UCLA-USC Report Card

RESULT: USC 28-7
RECORD: 6-6
WEEK 12 GPA: C-

QUARTERBACK
Kevin PrinceCraft put the team in an unwinnable situation, throwing three picks.
D

RUNNING BACKS
Chane Moline and Co. managed just 44 yards on 17 carries.
D

WIDE RECEIVERS
Drops, drops, drops. Just a sub-par effort.
D-

OFFENSIVE LINE
For the second straight week, the unit reverted to the uninspired group of old in the running game
D+

DEFENSIVE LINE
A great effort – eight tackles for loss – against a great offensive line.
A-

LINEBACKERS
Steady and effective; can’t really blame this crew for the loss.
A-

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Alterraun Verner had another interception, and despite the late touchdown, a good effort.
B+

SPECIAL TEAMS
Another solid effort out of Jeff Locke, even though Kai Forbath wasn’t put to work.
B-

COACHING
Norm Chow could not find the right combination in the running game yet again.
C-

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A pretty clear bowl picture

Here are the remaining bowl-eligible teams without current tie-ins:
1. Middle Tennessee State (9-3), Second in Sun Belt
2. Northern Illinois (7-5), Second in the MAC West
3. Bowling Green (7-5), Third in the MAC West
4. Idaho (7-5), Fourth in WAC
5. SMU (7-5), second in Conference USA West
6. UConn (6-5, plays South Florida next week). Sixth in Big East
7. UCLA (6-6), Seventh in Pac-10
8. Notre Dame (6-6), at-large
9. Hawaii (6-6, plays Wisconsin next week). Fifth in WAC. If Hawaii beats Wisconsin, then Fresno moves into the at-large picture.
10. Marshall (6-6), fourth in Conference USA East
11. Louisiana-Monroe (6-6), Third in Sun Belt
12. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6), Fifth in Sun Belt

And here are the likely five bowl slots:
1) EagleBank in Washington D.C. – 2 spots (ACC didn’t qualify and Army needs to beat Navy, which is probably not going to happen)
2) GMAC in Mobile, Ala. (ACC didn’t qualify).
3) Humanitarian (TCU likely in BCS and MWC didn’t qualify a sixth team).
4) Little Caesars Pizza (Iowa likely in BCS and Big Ten didn’t qualify another 6-6 team).

In other words, UCLA needs a lot of help…

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My take on the last minute of the game

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t mean to imply that those who didn’t play football can’t judge how the end of the UCLA-USC played out, I just have a certain perspective as a former football player.
Both coaches were correct.

His team down 14 with 52 seconds left and three timeouts left, Rick Neuheisel reasoned that with two more plays came two more chances for USC to fumble the ball. Was there probably a twinge of gamesmanship in the decision, a half-hearted jab at Carroll? Probably.
But once Neuheisel made his call, Carroll followed with the correct call himself.

If a coach calls a timeout, it means game on.
Carroll certainly had a bit of bitterness toward the timeout, but he made the right call. He tried to score when he knew the game was still in doubt, at least in the Bruins’ minds.

Now, the “skirmish” escalated not after the touchdown, but after USC’s blatant taunting on the sidelines. Did things get out of hand? A bit. I love the passion and the pride that the players have in their teams.

Where does that leave us? I think this rivalry just stepped up a notch. That 28-7 score is deceiving: USC realized that UCLA has caught up a little bit. Really, the Trojans had one sustained drive and benefitted from mistakes by some of UCLA’s youngest players.

All I know is both coaches were right and this is going to be fun.

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On the chat

Guys,

The chat turned into a free-for-all, and that’s not cool. Sorry I wasn’t there to monitor it better. I’m not in the business of banning people or anything like that, but seriously, keep it cleaner next time. This chat has been deleted.

Thanks
Jon

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USC 28, UCLA 7

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel caught a bit of deja vu after the Bruins’ 28-7 loss to USC tonight.
Neuheisel saw tremendous similarities between the team’s 23-13 win over Arizona State last week and the loss, from both sides.
Like last week, an early quick-pick-six changed the complexion of the game, as USC’s offense was able to play a bit more conservatively against the reeling Bruins.
UCLA held strong, though, at least defensively.
The Bruin offense was pummeled often by the Trojans, who caught ground on UCLA at the line of scrimmage and used tremendous team speed to gang tackle.
UCLA managed just 322 yards for the game, and the running game was downright porous in the first half.
The bright side: The Bruins defense played valiantly, stopping drives short and dropping the Trojans for eight tackles for loss.

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