UCLA Observations

Posted by: Tony on Sunday, October 26th, 2008

The Bad

Drops and pass protection.  The former may improve, but so far it isn’t trending that way.  I was particularly disappointed to see Morrah continue to drop catchable balls.  We know from experience that he has great hands– may they reappear during the rest of the season.  Pass protection is less likely to improve.  We’ve been plagued by injuries on the line all season, and with two RT’s leaving the game with injury, there will be even more holes to patch.  Here’s hoping for swift recoveries.  Oh yeah, special teams sucked too.  Let’s pretend that’s a fluke. 

The Good

Cal D great!  FUCLA sucks, but forcing four picks (two pick-sixes among them) and holding any team to 16 yards rushing is a triumph.  It was great to see Ezeff and Mohamed get theirs.  Mahamed’s pick was especially satisfying because he’d missed an easy take-away on the previous play. 

The Misleading

I remarked throughout the game (mostly in a drunken mutter) that both teams were showcasing some of the most pathetically anemic offense I’d seen.  But the stat padding and scoring bonanza in the fourth quarter made the final numbers look ok for the Bears.  Ultimately, I was shocked to see SportsCenter award the top two spots on Top 10 Plays of the Day to Jahvid’s TD scamper and The Flea Flicker respectively.  Most of the world didn’t see the game and, apparently to them, Cal is a scoring juggernaut.

The Encouraging

Last Spring, I wrote a post on what I termed “the California State Championship.”  I noted how, historically, Cal’s Rose Bowl fate has always been contingent on our ability to sweep the three other California schools.  FWIT, one down, two to go.  Surprisingly, with ‘Zona’s loss to U$C, Cal and OSU are the only teams presently controlling their Rose Bowl destiny (hat tip to Ken Crawford for beating me to the punch on this).  So buck up Cal fans.  As I said in my last post, the Rose Bowl depends only on what it always depended on:  Cal winning. 

The Odd

So far this season, Cal is 5-0 when not ranked in the AP top 25, and 0-2 when ranked there.  We’re presently #27.  Is there any way we can beat Oregon and not move back into the rankings, but it’s apparently a curse!

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