Well, that was quite the game.
The first half was not pretty. We may have gone into the locker room up by a touchdown, but it felt like we lost the half.
First off, SJSU starts their backup quarterback. For a team we should have steamrolled, the BACKUP QUARTER BACK is giving us fits. They start the game three and out, but we return the favor by going three and out.
In our next drive, courtesy of a late hit on Richard Brehaut, a nice Jonathan Franklin run that nearly broke through to the end zone except for when he stepped out of bounds, a nice run by Anthony Barr (remember him!) a pushing contest by our O-Line to push Brehaut to the one, Jonathan Franklin punches in for the touchdown.
SJSU then realizes they watched the game tape from Houston, and starts playing the underneath game, and marches down the field for a touchdown. The defense should be ashamed for that drive.
At this point in the half, the football team is playing in a haze, with absolutely no tempo and no urgency. Yet we manage to stop the SJSU offensive juggernaut and force a punt. On the ensuing drive, SJSU starts coming after our run, which is fine, since Brehaut can throw the ball. Brehaut carves up SJSU in the air, and we top the drive off with a touchdown to Joseph Fauria.
UCLA has the chance to add on another quick score, with two quick passes to Shaq Evans, but the drive stalls, and UCLA barely keeps SJSU off the scoreboard into halftime.
Overall: the first half sucked. We played down to SJSU's level and maybe a bit below it. Is the basketball team on the field?
In the second half, we start with an illegal motion. Totally set the tone for that drive, which ends with us failing to convert on third down and hand SJSU spectacular field position.
We keep SJSU out of the end zone (VICTORY!!!) and only allow them a field goal. Considering all the cushioning we gave their receivers, three points is better than seven, right? You almost expect the scoreboard to give SJSU an extra point for the effort.
Then, it happens.
Derrick Coleman starts running people over. Except when he has to take a much deserved break, we can't do much of anything else, and we wind up kicking a field goal. Thankfully, Kip Smith has a nice good kick, converting his first field goal in college from 37 yards.
DERRICK COLEMAN! Remember that name, he's important later.
Except for SJSU finding a HUGE HOLE on their drive and scoring and tying the game. The UCLA fan empire starts hyperventilating. The phone numbers and emails for Dan Guerrero and Chancellor Block are frantically searched. Chuck Bullough stares at the phone in his home, glumly willing it to ring.
Jonathan Franklin then fumbles. A scream of Darth Vader "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" proportions radiate through the Bruin Universe.
Thankfully, Sean Westgate plays the "I can one up you" game and picks the ball off. On the UCLA drive, SJSU puts the world's smallest defender on Rosario. Brehaut picks up on this finally, and throws the ball to Rosario. Rosario spreads his arms wide and catches the ball. Odd how that works. But then Taylor "Sure Hands/Fair Catch" Embree fumbles after nearly dropping the ball and somehow reeling it in. We were better off with him dropping the pass.
Embree owes Sheldon Price one meal in the dining hall for bailing him out with an interception of our own. SJSU starts handing us the game, and Kip Smith converts another FG, showing more confidence. Good job, we're seriously going to need you!
Once again, DERRICK COLEMAN RUNS THROUGH PEOPLE. TOUCHDOWN. Considering SJSU's size, we should have overpowered them ALL NIGHT LONG.
Dumbest play of the half? Jordan Zumwalt with the late hit. You can try to argue that the QB was kinda in bounds, but he needs to let up and not hit the QB!
Overall, "this game was a lot closer than the final score." How's that for a football cliche?
After every game, we will grade the team based on the Eye Test:
1) Is our defense prepared for each and every team we play?
2) Do we call offensive plays to catch our opponents off guard?
3) Do our players look like they know what they should be doing at all times?
4) Do our players play for 60 G-D minutes every game?
5) Do our players execute?
6) Do we have leaders on the field?
Yeah, I'm not going to bother.
2. No. Until DERRICK COLEMAN arrived.
4. No. They played in the 4th quarter. Although SJSU was helping us out.
5. No. Unless your name is DERRICK COLEMAN. (and Fauria.)
6. Hellz no. (Be glad I didn't say hella.) I'm super disappointed in Richard Brehaut in this regard, as this should have been an opportunity for him to seize the starting QB position. DO NOT be surprised if Prince starts next week.
Player of the Game: DERRICK COLEMAN.
Letter Writing Campaign Target of the Week: Pick your poison: Neuheisel, Guerrero, Block.