Bruins execute themselves with bad execution and 4 Giveaways in 28-7 loss, but continue to close the gap: Despite the gift Turnovers and Prince getting injured, it was still a 1-possession game with 91 seconds to go, AT the Mausoleum
It was 14-7, with less than 2 minutes to go, IN South Central. Call that: “Progress, UCLA.” Sure, sc went on to add two TD’s, but UCLA was alive for 58 minutes, and except for the miraculous 13-9 victory, 58 minutes of life is a huge improvement for the Bruins.
UCLA’s Defense stepped up to the occasion, shutting out the sc Offense for most of the game. But when the Bruins Offense finally scored — on a short, Chane Moline run with 5:41 left to make it 14-7 — the Bruin D was unable to stop sc to get the ball back. Instead sc drove down the field for a score, to make it 21-7. The Bruins had only 1:30 left, with Kevin Craft replacing injured Kevin Prince at QB, and they were unable to score. The trojans took over, and took a knee, but Rick Neuheisel called a time out.
Neuheisel’s decision to call a time out there in an unwinnable game is questionable. He doesn’t want to look like a quitter to his team, so he is obligated to use everything he has left at his disposal, including all his time outs — They could fumble a snap on a kneeldown attempt. However, it could also be considered kind of bush league. The game is over, and the winning team is just letting the clock run out. Just let it go. But Rick didn’t, and Pete didn’t like it.
After the time out, instead of having QB Matt Barkley kneel again — AND INSTEAD OF CALLING A RUNNING PLAY — Carroll had Barkley go Play-Action. Barkley faked a hand-off, and threw deep, to a streaking Damien Williams, for a 48-yard Touchdown.
The trojans went nuts, celebrating all over the field, and coming out collectively, taunting the Bruins. The UCLA players refused to back down, and when they stood up to sc, there was almost a bench-clearing brawl, as the players jawed at each other, and coaches had to hold some players back from confrontation.
Did Neuheisel have it coming? Possibly. Neuheisel thinks so. But the point is, that Pete could have easily just accepted that Rick was trying to “always compete” to the end, with his very young players, by using his alloted time outs. Pete could have just had Barkley kneel again. OR, if he wanted to send a little message, he could have called a running play. But to call a FAKE running play that is actually a long bomb, well, that is just RUNNING UP THE SCORE. In this case, I GET why he did it, but the point is, he DID it, and it absolutely PROVES what I said here last week. During the “What’s YOUR Deal” controversy, some guy wrote in claiming that Pete has never run up the score. Let’s see if that guy writes in again. He probably will, since his trojans won, but he’ll use a different name so as to distance himself from the ignorant comments denying Pete’s proclivity to pour it on, a trait proved Saturday night for all to see.
Provoked? Possibly. Still Classless? Definitely. Vintage Pom Pom? You know it.
As for the game, I don’t like to go in depth about pathetic losses like this, especially at 7 in the morning without sleep, but in brief: While the trojan Running Backs were fairly productive, the Bruins’ Chane Moline couldn’t run, and Prince, and Craft, when inserted, couldn’t hit their Receivers consistently, so they both ended up running themselves (and not far enough). And that’s despite good pass-blocking by the Bruin O-line. But it was the Turnovers — 3 INT’s and a fumble by Nelson Rosario — that really cost them. The fumble came while in Field Goal range, one of the INT’s led to a short TD drive, and the first INT was a 62-yard Pick Six.
That’s enough for now. Here are the photos, taken, unfortuantely, from the 84th row. Click them to enlarge (but they might be a little grainy if you do), and roll over them for the hidden captions to pop up. The captions will tell you about the pics, or they will give you some more nuggets of whiz-dumb about the SUCFEST.