As always, we are happy to get a glimpse of what to expect from this week's episode of The Drive from series producer Jim Jorden.
BN: What do you have for us this week on The Drive.
JJ: We have a crushing defeat. It's very sad. Here's the thing I'll say about the show. This is from my perspective: If the kick is two feet to the [right], we're having a totally different conversation right now. So many lives are different. UCLA is in the top 5 easily. Utah is not ranked at all. [UCLA is] still undefeated. They're still going for all their same goals. It's just amazing that two feet can make a difference in that. Because what I think what a lot of people lose sight of, and this is where I think the show is good and this is what I think the show does, they drove down the field in 30 seconds with no timeouts to get not one, but two, chances to win the game. That's championship football.
BN: The problem I have with it is that I thought there was absolute zero chance of Fairbairn making either one of those kicks.
JJ: The second one was long enough, he just missed it, I mean, he literally missed it two feet to the right. It was so close. Maybe you didn't have a good shot of it.
BN: Well, from where I was sitting, I thought the second one was good until the officials signalled it wasn't.
JJ: The first one got tipped at the line of scrimmage. That's why the penalty, which would have been a 15 yarder, ended up being a 5 yarder.
BN: I take it we'll see the shot of how close the second kick was?
JJ: Oh yeah. The thing about the show is that in the cinematography, it's nothing that's on TV. It's all stuff that we're shooting. You'll see the game from a whole different angle, either watching it live or watching it on TV. It's kind of cool, especially when you slow it down. Life is a lot cooler in slow motion.
BN: Besides the game, what else will fans see tonight?
JJ: The first segment is on the Mazzones, on Noel's career. We have stuff with him from when he was Arizona State that kind of shows the progression of his career and a little bit about him and his son working together on the staff. We have an interesting bite or two from Mora talking about when he was getting into the game, the college game because he was an NFL guy. He looked at the stuff Mazzone was doing and was like "Wow! This guy is pretty innovative. This is a guy I want on my staff." They called the offense the Tempo Set, I think is what the name of it is. The first segment is on that and the second segment is on Utah.
There's a little tie-in between Dennis Erickson at Arizona State and then Dennis Erickson's the running back coach at Utah. Then the third segment is the game.
BN: Speaking of Mazzone, do you guys happen to have any footage of Mazzone leaving the field on Saturday night?
JJ: Ah, no, I don't think we do. Did something happen?
BN: Something allegedly happened. There's multiple people saying they saw it.
JJ: What are they saying happened?
BN: They're saying that as he was leaving the field on Saturday night that he may have flipped off some UCLA fans. I've got to ask the question to see if you can prove or disprove any of that.
JJ: We shot a lot of people going off at the end of the game, but I don't recall seeing any of that. Everybody was just so sad. That was the thing. They drove all the way down there. It could have been....Two feet. Two feet was the difference.
BN: Are we going to see anything as far as the adjustments the coaches may be making over the course of a game? The concern is, with 10 sacks, what are they doing in game to fix this? With a loss like this which was so winnable, it just seemed like they kept doing the same thing over and over again.
JJ: There is some sideline strategy that you'll hear in the show tonight. They talk about what are they seeing on routes and what routes are open. They totally set up the long touchdown pass to go over the top. You hear some of that strategy in the show. It's hard to put into a show because, number one, usually when they're discussing it, they're playing music in the stadium because it's between possessions so it's hard to hear. Second of all, it's really, really technical and over most people's heads.
We try to only use it when it applies to the situation. We have some of that in there this week. Since the feature was on the Mazzones, we concentrated more on that area. We tend to go for a lot more of the plain human emotion than the strategy. We shoot meetings and locker rooms and everything like that. We just don't always choose to use them depending on the way that the game goes. But, you'll probably see more of that in shows in the future.
BN: Is there anything else you care to mention about this week's show?
JJ: I've seen a lot of football teams over the course of my career. I think they'll use this setback later on in the year. I think it will help them and benefit them.
Thanks to Jim Jorden for the inside look at this week's episode. If you have any questions about the show, post them in the comments. We will ask Jim about it next week!
This is your open thread for Episode 7 of "The Drive".