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Another Debacle in the Desert

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Arizona runs for over 400 yards in a blowout victory.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

All I have thought about during this game was 2011.

In 2011, an embattled UCLA team came out of their bye week with a road game against Arizona. The Rick Neuheisel-led Bruins proceeded to get blown out by an Arizona team that ended up being decidedly-mediocre. The capper was a brawl near the end of the first half as the Bruins were down 42-7. It was the turning point for many fans who were on the fence as far as Neuheisel’s long-term prospects as UCLA head coach.

I wasn’t writing for Bruins Nation at that time; if anything, I was barely commenting, and more of a casual reader. So I went back and checked out some of the articles from after that game. Former writer freesia39 had this to say in the post-game:

I can't even provide cogent analysis. I have a lot of raw emotion coursing through me.

The day after, Bruins Nation had this to say:

With a roster loaded with talent from top-tier recruiting class after top-tier recruiting class, the Bruins again came out flat, were undisciplined, and were thoroughly out-coached by an interim head coach with zero head coaching experience in charge of a moribund program that was 1-5 coming in to last night's game. That's right folks: Tim Kish, coaching his first game ever as a head coach, made Rick look flat-out clueless.

Despite two weeks of "preparation" and getting "ready to compete" Rick's team came out flat, uninspired, and could not even execute simple, basic fundamental football skills. From dropped passes to the lack of anything resembling defensive discipline or tackling ability, one thing became abundantly clear: there's a lot of guys in Westwood who call themselves "coaches" but no one on Rick Neuheisel's staff knows how to coach. It's sad when high school programs (De La Salle, Mater Dei) have better defensive gap discipline and more sound fundamentals.

Now, of course there are some differences in the details (for example, this was Rich Rod’s 6th game against the Bruins), but there are way too many similarities to be ignored. A defense that had 2 weeks to prepare allowed Arizona and QB Khalil Tate (a QB that this team had even seen last year) to go for 607 yards of offense, including 457 running yards.

Let’s be absolutely clear right here: UCLA was not in this game in any meaningful way. The final score might make it seem like it was close, but that was just the UCLA offense trying to put lipstick on a pig. It was 30-14 at the half.

Josh Rosen had his worst game of the year by far, but I’m not even going to bother getting into that. He was clearly pressing, especially knowing that his defense was going to be a sieve the entire game. 3 INTs is bad, whatever, I just don’t care anymore.

There isn’t any legitimate analysis I can honestly hand you in the aftermath of this game. Arizona did whatever it wanted all game; that’s your analysis.

What actually should be talked about is where we go from here. It should be more than obvious to casual observers that the Jim Mora era has stalled, and that’s putting it nicely. Any football program even pretending to be legitimate would begin to have a conversation about Mora’s future, but you can bet that Dan Guerrero is sitting around, wondering why everyone is angry.

Tom Bradley and the defensive coaching staff have to go.

Jim Mora has to go.

Dan Guerrero has to go.

That’s the actual story coming out of this game.

This is your post-game thread.