Analysis: Oregon 42, UCLA 30

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Job well done, Oregon. By bouncing back so convincingly from the Arizona loss, you’re right back in the Pac-12 driver’s seat. But the UCLA staff needs to be called out for the consistently horrible job it’s done in 2014. 

The Bruins didn’t just get outplayed in the Rose Bowl, they got outcoached by Mark Helfrich and his staff. Jim Mora aside, UCLA is largely a collection of recruiting coordinators masquerading as offensive and defensive assistants. The program excels at amassing talent, but not enough of those young players are maximizing their ability once they get to Westwood. The Bruins got mauled Saturday in all phases—at home—by a Duck team coming off back-to-back lackluster efforts versus Washington State and ‘Zona. Instead of exploiting the weaknesses of that visitor, UCLA bowed meekly to it. 

Sure, finger the players for their role in the implosion, but save some of your vitriol for a staff that’s appeared clueless since the opener with Virginia. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone is sorely lacking in creativity and in-game adjustments, and Jeff Ulbrich clearly wasn’t ready for the defensive coordinator gig after Lou Spanos left for the NFL. 

Oregon’s stay on the outskirts of contention—Pac-12 and otherwise—was a brief one. Ditto UCLA’s run as a team worthy of national respect and recognition. The Bruins got embarrassed in their own building, and it’s time for Mora’s staff to take a long, hard look in the mirror. UCLA has failed to fulfill expectations this year, a harsh reality that must fall on the shoulders of the men in charge.