UCLA’s hopes for a win limp off the field

Bruins’ Scout Team loses to Notre Lame, while trojan A-Team gets beat by Stanford in The Upset of the Century 


Never before in the annals of Major College Football History has there ever been a CHOKE this big:  FORTY-ONE point Favorite usc blew a 9-point 4th Quarter lead, AT HOME, to lose to the formerly pathetic Stanford Cardinal, 24-23.

Not only had Stanford been destroyed in all 3 of their previous Pac-10 games, including by UCLA, but last week, their Starting QB had a seizure, so the were going into the Coliseum with an inexperienced back-up at the controls. 

 No one gave Stanford a chance.  After all, it was THEIR Rookie Head Coach Jim Harbaugh who had been claiming that sc was the best team in College Football History.

 Maybe not.

[Click below for more, including 22 cheer and game photos]

The trojans started with a weak performance against Idaho, and now have added a shameful effort against Washington, and a complete meltdown versus Stanford, the same team that lost IN PALO ALTO to the Bruins, 44-17.

Quarterback John David Booty threw FOUR Interceptions, including one late in the 4th Quarter that allowed Stanford to come down and take the lead, on a 4th and Goal TD pass with 49 seconds left, and one on the final drive, where sc needed only 25 yards to get in Field Goal range to win the game.

After the tragic defeat, Booty had no excuses, except a broken finger, which he said was not the reason for his Heisman-blowing performance.  He just said that sometimes the best team doesn’t win.  So of course he has to throw in a little jab at Stanford, and a little ego-boost to himeself and his teammates, that they are still the better team.

Stanford should tell him to look at the scoreboard.  The COLISEUM scoreboard.  Right there over O.J. Simpson’s larger-than-life honorary jersey:  24-23.

Now speaking of CHOKES…

 UCLA lost to the previously winless Notre Dame Fighting Irish 20-6.  But before you start screaming for Karl Dorrell’s head, you need to understand:  The Bruins played the majority of the game with a 3rd-string Walk-On QB, who was just not ready for Prime Time.  The Bruin Defense was stellar as usual, giving up virtually nothing.  But the Offense gave up the ball SIX times, once for a TD, and once leading directly to a TD, and that’s all Notre Dame needed.

Bruin Offensive Coordinator Jay Norvell did not know how to properly utilize McLeod Bethel-Thompson.  On three separate short-yardage occasions, he asked him to throw passes, including on a 4th Down.  These calls SHOULD have surprised the Irish Defense and been wide open, but they weren’t, and Bethel-Thompson couldn’t make the tough plays to get any of the first downs.

 But it was the Turnover problem that cost them the game.  With Starting Tailback Chris Markey not suited up, the burden fell on Kahlil Bell, who did okay, except for a huge lost fumble (at the same time the sc fell behind).  Between that play and 4 Bethel-Thompson INT’s, even UCLA’s shut-down Defense couldn’t save them. 

But guess what?  It just doesn’t hurt quite as much, when you consider that the Bruins were missing their QB, RB, WR, and their best Lineman was gimpy, and when you realize that after the day’s events, UCLA GAINED a game on sc in the Pac-10 Standings, where the Bruins, despite Saturday’s lackluster Offensive performance, are still a perfect 3-0.

 In order to make it to 4-0, they’ll have to beat Cal, who might come into the Rose Bowl as the #2 Team in the Nation.   That will be an opportunity for the Bruins to put the Irish mistake behind them.  Even if they get a stronger QB back for that game, they will still need to improve markedly in three areas:  They’ll have to cut down on the braindead penalties;  They’ll have to put some pressure on the QB; and they’ll have to a much better job of blocking, for the Pass and for the Run.

Anf finally, speaking of PERECT, the UCLA Cheerleaders never choke, or fail to impress.  Saturday was no different, and we will be sharing the visual proof right now, and for the next few weeks.  Below, today, there are 25 photos from Saturday.

This is the play that cost UCLA the game.

All that glitters isn’t gold… but sometimes it is.

This ND #40 had a Career Day.

Despite ND’s 0-5 record, some Bruin fans were pumped up.

Bruce Davis swoops in like BatmanLooks like she’s our “mane” girl tonight.

Ben looks so good… when the line doesn’t break down.

ND didn’t beat UCLA in EVERYTHING.

Clausen throws a screwball

Mollie?  Mollie?  Is this one okay?  I hope so, because it’s amazing!

Clausen had all day, way too often.Lucky Charms

Clausen was mobile, but he was no Jake Locker.

Sometimes the pot of gold is right there for you.

Kahlil Bell shows some (pig)skin.

What ever happened to UCLA’s baton-twirling Golden Girls?

Stop!  In the name of Love.

Good thing these Jets weren’t piloted by a 3rd String Walk-on.

You know how hard it is to get a camera’s auto-focus to lock in on these things?!

“News from the Dark Side” indeed!

Jonathan Ogden (!) hoping the Cheerleaders weren’t underaged!

Forget Notre Shame, the Bruins are alive and kicking in the Pac-10.


9 responses to “NO EXCUSES FOR USC”

  1. Aaron Avatar

    Nice article. I spent $75 for a ticket to yesterday’s game and everything was great (the fly-by, the tailgate the half time peewee football game, the cheerleaders), everything except the actual game. I honestly feel bad for Bethel-Thompson, and while he pretty much lost the game for us, I’m not that mad.

    I really want to get your opinion on Dorrell. I’m not necessarily blaming him for yesterday’s loss because of the whole quarterback situation, but it just seems like every season we lose to the teams we should beat (2005 Arizona, Utah and now Notre Dame). We seem to always lose to the teams who haven’t won a game. I understand that even the best coaches have flukes, but these kinds of losses have been becoming more and more common. Certainly a good coach would be able to find a way to beat teams like Utah and ND who had combined records of 0-7, right?

    Do you think we should “dump” Dorrell? I think he’s a great person and a decent coach, but i can’t help but wonder if we could have a better one.

  2. admin Avatar

    We are a trojan-hating, but Bruin-loving, club. Most of our readers are Bruins, who begged us at our inception to stop being so vicious toward Bruins. So we relented, and took a more positive attitude toward UCLA in general. Karl is definitely a great person, and a loyal Bruin, who deserves support and some leeway. And yes, he is testing the limits of that leeway, but Saturday had very little impact on that. We strongly believe that Knute Rockne would have had trouble as Head Coach, if he had to rely on the Norvell/Bethel-Thompson connection. Okay?

  3. BobTheBruin Avatar

    Great pic of the Ben play. You must spend the whole game looking through your lens!

  4. ajax Avatar

    Love the site guys, but your continued support for Dorrell at the expense of the entire UCLA football program is kind of silly. Especially when you use the same tactic as Dorrell and try to blame the assistants for these unacceptable losses.

    “We strongly believe that Knute Rockne would have had trouble as Head Coach, if he had to rely on the Norvell/Bethel-Thompson connection. Okay?”

    How would you explain Utah?

  5. admin Avatar

    Dear ajax — Read our post above. When we first started this site, about 4 years ago, we were (already) being highly critical of Karl Dorrell, and, we were pushing for Spurrier when he was available. BUT — We got so much negative feedback from Bruin fans, that we decided to try and take as positive as a perspective as we could, at least looking for the silver linings, and looking away from the Utah’s, while celebrating the Stanford’s (and the Cheerleaders).

    If you look closely, we have questioned the dubious play-calls, the penalties, and the game mis-management. We have just chosen to HIGHLIGHT other things, at the direction of our core audience.

    And don’t forget, this site is supposed to be SATIRE, of an over-the-top fanatical point-of-view. You’re not really supposed to take it seriously. When you think about it, supporting Dorrell might be considered hilariously subtle satire in and of itself. Get it?

    But if you really want to take it seriously, we just can’t satnd the WAY Dorrell has been attacked. It is also apparent that their are plenty of Racists in his growing list of detractors. But without playing the Race Card, we’ll still say that there is plenty to complain about, but losing under Saturday’s circumstances is not nearly as bad as the haters would have you think. It’s just like the last Bowl loss — It’s NOTHING, compared to beating sc. If Cowan comes back, beats Cal, and goes on to not make mistakes and let the Defense dominate games, who knows what could happen? Pete Carroll made all the same Coaching mistakes that Dorrell made on Saturday, losing to a pitiful team (that UCLA killed IN Palo Alto) — Should Pom Pom be fired too? Obviously, sc is not the team you or anyone else thought they were, so rooting for a Pac-10 Title now is not as far-fetched as you’d like us to believe. In fact, why NOT root for that?

    Just please remember that we are being supportive for the sake of being supportive, NOT because we don’t want Dick Vermeil or Lou Holtz to come out of retirement and take over.

    And finally, don’t forget the credo of this Site — As long as KD keeps beating sc, we don’t care that much about the rest of the Season, SATIRE, SATIRE, SATIRE, yes, but 13-9 still feels great.


  6. Dave Avatar

    I have always been a defender of coaches. I get tired of hearing people in the stands who know better how to coach a team that they haven’t spent a single day practicing with. After Saturday’s game however, I am having trouble defending the coaching staff.

    Here’s the situation: You are going into a game with a quarterback who is just coming off an injury, and regardless, has shown that he is fragile at best. As a coaching staff, are you truly comfortable pinning all your hopes, should an injury occur, on a redshirt freshman walk-on? Particularly since two weeks ago when he played the only player you allowed to throw a pass while he was on the field was Khalil Bell?

    I have a really difficult time believing that the coaching staff would go into the game with no Plan B.

    You have on the bench, a quarterback who was the most exciting athlete on the field in each of the past two spring games. Yes, you moved Ossar Rasshan to receiver this year, but he was recruited as a quarterback. You can’t move him back to quarterback for a week in a “just in case” situation such as this week? Now, I’m not at practices, so I don’t know. Maybe lately he’s thrown the ball like a third grader. But I’ve wanted to see this guy play since two spring games ago. The only sniff of the field I’ve seen him get is as one of the slot receivers for the hail mary at the end of the first half against Washington. So it’s not as if the receiving corps couldn’t afford to be without him for a week while he took snaps “just in case.”

    I understand that guys need to take snaps in order to be ready. What I don’t understand is why he hadn’t taken any snaps in order to BE ready! All I hear is that there were no other options this past week – except we are a Division I university who gave a Division I scholarship to a QUARTERBACK. But instead of giving him an opportunity to show what he can do (and if the spring games are any indication, he can do a lot), the coaching staff decides to rest all of their hopes on a player who they don’t think enough of to give a scholarship to!

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see the logic. Guys need second, third, and fourth chances, but when it became apparent that the offense wasn’t going to be effective with Bethel-Thompson at quarterback (and that became apparent early), you can’t worry about killing the kid’s confidence. Particularly when he obviously has no future at the position.

    In two weeks I hope upon hope that Pat Cowan is back. Even if he is though, the staff has to accept the very real possibility that he may be reinjured or might hurt something else. If that happens, I am praying that they pull the trigger on a guy that has been waiting in the wings for two years and give him a chance to shine, instead of choosing to go back to a guy who throws swing passes at feet and says after the game, “I was ready to play to the best of my ability, but the team didn’t come through.”

    I don’t want Coach Dorrell fired. I like his demeanor, and what he stands for, the coaches that he’s hired, and the success that he’s had recruiting. I don’t want Coach Norvell fired. I like what he has done with a large part of the offense. What I do want is a change in the apparent lack of preparation that I’ve witnessed over the past couple weeks. What I do want is for Ossar to get a chance to play the position that he was recruited to play. What I do want is to stop hearing excuses about guys being hurt and our losses therefore not hurting as much.

    Go Bruins.

    – D.J. Section 22-L

  7. admin Avatar

    Dear Dave —

    Nice post. For once, a critical post without the hostility. Anyway, the ONE thing that you are unaware of, and the ANSWER to your problem, is this:

    Osaar could NOT be prepared to play QB, because he was still woozy from the concussion. He was wearing the red no-contact jersey in practice, and definitely could not concentrate clearly enough to run the WCO. The best hope of getting him on the field was at WR. Dorrell just revealed this medical info yesterday. Hopefully, it calms some of your doubts in the Coaching Staff’s decision-making.


  8. Dave Avatar


    Indeed, I was not aware of Osaar’s concussion, and I stand corrected. Apparently, there was no other option. I hope that next week against Cal, our options will rest in the “multiple” category again!

    D.J. Section 22-L

  9. Tom…

    I think God approves of you….