More On "Conservative" Mindset: UCLA’s Superb Kicking Game & Coaching "Scared"

Get used to it. We are not going to let go off the theme of Rick Neuheisel's "conservative" game management until we start seeing discernible changes in the upcoming weeks. Wanted to zero in on our kicking game a bit and contemplate whether it has fostered this mindset wrt to managing of UCLA's offense during Rick Neuheisel era in Westwood (which goes back to his Terry Donahue roots).

Kai Forbath and Jeff Locke are two great kids. I love how they do their parts to help out our football team every game. Those two are always ready to go (although I get the sense Locke's kickoff range diminishes a bit as the season wears on). I have also appreciated Forbath coming back for his senior season after winning the Groza award in his junior season. He was just named semi-finalist for the award again for this season. Big ups to him.

All that said, I wonder if the superb kicking game we have had because of these two guys and their predecessors at UCLA have had a negative impact on the development of our offense in recent years. Basically both Forbath and Locke are so reliable, I wonder if they have given Rick Neuheisel a false sense security wrt to how he can ‘control' a game or keep the score manageable.

I wonder if we had a mediocre kicking game, Rick Neuheisel would be a little more aggressive in his decisions wrt to going for it on 4th downs after his team has crossed the midfield. Of course, we are not advocating that he goes for it every single time (that is a strawman argument). What hasn't made sense in last couple of years, which kind of boiler over during Oregon game, when Neuheisel inexplicably went for FGs, when his team desperately needed TDs (just to make his offense feel good).

Something to think about. As I mentioned before, when a coach manages a game with the mindset that he is going to be aggressive and will work with 4 downs, it also opens up options for him in terms of how he sequences his playcalls and mix them up.

Bruins are going to be 10 point underdogs tomorrow afternoon. On paper Arizona will have matchup advantages against the Bruins on both sides of the field. I really hope Rick Neuheisel and his coaching staff don't come into this game with the mindset of playing not to lose. I hope they came out and attack early and don't wait to react against the Wildcats.

Bruins have scored 14 first quarter points on all freaking season. They are not going to get it done if they play timid, play scared, play not to lose and keep settling for FGs and field goal positions. It hasn't worked out for them during this Pac-10 conference season. Hope we start seeing some changes in this mindset starting tomorrow afternoon.

GO BRUINS.

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