Knoxville in September seems so, so long ago. Such is the reality when it comes to being a UCLA football fan, and after three consecutive losses that make a 3-0 start seem but a distant memory, one can't help but wonder whether this is yet another lost season. The perpetually positive Rick Neuheisel certainly isn't going to admit that, yet he even conceded that at this point he no longer can measure a successful season by whether or not the Bruins make a bowl game. Here are "observations, opinions and reflections from the fan's chair" after UCLA's 45-26 loss to California.
-- As always, let's start with some positives. Did you see it? Jeff Locke hit the goalpost for a touchback on the opening kickoff. That might have been the high point. OK, it wasn't that bad.
-- The first down battle between the teams was even at 17-17. ... UCLA's 448 yards in total offense was only 56 fewer than Cal. ... The Bruins averaged a season-high 6.6 yards per play. ... OK, enough of the rose-colored glasses.
-- Should have known it would be a long day when Cal's Shane Vereen took an option pitch to the short side and scampered untouched down the sideline for a 42-yard touchdown run on the first drive. Remember, this is a Cal team that hadn't scored a touchdown in its previous nine quarters.
-- Then it got worse the next quarter when Jahvid Best went 93 yards for another touchdown, which saw several Bruins try and miss tackling him as he juked his way into the open field.