PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers is tackled for a safety by defensive end Datone Jones #56 of the UCLA Bruins in the fourth quarter at the Rose Bowl on September 8, 2012 in Pasadena, California. UCLA won 36-30. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Wow. We've had a lot of great analysis and thoughts from the front pagers and all our community members, but for me, most of my reflections on this one are on a more emotional level. Again, just wow. This was one of the best nights for UCLA football fans in recent memory. UCLA football is back in the top 25. Now Mora and the boys need to keep it there.
I was at the game, with my family and it was just incredible. One thing that always stands out for me when the Bruins are playing well, is that you just have that feeling deep in your gut, a good feeling. Last year, I always had a feeling, but it was a bad one. So, maybe, it's the absence of that bad feeling, that dread deep in your soul, that notion of "here we go again". But whatever it is, it's good to have it back. And it's good to be back where we belong, in the top 25.
But again, for me, it was the feeling, the kids were having a blast, jumping up and down giving high fives after every big play (and there were lots of them to go around), and everyone just had fun. This is what it's supposed to be about.
As Nestor pointed out, defensive adjustments in the second half were huge again. It's nice to have a defensive coordinator who can do those things. On defense, for me what also stood out is that the defensive backfield looked better against Nebraska without Sheldon Price than it did against Rice with him. I still don't know if Hester can get it done, but I also don't know if the freshmen are ready to step in there. Abbott needs to stay at corner because he's our best corner. Goforth did his job admirably for a true freshman. He'll be tested by Pac-12 offenses, but if he keeps doing his job, we should be fine.
We totally outplayed Nebraska. We just need to eliminate some mistakes and do better at converting in the redzone and we could be really good. Right now we're pretty good.
Where are we now? Well, it's gotten to the point where our concerns are that Spanos or Mazzone might leave to take head coaching jobs or to be coordinators at the NFL level. Or that Hundley might be so good, that he leaves for the NFL after his sophomore year. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's a lot of football left to be played. But for now, let's enjoy this one a little longer.