Bumped. Still gathering my thoughts. Let me say this: tasser and yours truly started as students UCLA on the same day in the same class. We attended all the games sitting in the student moshpit watching UCLA teams from the 90s. Bruins Nation has always been about holding our athletic programs accountable to maintain the standards set by our tradition. We are not giving up on Neuheisel. I personally will do my best to wait till the end of his 4th season to make my final determination on whether he is the answer. That said anything less than 6 wins in 2009 will not be acceptable here on Bruins Nation. If our team doesn't get to 6 wins this year, we will consider it as first strike against Neuheisel in his career as the UCLA head coach. GO BRUINS. - N
19 games into the Neu era.
What has our football team improved in?
Well...the QBs are throwing fewer interceptions. They're just replacing them with fumbles.
The field goal kicker is having a record season. Because the offense can't score TDs.
The punter is even better than last year. Because the offense can't convert on third downs.
The wide receivers drop even more passes. Nelson Rosario is officially doing a Brian Poli-Dixon impersonation.
The defense is better than last year...it is sad to see their efforts go to waste because our offense just can't score.
The OL is doing a better job, though still inconsistent.
This is a sad, sad state of affairs. I think it is fair to say that overall there has been zero progress made since last year. Zero. What is the point of bringing in all this talent only to have game plans that take the game out of their hands. If our coaches don't trust the players, then don't friggin' recruit them. Freshmen...freshmen are calling out Norm Chow...on friggin' twitter. We are losing games, eminently winnable games, because the coaches just cannot bring themselves to take the training wheels off. That is not what inspires people, and that is not what motivates players.
This season is in a downward death spiral and I am deeply disappointed with the approach taken by the coaches this year. Players make the mistakes, sure, but this game plan has no place on this team anymore. It was okay last year. I don't care how green or inexperienced our players are, if you don't put them in a position to win games and make plays, they simply won't. If something isn't done to get this disgusting taste of losing out of the players' mouths, this team will go the way of Toledo's 2001 team.
I can't bear to watch this team anymore and I don't know whom to blame anymore either. Perhaps my own delusional expectations of having a team out there that actually looks like it knows what it's doing. There is simply nothing to look forward to in each subsequent game. The game plan is the exact same every week and I just sit here dreadfully waiting to see who will screw up first. Last year we were overmatched, so losing was not as painful. This year, we were in the game in all 4 of our losses. This team has not made a play when it mattered the most, except on the goal line stand against Tennessee. That's it. That is pathetic.
I have never, ever seen a team, even the bottom dwellers of the worst conferences, play with such a reduced, lame and boring playbook because "they don't have the personnel". If our coaches make our players play in fear of screwing up, then I'd rather they didn't play at all.
To be fair, we have played four straight games against good, or very good teams. And we were close each time, even against Cal. But it's time for the coaches to help their players lose their big play virginity.
UCLA, tied with Washington State at the bottom of the conference. These are dark days.