Things started off on the right foot for the Bruins, and even when they had some glaring issues pop up, the path to victory still seemed clear.
Fans of No. 20 UCLA football (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) were bought in pregame and at moments in the first half of its game against Arizona State (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12), only for the Bruins to pull the rug out from under them. UCLA's 42-23 loss forced a good chunk of people off the bandwagon, and the roller coast year continues in Pasadena.
Coming away with three points on the opening drive got people in a content mood, if nothing else.
It took a while for the bottom to fall out, but people started catching on to some pretty obvious and costly errors not long after, like when center Duke Clemens' snap turned into a fumble recovered by the Sun Devils. A few plays later, Arizona State scored to tie things up, when UCLA could have gone up by two possessions instead.
A 3-3 game is not time to panic though, and Bruin fans rightfully have the defense some props for a goal line stand that prevented it from being 7-3 Sun Devils.
UCLA actually went up 10-3, and then 17-10 thanks to some solid, well-run drives. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who usually turns it up in the second half after lackluster first halves, was really rolling early, both on the ground and through the air.
From then on out, all the Bruins could must up was a couple of field goals.
The Sun Devils, on the other hand, were just getting started. Their big plays absolutely gashed the UCLA defense and people weren't very happy to see everything from inside runs to screens to vertical routes getting taken 50 yards for touchdowns.
Getting shut out 18-0 in the second half meant a slow, painful death for the Bruins, and fans and talking heads alike had seen enough.
For the second or third time this season, depending on where you look, coach Chip Kelly's head was on the internet's chopping block.
This was the first double-digit loss for UCLA since 2019.
The reaction to the loss was part lethargic, part defeatist and a good part disappointed. After all, a win would have meant first place in the Pac-12 South.
Instead, another middling start to the year for Kelly's Bruins.
The UCLA fanbase has been labeled as Chicken Littles, claiming the sky is falling at the drop of a hat.
Saturday night, however, they had their fair share to complain about, and now the question becomes will the roller coaster turn upwards again or is this just the beginning of a major descent?
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