UCLA Football: Expectations vs. Reality

Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins wide receiver Thomas Duarte (18) catches pass for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball is no more. The NBA season? Just ended. Hockey? Over. NFL games won’t be here for a while, either. Its summer, and quite honestly, it’s one of the worst times in sports. A time when any non-baseball fan like myself no longer wants to watch the Sports Center Top-10 Plays, knowing every play will be the same diving catch made by a different player, and that every story line will in some way be tied to Yasiel Puig. In these tough times, we look to the future — to UCLA Football. With preseason expectations finding the Bruins as high as 4th in the nation and playing in the new college football playoff, are we getting carried away, or is the hype true? Everyone is focused on Oregon and Stanford — even calling the USC game one of the tougher this season, but in simply doing that, they look past two challenging games at the beginning of the season. Let’s take a look at each game and see what they have to offer.

Tags: Football UCLA Bruins

  • Michael Bartlett

    It is difficult to enjoy this story as there are so many spelling errors and misstatements of fact.

    The first mistake comes in the preview of the first game, at Virginia, with a reference to the “high power UCLA offense.” This is the same error some people make with “old fashion” – they leave off the “ed”! The correct terms are “old fashioned” and “high powered.” Yes, the “high powered” UCLA offense should shine at Virginia.

    The Texas Longhorns, we are told, are “probably a little bitter from UCLA’s 2010 win over them.” Really? Is the author unaware that Texas visited the Rose Bowl in 2011 and soundly beat the Bruins, 49-20?!? If any team is “bitter” or owes payback, it is UCLA, not Texas.
    The late September visit to Tempe to face Arizona State is noted as a “potential upset” that UCLA needs to guard against. Well, ASU is favored by 7 points. That means a UCLA win would be an upset.

    There are several problems with the preview of the Oregon game. First is the reference to the fact there will be “two high power offenses.” Again, the “ed” has been left off what should say “two high powered
    offenses.”

    The next writing error is the statement “win, and their in” referring to the Playoffs. The correct sentence would be “win, and they’re in” as in “they are.”

    Beyond bad spelling, the Oregon preview states Oregon winning on Oct. 11 would keep UCLA out of the Playoffs, even if the Bruins win out. This ignores a very crucial fact: should UCLA win out after an early
    loss to Oregon, and the Ducks win out, the Bruins would meet Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The winner of that game, either undefeated or with just 1 loss, no doubt would be in the Playoffs.

    In the look at the game at Colorado, the author states, “UCLA has had issues with the Buffs in recent years” mostly involving Paul Richardson. Really? What “issues” are we talking about? Since Colorado joined the Pac-12 the Bruins have had no trouble dominating the Buffs. In 2011 UCLA won at home, 45-6. In 2012 it was 42-14, in Boulder. Last year UCLA won, 45-23, in the Rose Bowl. And Richardson? He did not play in the 2012 game, and last year he had a pedestrian game: 7 catches for 70 yards, 1 touchdown.

    The Arizona preview has three spelling errors and another gross mischaracterization as to how the series has gone between the two schools. This section is atrocious: “Arizona hasn’t really given UCLA troubles in
    the past few years, though last year’s game wasn’t a route either. The Bruins have barley been touched by the Wildcat’s defense but have struggled to take down Ka’Deem Carey.”

    First, “route” should be “rout.” Second, “barley” is a grain, the correct word is “barely.” Third, “Wildcats” is plural, so the apostrophe should be at the end, “Wildcats’ defense.”

    Moreover, the UCLA wins the last 2 seasons were preceded by a 5-game Arizona winning streak, so yes, the Wildcats most certainly have given UCLA trouble in recent years. The Bruins only won last year’s game by 5 points, 31-26.

    As for Carey, he had a fine game against UCLA last year in Tucson, rushing 28 times for 149 yards and 1 TD. But in the 66-10 whipping the Bruins put on the Cats in the Rose Bowl in 2012, Carey was held to 54 yards on 16 carries. So it is not correct to say UCLA “struggled” against him.

    The Washington pre has yet another writing error: “Mora, who’s alma mater…” should say “Mora, whose alma mater…”

    To close, two similar mischaracterizations mar the USC and Stanford previews. The author says “Cody
    Kessler has been quiet against UCLA” and the matchup with Stanford has kept UCLA fans awake at night “in every game since the Pac-12 Championship Game two years ago.” Cody Kessler has only played one game against UCLA, and UCLA and Stanford have only played one game since meeting in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

    Better editing and research is sorely needed. Thank you.

    • Ryan Tabb

      Thanks for the read! Glad you payed such close attention. Spelling errors will surely be fixed.

      • Ardy Bee

        “Payed?” Really?

        • Ryan Tabb

          My bad. Paid*. Good catch.