Guess we will pound home the point again that UCLA has not beaten Cal at Strawberry Canyon since 1998. With a shaky QB, disinterested WRs (they play like it at times), questionable and soft defense with undisciplined secondary, and often bored DC who doesn't get aggressive till the second half, it doesn't seem like the Bruins have much of a shot this season either.
Depending on where you look the Bruins are somewhere between 7.5 to 8 points underdog this Saturday. They are facing a well rested Bear team which has had two weeks to exorcise their Nevada demons. Oh sure we have this nice, shiny revolver thingy that has generated some "hope" in recent weeks. However, as Rick Neuheisel said himself "hope" is not much of a strategy. From what we have seen it doesn't seem like Bruins have anything else going for them against California Bears.
As always, there are those "IFs." The Bruins will have a shot IF they can manage the clock, don't turn the ball over, don't give up the big plays, and create some of their own by putting pressure on Riley and the Bear offense. I don't really see it happening, not after watching what has unfolded for the Bruins in recent years at Memorial Stadium.
All of you should know the drill by now. As always if you don't want to think about nightmares around a bumbling, fumbling, uninspired UCLA team putting together a horrid performance, then just like last week you need to STOP READING NOW and walk away. But if you want to partake in yet another cleansing exercise and get it all out of your system take a leap with us to the other (dark/cranky/dreary) side.
Let's go over all the ugly scenarios that could play out. They seem pretty obvious ones given our history in this past decade:
- UCLA offense comes out throwing and dropped passes from Morrell Pressley, Cory Harkey and Taylor Embree. Bruins do get a first down but then gets bogged down because of a block in the back from Ricky Marvray.
- Cal offense comes out and just rolls on to a nice and comfortable TD in their first drive. Kevin Riley gets no pressure from the front-4. Our CBS give the Cal WRs about 35 yard cushion. We do appear to stop them once around the red zone but the stop is negated by a PI call on Aaron Price.
- Cal goes up by more 2 TDs in first half. The Bruins finally put together a drive getting all the way down to Bears' 5 yard line but has to settle for a FG.
- Bruins finally close the gap to 10 points but Tedford's Bears promptly march down the length of the field for a quick TD before the half.
- Jeremy Ross goes the distance to open the second half and returns kickoff for a TD.
- Kevin Prince looks mostly ineffective in the first half just like he did against Oregon last year (after coming back from injury). Chow finally decides to give Richard Brehaut a shot but he looks befuddled against the Bears' defense.
- Cal converts at least 5 3rd and long situations going well over 15 yards.
- Shane Vereen rushes for around 180+ yards ripping off chunks in 18, 28, 35, and 58 yards against Bullogh's classic soft, vanilla Bruin defense.
- Kevin Riley barely gets sacked once, throwing for over 220 yards, 3 TDs and no picks.
- Kai Forbath kicks 3 FGs over 40 yards making no difference in the game.
- Our pride and joy - the OL - gets called for 4 holding penalties, gives up 4 sacks and barely generates around 3.8 yards per carry.
- Jet Ski fumbles the ball while the Bruins get themselves in scoring position. Derrick Coleman gets stuffed near the goal line. Malcolm Jones just looks completely lost.
Like I told you above it wasn't going to be pretty.
As for you "wellread" pollyannas of course a miracle can always happen. Here is the problem with that theory. It already happened in Austin once this season. So the lightning is not going to strike for this Bruin team again this season against a very good Pac-10 team on the road, which has had this Saturday circled as one of the most important games of the season. However, if for some reason a miracle does take place (even though I am pretty convinced it ain't happen), as always would be more than happy to eat crow.
So what else are we missing here? Here is your chance everyone to go relentlessly negative! Let's make this one thread where you can let it all out before we get ready for Saturday. Perhaps at the very least it will allow to clear our mind heading into game day. Consider this a pre-emptive negative mojo strike for this Saturday. Unfortunately for us we have been living through those scenarios for more than a decade.