November 8, 2008
Beavers beat Bruins to the punch
Going into the season the Bruins had two major question marks. They were at quarterback and offensive line. The two positions have not played well enough this season to get the job done and it was never so apparent than the game that was played on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins normally a good team at home saw their offensive line be manhandled at the point of attack by a stifling Oregon State defensive line.
Junior quarterback Kevin Craft never had a lot of time to throw and there wasn't a lot of room to run the ball with.
It was crucial for the Bruins to have a semblance of a running game if they were going to have any chance at winning. The Bruins could only muster 48 yards on 27 carries. On the game the Bruins only accrue a total of 237 total offensive yards on the day.
"At the end of the day, we were just not able to sustain the line of scrimmage," UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said. "We are just not able to generate consistent play there, where you can dictate running and passing."
"Unfortunately we compound things with untimely turnovers and it just gets away from us," Neuheisel said. "That's very demoralizing for our defense that is playing as hard as it is."
UCLA's defense once again played well enough to win, but finally succumbed to the weight of two many short fields.
Bruin true freshman Rahim Moore had another outstanding day giving the Bruins a glimpse into the future and a glimmer of hope out of a rather disappointing season.
Moore ended up with four tackles, a pick and a fumble recovery deep in UCLA territory or the score could have been worse.
Junior linebacker fought hard the whole game and accounted for 10 tackles and two tackles for loss.
It is hard to win a game when your offense is limited. It is harder still when your offense turns the ball over four times. The Beavers scored on three of their turnover opportunities.
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley was finally able to get that elusive win against the Bruins. He was 0-5 as the Beaver's head coach and 0-4 as the offensive coordinator of USC.
"I really tried to wipe that out of my mind," Riley said about his dubious record against UCLA. "Everyone kept saying that this team hasn't beat UCLA, but I told the team that this 2008 hasn't played UCLA. I thought the atmosphere was great out there today."
Besides the outstanding defensive play, Riley was able to beat the UCLA jinx by an outstanding performance by Oregon State true freshman Jacquizz Rodgers.
The talented freshman running back rushed for 144 yards and one touchdown. Rodgers is only the third freshman to rush for over 1,000 yards and his total of 1,089 is the most ever by freshman eclipsing Stanford running back Darrin Nelson's frosh Pac 10 record of 1,069.
With this loss the Bruins need to sweep their last three games to get Bowl eligible, a task that at this juncture seems to be Herculean in nature.
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