"Of futility and self-destruction ... "

Adam de Jong writes the Extra Points column in the Daily Bruin.

He begins Monday's column by asking:

So who's ready for basketball season?

He continues:

Since the Daily Bruin's advertising dollars were allocated to flying me out to the inland Northwest to report on UCLA's game against Washington State, I suppose I must fulfill my journalistic obligations and analyze exactly what went wrong on Saturday night.

First, let me explain one fundamental point: Whatever it was that took place in Martin Stadium on Saturday night, it should not be described as football, at least not in the technical sense.

It was a game so awful - a not-so compelling matchup of the futile versus the self-destructive - that it needn't be dignified with intelligent analysis. What is most astonishing about Washington State's 27-7 drubbing of UCLA - the outcome shouldn't have been that close - is how the performance of both teams was so comprehensively pitiful that it begs to be ridiculed.

Please don't misunderstand these words. They are not intended to make anyone feel stupid for investing emotional energy into the UCLA football program. It is only natural for any self-respecting UCLA sports fan to seek some explanation, some sort of reason as to why this team - or really any team in the Karl Dorrell era, for that matter - could deliver such an inspiring win over a quality opponent like California, then fall apart so completely on the field the next week.

Then, I must skip some of his well-crafted piece due to copyright restrictions. Please click the above link to read all of Adam's words.

Wait, here's some more:

The Bruins couldn't muster any offensive rhythm once running back Kahlil Bell and wide receiver Brandon Breazell left the game with injuries. Granted, Bell and Breazell are the only true playmakers the UCLA coaching staff has at its disposal. But the offense couldn't move the ball against a defense that surrendered 53 points to Oregon two weeks ago. The Bruins' defense, not to be outdone, were gashed for 545 total yards against a Cougar team that came into the game averaging 408 yards per game. The defensive front got no pass rush, and the secondary seemed like it was called for pass interference every time the ball was thrown more than 10 yards down field. Just as they were the only team to lose to a beleaguered Notre Dame club, the Bruins are now the first Pac-10 team to lose to the Cougars.

And then, finally:

The true victims of the game were the myopic Washington State fans, who believed they had watched their team eke out a hard-fought conference win. They stormed the field after their team notched its first conference victory against a team that wasn't even ranked in the top 25, when really they should have been demanding their money back.

So now that we've got that settled, let's go to the unnecessarily bland responses from the UCLA players, who tried to ascertain as to how they could perform so miserably.

"People say we win a big game and then blow the next one," defensive end Bruce Davis said. "I don't know why that is, but it's happening, and it is what it is, and I can't change it now."

Fair enough.

"There is no rationale (for these losses)," coach Karl Dorrell said. "We planned and prepared hard for this game like we planned and prepared hard for every game."

Touché.

"When you lose two great players (like Bell and Breazell) it's tough," quarterback Pat Cowan said. "But I felt the other guys stepped in and did a good job."

Well, that explanation has a fair amount of truth in it, except for that part about the replacements stepping in and doing a "good job."

"That was us," offensive guard Shannon Tevaga said. "One hundred percent us. It was all us. They didn't do anything to stop us, we stopped ourselves. With all our losses, it's UCLA beating UCLA. UCLA is our biggest opponent."

Congratulations, Shannon. That would be the correct response.

Here is the accompanying photo by Daily Bruin photographer Andrew Hsieh:

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