No Gaff-ing Matter — Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney powers for 171 yards Rushing and 2 TD’s, and Bruins’ cavalcade of gaffes include several stupid and costly penalties and two Interceptions, including the game clincher where the Receiver fell down, in a deflating 24-10 defeat
To beat an angry Cardinal team IN Stanford, the Bruins needed to play a complete game. They didn’t come close. The prolific Offense got shut out in the First Half, the Defense gave up 171 yards on the Ground to one guy, and the False Start and Snap Infraction Penalties were too much to overcome.
QB Brett Hundley was off-target all day, and the Bruins couldn’t get any momentum in the running game, so the stout Stanford Defense was able to control the game. And even with everything going wrong, the Bruins were still very much alive late in the game. Despite a miracle one-handed Touchdown catch for Stanford, UCLA still had the ball with 3 minutes left, down by only 7 points. But on the crucial, game-turning play, Hundley threw to Thomas Duarte, who slipped down, allowing an Interception, and that was all she wrote. Stanford added a late 1-yard TD run — by game MVP Tyler Gaffney — to make the final score 24-10.
With it being anyone’s ballgame in the final 3 minutes, you have to wonder how the Bruins would have fared if they’d had their leading Rusher Jordon James OR their leading Tackler Eric Kendricks, who was taken to the hospital for a possible kidney injury in the middle of the game. But Stanford had injuries too, including to their Field Goal Kicker. His back-up missed a 46-yarder late, that kept the Bruins breathing, but UCLA couldn’t mount a drive in either of two series, so now they head to Oregon saddled with a 1-game losing streak. After today’s performance, UCLA should be 14 or 21-point Underdogs when they face the Ducks. It will be up to Coach Mora to keep this team from collapsing after this disappointing loss. And even then, Oregon may just be unstoppable.
The Bruins’ Top Ten Ranking is now a thing of the past, but a successful season is still possible. They will have to improve in several areas — especially discipline — before beating SC and earning a quality Bowl berth — and those are the two MANDATORY metrics needed, to lay claim to anything remotely resembling “success.”