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October 25, 2009It is hard to believe, but UCLA (3-4 Pac 10 0-4) is 0 for October. It was at this point of the season that the Bruins were supposed show some of the things that were hoped for by its fan base. What the Bruin fans were treated to was a big belly flop in the Arizona Desert, as the Arizona Wildcats (5-2, Pac 10 3-1)drubbed the Bruins 27-13.
It could have been worse for the Bruins if not for an outstanding defensive effort by sophomore safety Rahim Moore who had two picks that stopped two Wildcat drives in the red zone.
Redshirt punter Jeff Locke may have also saved some points when he launched a 78 yard punt.
After week when the offense showed signs of life against Cal, the group took a step backward and some of same old nagging things appeared such as drive killing penalties.
In total the Bruins were penalized six times for 40 yards, but nothing points out UCLA's offensive woes like their first drive of the second quarter.
The drive itself was set up by Moore's second interception of the day that he brought back 37 yards to the UCLA 38.
UCLA's offense started to show some rhythm on a couple of runs by Johnathan Franklin and couple hookup from quarterback Kevin Prince to tight end Ryan Moya and the Bruins were in business at Wildcat 26 yard line.
Then the Bruins get penalized for holding pushing them back 10 yards. The Bruins battle back as Prince hits Franklin for 15 yards to get the ball back to the Arizona 21 to make it a very doable third and one.
The Bruins line up for the play and they are called for a false start. Instead of third and one, now the Bruins are faced with a third and a demoralizing long six.
UCLA calls a timeout to get their bearings on straight, but unfortunately for the Bruins the Wildcats made better use of their time out and Prince was sacked by senior linebacker, Sterling Lewis for an eight yard loss forcing the Bruins to once again settle for a 53-yard Kai Forbath field goal.
In that little sequence of plays explains what has been happening too often this season for the Bruin offense. There was a time that being young and inexperienced was a valid explanation, by seven games into a season some growth has show itself, but so far this has not happened.
UCLA's defense came up with big plays that tried to keep the Bruins in the game. Akeem Ayers showed off his instincts by jumping route and would have gone for six, but the ball fell to the ground.
Sophomore safety, Tony Dye alertly picked up the ball and ran into the end zone for another defensive score to make the score 20-13, Wildcats.
The Wildcats would end up scoring another touchdown to make the final score 27-13 making it four losses in a row for the Bruins.
The tale of the tape tells all. The Wildcats ran 81 offensive plays for 456 yards while the Bruins ran 58 for a total net offensive yards of 211. The Cats had 27 first downs compared to UCLA's 10.
The Wildcats had five turnovers, four them left the Bruins with pretty good field position and the offense was only able to get six points. On the other hand, Arizona recovered two UCLA fumbles and quickly turned it into 14 points.
At this point, the Bruins look like a team that has lost confidence, lost its swag and is pressing, which only compounds the problem they are facing. That goes for everyone involved with this team from the coaches to the players.
It not too late to have what most people would think is a successful season for a team that has so much promising young talent, but first the Bruins have to take what they are doing on the practice field and apply it during the games.
Now the Bruins must try and get that elusive fourth win when they face an angry Oregon State Beaver team in Corvallis on Halloween that is coming off a loss to USC on the road.