Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


Smear the Year — 2011 comes to a Mercilus end, with UCLA Football choking away a Bowl game to Illinois and UCLA Basketball getting blown out at Cal

Good riddance, 2011.

Another disastrous 12 months have come and gone for UCLA Football and Basketball, capped off by two of the worst games of the entire year.  The Football team blew a Second half lead against Whitney Mercilus and the Fighting Illini, to go down 20-14, and the Basketball team wasted a solid First Half effort as well, getting torched by a 10-0 run to start the Second Half on the way to an 85-69 defeat.

Compared to some of the humiliating whippings that the Football team endured this season, 20-14 doesn’t seem that bad, but considering the WAY it occurred, it was plenty embarrassing.  The Bruins held a 7-0 lead early, and was still up 7-3 in the 3rd Quarter, when Kevin Prince threw a Pick Six to fall behind 10-7.  Then in the 4th, the Defense, who hadn’t given up a Touchdown all game, broke down, allowing a 60-yard TD Pass on a medium Slant over the middle.  The Bruins didn’t quit, coming back to get another Touchdown with 29 seconds left, but couldn’t recover the Onside Kick, thus cementing the loss.

UCLA could have easily won this game, but unforced errors gave it away.  Two DROPPED Touchdown Passes, a missed Field Goal, and a bad snap resulting in a wild scrum and a Turnover were just four of the many mistakes that handed the victory to Illinois.  And it didn’t help that the Defense allowed the Illini QB to scramble for over 100 yards.

At the same time as the Football team was closing the Season with the worst record (6-8) in History for any Bowl participant, the Basketball team was allowing the Golden Bears to shoot 65% from the field, en route to a 16-point beating.  This loss was painful because the Bruins showed for the first 20 minutes that they could compete with Cal in their arena.  It was 40-39 Cal at the break, with Tyler Lamb leading the charge.  Lamb ended up with a career-high 26 Points, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep pace with the hot-shooting Bears, who started the Second Half on a 10-0 spurt, and never looked back.  With UCLA’s leading scorer Lazeric Jones tallying twice as many Turnovers as Field Goals (4-2), the Bruins didn’t have enough firepower to keep it close.

SO END the Dark Days of a pathetic 2011, with one Head Coach fired, and another one on the hot seat, after dumping the team’s best player due to an attitude problem.  Neuheisel is gone, but Howland still has a chance to get his current squad back to respectability.  They showed in the First Half of Saturday’s game that they can play with the Pac-12’s best, on the Road, and now he has to figure out a way to coax a full 40 minutes out of them.  Between Howland’s penchant for improving his teams as the season wears on, and Jim Mora’s reputation for toughness, 2012 looks like it will be better than the year that just ended. How can it NOT be?

"YEAR OF THE DARK" was published on January 1st, 2012 and is listed in Blue & Gold News.

Comments on "YEAR OF THE DARK": 3 Comments

  1. Barnes2Stokes wrote,

    Well, on the bright side, yesterday’s double debacle gave me an excuse to get a head start on my
    holiday drinking.

  2. Bruin86 wrote,

    I went to the game with my son since I live in the SF Bay Area. I feel obligated to support the Bruins at the lowest as well as the high points. I was fortunate to have 3 Rose Bowls during my time at UCLA and so realize I was fortunate. The game reflected lack of a coach. No brainer. Really wonder why the team would go to a Bowl Game without a head coach. That is the fundamental question in my mind. As a fan, I realized I’m obligated to support the team and cheer. I stayed until the end. The players are obligated to practice and play their best. The UCLA admin is responsible for providing the necessary resources to support a bowl game. They get the $ and so should have either kept CRN or not accepted the bowl bid w/o a coaching staff in place. Interim coach with new coach in the box? Just doesn’t sit right with me.

  3. dswenson wrote,

    Agree with Bruin86. Neuheisel should have coached the team in the bowl game. I still believe that Neuheisel wasn’t treated very well by Dan Guerrero. Rick deserved better.

Copyright © 2007 All photos and stories herein are sole property of
Any commercial re-use without express written permission is strictly prohibited, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.