Friday, October 13th, 1989.
As a UCLA sophomore with high hopes and strong school spirit a couple of dormmates and I headed out the 10 late on a whim Friday night in order support a team coming off a strong 1988 campaign but without many of those stars (Aikman, Gaston Green, many others).
First bad sign - we had a flat out in the middle of the desert at about 1am. Have any of you tried to change a tire by moonlight in the middle of the desert? Challenging to say the least.
After a few hours sleep at a friend's house in Phoenix, we headed down the road to Tucson, where a sea of red awaited us.
No need to recount the game, UA played a great game and honestly I don't think the Bruins ever got off the bus. Sort of like BYU last year.
My lasting memory is of Jimmy Bonds (now there is an answer to UCLA Football Trivia) windmilling his arms on the sideline to come in for the final drive. Utter futility.
Bottom line is that the team that year finished 3-7-1, and this year will likely be about the same, as painful as that realization is.
We almost never play well in Tucson, remember the debacle in 2005?
This year, Arizona has played quite well: lost at UW on a freak play that perhaps was the wrong call despite outplaying and greatly outgaining them. UA also played a good Iowa team tough on the road (17-27).
As much as I would like to hold out against all the facts that the Bruins will play the 'Cats and their outstanding young QB Foles tough, a more likely scenario is a blowout where the team will pack it in on the road. It's pretty clear right now that the TN game was a HUGE outlier.
One of the Bosworth brothers was quoted as saying he was "glad to be going to Tucson" because fans were going to be jumping ship and he preferred to play away this week. Really? Sort of like when they said it was "good that they lost to Stanford"? I think Toby Gerhart, LaMichael James, and the Cal RBs are still waiting for someone on the other side of the LOS.
Sad to think that, for such a proud overall athetic tradition, we only had two solid years in the late 90's with Cade and The Cardiac Kids. When you think about the program, pretty much little has changed over 20 years. Either we have had a potent offense or above-average defense but never both at the same time. Even in the 1997 and 1998 roller coaster rides it never felt like we had control in many of the games. Either a last minute defensive play or more often than not last minute Cade magic saved our bacon in several of the games.
This year I'm not sure what we have, and by the latest comments of CRN cited here on BN, I'm not entirely sure the coaches do either.
GO BRUINS...and please prove me wrong this year!