Happy Saturday to you Followers. Hope your weekend is off to a great start.
Well, after a week from HELL trying to find a car to replace my beloved beater.....
I am now ready to hit the keyboard to write and think a bit about the Cougs. So, if you want to check out a few pre- UCLA related thoughts, then please click on the jumperoo.
Followers, if there's one thing I've learned in my little, teeny, tiny life of world domination, it's this: You gotta know the games to bet on, and the games to avoid at all cost.
And truly, when you look at this game from a Vegas Perspective???...
Well, just run for your life...
I mean, we all know that UCLA is a really good football team. But let's face it: Are they anywhere as good as they looked last weekend in throttling a pretty dynamic Arizona team? Ah Hell No!
And then you look at us, I mean, we all know that we're not very good. But doesn't anyone think that we're really 43 points worse than Utah? I sure don't.
And then you have this thing called Mother nature that has threatened to make this game IDENTICAL to the game we played at this exact time last year against an Arizona State team that also had lots of Pac-12 South title aspirations.
In other words, DO NOT BET ON THIS GAME!!!!!!
That all said, there are a few good reasons why I think we should all be prepared to really get the wood handed to us tonight. And that reason has EVERYTHING TO DO with the Hair Raid defense and its formidable leader, Michael J. Breske.
"I really like defense and that type of deal."
You see, outside of the Oregon State game, we've pretty much been hammered by any team that has hit us with some semblance of offensive balance. I mean, Colorado scored 35 on us, Oregon 52, Cal 31, Utah 49--those were all teams that were able to run AND throw the ball.
Unfortunately for us, our next two opponents are really good at doing just that. And so, if we're going to have any chance of matching last year's win total, we're going to have to do what we did against Oregon State and Stanford and that is to really stiffen up in and around the redzone. In other words, because we're going to give up yards tonight--lots of them--the key will be whether or not those drives result in touchdowns or field goals? If its the latter, we'll be in the game. If its the former, we're gonna get lit.
So, rather than give you a set of keys to the game, I'm just gonna give you one. And that is:
TWENTY FOUR POINTS.
Hold UCLA to 24 and we'll win tonight. More than that, and the nightmare season will continue in earnest.
Personally, when I look at Franklin, Fauria, et al., I see a team that we cannot and will not match up with.
Our only hope is for the Baby Blue Bruins to lay down in the cold--and I just don't see that happening with all that they have at stake.
Bruins ruin a very, very cold Dad's Weekend 52-17.
All for now. Go Cougs.
Yep. A game we should've won.
Are we accepting moral victories still? I'm not. $2.2 mil says I'm not.
@Soze AGENTS?!!??? Don't talk to us about AGENTS!!!
Right now that's probably not the best thing for him. If I'm a coach, I'm seeing a quiter. A talented one but still a quiter. What's to say he won't pull the same thing again? Wilson's best option is to go somewhere, work his butt off, set career numbers and then enter the draft next year.
Could not be prouder of my Cougs. They showed gumption last night. A few horrible mistakes but we never gave up. Halliday started cold but pick it up. He just needs to learn to move with the ball better. Good riddance to Wilson, honestly, his piss poor attitude was probably bringing the team down. Got a little tired of the commentators talking about we were missing out because of Wilson being gone. Apparently not much. CML did look a little calmer perhaps a little more encouraging than demanding? Whatever it was it worked. Maybe he is one those dads that gets after your ass but then in his own way makes you feel loved, not a hugger I am thinking, but in his own way. Some studs did come out (emerged) to play last night, happy to see Caldwell back in the line up, did not like that fumble but hey it happens. GO COUGS
@crazedcoug40 Let's get after Arizona State next week and I hope we only have football to talk about, with no more drama. Go Cougs!
Having froze our butts off last night, Mrs. Ambush & I really think this team will play to the level of the competition, no matter the level of said competition.
Last night the offense played pretty darn well. Okay, probably the best they've played all season. The defense did pretty much the same. Then there's special teams. What can I say. It was COLD. Thank God for no wind. CML summed it up at half time with Jes when asked about special teams. "I've never seen anything like it." Neither have I coach.
As for MQW, Good luck and good ridence from my point of view. He couldn't take the heat so he got out of the kitchen. His "letter of resignation" is posted at the end of Christian Caple's article in todays Spokesman. I'm sure he believes everything he wrote there,
We all know CML is a hard-ass, old school coach. I think perhaps Mr. Wilson wasn't used to being held accountable for what he doesn't do, mainly put in the effort in practice, and not always in games. He's an incredible talent and it's sad to see it being wasted by his not using it to the fullest.
Encouraging results tonight! Outgained UCLA by 200 yards. If not for the 5 backbreaking special teams miscues, this game could have been a whole lot different! Special props to Marcus Mason and Dominique Williams.
@cougfan20 As horrible and mistake-filled as the first half was, I was almost equally encouraged by the second half. Granted, it is easier to move the ball when you are down 30 points, but we really did seem to find a rhythm and made things a little exciting there down the stretch. I know Leach doesn't elaborate on injuries, but I would have to guess Tuel is done for the season. The guy has poured his heart and soul into the program but he cannot stay healthy!! Say what you want, but that injury last night could have been avoided by doing something that quarterbacks are trained to do when they run: slide! Halliday needs to use these last 2 games to show the staff that he can lead this team going forward into next season. Whether Tuel comes back or not, I'm just at the point where I think there is almost no way the guy can stay healthy for a full season, and we need to start looking at other options.
@FanInTheStands Yep, unfortunate for Tuel. I'd have to watch the play again, but I don't know if sliding was an option because it was 4th and 5 and if I remember correctly, he barely got the first down. I might be wrong though. I've been pulling for him, but he does seem to have the worst injury luck! It is nice to know we have a very capable backup always ready to come in at a moment's notice. I think this is probably it for Tuel, even if he gets his medical redshirt - who knows if he will even decide to return... will it be worth the risk of getting injured again and perhaps not starting? My guess is Halliday will be our starter next year, but keep an eye on true freshman Tyler Bruggman.
I know just about as much s you do most likely. I do know he's red shirting this year and was a highly touted QB in High School. I don't know how much if any he played this spring or fall. It'll be very interesting to see what he brings.
On a different topic, I really think Pres. Floyd and the Athletic Department are handling the Wilson debacle properly. Let teh Pac-12 determine who's "at fault" here. That way there's no perceived bias in the findings.
@Ambush184 What do we know about Apodaca? I've never had the chance to watch him play in the spring game or practice or anything and pretty much don't know anything about him. Interested to see what he may bring to the table.
There's no way I'd play Bruggman next year (assuming he signs) unless Apodoca and Halliday both get hurt. Bring him on as a RS frosh and then open it up and see who wants it the most..
I think they will struggle early in the cold. If we can score some... (say at least 10) in the first quarter, and hold them to zilch, we have a great shot. My prediction: If we lead by more than a TD at halftime, we win. If not, we lose.
(Go ahead naysayers, say it. Well, if you lead by more than a touchdown at half, you should win. Yeah, but we're talking about the 2012 edition of the Cougars, here. Where defeat is one massively blown coverage away.)
Sorry for the unvarnished reaction there ... man, just really don't want to see that kind of result. Let's get a win, but if I had to, I'd settle for a moral victory tonight that looks a lot like Bone's boys almost beating UCLA without Klay.
Just so I'm sort of clear, I LOVE BRESKE. And I will not blame him if we take a beating tonight. I just don't think we match up with this team--even if we knew how to score..