A mere 6 days after a big road victory in Tucson, the Bruins returned home to face a similar opponent in the UW Huskies. While the Huskies entered Pasadena with 3 losses, there is no lack of talent on the roster, as Coach Sarkisian and staff have been able to recruit some talented players from our very own backyard, such as Keith Price, Jaydon Mickens and Damore'ea Stringfellow.
Fortunately, the Bruins were able to hand it off to the kid in UW's backyard that the Huskies couldn't get, Myles Jack, any time an offensive boost was needed and he delivered to the tune of 4 TD's and contribution as a decoy when Cassius Marsh got a TD pass. It's worthy noting that someone on UWDawgPound.com boldly declared "Jack won't be a factor. Write it down." I think all of us at BN would respectfully have to disagree with that one and dismiss the bold proclamation as pure ignorance or a badly timed joke. Promising young receiver, Devin Lucien also had his biggest day as a Bruin, hauling in a short pass, juking Huskies defenders and scoring his first collegiate TD. To cap off a nice homecoming evening and debut in the LA Midnight jerseys, senior linebacker/safety Stan McKay proposed to his girlfriend (who said yes), earning Sportscenter Top 10 honors for the night. Watch the Bruins celebrate McKay's successful proposal here in case you missed it. Congratulations to the Bruins, they earned this one.
1. 1st Impressions?
bruinclassof10: Myles Jack.
gbruin: Another imperfect-but-good-enough game for the Bruins. We used to get imperfect-and-NOT-good-enough games pretty regularly, so I'll take it. Just be good enough again each week.
Achilles: One of our best first quarters of the season. A wire to wire win. Washington stayed in the game, but we countered every time they got close.
Odysseus: This was a good win against a pretty good team. Arizona State is not the most talented team in the conference, but they play sound football. Southern Cal is talented and playing well. We will have to continue to play well to finish out the season with another South division championship, which is the goal and the expectation.
Bellerophon: Myles Jack. Need I say more?
AHMB: Washington showed a lot of resolve in fighting back after two early fumbles, but I would have liked to see our team play a better game with the lead. We were too careless with the ball throughout the game, and we put the ball on the turf way too often.
2. The good?
bruinclassof10: Myles Jack. Devin Lucien had his first TD as a UCLA Bruin and our D kept UW just out of reach, with big sacks and big turnovers. The SPTR's also seemed to have it out for UW this time too.
gbruin: The offense was more consistent this week. Our run defense was really good. Myles Jack is amazing.
Achilles: I thought we played it right. Jumped them early then let the running game and the defense protect the lead. That's a sound strategy with a young team that lacks depth.
Odysseus: Lost a bit in all the doffense craziness and the (rightful) celebration of another amazing performance by Myles Jack was a very sound performance by the run defense and another sound defensive gameplan. This stuff isn't the most exciting, but it can really make the difference.
Bellerophon: Myles Jack (duh). The run defense was off-the-hook good, shutting down Bishop Sankey and really forcing Washington into bad passing downs. It was nice to see our team finally learn to capitalize on turnovers and turn them into points.
AHMB: We blocked another kick. In the two years that Ulbrich has coordinated the special teams, we've blocked over a dozen kicks, and many of those blocks played crucial roles in winning games.
3. The bad?
bruinclassof10: It seemed like at times, we wanted to let UW into the game. Turnovers and it seemed like Barr was game planned for, limiting his big plays.
gbruin: Our pass blocking was way too inconsistent. The secondary really struggled and makes me nervous about our next two games. I hope Malcolm Jones is ok.
Achilles: I counted four dropped passes. They also threw long on us a few times. Malcolm Jones' injury.
Odysseus: Without a few big runs or the Myles Jack short yardage package, the run game struggled and now the running back depth situation is dire. After taking advantage of some turnovers, we had our own issues with ball security.
Bellerophon: Take away Myles Jack and our run offense sucks big time. Not sure why the secondary has seemed to regress over the past few weeks, but that's cause for concern given who we will face the next two weeks.
AHMB: Special teams giveth, and special teams taketh away. Oregon and Washington both converted on fake punts, which makes me wonder if we're tipping off our punt coverage. The two plays were very similar- both converted 4th and long on our side of the field with run straight up the middle.
4. Should Myles Jack continue to play both ways?
bruinclassof10: I think Jack should get a few touches a game because he's too explosive and effective not to, but we shouldn't treat him like a feature back in the rotation as he is too talented of a linebacker.
gbruin: Does the sun rise in the east? Is the Pope Catholic? Do trogans suck?
Achilles: I wouldn't change a thing. I'd keep him on defense and put him in on short yardage and redzone offense.
Odysseus: The short-yardage package has worked well and with all the injuries to the running backs, it looks like it's a necessity that Myles Jack will get about a dozen touches on offense.
Bellerophon: Should Anthony Barr stay at LB instead of RB? You use the talent you have where it helps the team most, and right now, with our running backs decimated by injury, Jack helps us in a huge way on the offensive side of the ball. He's got to get the ball in his hands at least 5-10 times per game.
5. What needs to be addressed before the ASU game?
bruinclassof10: We need Malcolm Jones to stay healthy and effective, while Paul Perkins needs to find his groove. They've shown flashes of potential, but it seems like the coaches are trying to piss them off by giving Jack the rock in short situations.
gbruin: ASU has a potent offense and good passing game. We need to get our secondary to tighten up and get more consistent pressure on the QB. And no turnovers on offense!
Achilles: We need to get healthy at a few spots. With James, Jones, Thigpen and Manfro out -- we're down to Perkins, Jack and Rosie Davis and running back. Getting back James and Thigpen this week would help a lot, just in terms of depth.
Odysseus: Running game and pass defense. With a sound gameplan and a disciplined effort, the game against ASU is very winnable, but the team just needs to clean up some of the little things. That's the difference between contending for the conference championship and being a middle of the pack team.
Bellerophon: I'd like to see Paul Perkins get into a groove so we're not so reliant on Jack in the running attack. Some more middle of the field, mid-range throws to Bell and Duarte would be good too: I feel we're still too reliant on the swing/screen passes and the occasional deep ball. The passing game needs more variety. Finally, the defensive secondary needs to step up in a big way.
AHMB: I agree with gbruin. Our secondary needs to play much better against ASU and we can't turn the ball over. ASU is an underrated team that has been playing well over the past few weeks.
6. The extra point
bruinclassof10: Congratulations to Stan McKay and his fiancee! That's a memorable way to propose and Sportscenter made sure that this would be a night to remember.
gbruin: Despite The Apathetic Director's negligence, the Bruin fans independently did a pretty good job with the Blackout theme, and the team really loved those uniforms. As for next week, ASU can seal the South Division with a win, so they will be fired up. The Bruins will need to match that and more.
Achilles: I liked the helmets and was fine with the whole Eclipse evening. We're underdogs at home against ASU and that surprises me a bit. I think we match up well with them and while I'm excited and nervous, I'm not stressing yet. Should be a good game.
Odysseus: I didn't know if I'd like the Eclipse thing, but it looked good and the fans did a good job wearing black. No thanks to Chianti Dan. Let's get another win.
Bellerophon: Myles Jack for Athletic Director? Yes!
AHMB: Myles Jack's last two weeks have been a couple of the most amazing athletic feats that I've ever seen. He's not playing offense as some sort of gimmick like other players have done. We need him on offense and he's producing at an elite level on both sides of the field. Absolutely amazing.