Thursday, October 21, 2010
By Blair Angulo
Not sure “passing attack” is the appropriate term here. The Bruins went into Thursday averaging 96 yards through the air -- good for 118th in the nation -- and didn’t do much to build on that number. As expected, Richard Brehaut got the nod with Kevin Prince (knee) out. He threw for 159 yards.
The Bruins had success running the ball early, but a Brehaut interception deep in Oregon territory ended a promising opening drive. Johnathan Franklin (69 yards), Derrick Coleman (34) and Malcolm Jones (31) are a good group, but they need help from the absent passing game.
DIN THE TRENCHES
Oregon’s offensive line is one of the nation’s best, so you saw this coming. UCLA was thoroughly overpowered and far too late on putting pressure on the quarterback. A zone-read scheme paved the way for huge holes; Oregon’s mascot had done an exhausting 303 pushups night's end.
An argument could be made that Oregon’s bright yellow jerseys were the only thing uglier than UCLA’s defensive effort. When quarterback Darron Thomas wasn't lighting it up, it was Heisman Trophy candidate LaMichael James. Thomas threw for a career-high 308 yards and three scores; James had 123 yards rushing.
Kai Forbath sank two field goals to move within five of the NCAA career field goal record of 87. Punter Jeff Locke ranked fifth nationally heading into Thursday and booted 4 times for 182 yards. Returnman Damien Thigpen performed admirably in place of Josh Smith (suspended).
Can coach Rick Neuheisel, offensive coordinator Norm Chow and defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough take much from a 60-13 embarrassment? UCLA had an extra week to prepare, but it didn’t matter against the high-powered Ducks. We're not sure an extra month could have helped.