Saturday, October 9, 2010
By Blair Angulo
Kevin Prince used his arm a lot more than he had to at Texas, but the Bruins’ aerial game was still nowhere near effective. His first half numbers: 6 for 12 for 33 yards. He wasn’t much better after that, throwing an interception early in the second half when momentum appeared to have shifted UCLA’s way.
Johnathan Franklin, coming off a career-high 216 yards rushing in a come-from-behind win over Washington State last week, coughed up the ball on his third carry Saturday. It was an uphill battle from there. UCLA only had 26 yards rushing -- 60 not counting yards lost on sacks. Not necessarily what the Bruins had in mind.
DIN THE TRENCHES
UCLA’s offensive line, better known in recent weeks as the “Filthy Five,” looked more like the “Futile Five” against Cal. Prince saw pressure from the edges often and Franklin had little to work with. The defensive front looked like it did against Kansas State’s Daniel Thomas: lost, overpowered and winded.
A week after failing to contain Wazzu’s passing game, UCLA had loads of trouble with Cal’s rushing attack. The Golden Bears piled up 387 yards of total offense -- 304 of them through the ground. Tailback Shane Vereen had 151 yards and two touchdowns, averaging six yards per carry. Jahvid who?
The only unit that performed somewhat admirably. Punter Jeff Locke was on the field again and again -- which is great for his draft stock, but not the Bruins. The lefty averaged more than 48 yards in nine punts, three of which were downed inside the 20. Gunner Damien Thigpen forced a fumble late.
What a difference from two weeks ago, when UCLA stormed into Texas and did everything right. Is there something structurally wrong with the Bruins’ game planning? Give Cal coach Jeff Tedford credit: The Golden Bears capitalized on their bye week and were fully prepared.