No hallucination — Navy-clad UCLA scores 66 points to acid-wash Arizona, and Oregon puts up 62 to Beat SC
Psychedelic Payback in Pasadena, and at the Coliseum too. Last year, the Bruins went to Arizona, and got beat so badly that the Coach was as good as fired. The Wildcats exploded out of the gate that night, taking a 42-7 lead into the locker room at Halftime, and won easily, 48-12. Apparently, the 2012 Bruins REMEMBERED that beating, and decided to do something about it.
Not only did the Bruins avenge that humiliating loss, but they actually out did it in every way. On Saturday night at the Rose Bowl, the Bruins led at the Half 42-3, and kept the accelerator down, galloping to a 66-10 triumph. It was by far the best performance by the Bruins since Jim Mora took over, and probably since the Bruins upset Troy in 2006. And it was the Bruins’ best 1st half in AGES. Not only did the Offense dominate on the ground and through the air, but the Bruin Defense also controlled the line of scrimmage, forcing 3-and-outs repeatedly until the game was already in hand.
The UCLA Offense rolled behind Jonathan Franklin’s 162 yards Rushing and 2 Touchdowns. The O-Line was opening holes the size of Matt Barkley’s ego, and whenever a Wildcat DID show up in his path, Franklin either faked him out or ran right over him. The first defender virtually never brought Franklin down. Jonathan’s stellar effort was easily enough for him to become UCLA’s All-Time leading Rusher, breaking Gaston Green’s 25-year old mark. Franklin broke the record on a 37-yard TD run that culminated the game’s very first drive (The Bruins won the toss, and instead of deferring to the 2nd Half, they chose to RECEIVE). And surprisingly, Mora called a Time Out before the PAT, just so the Bruins and the Crowd could celebrate and savor the historical, record-setting moment.
From that moment on, the Bruins were playing on an emotional high, which was accentuated by the listless Wildcats, whose heads and hearts were never in the game. This was an absolutely textbook example of a team having a psychological LETDOWN, after their emotional comeback victory over u$c last week. The Bruins’ Offensive domination just snowballed on the Cats, and before they knew what hit them, the game was out of reach… before Halftime.
Jonathan Franklin was impressive, but he wasn’t a one-man show. As usual, Quarterback Brett Hundley was equally dazzling, throwing for 3 Touchdowns and 288 yards. These two guys are the keys to the Bruins’ success, along with Mora and his Coaching staff, who have rejuvenated this team, revitalized a stagnant Offensive gameplan, and totally changed the culture of the Program. But Mora did one thing wrong on Saturday, that could have cost him EVERYTHING. Late in the 3rd Quarter, with his Bruins LEADING BY SIX TOUCHDOWNS, Mora still had Hundley and Franklin in the game. WHY IN THE WORLD would you risk injury to these indispensible all-stars, with a game completely in the bag?? Stud Tight End Joseph Fauria was also still in, and all three players found themselves in harm’s way during that drive. They all continued to play into the 4th Quarter — at least TWO SERIES longer than they should have. If any of them had been lost to injury prior to the SC game, Mora would have seriously regretted it… because after the last two weeks, it looks like the Bruins might finally have a chance to Beat SC, but that’s only if they don’t lose a crucial component to injury.
UCLA is now 7-2, they have won three in a row, and are about to move up from their #25 ranking. Meanwhile, u$c is now 6-3, and has lost two in a row, including one to this Arizona team that UCLA just destroyed. SC is about to fall from their #18 ranking, possibly below UCLA. Some people think that UCLA will be favored to Beat SC in two weeks, since the game is in the Rose Bowl. The trojans were run ragged by Oregon on Saturday, giving up a record 62 points in the 62-51, payback-for-last-year loss. It’s hard to believe that UCLA is suddenly on par with the Preseason #1 team. I am still skeptical that UCLA can contain the trojan Offense. I expect a shootout, and I don’t expect a happy ending. That being said, that’s exactly what I was expecting for the Bruins against Arizona too. But I doubt that the trojans will experience a letdown in the Rivalry Game. However, if the Bruins elect to wear their dark blue uniforms again, and elect to receive the Opening Kickoff, maybe the magic can continue.
Speaking of magic, it was UCLA’s Homecoming on Saturday, so some former Cheerleaders were in the house. I saw and talked briefly with Kara and Kristle, who both looked every bit as attractive as they were when they were part of the World Class Squad. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of them, but I did get a few hundred of the current UCLA Spirit Squad, and a few of the Football players in their special “L.A. Nights” uniforms, beating the Hell out of Arizona. Here are 40 game and Cheer photos for you to enjoy, including a couple from a delightful routine of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” that they performed at Halftime, Swing Dancing in old-fashioned dresses, with WWII-style military men partners. It was part of the night’s tribute to the Armed Forces. Very cool.