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UCLA Bruins Blown Out Again in 42-21 Loss to the Oregon Ducks

UCLA played one of its most poorly executed games of the year against the Ducks tonight.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

All Bruins fans want to see is progress with this team. That is where we are at as a fanbase. Especially in games against teams like the Oregon Ducks, all fans want to see is progress play out and be on display. When I say, “teams like the Oregon Ducks”, what I mean is that they are not a real good team and they’re not a bad team.

The Ducks came into this game fresh off two losses, a beat down against the Arizona Wildcats in which they gave up 44 points, and a loss to Washington State. They are a team that the Bruins should compete against and the Bruins’ first half of football was all too familiar for Bruins fans and reeked of poor Bruins’ teams of the past.

The first half might have been one of the worst examples of special teams play in recent Bruin history as special teams units played a part in all 21 points the Ducks scored in the first half. Sprinkle in multiple penalties, dropped passes, poor quarterback play, no pressure on Justin Herbert, and missed tackles and you have a recipe for some really bad football. That is exactly what we got in that first half.

The second half started out with much of the same as the Bruins tried a little trickery of their own on a fake punt that was actually converted as Stefan Flintoft passed complete to Delon Hurt for 15 yards to the Oregon 46. However, on a big 3rd and 8 play, the video below occurred and the drive stalled.

On Oregon’s next possession, UCLA made a great stop on a 4th and 1 play where Adarius Pickett made the stop. However, on the very first UCLA play on offense, Oregon pressured DTR and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Ducks’ Justin Hollins. The sack also injured DTR as Hollins seemed to land hard on DTR’s shoulder.

The Ducks immediately scored on their next drive with the help of a pass interference call in the end zone by Darnay Holmes on a 3rd and goal pass. Cyrus Habibi-Likio then ran for a 1-yard TD to put the Ducks up 28-7 at the 6:15 mark of the third quarter.

Wilton Speight came in on the next UCLA drive and did a nice job leading the Bruins. Chip even brought out the triple option on the drive. The drive was spearheaded by UCLA’s Joshua Kelley and he capped it off with a 25-yard TD run to pull the Bruins within 14 with 2:21 left in the third quarter.

Chip tried some more trickery on the kickoff as the Bruins attempted an onside kick, but, of course, the Bruins had a penalty as they lined up offside and gave the Ducks great field position. But the Ducks weren’t able to do anything with the field position and were forced to punt.

Wilton Speight and the Bruins immediately went on a drive that, once again, featured Joshua Kelley, but the drive stalled and our special teams came to the “rescue” again. As Molson lined up for the field goal attempt, the snap was high and Matt Lynch was tackled on the scramble play.

The Ducks immediately made the Bruins pay as Justin Herbert hit Dillon Mitchell for 67 yards for a TD to put the Ducks up, 35-14, with a little more than 10 minutes left in the game.

The Bruins did answer the Oregon TD as Wilton Speight effectively led the Bruins down the field quickl, and hit Theo Howard for a 11-yard TD pass to close the gap to 35-21.

But UCLA could not hold the Ducks for long as Tony Brooks-James ran for a 54-yard TD and put the Ducks up 42-21 and that ended up being the final score of the game.

Final Thoughts

  • The overall execution in the game was just bad and that has to start with the coaching.
  • If this were the NFL, the special teams coach would probably be fired after this kind of game. Luckily, it‘s not the NFL.
  • Joshua Kelley is a weapon that I am glad will be back next year and the O-line did a good job opening holes for him tonight.
  • As everybody knows, I am the Bruins Nation DTR Fan Club President, but he was not very good coming off of his injury. He held the ball too long and missed receivers.
  • Wilton Speight came in and played pretty well going 13 of 25 for 147 yards and 1 TD.
  • UCLA’s lack of pass rush was a huge problem the entire game. The run defense was OK early.
  • Obviously, 83 points given up over the last two games is not going to get it done.
  • Drops, penalties, poor tackling, and bad special teams play was on clear display tonight.

There are definitely a lot of other areas that deserve comment. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

The 2-7 (2-4) UCLA Bruins will travel to play the Arizona State Sun Devils next Saturday, November 10th at 11:00 am PT.

Go Bruins!