative and creative, exposing out-of-place defensive players, and taking advantage of ill-prepared opponents. Many many times, Receivers caught balls with plenty of room in front of them, and Runners had lanes to collect big chunks of yards. But in Saturday’s 27-20 loss to Oregon State — who had two weeks to prepare for the Bruins — there was never any place for the ballcarriers to go.
So many times, the Bruin pass-catchers found themselves in immediate traffic, as if the Defense knew exactly what was coming and how to stop it. UCLA Quarterback Brett Hundley helped the Beavers’ cause with lots off off-target throws — usually behind his target — but even when he hit his man on the bread-and-butter short passes, they didn’t fool anyone, and they didn’t turn into big gains. Hundley still managed to pass for well over 300 yards again, but most of that was over the top, to Shaquelle Evans, who had a career game. Still waiting for the other starting WR to have a game like that, as Jerry Johnson has yet to live up to his Spring Practice hype. One possible explanation: OSU’s best cover man was assigned to Johnson, so that left Evans defended by a lesser player?
Speaking of weak coverage, Sheldon Price did not repeat his stellar performance from last week. Price — and Aaron Hester – both seemed to be allowing big cushions, which gave the Beaver QB big windows to throw in. One slant went for a 75-yard TD, and one bomb over Price gave OSU another big 7 points. Safety Stan McKay got a pick and made at least one other great play, Safety Andrew Abbott seemed to contribute, and Linebacker Anthony Barr delivered another impressive performance, but overall, the Defense could not get enough stops to get the W.
UCLA was down 17-3 late in the First Half, when a Hundley-to-Evans bomb cut the lead to 7. OSU went up 24-10, and UCLA came back to cut it to 7 again. Then OSU added a Field Goal to go up 10. UCLA had a chance in the middle of the 4th to cut it to 7 again, but Ka’imi Fairbairn missed a Field Goal. UCLA got the ball back and Fairbairn made his second try, again cutting the lead to 7, but by then it was too late. The Bruins had to try an Onside Kick, and when it failed, the game was virtually over. UCLA got the ball back for one last, desperate attempt, and they tried a trick play with a long backwards pass across the field, but OSU sniffed it out and the game – and the winning streak — was over.
The main reason OSU was able to pull off the upset had to be their scouting and preparation, and their ability to stop Jonathan Franklin. Without an effective running game, the Bruin Offense could not find their rhythm. A tip of the cap to OSU Coach Mike Riley, for putting together a game plan to stop the Bruins’ strengths (Running Backs and Swing Passes), and capitalize on their weaknesses (Cornerbacks).
I am extremely limited by time constraints tonight, so that’s it for the truncated recap. No time for stats. More important to upload 50 photos from the Game and Pre-Game Cheerleader Rally. Sorry, no time for captions either, but most of these speak for themselves. And as you can see, the UCLA Spirit Squad HAS NO WEAKNESSES.
Check out these 50 shots, and come back next week for about EIGHTY MORE SHOTS from the event.