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Friday, October 31, 2014

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



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