A win is always a win. However, there are certain wins that do not feel too great and raise all kinds of questions. What happened at the Rose Bowl this afternoon was one of them. Bruins somehow willed themselves to a victory this afternoon despite an atrocious effort from defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough and a cute one from offensive coordinator Norm Chow (in the second half). UCLA thanks to another outstanding effort from our offensive line and our two headed thunder and lightning running attack, just pulled out an ugly and needless heart stopping win against a valiant Washington State Cougars. The final score was 42-28. Here is the box score. That all looks nice on scoreboard but it didn't feel good watching it. Not at all.
The game seem destined towards another epic Bruin choke when the Cougars had appeared to score on a dive from sensational freshman QB Jeff Tuel. At that time the Cougars went up by a score of 34-28 and as they hurried to kick the XP it seemed all but over. Then the Pac-10 refs came to their senses and finally made a call (after screwing both teams all day with one bad call after another). Somehow someway Chuck Bullough discovered blitz and Rahim Moore made his best play of his junior season on a 4 th down stop. The Bruins OL took over from there and thanks to monster quarters from both Derrick Coleman and JetSki went on to take control and win the game with back to back TD drives.
The ball game goes to UCLA OL, which generated 441 yards through a sensational rushing attack. JetSki became first RB since MJD to rush for 100 yards three straight games as he put up a monster day of 216 yards. It was Derrick Coleman though who arguably was even more impressive in the fourth quarter ripping off a 73 yard deep in our end zone. He rushed for 185 yards and 3 TDs. That's all the good news but the Bruins have a lot of self-reflecting to do with an ugly performance from our defense and very questionable play calling in the first half.
Bruin defense was awful. Specifically the scheming from Chuck Bullough was a horrid joke as he let the Cougars rip apart his soft, prevent D, specifically on 3rd and long all afternoon long. The Bruins also played without a sense of urgency and kind of dumb until late in the fourth quarter. The secondary was horrible for most of the game, trash talking away, while getting beat consistently and giving up one big play after another on ridiculous penalties. It was difficult to watch until Rahim Moore woke up and finally made a play.
While Richard Brehaut had a decent debut passing for 128 yards he was out of rhythm after completing 5 of his past 6 passes. He did pull off a nice TD run in a nice fake, but it was obvious why coaches think Kevin Prince has better command of the offense. Also, speaking of coaches the calls from Norm Chow to pass the ball on 4th and 1 during first half, and also during goal line situations cost UCLA points and kept the Cougars around. Those calls were frankly a little too cute and showed a lack of killer instinct.
Well thankfully Bruins pulled off a win. It is going to be interesting how they prepare this week. If they don't get their defensive mindset fixed and get aggressive again, they are going to get demolished in Berkeley. Sure hope Bullough and his players - and frankly the entire team - take a close look at themselves and figure out how to recapture the focus and intensity from last two weeks.
If do you have extended reflections to share, make sure to put them in up in the fanpost section. With that let's open up this victory thread.