The Drive: Episode 4, or what we would like to affectionately call "Jerry Neuheisel's World." We can also call it "Limits are only in your mind" as the quote of the week.
The episode opens with a piece of Jake Brendel - our center from, of course, Texas. While I would have liked to see Caleb Benenoch also get a little camera time with his Texas story, the focus on Brendel made sense, as they focused on Brendel and his role on the offensive line.
We are introduced to quite possibly the most terrifying thing for any coach or even a GM of a pro team - a player on a motorcycle. I had immediate flashbacks to Jordan Zumwalt's scooter accident, but Coach Jim Mora doesn't seem to have a problem with Brendel's motorcycle. The show flashed back to 2011, when Brendel arrived on campus, and you see the first bonding session between Brett Hundley and Brendel, as they chowed down on donuts (oh, youth metabolism) and Hundley telling him about an ice cream challenge where he had to eat 30 scoops of ice cream in 30 minutes. (Unfortunately, I didn't catch where this challenge took place - did you?)
Mora starts talking about Brendel, calling himself a dad to 120 guys but he doesn't have to worry about Brendel. He's tough and it rubs off on the guys around him, as the old man with true freshmen surrounding him last year. We get some nice shots of Brendel talking to Kenny Lacy, helping him through drills and giving everyone tips, and really focusing on his role as the "QB of the O-Line." Experienced centers are worth their weight in gold.
This week, The Drive returns to giving us a preview of our opponent, which we really enjoyed from the Virginia episode. We didn't get this from the Memphis episode, but it looks like Texas will do anything to rebuild their image. Also, since our remaining games are Pac-12 games, hopefully we'll also get a short preview from the rest of our opponents. The Texas preview is very generic, with Charlie Strong trying to get his players motivated and they wax poetic about Texas rebuilding their status as a powerhouse.
Back to practice - where Mora screams that the Bruins are hunting Longhorns and they have the weapons to do it. Mora says limits are only in your mind, and for UCLA to be successful, everyone must be ready. In the obvious bit of foreshadowing, he says starters and backups alike must be ready. Oh no, what could possibly happen?!
Fast forward to Jerry-World, and we get Mora's speech over images of the world's craziest football stadium, talking about passion and putting that out on display. Unfortunately our passion went down with a hyperextended elbow, and we turn to our backup quarterback.
The Drive focuses on Neuheisel's first drive, leaning on his offensive line to give him time to throw quick passes underneath and on his running game to make plays happen.
Mora: "You may have been nervous but I wasn't."
Jerry: "I thought the hit would hurt more than he did."
Shot of happy Texas as they score a TD going into halftime. Thankfully, due to their screw up on the coin toss, we get the ball again to start the second half. Going into commercial, The Drive teases us with "WILL BRETT RETURN? CAN UCLA WIN WITHOUT HIM?"
We return from commercial with comments from Mora. "Number 11 is the UCLA quarterback in the second half and he was born for this." We also hear him having a conversation with Hundley, telling him that he will not be going back into the game and that they only have his best interests in mind.
The episode turns and focuses on Paul Perkins's career game, after a little pep talk and some quick tips on how to read the Texas defense from Jake Brendel. (it always comes back together!)
Since this is a Pac-12 network produced show, they cannot resist throwing in clips of Rick Neuheisel back at the studios watching his son play. We see the play action that leads to Jerry's throw to Nate Iese in the end zone. TOUCHDOWN. Celebration. Sad Texas fans.
A quick focus on the offensive line again, a pass from Jerry to Thomas Duarte, and Ka'imi Fairbairn comes in for a field goal, as Jerry holds. (Can't mess up that rhythm!)
Happy Texas fans return, as Texas scores. Boo.
Back to Pac-12 studios, and Rick is watching his son drive the team downfield. 4th down - Jerry hands off to Myles Jack and we convert... until Jordan James fumbles. Crap. More happy Texas fans.
Jerry: "WE'RE GETTING THE BALL BACK!"
Mora: "GIVE IT ALL YOU'VE GOT."
The defense gives it all they've got, as they hold Texas and the Bruins get the ball back. We get a nice field level view of Ishmael Adams on the punt return, and a fantastic view of the block thrown by Cameron Judge (by the way, griping Texas fans - totally legal.)
Ishmael Adams to Jerry: "You can do it man. I believe in you."
An anxious Rick Neuheisel watches from San Francisco.
Jerry pump fakes.
Mora: "We got it!"
Jordan Payton catches the ball and sprints for the end zone.
Rick Neuheisel celebrates. The team celebrates. Jerry Neuheisel is carried off the field (after they cut out the bit with Mora saying "let's put him up on our shoulders!" which I distinctly remember hearing in one of the previews for this week's episode) to the chants of JERRY JERRY JERRY.
As the players leave the field, Coach Mora is there in the tunnel, waiting for them, excited, and giving each player a hug. The fake Liev Schrieber voiceover states that the Bruins have been far from perfect in their first 3 games, but they are resilient, and that's why they are 3-0.
The episode ends with jubilation in the locker room (I need to find that video Matt Dickerson was shooting with his phone) and Jerry taking a moment, and then rejoining the celebration.
JERRY JERRY JERRY