Blame It On Brehaut, Blame It On The Bellboy, Blame it on Tunney, Sheller, Chow, Bullough, Neuheisel, and anyone else not wearing black
All you idiots who thought that Kevin Prince was the problem, please raise your hands. Now put them down, and write in, admitting that you were wrong.
A couple of months ago, some UCLA fans were clamoring for the demotion of QB Kevin Prince, in favor of Richard Brehaut. They even accused the Coaching staff of having an unfair vendetta against anyone not named Prince. Some insisted that Brehaut was superior, and one even called for third-stringer Darius Bell to be given a chance. Then, after Prince went down, the Coaches had no choice but to play Brehaut, who barely managed to eke out a win over the horrible Washington State Cougars. That victory had the Brehaut camp claiming victory, saying that Brehaut had now proven to be better. And of course, they accused the Coaches of being morons for holding back the team with their Prince fetish. I hope those fans were watching on Thursday night, when Brehaut put forth a Crafty effort against the Washington Huskies, that basically destroyed the Bruins’ chances of reaching a Bowl game this season.
Brehaut missed almost every receiver he targeted, throwing one Interception, and two more wounded quails that SHOULD have been Intercepted. Several of his misses were on 3rd Downs, with his Receivers WIDE open. But the passes sailed over the heads of the Receivers, bringing on 4th Downs, then bringing on a Nationally-televised tongue-lashing from Coach Neuheisel on the sidelines, and finally bringing on the 3rd-string Quarterback, much to the delight of the brainless fan on Bruin Zone who has been pimping Bell — a JC transfer — for the last month or so.
Of course Bell, playing in his first real game ever, was horrible. He didn’t gain a single yard through the air in his two series, missing a wide open Receiver on a huge play (when the Bruins still trailed only 10-7), and finally throwing a horrible Interception. Bell was immediately benched, giving way to Clayton Tunney, who showed exactly why he was the 5th-string QB on the depth chart before the season began. You know you’re in trouble when fans are waxing nostalgically about Kevin Craft.
The atrocious QB play allowed the Bruins’ 7-0 lead to turn into a humiliating, primetime 24-7 loss on ESPN, for the whole Country to laugh at. Even master recruiter Neuheisel will have trouble recovering from this debacle. Losing to #1 Oregon by 50 is one thing, but failing to score more than one time against the Nation’s worst Defense is something entirely different. How could you even blame top recruit Brett Hundley if he decommitted? Of course, there is no other school in the Nation where he would have a better chance of Starting every game as a true Freshman.
Sadly for UCLA, the Quarterbacking on Thursday was not the only embarrassing aspect of the game. Offensive Lineman Sean Sheller incurred THREE different major penalties in the Second Half, all by himself. In fact, the Bruins suffered more lost yardage in penalties in the 2nd half, than they amassed in Total Offense. After their one TD drive — a 92-yard drive on their second possession of the game that included only two passes and culminated with a 31-yard Jonathan Franklin TD with beautiful blocking all the way — they completely melted down. They couldn’t even run against a team that can’t tackle a tackling dummy.
The Defense held Washington to 7 Points in the 1st half, but as the Offense continued to choke, the Defense pretty much gave up, missing more tackles than even the Huskies normally do. They never got to QB Jake Locker, and they crumbled against the run, allowing both Husky RB’s to have career days. The D-Line was shredded to create huge holes, and the rest of the team missed every first attempt at the tackle.
There is no excuse for this sham. Neuheisel and Chow will be apologizing all week, but you shouldn’t accept it. They truly did not earn their paychecks this week, and nothing they did to “adjust” worked.
UCLA could still become Bowl-eligible, by winning next week at Arizona State, and then beating sc at the Rose Bowl on December 4th. But seriously, if you think that is going to happen, you really haven’t been paying attention. The trojans should be favored by 40 points… and I would GIVE those points. If the whole team just QUIT right now, I wouldn’t be surprised. I think I’d rather forfeit than see what is likely to occur.
That being said, do you think I’m going to sell my tickets? Hell no. I haven’t missed a home game in 40 years, and I’m not going to start now, no matter how hopeless things appear. In 2006, I felt exactly the same way. I didn’t think UCLA had a chance in Hell of beating them. I even talked a guy out of making a bet that cost him $7000. Then came “13-9.” So I’m sorry to be so negative and pessimistic, but what the hell else can I write after what happened on Thursday night? Should I buy the company line that Brehaut was removed due to a head injury? Should I blame his piss-poor performance on the freezing wind, which was bad enough to make Kai Forbath badly miss a 44-yard Field Goal? Should I accept that Washington’s “Black out” Black jerseys, fans all wearing black, and emotion of Senior Day, was too much to overcome? Should I try to be upbeat and supportive? I don’t think so. Neuheisel understands how mad the fans are, and he doesn’t blame them at all. So yeah, I’m pissed, and wouldn’t protest if they totally “clean house” tomorrow morning. But regardless of what happens, I’m still a Bruin, I’m still a Bruin fan, and I will be in my seat at the Rose Bowl on December 4th, come Hell or high water, rooting the best I can, until that game is totally out of reach… with 7 minutes left in the 1st quarter, probably.
[T-H’s Note: It appears that Brehaut was pulled due to memory loss effects indicating a concussion. The reason why I was skeptical originally is that he played another series after the hit. BUT… it was only then that the Coaching staff realized that he was concussed… which doesn’t make the medical staff look too on the ball, but certainly explains why Bell was inserted. I thought that it was Brehaut’s horrendous performance that mandated the change, but the concussion took away any choice that Neuheisel had.]