I wouldn’t exactly say this was the same thing as the Saints beating the Falcons in their Monday night opener after Katrina a few years ago, but the energy and thought of something “new” made the UCLA win over Tennessee pretty sweet Monday night. It was a new coaching regime, a big-time SEC team coming across the country, on Labor Day for a national audience in prime time, and UCLA had just declared that USC’s supremacy in the city was over. That’s a lot of hype, build up, pressure, and anticipation all built up into one game, and perhaps why UCLA had to win the opener.
Seeing three starters go down early and four interceptions by Kevin Craft in the first half was hideous. Tennessee didn’t capitalize on the mistakes and got burned in the second half. If there’s anything we learned from Monday’s game, it’s that: