The Price of Fame — Barkley gets Intercepted twice and Sacked five times in a shocking upset loss to Stanford 21-14, then Sheldon Price Intercepts three passes as UCLA prices Houston out of the market, 37-6 (“Do it to me, Sheldon!”)
So much for Matt Barkley’s “unfinished business.” The trojan QB came back for his Senior Year to win a National Title, and to beat Stanford for the first time ever after losing to them three consecutive times. Well, make that FOUR straight times, as the Cardinal has done it again. They upset Troy 21-14, to extend their series winning streak to four for the first time in history. Barkley and company lost the ultimate revenge game, blowing a 14-7 lead, failing to score a single point the entire second half. How is it possible to have three Heisman candidates on one Offense, and get shut out for 30 minutes, against a team that beat lowly San Jose State by only 3 points two weeks ago?
The trojans got outmuscled, outhustled, out-toughed, and of course, outcoached, as Stanford’s Defense came crashing through the trojan O-Line to harass Barkley into 2 INT’s and 5 Sacks. And speaking of smothering Defenses, the Bruins cruised in Pasadena, more thanks to their Defense than to their recently vaunted Offense.
It all started on the second play of the game, when Bruin Eric Kendricks recovered a dropped backwards pass and returned it for a Defensive Touchdown. Then the Bruins got an Offensive TD, when Brett Hundley completed a short pass to Defensive End Datone Jones, who donned a new jersey, #97, and switched to Offense to help the Bruins extend their lead to 14-0. UCLA added a Field Goal to make it 17-0 at the break.
The Second Half was more of the same, as UCLA shut out Houston until the game was long-decided. It was 30-0 before a long QB run finally broke the donut. The Cougars were stymied by UCLA’s swarming D, who pulled down 5 Interceptions, including 3 by much-maligned Sheldon Price, the last of which was a leaping grab in the end zone. Randall Goforth and Tevin McDonald also snagged Houston passes, and the Bruins also recovered a fumble, for a total of 6 Turnovers. Last week, Houston threw 77 passes with NO Interceptions, making UCLA’s ball-hawking even more impressive. Hard hits were also the order of the day, as Jordan Zumwalt continued to bring the wood, and Dalton Hilliard laid a guy out with a brutal block during a Steven Manfro punt return.
Manfro was successful on punt returns, and receiving, and rushing, scoring the icing-on-the-cake TD late in the game. Jordon James also scored a TD, finding daylight going wide. Damien Thigpen also brought some excitement to a generally boring game, with a 55-yard Kickoff Return, as well as some scintillating runs from scrimmage. And Jonathan Franklin didn’t have any super-long breakaways, but still managed to top 100 yards rushing for the third straight game.
Hundley was OFF all night, probably due to a tender ankle and a lack of practice, but he was still able to throw for over 300 yards and 2 Touchdowns. And most surprisingly, the Bruin Kicking Game was flawless, as Ka’imi Fairbairn went 3-for-3 on Field Goals, and 4-for-4 on PAT”s. Looks like the jerks who were calling for his head two weeks ago are eating a little crow now, as Coach Mora obviously fixed the problem without replacing the guy.
Here are 30 game and CHEER photos from the UCLA/Houston contest. Click on them to enlarge them, and come back soon, as I will be posting many, many more Cheerleader photos very soon.