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.
[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.