Saturday, September 25, 2010
Instant analysis: UCLA 34, Texas 12
By David Ubben
AUSTIN, Texas -- That was ugly. That was a loss when just about everything went wrong for the Texas Longhorns, and the UCLA Bruins didn't catch a lot of breaks. They beat Texas straight up in every facet of the game. The Longhorns look like they have some soul-searching to do before next week's matchup with Oklahoma. UCLA didn't provide any opportunities, and neither will the rival Sooners.
How the game was won: Texas scored the first three points of the game, but never reached any kind of offensive rhythm. The defense was worn down and looked ordinary in the second half as UCLA scored touchdowns on its first two drives of the second half to race to a 34-12 win.
Stat of the game: Texas turned the ball over four times. Three of those turnovers came in the first half, but the defense kept it close and the Longhorns trailed 13-3. The offense wasn't strong enough to offset two UCLA touchdowns in the third quarter.
Player of the game: Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA. Against Texas' vaunted run defense -- the nation's best through three games -- Franklin topped 100 yards and scored a touchdown.
Second guessing: Texas' decision to force an unproductive run game. The Longhorns didn't move much on offense, but looked a lot better when they spread it back out and let Garrett Gilbert try to make plays with his arm. It's hard to imagine Texas' coaches didn't see the same thing. It should be very interesting to see what Texas' offense looks like next week against Oklahoma.
What Texas learned: One half of great defense and two halves of bad offense equal a lopsided loss to a middle-of-the-road Pac-10 team. Gilbert looked decent in spots, but missed a wide-open James Kirkendoll in the end zone for a first-half touchdown that would have given Texas the lead. The running game was never a factor and it doesn't look like it will be moving forward. The defense can't win games by itself.
What it means: Texas' national championship aspirations will need plenty of help. Forget Boise State, Texas has to start with themselves. The Longhorns defense played well for a half, but on the whole, Texas looked like an eight-win team. The good news is it's a nonconference game and Texas still has a week before it plays a game that affects its chances at reaching a BCS bowl game.
Record performance: UCLA has now outscored Texas 100-15 in its past two trips to Austin, after beating Texas 66-3 in 1997.