Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Profiles in Scnudenguben

I have to hand it to Southern Cal fans, they put that creative writing major to work.  Cut and pasted from board on UCLA's loss to Kansas State:

For months I've seen the countdown being chanted by the deluded Bruin faithful. 187 days to Bruin football! 122 days!! 44 days!!! 3 days!!!! Finally, in a lift off worthy of the early Sputnick program, the Bruin rocket fired up, wavered a few inches off the Manhattan turf, and fell over on it's side with a hollow thud. Iranian scientists are outraged over the theft of their plans for a missile delivery system.

Months of counting down to kick off a season and only three quick hours to end it. Syslvester Stallone could produce and star in a Broadway musical and it would have a longer run.

The Kansas State offense consists of a blue chip running back, one receiver who looks like he may border on being decent if the ball could ever find him, and a bunch of guys who would split time in a flag football league. Their quarterback should be sued by the Heisman Trophy trust just for sharing the same first name as Carson Palmer. Still, it's somehow enough to march the ball down the field against the Bruins and take an early lead.

Now THIS is what our pass defense was geared to stop; a quarterback throwing wiffle balls to receivers with shrunken balls. Pressley opens up with two drops and Prince manages to airmail an open receiver despite a strong headwind. Embree flinches on a couple of passes and Prince seems to think that no pattern is complete without a frantic pirouette at the end as the receiver twists for another errant throw. Locke is getting his punting rhythm down quickly, so most of the Bruin offense is in mid-season

The UCLA offense ignites for a one play, eleven yard drive after Kansas State finds the quarterback/center exchange too gimmicky to handle. The Bruin fans are not sure whether or not to cheer, looking frantically in their football etiquette handbooks for the proper response to a touchdown. UCLA is able to hold it's own with the Wildcats as long as Kansas State mixes in an unforced turnover every four or five plays. Playing error-free, and largely yardage free, the Bruins have a slender lead at half.

Snyder makes a brilliant half time adjustment. Instead of giving the ball to Thomas most of the time, he decides to just give it to him all of the time. It's not exactly quantum physics, or even Where's Waldo, but it's enough to march the ball repeatedly against the Bruin defense.

The Bruin running game is about as varied as an evangelical's sex life; basically pounding straight ahead whether a hole is there or not. Every time I look up I see Prince holding the ball out like a waiter offering a plate of hors d'oeuvres to a passing child while a corner graphic shows pages of the calendar dropping away. This actually plays to the strength of their O-Line, since their only blocking technique seems to be spilling forward like grain pouring out from overstuffed silos. Unfortunately for Bruin QB's, I see some rear end blitzes in their near future. From the way Prince's rear is hanging out, I suspect he's looking forward to the encounters.

I can't figure out what is more shocking; that people keep touting the Bruin defense as the "strength" of the team, or the realization that it's actually true. Kansas State has exactly two Division One level offensive players and they share the same position. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out where the ball is going to end up, yet Thomas and Powell keep weaving through the bodies for positive yardage. QB Coffman goes out with severe cramps and is replaced by a wide receiver/ball boy. The difference is minimal.

In probably the greatest indictment ever against the prevent defense, UCLA scores in two plays against Kansas State's.

The Bruins have one last chance to hold and Thomas waltzes in from thirty yards out. Something about calling those defensive time outs is just not working for Neuhiesel.

UCLA's best chance for a September win falls as flat as the Manhattan skyline. The Bruins start re-thinking that marketing plan to have Joe Biden tape a spot called "Recovery Fall". The decision is made to go with in-house animation, No outlay of cash and the title works ever so much better.

"Free Fall".

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