Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
This is a relentlessly positive look at this past game, so please bear with me here.
Am I upset? Of course.
Am I confused? Yep.
Am I going to kill myself? Nope.
Is this the end of the season? If you're asking that question, get out of here.
Should we hang Craft and eat his remains for lunch? Wow, that's messed up, go get counseling.
In this game, UCLA was outplayed for roughly 34 minutes, give or take a few situations. But those other minutes were hard fought, grind it out, leave it all on the field minutes. I hate the idea of thinking that UCLA threw this game, or didn't show up to play, because they didn't. What we saw was UCLA going up against a team that was stronger, faster, and better. 9/10 times, you'll lose that game. On the other hand, UCLA got what was expected, a heavy dose of Gerhart, and a Phenom QB, who well, is a Freshman. Then on offense, did more than what was asked of them, moving the ball in very crucial situations. However, I might be too positive.
UCLA was outworked for 34 minutes. Which, unless we're an offensive Juggernaut, is never a good way to win games. UCLA isn't an offensive juggernaut.
Let's take a rundown of stats:
1st Downs: UCLA 20, Stanford 20
Total Yards: UCLA 301, Stanford 373
Passing: UCLA 204, Stanford 198
Rushing: UCLA 97, Stanford 175
Turnovers: UCLA 0, Stanford 1
Penalties: UCLA 6-59, Stanford 7-48
Possession: UCLA 25:48, Stanford 34:12
Why did I highlight those two? Here's why.
The difference between UCLA's offense and Stanford's offense was 72 yards. There were 81 yards between UCLA and a win granted a few awesome plays from the Offense. The difference in penalties was 11 yards....
Let's let that soak in for a while...
Welcome back. Wow... I'm just going to keep the sunny side up here.
UCLA got outworked, but didn't quit. UCLA got outplayed, but didn't quit. UCLA got out-disciplined, but didn't quit. UCLA got out-coached (I guess), but didn't quit. UCLA was down by three possessions, but didn't quit. UCLA saw their defense get owned, but didn't break down on offense. UCLA's offense didn't turn the ball over, performed well in some clutch situations.
Now, I'll try to put it all into perspective. (Clears throat)
UCLA went on the road to face a focused, tested, and much improved Stanford team. Stanford came right up, and punched the Bruins in the mouth, but the Bruins didn't back off right away, forcing a turnover right off the bat. The offense came up with a mediocre, but productive drive to start. I hope I'm not the only one that felt like the rest of the game just kind of blurred away... which is a bad thing, because I remember good games vividly. I'll go to my main points.
Maybe not in yardage so much, but in major situations. I can recall several times in which Stanford was in some sort of hole, or was about to go 3 and out, and then UCLA decides to mess themselves up. It's so frustrating to watch, I don't even want to know what it's like to be playing in a game where someone makes a mental mistake bad enough to completely change the result of a drive, or quarter, or half, or game.
The Defense isn't bad, Gerhart is just really good
I don't want to hear it, but I guess you could argue that. The D-Line wasn't dominated entirely, but it was more or less like a stalemate. Watch some of the replays, there wasn't so much of a surge on the O-Line as it was a stop, Gerhart is just really crazy good. At the end of the day, the stats reflect just a beast-mode performance from an elite Running-Back. No wonder they owned Washington, and no wonder they beat UCLA, Gerhart is just that good.
Brehaut isn't the answer to UCLA's prayers.
Going to reference what some people were asking for, thanks Old time RTT for this:
- The Rule Against 2QB Systems. With only two exceptions, 2QB systems should be avoided like the bird flu.
- The Evaluation Period Exception. A 2QB system may be temporarily necessary to evaluate the available talent in game situations to determine which QB should be the long term starter. The evaluation period should be as short as possible and should under no circumstances last longer than four or five games.
- The Waffle Exception to the Epinephrine Exception. You only get one shot of epi, and it should only be used with well-established starters whose confidence will not be shattered by the substitution. Beware of the temptation to use it with recent winners of a quarterback duel. If you absolutely must change your mind once a "final" decision has been made on a duel, YOU CANNOT DO IT AGAIN. If you yank your first "final answer" QB because he’s melted down, he’ll no longer be a viable option, so stick with his replacement as long as he’s anywhere in the vicinity of competent.
Credit for this game even being close goes to Mr. Craft. He was animated, if you didn't see it. He did all that he possibly could.
I'm going to call out all the Craft Haters here, bold move I know, but let me ask you this, does it makes sense to put in a true freshman QB who has taken 2 snaps all year in a two possession game with a swarming Stanford Defense opposing him, in probably the most crucial game in recent UCLA-PAC 10 history?
The ignorance to facts on their behalf also got me steamed; at the point where the barking came he was something ridiculous like 11-15.
That added to the point about why I hate open threads.
Sure, you could say it was inevitable that UCLA would have to go deep eventually, and Brehaut has the better YPT, but come on, think about what you're asking for.
Mentally, the Halftime turnaround was an absolute miracle
UCLA was going for late fouls, missed routes, botched trick plays, just to name a few. Not only did it cost a starter, but basically the game. Generally, the culture behind the second half was, let's just play football, and UCLA did just that. They went back to basics, and responded well with a few defensive stands and a few good drives. If you really want to be an optimistic Bruin, you should be proud at this turn of events. On the other hand, you should be pissed at the fact that UCLA can't do it for 2 halves. For one, Stanford is just good. Secondly, UCLA's defense had a half on half off day from the get go. I figured it was inevitable that UCLA would lose this game at half time, but UCLA played so well to battle back that I can't help but feel proud.
Call me crazy, but Locke is bionic.
Short and sweet, the best way to keep someone from making an impact on the game is to not let that person touch the ball. Locke heard all week that Owusu was essentially the greatest player in the history of the world, and he just chuckled, and said, bye-bye ball.
Yep, it was optimistic, but hey, UCLA was overmatched, and played a bad game for 34 minutes. And again, unless you can score at will, which UCLA can't do just yet, you are going to lose those games 9/10 times.
So buckle down Bruin fans, we're going to have a battle in this conference, and it's up to the players on whether they want to roll over and get spit on, or fight back, bRUIN some dreams for PAC 10 titles, and get to that bowl game.