Despite UCLA’s impotent Offense, the Bruins were Stayin’ Alive in the 4th Quarter, until their Defense finally weakened, allowing Allen Bradford and sc to Boogie; Will this be the end of Rick Neuheisel and all his Jive-Talking?
When you complete only 1 pass downfield in two hours, against the worst Pass Defense in the Country, there is something wrong. Blame it on the Coach, the Coordinator, or the Quarterback — It doesn’t matter which — But blame has to be laid, and changes have to be made.
The UCLA Offense was beyond pathetic on Saturday night, as the Bruins lost badly to a horrible u$c team 28-14. It was 28-7 until the final minute, when the Bruins scored a meaningless, garbage-time TD. Actually, it followed a trojan TD that was also meaningless. The game was over when it was 21-7, and Taylor Embree dropped a 4th down pass in the end zone with 4:25 left. That drop sent droves of Bruin fans to the exit tunnels, and who could blame them? And who could blame the Defense for mailing it in on the next drive, when they allowed Allen Bradford to plow through the middle for a 73-yard Touchdown? It’s not like they didn’t carry the Bruins into the 4th Quarter with a chance to win the game. The Defense had allowed only 7 Points before the 4th Quarter — It was a Jonathan Franklin fumble returned for a TD that accounted for the other half of sc’s early points. After Embree’s drop, the Bruin Defense must have been frustrated that they weren’t getting any help from their Offense.
Richard Brehaut failed to build on his big day at ASU, missing targets all day, and never finding his groove until the game was already decided. Admittedly, the Bruin Line never gave him enough time to do anything, but even with that in mind, Brehaut still made fans long for the good old days of Kevin Prince. The only successful pass play before garbage time was a 2-yard pass to Nelson Rosario that he broke for a 42-yard gain. Brehaut missed badly on a long pass to an open Randall Carroll, and threw a bad Interception on another long fly pattern. He also made a horrible pitch that was recovered by sc, and hit about three or four trojan defenders with passes that SHOULD have been Intercepted, and a couple of those would have been Pick Sixes.
The play calling didn’t help either. Norm Chow, in his last game for UCLA (probably), was unimaginative and vanilla, unveiling no new wrinkles for the big Rivalry game. There wasn’t a single decent drive until the game was essentially over. The only score that mattered came on a 59-yard TD run by Jonathan Franklin, who later made up for it with another one of his trademarked game-changing fumbles. The game was tied 7-7 with a few minutes left in the 1st Half, with the Bruins already in range for a Kai Forbath Field Goal. So of course, Chow and Neuheisel were playing it safe, just hoping to get three and take a lead into the locker room. So they handed off to Franklin, who coughed it up to Malcolm Smith, giving sc a 14-7 lead at the break.
The Bruins kept the margin at seven, thanks to stopping sc on 3 of 4 4th down attempts in the game, until Matt Barkley hit Bradford on a short screen that Bradford took down the sidelines for a 47-yard score. Bradford was obviously the game MVP, ending up with 212 yards rushing including the 73-yard TD, but it was his TD reception early in the 4th that really put the Bruins up against it. They finally started to move the ball, against a less-aggressive Defense, but then Embree’s drop ended the Bruins’ hopes.
The UCLA Defense was not the villain, but they weren’t exactly heroes either. The trojans completely dominated both sides of the ball for the first ten minutes of the game, until Franklin’s TD shocked the whole Rose Bowl. But instead of riding that momentum, the Bruin D failed to pressure gimpy Barkley, who seemed to have an eternity to throw the ball. The Bruins did get two Picks — One by Tony Dye, and one by Aaron Hester, who had fallen and was on the ground when he nimbly grabbed a bad Barkley pass. But the Bruin Offense couldn’t capitalize, so the Bruins lost. Where was the flea flicker? Where were any clever plays? Misdirection? How about a few Screens to ease the pressure on Brehaut? And most importantly, why couldn’t Brehaut complete any passes downfield?
I like Rick Neuheisel, and I like Norm Chow. Both seem like nice guys, with lots of Football knowledge. But as a team, they are not showing any signs of life. I know that they had to deal with injuries, but the results were worse than the injuries can justify… and that’s for 3 years running. Seeing how much Stanford has improved in such a short time, and San Diego State, and a few other schools, I can understand why fans have lost patience with this regime. And if Rick DOES get to return, I think every single Bruin fan in existence will agree: 2011 is his all-or-nothing, do-or-die, LAST F-ING CHANCE, with NO excuses whatsoever. Either they win 8 games and go to a Bowl, or it’s Out with the Neu, no questions asked.
Now here are 30 photos from the game and the pre-game festivities. By the way, the trojans were disgusting scumbags, who have no idea how to win with dignity or class, and who don’t deserve to be treated with any respect. And that goes for their obnoxious band, and obscene fans too. So on this day, I have no sympathy for anyone who chooses to root for them…