To understand what in tarnation they're saying in college football these days, it is necessary to begin with a guide on how to speak like your basic student-athlete gridiron hero, to wit:
Live: Does not mean live, in concert. It means liiiiiive, as in happening, as in worthy or good, as in "Oh, Buffy, don't you just think the Boz's new 'do is live?"
Humongous: Large. Very large, as in "Oklahoma's offensive line goes 275, 280, 265, 280 and 295, which is bigger than the Chicago Bears', which is pretty humongous, dude."
Answer the phone: Used when one player hits another so hard that he "rings his bell" and causes someone to say, "Hey, somebody answer the phone." In extreme cases—like the way Oklahoma's humongous offensive line rang UCLA's bell last Saturday in Norman, Okla.—one would say, "Hey, somebody answer the phone. It's long distance."
September 14, 1986
Bogus: Bad. As in "UCLA quarterback Matt Stevens is either a bogus quarterback or somebody rang his bell Saturday [he was intercepted five times] and nobody was home."
Blast: To defeat effortlessly and completely, as in "The Number 1 Sooners went blast on Number 3 UCLA, 38-3. You shoulda been there. It was live."
Pooched out: Bummed, severely depressed, as in the faces of the Californians after playing Tokyo to Oklahoma's Godzilla, giving up 14 yards rushing to every 1 of their own; getting "embarrassed on national television," as UCLA coach Terry Donahue put it; and banging their noses into the plate-glass realization that their national ranking was either a bogus No. 3 or Oklahoma is one humongous No. 1.
Now UCLA. Now you don't.
The whole trip did seem a bit unwise. OU's offensive line—a Trailways with feet—outweighed UCLA's front three by 35 pounds a man. Not only that, but also UCLA has never been one to play anybody from the beef-eatin', option-feedin' Big Two Conference and leave without welts and contusions. Twice in the '80s Nebraska went blast on them, 42-10 and 42-3, by doing the same thing OU did to them Saturday, belly-bumping the city slickers back to the county line.
The only chance the Bruins had was to have a live throwing day and pray for turnovers. That went pffffft when Stevens threw four first-half interceptions and played, by his own admission, "as horrible as could be." For its part, OU forgot to turn the ball over in the second half and never turned it over on the wishbone at all. Astute types, of course, saw it coming. A couple of exhibits:
•The parking lots. Oklahoma's has 'Vettes. Trans Ams. Basic all-American Monte Carlos. The Boz's Jeep. Good meat-and-potatoes vee-hickles. Take a look at UCLA's parking lot. There is no parking lot! But up against the fence there are about a dozen Jim McMahon-Honda scooters, all put there by Bruins. Scooters! How you gonna win a national championship drivin' a damn scooter?
•Trying to out-Boz the Boz. UCLA players had had it up to here with Brian (the Boz) Bosworth, the multitalented, multiquoted, multi-Clairoled (his newest creation: "The Rainbow Warrior," with four stripes—yellow, black, red and yellow—on one side of his head), multimedia machine and part-time linebacker for Oklahoma. "I know plenty of players who are better than him and don't get near the attention," said UCLA defensive tackle Frank Batchkoff, who spat Bozishly into OU quarterback Jamelle Holieway's face on one play to protest. "Boz thinks he's so new wave. You tell me, how can he be new wave and live in Norman, Oklahoma? He gets a new haircut, some Vuarnets, throws mousse in his hair, and he thinks he's King Freak. Man, if he came to Hollywood, he'd be swept under the carpet. We've got guys that make Boz look like a candy store clerk."
"Candy store clerk?" said King Freak, suddenly looking combustible and starting to pull the restaurant table out of its moorings. "Man, at least we don't wear pastels. [This word is said with the utmost disdain.] That's their color, isn't it? Pastel blue and gold? And the football they play. Man, I hate it. They don't come right at you like Nebraska and say, 'Look, let's see who's the strongest [expletive, having to do with relatives] and settle this.' They try to finesse you, pansy you. Man, they play girls' football."
Boz had nine tackles (all on boys) and two highlight clips to stop sweeps for losses before heading to the bench and the ABC Mini-Cam in the third quarter.
Donahue had been saying, "The Oklahoma game is not the beginning and the end of our season," but, privately, he had been worried. This, of course, was not the state of mind of Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, known around Norman these halcyon days as "the King." The King comes right out and says it: "National championships are our goal," as if it's a hat he's daring you to knock off. He wants his fourth bad. Not that Donahue hasn't proved himself to be as good a coach as Switzer, or near to him, at least. In the last four years Donahue is only one loss—Saturday's—behind him in winning percentage. The King doesn't soft-pedal national-scope nonconference games like Kid Donahue, because the King has a few things Donahue and the rest of the country don't have, all of which were about to become horrifically apparent to the rest of the nation.
"Our goal is to hang half a hundred every Saturday," said offensive guard Mark Hutson, one-fifth of the Sooner cattle drive that left fresh hoofprints on Bruin chests every 25 seconds or so. On their first drive, the Sooners went 18 plays. Kicked a field goal. On their third drive, they went 12 plays. Scored a touchdown. For the half, they kept the UCLA defense on the field twice as long as its offense. For the game, they opened up cavernous holes that, as OU halfback Spencer Tillman put it, "Ray Charles could've run through." Nine different OU backs got 27 yards or more. The Sooners had more than half as many yards rushing (470) as UCLA gave up all of last year (855).
Had it not been for a leaky first-quarter pass by Holieway that was swiped and returned 72 yards, OU would have had a shutout. As it was, Boz and the Boys snuffed them on three straight downs, leaving UCLA's David Franey to make a dilapidated 28-yard field goal to tie it at 3-3. After that, except for garbage time, UCLA never entered OU's half of the field and, by then, Holieway had run the bone down their esophagi, sprinting for a six-yard TD himself, pitching to Patrick Collins for a touchdown and giving it to Leon Perry for another and a 24-3 third-quarter lead.
'Twas sweet for Southern Californian sophomore Holieway, he with the Vuitton pouch under his arm, the Zales store on his ears (three earrings on one ear alone) and the 9-0 record in his pocket. "This is great," he said. "Now I can just keep talkin' the way I talk back home."
"They were just too light for us," said Switzer. Said Stevens, "We'll be back. We always come back." And it's true. Donahue and his GLB (Gutty Little Bruins) always seem to emerge from their own personal smog and sneak in the back tunnel at the Rose Bowl. Three years ago. Donahue started 0-3-1 (including one of those Nebraska nightmares) and wound up riding out on shoulders at Pasadena. A year ago, he started 2-1-1 and wound up ninth in the country. Donahue is like pokeweed: You cut him low and he just comes back stronger.
And, unlike 10 other head coaches, Donahue at least has OU over with. Right about now, the rest of them are staring at bedroom ceilings wondering just how ruinous the Sooners could be. Let's hope they don't think about this: When Holieway went out, supersub Eric Mitchel, the best athlete on the roster, came in and immediately danced a 10-yard, see-it-to-believe-it arabesque of a touchdown, then garnished it with another TD drive later—and all against the Bruins' No. 1 defense. Then became out.
"This is a machine," said Tillman (67 yards in 9 carries), "and we've got all the cogs working," including Tillman himself, who is in his best shape since his 1,000-yard freshman season. Says Switzer, "That offensive line is the strongest and most physical I've ever had here."
In fact, the only creatures wearing the OU crimson and cream that didn't seem to be especially eager to get on with the rest of the season were the ponies that frantically pull the Sooner Schooner at every touchdown. Let's see...11 more games...40 some points a game.... You talk about pooched out.