Posted by: Avinash on Saturday, December 22nd, 2007


You know what’s fun? Liveblogs, that’s what! Don’t really have much else to do this Saturday night. And I love me some bowl action.

5:15–UCLA is one of the fiercest, fastest defenses in the Pac-10…but it’s bowl season, so what do you expect? Miss one tackle, miss another, miss another on a kick return.

5:17–FUMMMBLE! Bruce Davis, again.

Unfortunately, that means the UCLA offense has to take the field. Here comes the six minute field goal drive.

Elvis and Sammy Davis Jr. introduce the starting lineups. I’m not sure if BYU playing in the Las Vegas Bowl is more ironic, or the King introducing the square dancing Cougar lineups.

5:23–After only runs, Rashaan runs a perfect bootleg, with the tight end open…and then blows it and and gets pounded on the three yard line. This is followed by a straight run up the middle that gets pounded backward three yards. Welcome to the 2007 UCLA offense. 3-0, Bruins.

5:33–UCLA looks like it has the potential for blowout if their defense keeps on playing this way…and their offense gets a touchdown. Two would definitely cinch it. Only turnovers could kill…whoops, nearly a Verner fumble. I love me some jinxes.

5:38–UCLA passes on second and long, and Rashaan decides to get hit on another QB scramble. Ugh, I keep on forgetting how awful UCLA’s offense has been this year. Seems Dorrell’s firing has done nothing to change the great Bruin strategy of getting hammered in every way possible. Is there an over/under for a Bethel-Thompson snap?

5:44–The ESPN announcers seem fairly convinced that Rick Neuheisel will be UCLA’s next HC. Sounds about right, only wait a second…Rick Neiuheisel is the RAVENS QB Coach??? Ben Olson and Patrick Cowan probably must be shaking in their boots. “Oh, no, I am fucked.”

5:47–BYU runs the fade route twice and gets a FG to knot it up at 3. And we do have a Bethel-Thompson sighting, and we’re not even through a quarter! I swear UCLA fans are just praying for this game to end so they can get ready at 2008.

5:53–Start of the second quarter, and Bethel-Thompson hits turf. I should do a running count of how many times quarterbacks hit dirt in this one. It might triple the number of passes they attempt (one pass for UCLA in the first quarter).

5:57–Just checked out the Carolina-Dallas game. Ugliness. Back to Vegas I go.

6:00–The Mormons are fighting! They’re not even using their Bibles! This is followed by textbook UCLA defense (reading an out and nearly getting the pick-six), and Bruce Davis taking off the BYU’s QB Max Hall’s head. More jawing. I love it.

6:04–Different punt returner, same sloppiness. FUMBLE! The defense should get hazard pay for the way the other two parts of the team put them back on the field.

Another fade route burns UCLA for a TD, followed by an awesome wideshot of BYU fans in suit and ties cheering them on. The Vegas industry must be seething at the incompetence of the bowl tie-ins. 10-3.

6:09–Boy, did I really think UCLA could win this game? Bethel-Thompson throws a deep post that gets dropped, then incomplete, incomplete. This will either get ugly or agonizing for UCLA fans.

6:14–Looking like agonizing–a pick gets negated by an offside, followed by another pass route getting converted for 1st down.

6:15–Bruce Davis and Max Hall get friendly with each other again. Bruce Davis is someone I’m happy we don’t have to worry about seeing again. BYU still can’t run up the middle–3rd and short and 4th and inches get stuffed. Hasn’t everyone learned that running up the middle never works against UCLA? Even the Trojans can’t do it. That should be a sign to stop.

6:17–One, two, three, four, five, six Cougars swarm around a scrambling Ossar Rasshan and hit him in succession. Great strategy by UCLA. I never knew they ran the option. Oh wait, they don’t. Just put it in Chris Markey’s hands the rest of the game and see how far they take you, UCLA. All this absurd scrambling is nauseating.

6:19–There’s UCLA’s gimmick! A wide receiver pass, which I swear they do once a game by default. Don’t expect to see that again.

6:24–Scramble…scramble…horsecollar. Awesome. The field goal strategy is working great so far…if this really is the strategy. 10-6.

6:26–This special teams play has been atrocious. Even Cal wasn’t this bad. Another start at the 40 yard line for Collie. Let’s see how BYU fails to convert on it.

6:28–Mormon missions sound like Study Abroad with all the fun leeched out of it. “Wanna go to the Red Lite District tonight?” “Sorry, I gotta read Philippians tonight.”

6:33–Max Hall is running those short routes to perfection, including a strike for the second TD. 11 point lead for UCLA, which might as well be 31 for this turgid offense.

6:35–UCLA STILL has not completed a pass (well, they complete one now, with 30 seconds left in the half). I’m not sure what I’d desire less–Cal’s soft defense, or UCLA’s anemic offense. Well, the end-result (6-7?) will probably be the same.

6:38–Oh Lord, why dost thou hate the Mormons? Actually, BYU deserves this for running up the middle instead of taking the knee. Fumble at their own 4, and now UCLA has a chance for points.

6:40–The fourth string strikes! Breazell on the slant for a TD. And we have a ball game. Oh, you blasted Mormons, thanks for teasing me. It’s a good thing I have no money on this one.

7:00–Mark May is yelling at the screen. Lou Holtz is being a wizard, and Rece Davis is being the man. Who would’ve thought that combination would turn into ESPN’s best weekly show? Talk about unexpected–there was a time you would have had to padlock me in straitjackets to watch those three together. Now they actually make me almost crack a smile. That’s an accomplishment.

7:05–UCLA has converted one third down, and their quarterbacks have eaten turf a hundred times, forcing yet another punt. I swear BYU has had to play a sixty yard field all night long.

7:10–Three and out and punt. I should’ve just bet the under (46.5).

7:12–The BYU band is playing the worst rendition of the Imperial March I’ve ever heard. I’m almost rooting for the Bruins to win because of this nonsense. I’m actually just rooting for a rout, because these two offenses can make a tied game seem boring.

7:14–Bethel-Thompson is on fire! He’s completed three passes! That’s a man right there! The future of UCLA football!

7:15–UCLA might finally realize that running the ball might be a really good idea. Markey and Ramirez keep pounding the rock as the Bruins are actually moving the ball.

7:17–Seriously. Has anyone taught these Bruin QBs the art of throwing the ball away? Just baffling how many unnecessary hits these guys have to take. A sack knocks the Bruins out of FG range this time, forcing another punt. I guess the strategy for scoring is hoping their defense forces a turnover.

7:33–UCLA’s defensive possessions go something like this–can’t defend the fade, Bruce Davis knocking Hall down, destroy the run up the middle. It’s all rather *snore*.

7:36–Play action by UCLA? The revolution begins. Hire Walker! Breazell for 25 yards.

7:38–Fading the out pattern by UCLA for a turnover? The revolution dies. Hire Neuheisel! Back to BYU.

7:40–29 married men on the BYU football team? So is that 110 wives?

7:42–UCLA is really on its last legs. They don’t stop BYU here, this game is probably dead. Two scores in the 4th quarter is way too much to ask of this coaching clownery.

BYU’s QB is injured…somewhat. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing for UCLA.

7:48–Wow…the silliness in the ESPN booth is almost infectious. Paul Maguire dressing up as Santa, spitting and Bob Greise and Brad Nessler playing it straight? Amazing.

Anytime Bethel-Thompson throws a completion, I have to mention it. I think that’s five, this one for 21 yards. All I know is Maugire is spitting out his beard hair…and…well…

7:54–UCLA wastes a 3rd and short with a penalty. I think we can label UCLA’s season as “Mental Errors.”

7:57–Price just nails the tailback. God, what a waste of a great defensive line. I’m just dreaming about what that UCLA D-line would’ve been like if they had been matched up with Cal’s offense. And now drooling.

7:59–I admit it; I’ve been in love with Bonnie Bernstein for several years, and I can just tell by the look in her luminous eyes that she’d probably plow me into submission in bed. I’ll take it. Anything for Bonnie.

8:03–UCLA has a short field, inside BYU territory–they’ve had to drive about 80 yards to score 13 points. Apparently both of these teams would have needed a sixty yard field to hit the over. Sounds about right.

8:06–I swear. UCLA has driven 10 yards in three minutes. Is this what it was like watching the Bruins all year? No wonder Dorrell is gone.

8:07–Forbath connects from over 50 again to cut the lead to one–17-16 BYU. You know you’re in trouble in college football when your most valuable offensive weapon is your kicker. Well, unless you’re Florida State.

8:11–The Mormons are cool and calm all game long, which makes it easy for them to dissect lousy opponents. But it also means they lack the killer intensity to finish off close bad teams. They really could have used some alcohol before this game. Or at least some low-stakes poker. 20 cents big blind low-stakes.

8:12–Haha. Paul Maguire just suggested Walker for HC. Two more heads at Bruins Nation exploded.

8:15–UCLA is the master of the one minute drive. One minute and punt, that is.

8:17–Max Hall channels his inner Rex Grossman and goes deep. Well, 30 yards is deep in this type of game.

8:20–What is UCLA doing? Call a timeout! Timeouts are way more valuable being burned on defense. Absolutely Dorrellian strategy.

8:23–I’m trying to imagine whether I want someone like Walker coaching (hideously conservative nonsense) or Neuheisel (dangerous as hell). I originally said I hate losing to someone as embarrassingly bad as Dorrell, but I”m not sure I can handle a 2nd USC, especially in the same state. Whatever, to be continued.

8:27–UCLA has moved 30 yards in a minute. Not bad. If they could do this for more than two minutes.

But hey! Bethel-Thompson scramble, scramble, scramble, BAM, wasted timeout! These UCLA coaches need to have a 4 unit course entitled “THROW THE BALL AWAY”. In caps. It would emphasize the point.

8:29–Holy crap. The Mormons show balls! They blitz ! On 3rd down and long! Unfortunately, this is probably the worst time in the world to blitz. 30 yard gain on the tight end route. Amazing–if they had just played deep, BYU would have won this game.

8:30–Bruce Davis is crying, and they haven’t even kicked the field goal. I love guys like these. We really needed one.

8:32–Forbath has been hitting from 50, so what do you got to do? BLOCK THE KICK! OH NOES. The Mormons have conquered sinful Vegas once more! Pretty good conclusion to a slumbering game.

BYU 17, UCLA 16–Final

Poor UCLA. They deserved better than 6-7. Then again, so does Cal. But that’s what it could be in a week in a half.

Goodnight guys.

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