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Ultimate Embarrassment for UCLA Football Against Cal

UCLA fans have to recognize that it’s a long way back to being a strong program in the Pac-10 and that this season will have its ups and downs. The Bruins started off the year 3-0 with non-conference wins over Tennessee and Kansas State that look more impressive now given what each team has done since. Problem is the Bruins have tanked since then, going 0-3 in tough conference games. UCLA actually had a chance to bring Saturday’s game (for 8th in the Pac-10) against Cal to within one possession late in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately Kevin Prince threw a pick six to make it 45-26. What’s so embarrassing about that you ask? Well, it’s pretty sad to throw an INT returned for a touchdown against a defense that only has 10 men on the field!!!!!

I am not even joking for a second when I say that I could have completed that pass for a touchdown. I really don’t even know what to say. Actually I do, with road games at Arizona and Oregon State coming up, the Bruins are going 3-5.

Thanks to The Wiz of Odds for the story, via Bruins Nation.

Randy Edsall on Jasper Howard Death: There’s Nothing in the Manual for This

It’s hard to have heard the story about UCONN CB Jasper Howard getting killed Sunday morning and not feel for his family, the team, and the school. It doesn’t matter what school you support, this sort of news hits home with anyone. After all, it was only six months ago that Nick Adenhart was killed in a car crash the same night he had played well in a game. Howard had just done the same thing, recording 11 tackles and a forced fumble and fumble in UCONN’s win over Louisville.. One of the most chilling aspects of this story comes from coach Randy Edsall who explained what it was like to hear and deliver the news:

 

In case you can’t listen to Edsall’s address, here’s a transcript of some of his comments.

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Huskies Coaches/Players Get Boner of the Week Award

Washington Arizona St Football**UPDATE** Video of the final touchdown is below The ending to the Washington/Arizona State game on Saturday night had to be nothing short of mind-numbing for Husky fans. To recap, with just under four minutes left, Eric Folk kicked a field goal to tie the game at 17. Arizona State got the ball back and drove just past midfield before seeing their drive stall with three straight incomplete passes. The Sun Devils decided to punt and they got a good one down to the 10 yard line leaving 1:17 left. At this point you figure Washington will do one of two things — either pass off the bat to try and move into field goal range or run the ball and settle for overtime. They decided to do a bit of both.

The Huskies handed the ball to Chris Polk twice in a row, setting up a 3rd and 1 with 27 seconds left. Considering they ran the ball on first and second down there’s no other conclusion to draw except that they had to be playing for overtime. But for some odd reason the Huskies decided to pass on 3rd and 1 and they threw an incompletion. On 4th down they punted to Arizona State which got the ball at midfield with 13 seconds left. The Sun Devils faced the same decision — take a shot down field or play for OT. They decided to go for broke and launched one past the Husky defense that completely blew the coverage, letting two receivers get behind them. Danny Sullivan completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Chris McGaha for the game-winner. 24-17, ballgame.

Besides running the prevent defense (that only prevents victory) and rushing only three guys on the final play, the call to pass on 3rd down won’t be forgotten by Washington fans. U-Dub’s coaches may have looked great against USC but either they or the players made some boneheaded plays in the final minute of this game. Wow.

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TCU’s Jeremy Kerley Had the Sickest Play of the Day

ESPN had it as its top play on Saturday for a good reason — what Jeremy Kerley did for TCU on a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown against Colorado State was simply ridiculous. He ran through the Rams special teams unit like they were high schoolers. Check out this absurd return:

By my count he got past six guys, making three miss and breaking three tackles. You can imagine what it will be like in the Colorado State film room Sunday. The sweet thing about a play like that is it makes LBS and the top of the list on ESPN. The bad part is it teaches bad habits for guys when they’re headed to the NFL. Just ask Mr. Reggie Bush.

Shoulder Injury Could Be a Chronic Problem for Sam Bradford

Much like the way knee injuries or tight hamstrings bother some guys, Sam Bradford’s shoulder injury looks like it could turn into a chronic problem. The shoulder was initially injured when Bradford was slammed to the turf against BYU and he missed a month to recover from the sprain. After playing against Baylor last weekend and having a good game, Bradford got slammed to the turf in his second series against Texas Saturday and did not return. The hit was reminiscent of the one against BYU because of the problem it caused to Bradford’s shoulder. Check it out:

It’s pretty clear to me that Bradford needs surgery on the shoulder to try and repair it. Think about it — he gets knocked out of the game every time he takes a sack and gets slammed to the ground on the shoulder — you telling me that’s not going to happen almost every game? Trying to return this season doesn’t even seem like an option to me and going to the NFL with his stock this low would be a worse idea. Surgery is the answer and then Bradford has to hope he rebounds next year. Sucks for him and the program.

NCAA Lays the Smack Down on Bama

bama-punishmentSeveral programs at Alabama were punished about six/seven months ago for participating in a textbook scandal. What happened was several athletes, across multiple sports, got textbooks for their classmates for no cost because the athletes had their books covered by their scholarship. The school was placed on probation for three years and also had to forfeit its wins in football, men’s tennis and track, for the period when the violations occurred. Bama decided to appeal to try and receive credit for the wins but that’s where the NCAA hammered them with these responses about Bama:

“Serial repeat offender.”
“Abysmal infractions track record.”
“An institution with an appalling and unprecedented recent infractions history.”
“Extensive recent history of infractions cases … unmatched by any other member institution in the NCAA.”

Wow. Good luck getting those wins back, Tide. They’re essentially saying don’t push your luck because the NCAA probably figures they can find out so much more if they really want to. The only thing I’ll say is that as far as infractions go, this is pretty low on the scale of right/wrong. Still, I think they got a good idea of what the NCAA thinks of them.

Bobby Bowden Confused at Halftime: It’s Like We Don’t Know Who to Tackle

Florida State led Georgia Tech at halftime Saturday night, 35-28, and Christian Ponder was almost flawless at that point. He was 18-21 for 267 yards and he had thrown for 4 touchdowns, but that didn’t leave Bobby Bowden with a smile on his face. Instead, he was too worried about the four touchdowns Georgia Tech had posted against them, all on the ground. That left the 79-year-old Bowden pretty befuddled during his halftime interview. Check it out and be ready to laugh:

Later after the game, Bowden lamented the team’s inability to stop the daggum wishbone. Poor guy. I still say you have to let him keep coaching until he doesn’t want to. This is his program and all the pride the fanbase and trustees have is thanks to him. He’ll die within 12 months if they fire his ass. Now who would want that to happen?