Jim Mora and his clown collection of coaches rolled out to Charlottesville to take on a Virginia squad coming off a 2-10 season, with an inexperienced QB, and barely managed to escape with a close win in a laughable performance that will make a lot of poll voters seriously reconsider having the Bruins anywhere close to the top-10.
Nothing sums up Jim Mora's team's pathetic showing in Charlottesville today quite like that. That was a disgraceful performance. We're sure to see a lot of Mora apologists come out with plenty of excuses about "having to travel to Virginia" and "the early start time" but this Bruin squad never woke from their slumber, coming out with a close 28 to 20 win. If not for the inexperience of Virginia sophomore QB Greyson Lambert (who got benched for back-up Matt Johns to close out the first half) and some outstanding individual efforts by Owa Odighizuwa, Eric Kendricks, and Ishmael Adams, the Bruins would have been held completely scoreless in the first half.
It was a complete failure by an alleged top-10 team taking on one of the worst teams in the nation (who went 2-10 last season, and who entered this game, at their house, as the 20 point underdog) to take the game under control. Whether it was Mazzone's pathetic offense (it's becoming increasingly clear why this guy has never been given a shot as a head coach) play-calling or the ridiculously stupid penalties (12 men on the field, false starts, etc.), this Bruin squad does not look like the College Football Playoff contenders that they were billed up to be.
Maybe the coaching staff and players spent too much time reading their own press hype (and in the case of Klemm, maybe too much time counting all that money he got in his pay raise), rather than preparing this UCLA team to go to Virginia and dominate. UCLA was given a golden opportunity to play on a national stage, dominate a weak opponent from a good conference and make a statement to a national audience that they are for real. Title contenders come out the gate strong - look at how Florida State beat down Pitt 41-13 and Nevada 62-7 (both teams are better than Virginia) to open their season. Instead, UCLA played like . . . UCLA - half-hearted, unprepared, and sloppy.
Instead, Jim Mora and the Bruins came out and fell flat on their face. Virginia went out and lost that game - UCLA did little to nothing to deserve that victory. But still, it's a victory, so we'll move on and see if Mora and this staff can get things sorted out quickly and get UCLA up and running like the top-10 team they alleged are.
But right now, just like Jim's dad said, in our opinion, that sucked.