SacreBlue –UCLA loses in Overtime to lowly Monmouth in Basketball, then loses in the last 3 seconds to underdog Washington State in Football, while u$c Football barely escapes Colorado with a win after trailing by 11 in the second half; Ordinarily I would call this triple-whammy a “tragedy,” but not this weekend
This is a good moment to realize that Sports don’t matter. Compared to what happened in Paris on Friday, nothing that happened to UCLA this weekend even registers on the importance meter. Now THAT BEING SAID…
It was the weekend from Hell for Bruin fans. On Friday night, the UCLA Basketball team made their season debut, and choked away a 13-point second half lead against 14-point underdog Monmouth. The Bruins allowed the Hawks to make SIXTEEN Steals on their way to a stunning upset, as UCLA also choked away a 5-point lead IN Overtime. Three different Bruins missed shots that could have saved the game in crunch time, including Bryce Alford, who hit consecutive Threes to give UCLA a chance, but then forced a heavily-guarded AIRBALL. Then Alex Olesinski and Aaron Holiday missed wide open shots that could have averted the upset. The only saving grace for the team is that they were missing starting Power Forward Gyorgy Goldman due to an injury, and were also missing Forward Jonah Bolden, due to a 1-game suspension. So maybe, just maybe, the Bruins aren’t as bad as they looked on Friday.
Friday night saw another result that caused discomfort for UCLA fans. Colorado had a 17-6 lead against the trojans before u$c woke up and scored 21 straight. But the Buffs didn’t quit. They cut the deficit to 3, and had the ball at the end with a good chance to tie or win. But they were down to a back-up QB, who overthrew an open Receiver on the last gasp that could have knocked off Southern Cal. To make matters worse, Utah lost on Saturday to Arizona, so now sc controls their own destiny in the Pac-12. But… so does UCLA, even after Saturday’s depressing loss.
Despite a great game by Josh Rosen (33/57 for 340 yards plus a 37-yard TD run), the Bruins could not hold on against WSU. Even a career night from Wide Receiver Jordan Payton (14/152) and another stellar performance from Paul Perkins (20/121) wasn’t enough. In fact, UCLA gained 554 yards. But the UCLA Defense gave up 388 Passing Yards, and the Offense lost 2 Fumbles. UCLA also had a punt blocked, and committed 13 penalties for 75 yards.
The Bruins led at Halftime 16-14, thanks to a TD run by Nate Starks and 3 Field Goals by Ka’imi Fairbairn. His first FG broke Bruin John Lee’s Pac-12 All-Time Record for Points Scored. And with a Halftime lead, the Bruins under Jim Mora were 31-0… until this game. In the third quarter, WSU took a 24-16 lead. Another FG cut it to 24-19. In the 4th quarter, WSU was driving with that 5-point lead, looking like they were going to put the game away, since the Defense couldn’t stop them from moving the chains. But with 3:13 left, Jaleel Wadood made an incredible diving Interception in the end zone to give the Bruins life.
Rosen then drove the Bruins down the field, and with 1:09 left, scrambled 37 yards, diving into the end zone to give the Bruins the lead. He then connected with Thomas Duarte on a 2-point conversion to put the Bruins up 27-24. The crowd went crazy, but that craziness didn’t last long. WSU QB Luke Falk, a former walk-on who leads the entire Nation in Passing, dissected the tired, depleted Bruin D, drove the Cougars down the field, and with 3 seconds left, threw a 21-yard TD pass to win the game, 31-27. The Bruins’ Ishmael Adams committed Pass Interference on the play, but it was completed anyway.
The Bruins are now 7-3, and 4-3 in the Pac-12. But, if they beat Utah and sc, the Bruins would still win the South. Of course, if the Defense plays like they did on Saturday, they probably won’t beat the Utes or troy. And the offense needs to clean up the Turnovers and Penalties, especially all the False Starts.
It certainly doesn’t look promising, but if Arizona can beat Utah, and if Colorado can come that close to beating sc, then anything can happen. Especially with Rosen developing like he is. Four straight games with no Interceptions, and now, using his legs to make clutch plays.
Nothing in life is worse than losing to sc… Or at least I thought that, until I was paralyzed with fear on Friday, waiting to hear from my dear friend Camille, who lives in Paris. You have to keep perspective. The Bruins seem to get it — Some of the Seniors honored their fallen teammate Nick Pasquale by wearing his name (instead of their own) on their jerseys. Losing a game sucks — Losing a loved one is so much worse.
So, Saturday was a November, late night game, so it was dark, and my photos are grainy, blurry, and utterly disappointing. My camera’s flash takes 10 seconds to recharge, so I couldn’t get the Cheer shots I wanted. My timing has been good lately, but on this night, I just had to take whatever I could get, just clicking as soon as the flash was ready. So I apologize for the following shots — They really don’t do justice to these beautiful girls. But I did the best I could. I hope you can enjoy them anyway.