Pac-10 Week 11 Notes and Observations: UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins 5-5 Overall (2-5 Conference)
This Week’s Score: UCLA 43 – Washington State 7
Next Week’s Opponent: Arizona State
Sure, it’s only Washington State; but it was still a whole lot of fun for Bruins fans.
This one was over before it even had the chance to get started. The first three Cougar drives ended in interceptions as Marshall Lobbestael (2/6, 6 yards, 3 INTs) completed more passes to the Bruins than his own teammates. Rahim Moore snagged one and Akeem Ayers grabbed two.
Offensively, UCLA was in complete control, led by Kevin Prince who had a fantastic day (27/40, 314 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT). The highlight of the game (especially from an amusement factor) came early in the second quarter when Prince broke a 68-yard touchdown run. That about sums up just how much control the Bruins had over this game. Chane Moline had three rushes for 25 yards; all three for touchdowns.
While it has been a frustrating season for Bruins fans to drop five straight after winning the first three, the last two games have reminded us that this program is going in the right direction, and has to this point in the season won the games they were supposed to. I wouldn’t consider any of the five losses a disappointment at this juncture. Then again, with the exception of Tennessee, I wouldn’t really consider the other four wins major accomplishments.
That said, for a young team, going out there and not letting one get away against an inferior or evenly matched opponent shows a lot of maturity. They come to play every week, and are getting into good habits.
Now comes Arizona State, the game I’ve had circled since the beginning of the season as one of the most evenly matched for both teams. Both have un-explosive offenses, both have fantastic defenses. UCLA has shown that they aren’t quite ready to compete with the top dogs yet, but they are a tier above the bottom dwellers.
Now they face an evenly-matched foe, at home, with a chance to gain bowl eligibility. How much compete do the Bruins really have? Gut check time!