So I just drove back from the Rose Bowl just a little while ago. I am pretty beat, tired and exhausted right now. I have been in LA since Thursday afternoon running around, getting some work done and catching up with friends. The trip to Rose Bowl was my first since Cade McNown's first appearance as a Bruin (against Miami Hurricanes in September 1995). So to say I was a little fired up and excited ... well would be an understatement.
I got there pretty early and enjoyed a pretty much pitch perfect day up until our first drive in the football game (hey, the defense went 3 and out in the first drive!). After then ... well for those of you who saw the game in person or on TV know what took place. We stayed there till the very end and left the stadium after Rick Neuheisel's post game remarks. The score was 0-35 in favor of Stanford (2-0) but it could have been lot worse. If you have the stomach to read through the box score, here ya go.
Perhaps the title of this post is a bit unfair to the Cardinal because after all they did what they had to do to snap their 6 game skid (I think it's 6, just too tired to look it up right now and fact check it) at the Rose Bowl and then some more. The executed when it mattered on offense and their much maligned secondary made some spectacular plays on defense. So give them credit.
As for UCLA (0-2), tonight is not the night for yours truly to offer instant analysis. It's one of those game where the score pretty much speaks for itself. One thing is for sure. There are no easy answers concerning the problems plaguing this particular team. The answers are not clear on defense because we have a coordinator who still hasn't shown any signs of addressing his troubling issues from last season and the basic problems of Bruin defense based on Dewayne Walker's schematic foundation (using tired, stale nickel packages on 3rd and longs only to give up first downs) yet.
On offense while there are encouraging signs of life in the running attacks, the passing game two games into this season look just as erratic (and that is being kind) showing no signs of progress from last two seasons. Ultimately though the responsibility falls on the head coach for putting together an undisciplined, unorganized and mentally slow squad, which despites all its upgrade at certain skill positions, throughly humiliated those four letters in a big game to start his third home season.
This kind of loss in a coach's first season working with his 3rd string QB is somewhat understandable. The performance tonight in Neuheisel's third season was simply indefensible and unacceptable. Our expectations at the beginning of this season were fairly modest in terms of W/L records. We knew given our injury issues and our ridiculous schedule we were looking at somewhere in the range of 5-7 seasons. What we really expected though was a UCLA team that would fight, scratch, claw and play its heart out every game, get better through the season, and eventually end up with at least a non losing record in the conference. It will be up to Rick Neuheisel to live up to those reasonable expectations.
As mentioned above though, up until our first offensive drive it was an amazing day at the Rose Bowl in terms being among the die hard Bruins. Got to hung out with some old friends, met up with some new ones and over all just had a great time before the game. I took some fun pictures, which I hope to share sometime tomorrow. Figure I share a little bit of the fun parts. As for the game, I will probably try to put more thoughts together on the on field debacle either late tomorrow night or on Monday. It will take a while until I can really try to put in context what exactly we saw out there tonight
In the meantime, hang in there everyone. You have every right to be sad, embarrassed, angry, upset and frustrated. That said, maintain your composure, and when you are articulating your thoughts base in on cold hard facts, numbers and reflections based on big picture. If you have extended reflections (more than 3 grafs) please consider sharing them in the Fanpost. In the meantime, fire away. Oh and we all need to say a prayer for Derrick Coleman. Hope the kid is all right.
This is your post game thread and I need to get some sleep.