Young Bruins youth-a-nize Katz, pop ‘quizz, and give Beavers a (For)bath as time expires, in Harry 17-14 upset

That’s Harry, as in Chapin.  And little boys Blue feel like Men on the Moon, and you know they’ll have a good time now.

Ryan Katz’ Homecoming was not as pleasant as he expected.  The Oregon State Quarterback, who hails from L.A., had 100 friends and family in attendance at the Rose Bowl, expecting to watch the favored Beavers roll over the reeling Bruins, but all those Katz People went home crying, after UCLA shut down the OSU attack, especially when it mattered.  The Beavers got shut out in the crucial LAST 26 MINUTES of the game, while the Bruins put up 10 points to steal the game, 17-14.

UCLA topped it off with a last-second 51-yard game-winning Field Goal by Kai Forbath, and they almost didn’t get the chance to kick it.  On the previous two plays, the clock had ticked down too far, and the Bruins had to fight to get more time added.  On the play right before the kick, it was finally ruled that Randall Carroll stepped out of bounds with 1 second left, allowing Forbath a chance to win it.  And the usually-perfect Forbath was no sure thing, after already missing TWO Field Goals during the game.  With less than 90 seconds to go, he missed a 46-yarder, but the snap/hold was bad, so you couldn’t blame it on Kai.  Still, confidence was NOT high when he lined up for the final, 51-yarder.  However, the snap and hold were great, and the kick was straight, true, and plenty long enough.

When he split the uprights, the whole team streamed onto the field in celebration of Forbath’s first-ever Game-Winning kick.  Hard to believe that one of the best Kickers in College Football History had never won a game at the final gun, but that just underlines how bad the Neuheisel Era has been.  Forbath has been responsible for Bruin wins before, just not in this dramatic fashion.

The way the Bruins stayed in contention with the higly-respected Beavers was also out of the ordinary.  Everyone thought that the Bruins had to throw more and run less, with backup QB Richard Brehaut running the show.  But UCLA took the opening Kickoff and marched all the way to a Touchdown… without completing a single pass.  Jonathan Franklin, who gained 100 yards on the day, carried some of the load, but it was Brehaut himself who did most of the damage.  Brehaut popped a 21-yard gain, and finished off the drive with a tough TD run through two defenders, willing his way into the end zone.

Brehaut amassed 61 rushing yards on the day, repeatedly using his legs when he had to.  This is a huge change from the guy who has become infamous for not feeling the pass rush, and often fumbling upon getting sacked.  It looks like the Bruin Coaches finally got through to him, and got his mindset right.  Although he was 13-for-19 through the air, he did not look impressive, throwing an Interception, throwing several times into coverage, and not finding the end zone.  He also took a sack late in the game that took the Bruins out of range for a potential game-winning Field Goal.  And finally, he had only 1 pass for more than 12 yards, all game long.  That 1 was a beautiful improv, where he scrambled to buy time, and then found Taylor Embree for a 43-yard gain.  I don’t mean to belittle Brehaut’s accomplishment — He did delivery a victory — I am just still mad at everyone who thinks that he is markedly better than Kevin Prince.  I think Brehaut is improving — he didn’t fumble all game — but that doesn’t mean that the Coaches were stupid to go with Prince initially.

On the final drive, the Bruins got the ball with 48 seconds left, and Brehaut engineered the drive, which started with a Franklin Draw Play for a 1st Down, but then continued with Brehaut hitting four out of six throws, including the final one to Carroll, that ended with 1 second left.  YES, one of the incompletes was almost intercepted, but IT WASN’T, so Brehaut is still a hero… along with Forbath, of course.

But the heroes weren’t all on the Offensive side of the ball.  The UCLA Defense was coming off a loss to Arizona where their tackling was simply atrocious, and facing studly and elusive Jacquizz Rodgers, their prospects weren’t good.  But the Bruins bottled up Rodgers like they hadn’t before, and as the game went on, they got more and more pressure on Katz.  Veterans Akeem Ayers and Rahim Moore played with resurgent passion, with Ayers specifically shaking off a couple of weeks that were not up to his lofty standards.  Sean Westgate also put the Arizona game behind him and returned to his swarming self.  But it was true Freshman Jordan Zumwalt who made the biggest difference.  The Linebacker led the team with 9 total Tackles, and with 7 Unassisted Tackles, and he got the biggest sack, for a 13-yard loss.  Also making big plays were Aaron Hester, who defended a long pass that would have been a back-breaker, and Dietrich Riley, who delivered the baddest hit of the game:  A jarring blow that knocked Jacquizz Rodgers’ helmet right off his head.

The Bruin D will have to continue to play with this kind of passion if they still want to reach a Bowl Game.  The Bruins have to win two of their last three games.  First they travel to Washington, to face a struggling and battered Husky team in a very hostile environment;  Then they go to Tempe to play Arizona State, who came within a blocked extra point (blocked by a guy’s face, and returned for a Safety) of beating usc in the Coliseum; and then the trojans come to the Rose Bowl.  It won’t be easy to take two of those three, but then again, I didn’t think they could beat the Beavers — or Texas — either.

But instead of dreading the upcoming challenges, let’s celebrate this scintillating victory, with a Photo Gallery from the game, and from the pre-game cheer rally.  The Cheerleaders looked amazing on Saturday — even more beautiful than expected.  Please click on the pics to enlarge them, so you can truly apreciate what I’m talking about.  There’s some good Desktop Wallpaper candidates here. 


2 responses to “KATZ IN THE CRADLE”

  1. Vu Avatar

    great to see a gamer at QB now. prince could’ve developed but all the injuries kept him at a low level.

    I know how much you guys love Prince. But the team had to move forward. He’ll have a chance to compete for a starting spot next year. In the mean time, he needs to get better and figure out his life goals. there’s more to life than just football. He put off taking his Mormon mission to play football. Maybe it’s time he took that mission. Sure, in a perfect world, he doesn’t get injured and he is an outstanding QB. But life didn’t turn out that way. He’s been injured for 4 years straight now (he missed his entire senior season in HS, his freshman year, his redshirt freshman year, and his redshirt sophomore season). His inability to stay healthy and practice has impacted the entire program. Neither he nor Brehaut got consistent full reps. The receivers had to learn each QB’s tendencies. The O-line had to get used to different signal callers. At least for the rest of the season, the team is settled and it can simply work on getting better.

    Maybe Prince’s knowledge will lead him to coaching. But for all the knowledge he had, it didn’t show on the field. The lowest ranked QB in all of college division I football. Sure, he had to deal with injuries, drops, etc. But not every college program has a loaded program. A lot of other college programs also have injuries, a depleted O-line, etc. and yet they still find a way to not be the worst passing offense in all of college football.

    Maybe Brehaut is not the answer. Maybe he is. We just don’t know yet. But after 3 years of Prince, we have more than enough games to judge his body of work. It’s time to move on… If Brehaut is not the answer, then our next hope is Hundley…

    With Brehaut, we can have stability. We can grow as a program. No longer do we have to look at the daily injury report. I think he’s already at Prince’s level in terms of gametime ability. He may not know the offense like Prince, but that can be acquired through experience. Let’s not forget how Prince has had 2 years of starts. Brehaut only has had 3 starts. His passing is definitely better than Prince’s. His 3 starts have been the best passing statistics all season. His running is equivalent to Prince’s and you don’t wince everything someone tackles him.

    [T-H’s Note: Most of what you say is reasonable and true. However, the passing stats from the last three games are not good enough for Brehaut to claim superiority over Prince. During the winning streak last year, Prince’s numbers were not bad at all. And don’t forget “heart.” When Prince came back in against Texas (when the trainer wanted him to get more treatment instead), he showed the kind of courage that winners are made of. So please don’t imply that Prince isn’t a “gamer,” too. I look forward to a healthy, THREE-WAY competition for the starting job next Spring. Hopefully, Brehaut will actually study the Playbook this time, so that he can live up to his recruiting hype, and to the expectations many people suddenly have for him.]

  2. Robert Avatar

    I have a feeling Nikki ranks pretty high on your favorites list, who can blame you!! she’s also one of me favorites, along with Roxanne and Chelsea, and Maya and …..