UCLA loses to Oregon in what might be the worst loss in Rick Neuheisel's reign as the UCLA head football coach. It certainly is hands down the most frustrating loss in last two years at the Rose Bowl. Bruins played a solid game in the first half containing Oregon's explosive offense and had put themselves in position to fight for what might have been the biggest win during the Neuheisel era. The final score was 10-24 in favor of the Ducks as Oregon improved to 5-1 (3-0) while the Bruin fell to 3-2 (0-2). Here is the box score if you want to chew on it.
Yet in a span of less than 2 minutes the Bruins went through an epic (or should I say vintage) meltdown imploding in all facets of the game. Ducks came out and blitzed a hapless looking Bruin team on special teams, offense and defense by running up 3 straight touch downs. They made the Bruins pay dearly once again for coming up short in the red zone settling for field goals instead of touch downs.
Yes, we get it. We are a young team. We are supposed to go through growing pains. We have red shirt freshman and true freshman QB who are finding their ways. We have an offensive line which is getting it together after cratering following years of mediocrity this past season. We are supposed to be going through the roller coaster experience we all went through during Howland's first two-three years at UCLA. That said it's never fun seeing a team just fall apart in a flash, giving away a game it has every chance of winning, and then hopelessly trying to make a run without much hope.
Perhaps there are some bright spots in the game. Akeem Ayers made one of the most amazing plays I have ever seen a Bruin defender make giving us a sense of hope. Richard Brehaut came in and to me looked like the most athletic Bruin QB in recent years. He did get walloped by an Oregon defense smelling blood against a Bruin defense, which is improved from last year's dismal state, but still has a long way go. However, Brehaut showed promise and to me stood out as the future Bruin QB. I have put up a poll on who should start at QB on the frontpage which will be up for next few days.
As for rest of the team, there is so much discuss. To put it mildly there are certain players who are not getting it done and we have to wonder at what point the coaches will go with talents over "experience" that hasn't been productive for years in Westwood. Bruins need play makers in special teams and at wide receiver positions. They are not getting it from current batch of starters.
Sure they settled down a bit after falling down 3-21 at the outset of the second half. They made it a game thanks to Akeem's amazing TD and the spark Brehaut provided off the bench. But they came short because they failed to get it done when it mattered, making costly mistakes, dumb play calls and not getting any modicum of leadership from the upperclassmen who have been unfortunately conditioned with years of mediocrity.
We will see how the guys rebound. They clearly failed to bounce back today. Now they will have to brace for a Cal Bears team which is going to come out and play with a desperate sense of urgency to get Tedford's first victory in LA and save their season. Will the Bruins be able to match that sense of urgency? I am not sure right now after what we have seen from this team last two games.
With that I will turn the post game thread back to you. Remember if you have extensive feedback, thoughts, offer up your analysis in the Fanposts, Otherwise fire away to clear up your mind after another vintage UCLA meltdown on Saturday. Yeah, it's getting old.