A Bruin Loss Hurts…But All Is Not Lost…

Photo by Full Image 360

Pasadena, CA – For any of you who thought that UCLA had a chance to make the College Football Playoff…

…there’s a reason why the committee ranked them 12th before this weekend.  

Their only impressive win came against Utah. Had UCLA beaten Oregon, the conversation would have been much stronger. Now, the worry goes to the entire Pac-12 since Oregon lost to Washington yesterday. This virtually takes away any chance for any Pac-12 team to have a chance to be one of the top four, and that includes USC. 

De Laura’s dives for a touchdown. Photo by fi360 News

Saturday set up a prime opportunity for November 19 to be the Pac-12 semifinals. UCLA and USC square off at 5PM. Oregon and Utah kicks off at 7:30PM. More on that later. 

So now lets talk about UCLA. 

The Bruins were skipping down the Rose Bowl tunnel getting ready to take on Arizona. Why were they all smiles? An Oregon loss gave way for the Bruins to be the top team in the Pac-12 and hold their destiny. The Wildcats entered with every loss by double digits. They hadn’t won at the Rose Bowl since 2010. They have been practically irrelevant since they had a legit chance to make the Rose Bowl back in 1998, where the Bruins ruined that chance by losing to Miami in the final week of the season, this giving UCLA the Rose Bowl bid instead. Ironically, that was also the last time the Bruins made the Rose Bowl. 

Bobo gets tackled

We can talk about betting lines and stats on paper, but the Wildcats ignored just about everything that went against them. They went up quickly 14-0 when Jayden De Laura settled in quite nicely. UCLA had to play catchup practically the rest of the way and eventually took a lead late in the fourth when Zack Charbonnet had to take matters into his own hands rushing for most of the yards they needed to go up 28-24. De Laura though took command on a 48 yard pass after the kickoff to Dorian Singer, eventually leading the Wildcats back into the endzone to lead 31-28. While Arizona kicked another field goal to give them the 6 point cushion, the Bruins had one final chance to save their hopes of earning the top spot in the Pac-12. Thompson Robinson’s late drive fell short on the last play looking for Jake Bobo and striking through his hands. 

As a whole, the Bruins could not make any big stops. De Laura’s 22-for-28 night and over 300 yards passing wreaked havoc. UCLA’s offensive line could not hold, giving the Wildcats 7 tackles for losses, most of which occurred in the second half. A good chunk of those came in the second half taking Thompson Robinson down twice. Thompson-Robinson’s night was average at best, throwing for just 1 touchdown and for 245 yards. His effort ruined the rest of the offensive performance that was sparked from a great running game by Charbonnet’s 181 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Thompson Robinson only managed 21 yards on the ground.  

UCLA at the end of the day looked off. They looked like they played a trap game. They looked like they were waiting for USC. Instead, just like their chances of making the College Football Playoff were around slim (needing wins and massive help), the same can now go for being one of the top 2 teams in the Pac-12. A Bruins win Saturday means they can snag one of the top 2 spots in the conference by way of tiebreaker over the Trojans and Utes. Their Pac-12 season concludes with Cal the week after. A Bruin loss the next two games means even the Holiday Bowl could get taken away. 

UCLA Defense

UCLA’s season now hangs in the balance Saturday night.