Well we have seen this movie before. Bruins travel up to Bay Area to suffer yet another disspiriting loss that have become the norm in this program's recent history. The final score was 16-24 in favor of Stanford but in reality the game never really felt close. Here is the box score.
After two weeks to prepare for what might have been the biggest Pac-10 game since 2001, Bruins came out looking unprepared and without any focus. They ran wrong routes, took stupid penalties, and were throughly outcoached by Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff. Cardinal came out and took control of this game by running all over the Bruins. Gerhart dominated Reggie Carter and co most of the game by rushing for 134 yards and 3 TDs. Stanford's redshirt freshman Andrew Luck carved up the Bruin defense for 198 yards, completing for a very efficient 14 of his 20 psses.
Bruins took the lead early by a Dorrellian score of 3-0. However, they once again shot themselves in the foot by running bad routes (not Craft's fault) and taking stupid penalites. We talked all week about how important it was for Bullough's defense to set the tone. It didn't happen as the Cardinal manhandled the Bruins running up a 14-6 lead halftime, which was not as close as the score indicated. After 3-0 start it did feel like the Bruins were turning the proverbial corner. Unfortunately due to their uninspired and out of focus performance early in the game, they slammed into a Stanford brick wall.
The passion bucket is full in Bruin Nation. We have faith in Neuheisel and co. Yet there is no way to suger coat this loss. This was very disappointing on all fronts. Sure the defense came back and made it a game in second half but that doesn't make up for the fact how they were getting man handled all day long. Meanwhile, on the other side the offense looked tentative, out of focus, conservative and shall I say classic Donahuesque.
We have heard a lot about culture change from Rick Neuheisel and co. We still think he has a good chance of pulling that off in this year with a solid run to a bowl game. There is plenty of time for this team to dig deep and make a stand at home during next couple of weeks. However, if the coaches and players in this team really want to prove there has been a culture change, they will have to show much better focus and effort for the entire game in the coming weeks. We didn't see it today.
As I said above though, we got a long way to. Hopefully the coaches and players will take a look at this game, figure out what went wrong and then prepare to give us an inspired outing against an explosive (gulp) Oregon offense next weekend.
We will have more on this game of course. In the meantime, let's here it from you. Fire up your thoughts here in the post game thread. If you have detailed thoughts/analysis make sure you get them up in FanPosts.
The thread is all yours.