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Rick Neuheisel Tries to Explain UCLA’s Empty Passion Buckets

Here is Rick Neuheisel facing LA's tradmed after his team's humiliating performance in Berkeley. It's pretty painful to watch (via Jon Gold):

Not surprisingly TJ Simers (the buffoon wearing a baseball cap) and Chris Foster were all over him like couple of vindictive a**holes (just watch how Simers behave at the 5:00 min mark). You can expect the articles in the local paper tomorrow full of snicker and clowning of UCLA. There is nothing we can do about it at this point. People are going to pile on from all over the place and the Bruins deserve the beating they are going to take over next 11 days.

At this point Rick Neuheisel has no one but himself to blame for not having his team fully prepared. Thankfully he did not throw anyone else under the bus. However, his words don't really make us feel any better. He did not seem to have any good answers for what took place this afternoon. He will need to figure out a way to take genuine responsibility (not just in words) and demand accountability from his staff and his players in short order. What happened this afternoon was simply not acceptable.

Before providing some additional thoughts, we should congratulate California Golden Bears for playing an exceptional football game. Yes, they stepped off the gas in second half but they essentially stepped on our necks and killed us in the first. They came to play and they played like they wanted to win. They played with passion and ferocity which our guys couldn't match and frankly looked disinterested in matching from the get go. So more power to them.

As for our guys, I don't really care much for the "improved" play of our D in second half because that doesn't make up for the inexcusable performance from the first (which has become a disturbing pattern under Chuck Bullough). Moreover, it's not just Bullough, Norm Chow's game planning and game calling was just as atrocious as his defensive counterpart in the UCLA booth.

There needs to be some changes in this program. It is more than unclear at this point whether Norm Chow should be allowed to be fixated on Kevin Prince. There needs to be shakeup in our defensive secondary and we must see some changes in the way our defensive game plans are schemed by Chuck Bullough. Lastly, it will be up to Rick Neuheisel to take control of this team so that we don't get killed by disciplinary issues and dumb mistakes game after game.

We have 6 games left this season. Our expectation heading into this year was reasonable. We were hoping this team would put together a winning record during the conference season. We will see how UCLA performs second half of the season. The key is going to be not just getting over .500 in conference play, but more importantly we'd like to see a team that plays with smarts, passion and play like it actually cares about getting UCLA back to the same place it was prior to December 5, 1998. Talking about getting us back there will not be enough.

We will try to reflect on what took place sometime tomorrow (if we have the stomach for it).  In the meantime as always if you have extended reflections about today's game and just the general state of our team, please make sure to post them in the fanpost section. Otherwise, this is another post game dread thread recounting all the nightmares that once again came true.