Quantcast

Rick Neuheisel Gets Signature Win in UCLA Upset over Texas

The UCLA program appeared to be heading in the wrong direction under third year head coach Rick Neuheisel. The Bruins lost 31-22 in the opener at Kansas State, allowing Daniel Thomas to run for 234 yards and two touchdowns while Kevin Prince went 9 of 26 for 120 yards and two picks. Then there was the 35-0 disaster in the home opener against Stanford. UCLA was so bad they practically were inventing ways to lose the game. After that pathetic showing, I had completely given up on the season and was completely down on the coaching staff.

Two weeks later, it’s redemption time.

The Bruins beat Houston for their first win last weekend, knocking both Houston quarterbacks out of the game. This week, they entered Saturday’s game in Austin as 15-point underdogs to the 7th ranked Texas Longhorns. UCLA (particularly the defense) played like it had nothing to lose in a 34-12 upset win.

UCLA caused four turnovers and took advantage of them for 10 points. The big play was a muffed punt by Texas inside its five that set up an easy Bruins touchdown, giving UCLA a 7-3 lead. The Bruins went into halftime up 13-3 but it should have been much more. Not only did the defense stop a sleepwalking Texas team, but the running game pounded the Horns into oblivion.

The Bruins ran for 263 yards and three touchdowns. The pistol offense showed what it’s capable of despite having zero passing threat (Kevin Prince was just 5-for-8 for 27 yards). Jonathan Franklin ran for 116 on 19 carries, Derrick Coleman added 94 yards on 16 carries, and even Kevin Prince ran for 48 yards. Texas and its vaunted run defense was somehow left helpless against UCLA.

Improbably, UCLA has now outscored Texas 100-15 in two games in Austin. The offense still needs a lot of work, the defense looks good, the Bruins are 2-2, and Rick Neuheisel has himself a signature win. Hopefully the Bruins will build upon this huge victory.

Denard Robinson Out with Knee Injury

Denard Robinson is easily one of the most exciting players in college football. With a choices of games to watch, I elected to park in front of the Michigan/Bowling Green even though I knew there were going to be other, more competitive games on TV. The chance to watch Robinson work was too good to pass up. Unfortunately, that period of entertainment was short-lived.

Robinson left the game late in the first quarter after hurting his knee following a 47-yard run. The Michigan quarterback was 4-for-4 with 60 yards passing and 129 yards on the ground before exiting. He had rushed for two scores and had his team up 14-0 when he left. On the first play of Michigan’s third drive of the game, Robinson sprinted down the left sideline and had his right knee driven into the ground as he was tackled.

The injury did not appear to be serious, but backup Devin Gardner replaced Robinson on the very next play. Denard was off on the sidelines icing his knee and word is he will not return to the game. With the team up 21-0 early, the Wolverines felt comfortable sitting out their stud in an effort to avoid further injury. He’ll likely be fine for next weekend’s game against Indiana.

SMU Fan Zach Line Poster Fail

Imagine you’re a student at your home stadium, pumped up and excited to watch your team play a huge game on national television. You decide to get decked out with a shirt, button, and everything. Heck, you even decide to make a special sign depicting your love for the team’s starting running back. After said player scores a touchdown late in the game, the TV cameras decide to show YOU! of all people on national TV. But then imagine in your big moment in front of the cameras …

Whoops! Your poster is backwards! Somehow I think Zach Line will demand better of you. Sorry Miss Mustang, better luck next time.

Pittsburgh Linebacker Nasty Knee Injury

There isn’t much to see right now in the Pittsburgh vs. Miami game as the Hurricanes have dominated the Panthers from the opening snap and lead 17-3 in the fourth quarter.  Overall, it’s been a pretty boring game.  If gnarly injuries are your thing and you’re watching this game, you probably woke up when Pittsburgh linebacker Dan Mason went down with a gruesome-looking knee injury.  Mason dislocated his knee and the trainers weren’t able to re-set it on the field.  He had to be carted off. 

Michigan Desperate for Kicking Help

Michigan has struggled with its kickers going just 1-for-5 on field goals this year. Brendan Gibbons is 1-for-4 on his attempts while Seth Broekhuizen missed his lone attempt. Luckily for the Wolverines they’re 3-0 so they haven’t been hurt by the kicking problems yet, but in a close game they’ll need those three points.

Apparently a student at the school was aware of the kicking problems and he approached coach Rich Rodriguez on campus as pointed out by The Wiz of Odds. The student said he heard Michigan was looking for a kicker and asked where he could try out. No word on what developed, but we do know that the Wolverines are still looking to solve the situation. As Rich Rod explained, he’s never had kicking trouble this late into a season.

Although Michigan’s situation is bad, it’s not as bad as another situation that was very similar. A few years ago Washington State was so bad and desperate for help, they put out an ad in their student newspaper looking for anyone who had quarterbacking experience to try out for the team. Now that’s pathetic. Good thing the Wolverines only have Bowling Green this weekend because you know they’ll need a more steady option against tougher opponents.

Oregon State Takes it to the Next Level to Prep for Boise State

What’s it going to take for No. 24 Oregon State to knock off No. 3 Boise State?  Plenty of creative plays, a solid game on both sides of the ball, protection of the football, and about 180 gallons of blue paint.  Now that’s what I call committment.

I’ve always wondered how the obnoxious blue color of Boise State’s field doesn’t drive the players nuts when it gives me a pounding dome ache.  Apparently Oregon State head coach Mike Riley considers it an obstacle, as he’s decided to paint the Oregon State practice field blue.   If this doesn’t help the Beavers knock off the Broncos — a team that we don’t think is worthy of a shot at the BCS championship — I’m not sure what will.

UCLA Defense Is a QB Killing Machine

A week after getting embarrassed at home by Stanford 35-0, UCLA bounced back with a win over Conference USA foe Houston 31-13 at the Rose Bowl. The Bruins are nowhere near a good team, but their defense is decent enough to keep them competitive on most nights. Their offense is another story — it’s by far one of the worst in the Pac-10 and possibly the worst I’ve ever seen from the Bruins. Luckily the defense brought the hurt to Houston Saturday night.

UCLA somehow managed to knock not one, but two Cougars quarterbacks out of the game. Moreover, both of Houston’s top two slingers were lost for the season after the Bruins got done with them. Actually, starter Case Keenum being lost for the year is more about what he did rather than UCLA.

Keenum, playing despite suffering a minor concussion the previous week trying to make a tackle following an interception, hurt himself again trying to make a tackle on an interception. He had driven the Cougars down to the UCLA two-yard line when he was picked off by Akeem Ayers. Keenum somehow tore his ACL as he tried to tackle Ayers by the sideline and is now done for the season. That happened in the second quarter.

As if Keenum’s injury wasn’t devastating enough, backup Cotton Turner broke his clavicle in the second half and was knocked out for the year as well. Turner was hit in the third quarter while attempting a pass and he already had season-ending surgery Sunday.

I’m honestly joking about UCLA’s ferocious defense. I really think it was coincidence more than anything else that Houston lost both its quarterbacks for the season against the Bruins. The 31-13 win was pleasing for Bruins fans, but the same concerns persist; Kevin Prince was just 9/17 for 99 yards and an interception. If you can’t throw the ball, you’re not going to have much success. UCLA fans are seeing it first hand and finding that out the hard way. They likely won’t win more than two of their remaining games which is quite sad.

Photo Credit: Nick de la Torre : Houston Chronicle