Different coaches, same ol' crappy UCLA Football, same ol' UCLA fans in denial. It was a great day of college football until about 7:30pm PST. If Coach Mora doesn't see the writing in the wall, he should be fired yesterday. This is exactly why he was brought to Westwood. We are sick and tired of these types of performances. I don't know any other team in the country that does this year in, year out, for the last 14 years. There is something about UCLA Football that breeds this kind of effort. It starts at the Morgan Center and trickles on down. If Mora cannot figure out what it is exactly that engenders these unfocused, undisciplined outings, he will not last long here. Yes, it's early, blablabla, but other first year coaches have their teams playing a pretty sharp brand of football. And they happen to be in our division.
Player of the Week: Josh Nunes, Stanford - Nunes might have finally had his breakout game after taking over from Andrew Luck. In the back and forth affair against Arizona, Nunes was 21-34 for 360 yards and 2 TDs, and rushed 7 times for 33 yards and 3 TDs.
Stat of the Week: 617 - both Arizona and Stanford generated 617 yards of offense and 1 turnover. No wonder that game went to overtime.
Game of the Week: Stanford at Notre Dame, 12:30 pm PST, NBC - this one should be fun to watch, both ranked and coming off big wins. But let's see how Stanford plays away from home.
1. Oregon (6-0, 3-0): another opponent, another demolition. Chip Kelly has his speed demons humming and it is hard to fathom anyone being able to stop them at this point. Washington was the latest victim. It was 21-0 already in the first quarter, en route to a 52-21 beatdown. Speed kills and demoralizes. Oregon is off this week, until they travel to Tempe to face ASU in a big Thursday night game next week.
2. Oregon State (4-0, 3-0): Ugly don't matter. Playing at home, Oregon State overcame a poor performance by Sean Mannion to beat Washington State 19-6. Mannion had 3 interceptions, but they still won. Hey guess what, he's a sophomore. And they still won. Amazing! The Beavers defense had to step up in this game in order to preserve the unbeaten streak, and they did to the tune of 5 turnovers. Now the Beavers travel again (and they seem to be quite sharp on the road) to take on BYU.
3. Stanford (4-1, 2-1): it was an epic day for offenses up in Palo Alto. The Cardinal had won a couple of games with defense, this time they won it with their QB's arm as Nunes had his big day against Arizona. Defense was on vacation on this Saturday. But the Cardinal came through in overtime. They will head to South Bend to prove their mettle with renewed confidence to take on a tough Notre Dame team.
4. Washington (3-2, 1-2): this Oregon vs. UW rivalry has taken a Bruin turn. The brave Huskies tried and tried, but they were ridiculously outgunned, as has been anyone who played the Ducks this year. There is really nothing to take away from this game for any team that has faced them. Utter domination. Hopefully, they will be pissed just in time for Southern Cal to visit next week.
5. Cal (2-4, 1-2): UCLA produces many Heisman contenders. Sadly, it is mostly for the opposition. Zach Maynard (yes, Zach Maynard) was 25-30 for 295 yards and 4 TDs, routinely picking apart the pathetic UCLA defense whose adjustment seemed to consist of pulling their socks tight, if anything. Credit to the Bears and Tedford, they came ready to play and even after a terrible start, easily figured out the lame UCLA game plan (that didn't change at all) and repeatedly abused it. A bit of breathing room for the rest of the season, with a trip to Washington State coming up and a chance to even up their record in the conference.
6. Washington State (2-4, 0-3): so very close...the Cougars, despite being on the road, really gave the Beavers a hard time, with a surprisingly stout defense that repeatedly confused Sean Mannion and forced turnovers. If they had faced a weaker defense, they could have pulled off Leach's first conference victory, but OSU was too much this time around. Wazzu probably can't wait to play UCLA, but they just might get the old Cal team visiting in Pullman, since Cal reserves playing "at a magical level" for their games at home against UCLA.
1. Southern Cal (4-1, 2-1): the Trogans had a hilariously comical start to their road game against Utah, in a very loud stadium on Thursday night. Countless false starts, but most deliciously, two terrible snaps from the Trogan center to whinemeister Matt Barkley results in two quick Utah TDs. But the Trogans came back using Lame Kitten's magic video game playbook consisting of throwing the ball to Woods and Lee. After being down 21-7, Southern Cal outscored the Utes 31-7. They still did not look impressive and had to rely on their better athletes this time around to pull off the victory. Next up is a road trip to Seattle to hopefully lose a heartbreaker to Washington (sigh, if only I didn't have to rely on their misery to make me feel better).
2. Arizona State (4-1, 2-0): the Sun Devils were off, preparing for their Thursday night game at Colorado.
3. Arizona (3-3, 0-3): well Michigan, this is what Rich Rodriguez's offense is supposed to look like. You just didn't give him the time to get his guy under center. Truthfully, Rodriguez knew what he was doing by going to Arizona, whose personnel was already geared for this type of offense, and had Matt Scott as a senior QB to boot. But their performance at Stanford was truly impressive. Time and again, they came back and found the holes against the supposedly stout Cardinal defense. It was amazing (and scary) to watch. This was a great game on the road, and the team was really focused. Hey guess what, he's a first year coach with new staff...how come they're not making stupid penalties (Stanford had more at home)? I doubt Rodriguez is going around using, what, the shape of the ball? as an excuse after this loss. He's pissed, as he should be. This team is dangerous and will be seething on their bye week.
4. UCLA (4-2, 1-2): ye olde 20xx Bruins, here you are! I was wondering where you had been. You teased us here and there in a few games, but you were just saving it up for a doozey, weren't ya! I guess we shouldn't be putting up middle school players against the big bad college boys. Oh I'm sorry, that's what the loser fans (and coach, apparently), like to use as an excuse. Horrible game plan, stubborn playcalling, useless defense...sound familiar? Just FYI, Maynard was until Saturday, 87-151 for 5 TDs and 4 INTs, barely averaging over 200 yards. UCLA defense, the starmaker. Nothing has changed, not even the excuse-making after lame losses. Let's not get ranked the rest of the season please. Now we'll just wait and see what gets "fixed" and "cleaned up" for next week's game against Utah at home. Probably just the helmets.
5. Utah (2-3, 0-2): oh Utah, you big teaser you! You had me laughing for a quarter and a half! Watching your crowd force all those false starts, and your defense coming out of the gates with a fury, it was a joy! Too bad you couldn't sustain it...and too bad your offense was nowhere near good enough. But don't worry, you get the Bruins next week and they'll be happy to relieve some of your worries.
6. Colorado (1-4, 1-1): the young Colorado team (you want young, go look at their roster and quit whining about ours) is getting some extra practice before a visit from ASU on Thursday night.
There you have it folks. More reality setting in, the true nature of UCLA football is back with a vengeance. Better buck up, the second half of the season could get quite ugly. Toilet Bowl anyone?