28.Oct.2009 UCLA @ Oregon State
As I watch the World Series on the eve of the eve of the eve of this Saturday’s Homecoming match-up, I can’t help but feel grateful and giddy. The Fall Classic, UCLA for Homecoming this weekend, and Craig Robinson’s improved basketball squad right around the corner. This is the best time of year, and it’s too short, so savor it.
A lot of Beaver fans were predicting an easy win this weekend after OSU’s offensive output versus USC. Hold tight, Beavers. Expect a dog fight; a one score game that’s decided on the final play. Listen, the defense was as inept as the offense proficient. How can you ignore that? Making matters worse, Richard Brehaut is going to quarterback for UCLA. If you remember, in my mid-season report I said that UCLA’s season hinges on how much Brehaut plays. I believe he’s the missing piece for that team and should have started their last two games. The Bruins already boast the best defense in the conference, and now they put a 4-star gunslinger behind center. This is going to be similar to the Nick Foles situation with Arizona. For those of you who haven’t seen Brehaut, I’ll tell you this: he’s the best pure passer in the conference. The guy can flat out sling the ball around. Perusing the forums, most Beaver fans are expecting the Bruins “pathetic” offense of weeks past, but with Franklin in the backfield and now the new QB I can tell you with certainty that is not going to be the case. Expect the Bruins to put up close to 30 in this game.You have to keep in mind we have no pass rush, and that’s a great advantage for UCLA’s new QB. In fact, Slick Rick is likely playing him in this game for that exact reason.
Now, on the offensive side of the ball–things look great for the Beavers. They’re firing on all cylinders. But UCLA has a fantastic defense. I’ll say this: I feel more confident saying the Bruins will get stops than saying the Beavers will get stops. The Beavers need to go fulltime with this lineup on the defensive line: Miller, Paea, Oldander, LaGrone (and Taylor Henry on 3rd downs as a specialist). Mark my words: until they do, they will continue to be futile. The linebackers should be Kristick, Bubba, and Roberson. The secondard Collins, Mitchell, Hardin and Dockery. This is the best combination.
So, how do I see this game going? I have a good hunch it will go like this:
Beavers kick off, Craft makes a bone-headed play and the Beavers score a TD off it. Brehaut enters the game, the Beavs can’t stop him, and the fans are forced to ride the “massive coronary express” for the rest of the contest. UCLA jumps ahead by a score, the Beavers counter at halftime by returning to the run game. Quiz has a great 3rd quarter, scores. The teams exchange punches. Brehaut answers, makes a name for himself, entrenches himself as the starter. I see this ending being hectic, coming down to the last seconds, with the defense having to make a play to save a slim lead. While my gut tells me they just aren’t good enough to make such a stand, I’m hoping the crowd can act as the desperately needed 12th defender and push the good guys over the hump.