Sunday, November 6, 2011

UCLA 29 over (#19) ASU 28, Boys 1st game

Took my sons to their first UCLA football game on Saturday.  When I initially chose this game, I didn't realize that ASU was probably the best team in the South div and that this was a likely loss.  But, it worked well in our schedule.

Of course, it turned out to be the best game possible.  Even the rain let up on Sat just for this game.  The only downside was the cold.  By the 4th quarter, we had both boys in their thermals, (jerseys), sweatshirts, and thick winter jacket.  And beanies.  And gloves.  It had to be in the 40s by the time we left.

Since my eldest has been reading a book about Joe Bruin going to the Rose Bowl for a football game for probably over a year now, he had been adequately hyped up for this event.  The marching band did not disappoint.  He also liked the giant lettered flags U-C-L-A.  Also the U-S-A ones (asu backwards, not that I corrected him).  Oh, and the endless snacks that mommy brought.  As for the game, he probably liked the kickoffs more than anything else.

We ended up leaving early 4th quarter since the boys were restless and actually already sick going into the game.  The cold was definitely not helpful.  As far as we're concerned, we actually won 23-21, haha.  Though it would have been nice to be there for the end, the reality is we would've been there for at least an additional hour and a half (30 min gametime, 45 min of pandemonium getting out of Bowl, 30-60 min drive out of parking lot) - not a great idea for parents with two toddlers.

So, what was noteworthy about the game itself?

- Kevin Prince dug himself out of my doghouse.  He was decisive and reasonably accurate with his throws.  His pump fake got Nelson Rosario completely open for the easiest 76 yard TD you'll ever see.  But his 30 yard back shoulder 1st down throw on the game-winning drive to Rosario was the throw of his career.  I keep wondering how long Prince will stay healthy, rushing so many times each game.  I guess it'll be great while he lasts.

- Derrick Coleman was in beast mode, tallying up 119 yards, 2 TDs, including 62 yards on the game-winning drive.

- The Bruins defense was still porous, but at least rested by a few of the offenses' long time-consuming drives.

- We really like to fumble.  4 times in fact, recovering only 2.  

- We had a shocking halftime lead.  And a lead at the end of 3.  And we didn't buckle even after a fumble (and subsequent missed asu fg), needing a TD with minutes left.

As for the season outlook, I think we will be hard-pressed to finish out with 3 straight wins.  We are not a team of consistency.  We do not play good defense, nor do we tackle well.  Our offense is the opposite of explosive and it would be near impossible for us to win if we ever get behind by a couple scores.

But, on paper, we're in the driver's seat.  If we win out (@Utah, Colorado, @sc), we'll be in the Pac-12 championship game vs Stanford/Oregon.  Win that, we're in a BCS bowl.  Crazy talk I know.  But at least we've got something to talk about.

I'm really happiest most for our players.  This was a signature victory for our seniors - one that they will remember always - as will my family, in our first Bruin game ever.

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