The elephant in the room raised it's ugly head, knocked over the coffee table, bumped into the hutch, breaking some of Gramma's antique china, and plopped down in Pop's arm chair, finally putting an end to the back rest.
If you've followed UCLA Football over the years, you know we have a penchant for following a big win against a ranked opponent with national attention by falling flat on our faces against an unranked, less talented, team with nothing to lose.
Today was no different. So predictable was our collapse that I began writing this post game wrap up early in the 3rd Quarter.
That old sinking feeling began right off the bat when we opened up the game by going 3 and out. 3 straight times. Our run game was non-existent, and sadly, our passing game followed the script. We would have been happy to go another 3 and out, but we changed the script and offered up the visiting Sun Devils with a safety when Rosen threw the ball into the ground from the end zone while he getting wrapped up. Good instinct I suppose. Terrible result. Score: 9-0 Sparky
The 2nd quarter began very much like the first one. We continued our quarter ending drive by capping it off with a punt. We promptly went 3 and out on our next possession. We then finally showed signs of life by going 88 yards on 8 plays culminating in touchdown. Unfortunately we also closed the quarter by giving up two field goals and an interception. Score: 15-10 Sparky
True to form, we came out of the half as flat as we started the game. Our drive chart reads as follows: 5 plays, 21 yards; punt. 3 plays, 2 yards; punt. 6 plays, 18 yards; punt. 3 plays, 8 yards; punt. Unfortunately, along the way our defense began to show signs of attrition, making Berkovici and company look like the all stars they are not; giving up two scoring drives of 64 and 63 yards respectively. Score 29-10 Sparky.
The Bruin offense finally woke up at the end of 3rd with 33 yards on the strength of 3 Paul Perkins runs. They kept the momentum alive by adding another 37 yard through the air to Jordan Payton and Thomas Duarte. Touchdown Bruins. Perhaps inspired by the offense, the defense stepped up by holding the Sun Devils to 9 yards on 6 plays and ended their drive by a diving interception by Savaiinaea. The Bruin offense took the field with excellent field position and promptly marched 38 yards on 4 plays, culminating with a 17 yard pass to Thomas Duarte for a Touchdown. The next Sun Devil possession saw Sparky drive 28 yard on 10 plays while eating up 4 precious minutes. The Defense ended their drive with a sack and a ball batted down. Sparky punted again; 29-23 Sparky. Hopes were high among the Bruin faithful being down only 6 points. With their backs against the wall, starting on the 1 yard line, the offense promptly went backwards and netted the Sun Devils another safety. 31-23 Sparky. Needing to stop the Sun Devils quickly, the Bruin defense promptly allowed them to drive 70 yards on 9 plays and score, leaving the Bruins less than a minute to make up 15 points. Final score: 38-23 Sparky celebrates in the Rose Bowl.