That was an incredibly frustrating game, and I'm not sure what we know or where we are. I do think we'll be back eventually, and someday we'll be playing games that are fun to watch. But the last two games tell me it will be a while still before we can expect a good game against a good team. We may play a good game against a good team this year, and maybe more, but I can't say I expect us to do so at this point. Are we better than last year? I don't know.
I'll say it again: we cannot be competitive without a couple of great skill players. And I don't see one on offense yet. Our QBs have not stepped up, and our receivers seem serviceable at best (maybe the QBs are to blame). And while Franklin has showed some flashes, I haven't seen something from him suggesting he is the skill player to deliver wins for our team (and while Coleman looked good at times last year, I haven't seen much from him this year).
I don't know who should be QB on this team. Prince looked horrible. Even before he threw the pick 6, he had at least two similar throws that could have resulted in the same result. The Pick 6 was surprising only to the extent that I figured he must have noticed that he got lucky twice earlier, and would have learned to stop throwing slow balls out accross the field. Prince also did not look particularly mentally tough. Psyche is one of the most important traits of college QBs, and yesterday it seemed like Prince withered when the going got tough. Still, though Prince had a bad game, I still think he is probably the best bet. One bad game (first back from injury) should not shoot down all that he has accomplished in earning the starting job.
Brehaut looked ok. OK, no better. Personally, I thought it was comical the way the announcers declared him clearly ahead of Prince and Craft. I certainly didn't conclude that. Brehaut made some decent throws, and he handled himself ok. But it wasn't like the ofense started really really humming. Maybe he deserves some more time, maybe he doesnt'. I honestly do not know. What I do know is that it should take time to find a starter, and it shouldn't change on a whim. Evaluation takes time. So just as I am always hesitant to say anything about the program at large under new coaches in a short period of time (at least before we start seeing consistent results), I am equally hesitant to say Brehaut should be the guy after yesterday.
The Coaches need to think long and hard about how to proceed. I like QB competitions. But didn't we already have that? And didn't Prince win? If that is true, injury + one bad game should not keep Prince out (assuming he is healthy). If Brehaut is the guy, fine. But make the decision now, and do it clearly. The QB problems aren't just about us finding a QB. Without a defined QB, I do not think the receivers can develop. Which means, everything stagnates until we figure out who's behind center.
The real problem here is that it seems like we've been having a QB competition for the last 4-5 years. Other teams are just wizzing by us with QB talent, and UCLA just keeps stagnating. Injuries have hurt . . . but when was the last time anyone thought they saw the real deal on the field? It's been awhile, I'd say Drew Olson. This PROBLEM is so BIG it warrants an entire blog. Ask Cal what happens when the team actually has skill on both sides of the ball, but a QB is missing. Disappoinment. Period. And Cal is still ahead of us . . . Who would think UCLA would have trouble getting top offensive talent, particularly at the QB position? Not me.
They played ok yesterday. Some big plays given up, but there is a ton of pressure on them. But they aren't a top-5 or 10 defense in the country. They are a top 25-30 defense. Good, but not great. Bottom line, we can't expect them to win games for us, except againt weak competition. They will keep us in a lot of games because they are good. But winning games is different.