By Gary Montgomery
BVN Staff Writer
Pasadena - The good thing about rebuilding is that you dont have to look real hard to find positives to talk about.
The Bruins had suffered consecutive losses and the buzzards were beginning to circle. The pundits had started yelling those familiar slogans meltdown,mid-season fade, crash and burn, out of gas. Youve heard it all before.
Evidently, the Bruins didnt want to hear it anymore. On Saturday in front of a crowd 54,021 the Bruins went out and got their first shut out in eight years.
Coach Karl Dorrell was beaming This was a great performance at a time when we really needed it. I am so proud of these guys said Dorrell.
Dorrells joy was warranted. Last season the Bruins lost to Stanford and spiraled out of control right into a five game losing streak. After losing a tough Cal team and blowing and 11-point lead to Arizona State, the Bruins could hardly afford another loss. It was a great display of character and heart on the heels of what happened a week ago. said Dorrell referring the the Bruins loss to Arizona State.
The Bruins had some other talking points from this game. The defense held up for the entire game. It held Stanford to only 83 rushing yards on 33 carries. UCLA also held Stanford to 177 yards passing. Junior Linebacker, Spencer Havner had an outstanding game. Havner had 11 solo tackles and 1 interception. I was just out there trying to get involved, they werent sending anybody after me, so I just tried to make something happen. said Havner. The combined defensive performance would have to be rated as a seasons best.
On the other side of the ball, Sophomore Maurice Drew continued to carry the load. Drew rushed for 105 yards and scored two touchdowns, one on a 68-yard punt return and the other on a pass from Olson. I caught the ball, looked up and saw a hole and I just ran to daylight. If I get ahead of them, they cant catch me. said Drew.
UCLA needs to win at least one of the next two games to assure bowl eligibility. The best scenario for the Bruins is to win the next two games against Washington State and Oregon and get to 7-3 before the season finale against USC. This scenario would remove the pressure of bowl qualification before meeting USC.
G.Montgomery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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