Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
And the Bruins' worst home loss ever at the Rose Bowl.
I am basing this only on shutouts at home (i.e., under my analysis, a 35-0 loss is "worse" than 41-3 because I am only considering shutouts).
That having been said, although the Bruins have been shut out at home 16 times since 1941 (only 3 times since 1963), this was the worst loss since UCLA lost to Washington, 41-0, in 1941.
Although I am not ready to give up on this team yet, and the coaches in particular, this loss is beyond Dorrellian, who was never shutout at the Rose Bowl. Bob Toledo was shut out once at home, 17-0 to Cal, in 1999 and Donahue was shut out twice in 1992 and 1994, 20-0 to ASU and 21-0 to WSU, respectively.
In particular, despite the talent upgrade, this team has regressed in so many ways since November, 2009. As usual, I have some points to make (solely based on my fuzzy, buzzed memory from last night while also sucking at poker):
(1) UCLA never sacked Luck. As a matter of fact, the Bruins never appeared to get within spitting distance of him. Whether this is a lack of talent and experience up front or Coach B's schemes is an open question to me. It may be both. UCLA really misses Brian Price but the defense even had issues with him last season.
(2) No adjustments against Luck's rush. When Luck did feel some pressure, he ran on UCLA like no "pro style QB" has ever run on the Bruins IMHO. The box score says he averaged almost 10 yards a carry and was Stanford's leading rusher. Simply unacceptable for a pro style QB. No adjustments were made to "shadow" the QB to prevent such runs.
(3) Inexcusable false start penalties killing drives. This has been a problem for UCLA for as long as I can remember, and shouldn't be happening with 5 senior starters, even if most were tabbed as backups before the injury bug hit.
(4) Kai missed. First time inside the 50 yard line in something like 40 tries. Hit the left upright. Nobody is perfect. UCLA was also in field goal range (not including the Brehaut drive) at least 3 other times, I believe, but a combination of sacks and penalties took them outside of even Kai's range.
(5) Malcolm Jones. The kid needs to have the ball, period. Speed and power. Moves the pile. My heart goes out to DC and I hope he makes a full recovery, but CRN needs to let the horse run. Think Larrimore at South Carolina. I am sure there are good, upperclassman backs who are sitting at USC while that kid is playing. JetSki had what looked to be at least 2 TD runs stopped by shoestring tackles and was one of UCLA's bright sopts. He needs to be kept in the mix, IMO, but I think Jones needs to be the featured back.
(6) F-Back & Tight End. For all we have heard about the mis-matches the pistol will create with the F-Back position, all we have seen are a couple of 3 yard out pass completions to Presley and Barr. This has been a huge disappointment, as has been the use of our tight ends. Where is 6'7" Joseph Fauria?!?!?!
(7) Sportsmanship. I don't need to see Sheldon Price (or any other Bruin for that matter; he just comes to my mind because I remember the specific play) hovering over a downed WR, beating his chest and yelling (basically taunting the guy, for which he should have been flagged, but wasn't) after a play that should have been called for defensive pass interference when UCLA is getting throughly dominated. Scoreboard, man! Make the play and go back to the huddle. Celebrate (if at all) when you are winning.
(8) Summer/off season hype. Never again will I believe the talk that comes out of summer voluntary workouts every year that "everybody has bought in this year, we have almost 100% participation, which is much better than last year" or "we are so much stronger than last year." The proof is not in the pudding.
(9) Pistol firing blanks. Aside from the rushing improvement, I am starting to think that the pistol offense is not what our defense needs. Running the "no huddle" or "hurry up" offense doesn't help UCLA's ball control and doesn't give the D enough time to rest. Maybe that changes if and when the Bruins find some consistency in the pistol.
(10) QB. I know people will be calling for Brehaut to start and I an not sure I disagree, but he didn't exactly light it up against Stanford's backups playing soft, bend don't break defense at that point. Yes, he moved the ball (so did Prince on some drives) but the ultimate result was the same--no points.
Someone posted last week (maybe it was Nestor) that close loses, like KSU, were worse because you know that your team could and should have won, but didn't. This loss, OTOH, was such an utter and thorough beatdown, that, as a fan, I have a feeling of hopelessness. Watching the game last night my emotions went from anger to despair to numbness. There is so much wrong, all of which feed on each other and create a snowball effect, that I can't even begin to know where to start to get better. Lucky for me, CRN and crew get paid to try to right the ship. And they better, fast, or this season is looking like a really tough one and one that could adversely effect recruiting for next season.
Not much more to say. The cliches, "relentless optimism," "passion bucket," "improvement," are ringing hollow right now. We'll see what happens against an explosive Houston offense with a dinged up Case Keenum.