The Good – UCLA’s resolve as a team
This could not have been an easy game for UCLA. Earlier in the week they lost a teammate in an auto accident. While dealing with that they had to go into a hostile environment in front of 91,000 Nebraska fans.
Going into halftime they were down 21-10, and with the way Nebraska played the first half the game looked all but over.
But the Bruins came out in the third quarter, and behind the leadership, and arm, of Brett Hundley they scored 28 unanswered points.
They looked like a team rejuvenated. The defense shut down Taylor Martinez and Nebraska’s high-powered offense.
If the UCLA Bruins play like they did in the fourth quarter they’ll be playing for a Pac 12 championship for sure this season. And a message they surely want to be put out there, R.I.P. Nick Pasquale No. 36.
The Bad – Taylor Martinez’s second half
If I would have written this article at halftime it would have been about the amazing evolution of Taylor Martinez. Martinez has definitely developed as a quarterback throughout his college career.
The first half he was going through his progressions and putting his passes right on the money. He was using his amazing running ability as a last resort when plays broke down. For two quarters he looked like one of the best QBs in college football.
Then, they came out of the locker room in the third quarter. UCLA’s defense stepped up and broke down the Nebraska game plan. The Cornhuskers slipped into a desperation mode, throwing bombs and hoping for pass interference flags.
Martinez regressed into a scrambling mess. His body language was the complete opposite of what it was in the first half. He was clearly frustrated and hanging his head after every failed third down conversion. I hope that Martinez can brush this loss off and continue his development at quarterback. This is a team that is capable of playing for a Big 10 title this year, even with this tally in the loss column.
The Ugly – Nebraska’s defense
The Nebraska defense started off strong. Stanley Jean-Baptiste pulled down an early interception. And the defense had a couple of really good stops. But going into halftime they started to look gassed, giving up a touchdown in the closing seconds of the second quarter.
It isn’t completely the defense’s fault that the offense couldn’t stay on the field in the third quarter, but they didn’t help themselves by letting UCLA rip off four consecutive touchdown drives. By the time the Bruins locked up their victory in the fourth quarter the Husker’s defense looked exhausted.
The rest of their schedule is pretty soft, but if they don’t get some conditioning in before their game against Michigan; it’ll be another rough Saturday for Husker Nation.