Plenty of Snipes after free-falling Bruins’ 27-13 Desert Dive: Dropped passes, bad passes, bad penalties, missed tackles, missed blocks, and missed blitzes — If Neuheisel wants the movie of this season to have a Hollywood ending, he better get Bus(e)y
It’s enough to give you brain damage. And what if the ‘chute doesn’t open?
UCLA tried 3 different Quarterbacks, and none of them were even CLOSE to good enough to overcome all the dropped passes, bad routes, miscommunications, false starts, and poor execution of the Bruin Offense. The Arizona Wildcats utilized a Spread-style Offense out of which they repeatedly ran Sweeps and Reverses for big chunks of yardage. Their Backs and their Receivers had plenty of room to run, usually turning the corner on the confused and outmanned Defense. The Bruins also failed to pressure the QB, allowing him time to throw two long TD passes, one where oft-requested Courtney Viney got burned one-on-one.
The Bruins trailed by 10 at the half 13-3, thanks to a 53-yard Field Goal by Kai Forbath (who later finally MISSED a 50+ yarder), and thanks to two Interceptions by Rahim Moore, just in the right place in the right time, for a Nation-leading 7th time this year.
And the Defense seemed to start getting the idea in the second half, having made some good adjustments. But Neuheisel yanked the ineffective Kevin Prince in favor of Kevin Craft. Craft to the Rescue? Not exactly. Craft was no more successful than Prince. Both guys were sailing passes off-target, and when the Receivers managed to get their hands on them, they dropped the ball. Nelson Rosario was a repeat-offender, but not close to being the only guilty one.
After Craft missed by a mile on an easy Swing Pass on a 4th Down that would have put the Bruins right back in the game, Craft was pulled and Richard Brehaut got a chance. He got sacked on his first play, and ended up 2 for 3 for 11 yards Passing.
The difference in the game was 3rd Down Conversions: Arizona converted 9 of 16, while UCLA went 2 for 15. And the only Touchdown the Bruins scored was on a dropped Interception that was questionably called a lateral/fumble recovered by Tony Dye and returned for six points. In other words, none of the QB’s could get the Bruins into the end zone except Arizona’s.
The main reason may have been the Bruins’ inability to pick up the Blitz. Norm Chow tried to call Screens and plays that are made to work against a Blitz, but they didn’t, mostly due to bad execution.
The Bruins started the Season 3-0, and then started playing thier Pac-10 schedule. In the Conference, they have gone a humiliating 0-4, good for 9th place, and good for fans to be dubious of Coach Neuheisel. The “bringbackkarl.com” website is just waiting to be opened, as the Bruins were never this bad under Karl Dorrell’s leadership. The better team won again, for the fourth time in a row. Kyle Bosworth is SO good, sometimes, but on Saturday, he missed more than one open-field tackle that led to big gains. Even with Arizona’s star Tailback going out injured, the Bruins couldn’t contain the Wildcats’ Offense. Except for all the Turnovers, Arizona would have won by a lot more than two Touchdowns. But that’s no way to think. The better perspective to take is that the Bruins were very close to making it a one-possession game late in the game, on the road in the Pac-10, against a very good team. The Offensive line seemed to hold up the pocket a little longer than in the past, and if Prince can get confortable with that, and if the Receivers can start holding on to the ball, the Bruins might not go winless in the Pac.
Christian Ramirez started at Tailback, with Jonathan Franklin backing him up. Ramirez played okay, with one nice 9-yard run, but nothing overly-impressive. Franklin probably looked a little better, but not enough to keep Milton Knox out of the game. Maybe Knox was unavailable, sick, or injured? Damien Thigpen also was mostly an observer, as the Bruins failed to mount any Touchdown drives, no matter WHO was in.
But enough post-mortem. Here’s a link to an Ed O’Bannon piece (sent in to this website for your enjoyment), and also, a letter I just received, and finally, some more photos from the Cal game, of one of the understandable reasons why UCLA’s Football team is still able to recruit top-quality prospects. Too bad the Coaching staff can’t do anything with them… The prospects, not the Girls.
“Hi…can’t recall how I came across your website (cheerleader search I think, lol) but I HATE the Trojans too!
Big Michigan fan…but gotta tell ya, everyone loves a beautiful California girl, especially in Bruin blue!!!
Keep up the good work!”
California Dreamin’ in Michigan
Reminder: Put your mouse over these photos for captions, and click on the photos, to ENLARGE the photos.