21 Random Thoughts About UCLA Football

Bumped. GO BRUINS. - N

Well, the broken record we have been listening to for the past 3 weeks played itself again.  The last 2 and 1/2 seasons of UCLA football have been depressing to say the least.  The program has hit rock bottom (I thought that happened about this time 2 years ago).  Part of this is because it is apparent that UCLA may not even meet the modest expectations most of us set for this season (I predicted 7-5), but am thinking 4-8 or 5-7 at this point with an outside chance at 6-6 with no bowl.   Notwithstanding records, the team appears to be regressing, not improving.

I did not read the in game threads so some of the random thought below might be repeats of what has already been noted.

So, here we go . . .

1.  The defense looked totally unprepared for the wide receiver reverses that Zona ran at the Bruins in the first half.  Each seemed to go for an average of 15 yards.

2. Coach Bullough didn't make adjustments on the reverses until halftime.  After that, we contained them pretty well.  Too little, too late.

3.  At one point, it looked like Coach Chow thought to himself, "Hey, the WR reverse worked for Arizona, let's try it."  Well, UCLA used a specific package with Thigpen out wide.  Zona sniffed it out for no gain.  Why?  It was obvious from the package UCLA put in.  If UCLA runs that play out of a package that is usually for passes with Austen or Carroll, we may get some yardage.  Bringing in specific packages for specific plays tips the opposing defense.  The Bruins are way to "obvious" on offense.

4.  Kyle Bosworth had, by far, his worst game as a Bruin.  Missed tackles and lack of containment of the reverses hurt us.

5.  I do not, for the life of me, understand why C-Ram started the game.  Was Jetski's ankle hampered?  He scored 2 TDs on it and had over 100 yards last week on it.  Yet, he had only 9 carries.  Using average seniors from this point forward is a complete waste of time.  We need to be getting younger players experience for next season.  Otherwise, some of those younger players (Milton Knox comes to mind), will transfer.  I do agree that Jetski's performance was average at best for him.  Unfortunately, the handoffs to him are so telegraphed (i.e., the fullback shifting over to the side where he intends to run between the tackles) that they gain 3-4 yards on a good run.

6.  The QB merry-go-round smacked of desperation.  None of them are "lights out" (far from it) but a little more creativity and imagination with the plays called would help put these guys in a position to win.  None of the QBs was helped by the WRs that appear to have great practices but cannot make basic catches in games.

7.  Ekbatani has a bad game A senior (even one who started the season on the bench) should not incur so many penalties.

8.  Reggie Carter is not at full strength.  Supposedly playing with a torn MCL.  I feel bad for him because he plays his heart out.  A healthy Reggie would have made the tackle on Zona's last TD.

9.  Well, everybody clamoring for Viney saw what happened on the first TD.  BURNED.  Hopefully, Hester can get back into the mix.  His performance against UT might have been smoke and mirrors (and an inaccurate Crompton)

10.  The only blitz I saw in the first half resulted in Jerzy's pick.  Never once saw a corner blitz.  The few LB blitzes that we ran were OBVIOUS and picked up.  Moore's second pick was the result of getting pressure on Foles, although I believe we only rushed 4.

11.  Against Zona's suspect corners, we only had 2 WR receptions after Rosario's catch with seconds left in the 3rd Q.  The other was a 3 yard screen pass to Embree.  That is called a failure to exploit a teams weakness.

12.  Zona's LBs are quick but undersized.  Why no hooks or seam routes to the BIG TIGHT ENDS.  Using some hoops parlance, It would stand to reason that Pressley and Harkey would be able to rebound or corral some jump balls thrown to them against the short LBs.  Pressley caught one ball in a play that went to the outside.  Never saw Harkey.  Paulson caught some screens, but that doesn't exploit the short but quick LB matchup, it plays right into it.  Moya had a seam route resulting in an overthrow but of all the TEs, Moya is the one who is LEAST likely to exploit the size matchup because of his (relative) lack of size.

13.  Question for those smarter that me (probably most):  On the Zona screen pass that went for a TD, Shelton Price was taken out by a cut block below the waist.  A few weeks ago, a few plays apart.  UCLA was penalizes but WR blocks below the waist on similar plays.  Why no flag against the player that cut Price?  Was it because that block was about 10 yards down the field whereas the UCLA blocks a few weeks ago were 5 yards or less off the line?  Am I missing something here?

14.  I am starting to think that Coach Chow is too entrenched in his "pro set" ways to adapt to the players he has now and/or what other coaches are doing with less talent across the nation.  Sure, the pro set worked with talent laden $UC*, with Philip Rivers at NC State, and when BYU was king of its conference, but our offense is one of the worst in CFB right now.  Probably the worst in any BCS conference (I would think that UNC went ahead of us after scoring 27 in a loss on Thurs.).

15.  The coaches are using Forbath at a crutch.  Tennessee blew their chances against Bama but at least they kept going for it on 4th down in the fourth quarter.  There is a spectrum ranging from reckless, to aggressive, to passive on 4th down plays.  Miss St. against Florida 4th down fake punt reverse on their own 20 down 3 = reckless.  4th and 1 or 2 in opponent's territory = aggressive.  FG on 4th and 1 or 2 around the 35 or 30 = passive.

16.  There are not many teams that lose games when the opponent turns the ball over 5 times, one of which is returned for a touchdown.

17.  Remember the teams UCLA beat in the non-conference portion of the season?   I do not believe that the Bruins would beat any of them if they played them next week.  SDSU is improving, is 3-4 and may go 6-6 in the MWC.  UT is 3-4 and would have beaten Alabama in Tuscaloosa if they had Kai Forbath as their kicker.  Crompton looks improved.  Kansas State is 5-3, first place in the Big 12 North, and put up 62 on Texas A&M last week.  Bill Snyder is working his magic.

18.  Steve Physioc is a freaking moron.  Nuff said.

19.  Fox Sports coverage is awful.  I love JW as because he is a Bruin, but it is Sean Westgate, not "Wingate" (incorrectly announced at last 2 times).  The female sideline reporter was worse than amateur, calling Zona's QB "Foley" instead of Foles in the interview before the game with CRN.  At least know the dang QB's name!  He is not some 3rd string lineman.

20. The OSU game not being televised is appropriate.  The Bruins are fading from irrelevance to oblivion this season. No exposure to recruits when you are not on TV.

21. #19 and #20 above demonstrate why it is critical that the new Pac 10 commissioner orchestrate a better TV deal when the current one expires.  I can watch every SEC, BIg 10, and Big 12 game on TV every week but half of the PAC 10 games are unavailable even with the FOX Sports package, Versus, and Gameplan.

We, there you go, thanks for sticking with me until the end.  I will probably miss the OSU replay due to trick-or-treating responsibilities next Saturday and will be out of the country for UW.  I hope it do not come back to 3-6.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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