While the UCLA Bruins football team was favored by more than two touchdowns on Saturday, they needed a last-second field goal to defeat South Alabama. With the possible exception of playoff games and big rivalries, the prevailing emotion is usually more relief than joy when a heavy favorite barely survives an upset bid. That was not the case for UCLA, though.
The sparse crowd at the Rose Bowl and overall lackluster performance from the Bruins greatly irritated Troy Aikman. But while a UCLA football legend wasn’t thrilled with what he saw, the current Bruins were ecstatic — at least based on their locker room celebration.
In a video posted by UCLA Football’s Director of Player Personnel, Ethan Young, the Bruins locker room after the game resembled something one might see after a championship-clinching victory.
THE MIGHTY BRUINS ROAR!!! pic.twitter.com/gNwWpvvVUw
— Ethan Young (@EthanYoungFB) September 17, 2022
The wild celebration was roundly criticized by college football fans, wondering why a Pac-12 team with a 3-0 record is this thrilled to defeat a program like South Alabama.
— BUCKEYE NATION JEFF 🅾️🏈 (@Magic_Mahomes) September 18, 2022
Today sucks. I didn't know, but I see from this vid that UCLA has won the National Title. I thought they played South Alabama today, but I guess it was just Alabama. I also thought it was Week 3, but I guess it's actually Championship Monday. Idk where I've been. Congrats to them https://t.co/aYZVD0mRQV
— Evan Desai (@EvanKDesai) September 17, 2022
Y’all so green😂😂😂😂😂 favored by 15.5 tho 😬 https://t.co/MTSgQ9NSto
— Coach Larry Rudolph (@ScoutFball) September 17, 2022
— Andrew R (@kidcue) September 17, 2022
— Jason Scheer (@jasonscheer) September 17, 2022
— 🧩James the GM🧩 (@autch14) September 17, 2022
The less cynical takeaway here is that these are college kids and college kids having fun shouldn’t bother anyone. There’s some merit to that argument.
But this is a Power Five school. That should bring an expectation of a certain level of play. That’s not to say that the Bruins can never slip up and get into a tough game against a team like South Alabama. That happens. But beating them shouldn’t trigger such a huge reaction. If it does, the pending move to the Big Ten may produce some rough on-field moments.
[Ethan Young on Twitter]