Stanford Takes UCLA to the Woodshed, 35-0


Out of the frying pan and into the fire…

That best describes the UCLA Bruins as they were utterly embarrassed by the Cardinal of Stanford at the Rose Bowl, 35-0. The win marked Stanford’s first in Pasadena since 1996.

It also marked UCLA’s worst home loss since a 42-3 pummeling by Nebraska in 1984.

Except for the Palo Alto faithful that was ecstatic with glee at how the game unfolded, the crowd of 56,931 were disgusted, depressed, and frustrated by the Bruins’ performance, which was – incredibly enough- worse than their 31-22 loss to Kansas State the previous week.

UCLA’s offense consisted of four punts, a fumble, and an interception – and that was just in the first half.

It only got worse in the second 30 minutes as all the Bruins produced was a missed field goal, another interception, and a back-breaking miscue with 34 seconds left in the third quarter when quarterback Kevin Prince was stripped of the ball, with the Stanford player running it in for a 21-yard touchdown to make the score 28-0.

That was part of the 22 points that the Cardinal tacked on after taking a 13-0 lead at halftime; UCLA truly looked like a bad Pop Warner team in that second half.

The stripped ball was apparently the last straw for coach Rick Neuheisel as although an injured back muscle has bothered him, Prince had played like a princess, proving to be rather inept at running the “pistol” offense.

Richard Brehaut took over and though he threw an interception late in the fourth quarter, he was much more successful in moving the ball and throwing it down field.

Meanwhile, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck may have had modest completion numbers, 11-for-24, but he spanked the Bruins with his scrambling – 83 yards on seven carries – and his two touchdown passes, as well as consistently making key third down conversions and having 151 yards in the air.

He had more total yards by himself than the entire Bruin team – that is a very significant and telling illustration of how UCLA played.

While this is most definitely not a write-off on the Bruins’ season, I suppose it’s time to tell it like it is…

If UCLA, now 0-2 (0-1 in the Pac-10), continues to perform at the level that it has to this point, it will be a long, long year.

As much as it hurts me to state this, Kevin Prince is hereby dead to me as a quarterback, due to his ineffectiveness. Since he has shown to be unable to move the offense and generate points, it’s time to give Richard Brehaut the reins and start him against Houston this coming Saturday.

Running back Malcolm Jones also needs to have his workload significantly increased, not only in light of Derrick Coleman’s concussion and strained neck that he suffered in the 3rd quarter, but also because he has impressed with some good runs.

And the stupid mistakes; the four turnovers in all, the illegal substitutions, and the personal foul penalties, must absolutely cease. Now.

Though I fully give Stanford (2-0, 1-0 in the Pac-10, ranked #19 by the AP) credit – they completely outplayed UCLA and are clearly the better team and program at the moment – The Bruins have some major soul-searching to do as they played perhaps the worst game I’ve seen them play in the nearly 30 years that I have watched them as a young fan, a UCLA student, and as an alum.

A one or two-win season is definitely a possibility now, and that would be an epic tragedy.

Can the Bruins bounce back against the Houston Cougars this coming Saturday night?

With the way they are playing, I can’t be 100% sure that they will, but we will see.