Worst Game Ever: Fun With Statistics From UCLA/Oregon

November 25, 2007 – 4:17 pm by McD

You probably missed the (9) Oregon/UCLA game on Saturday. It was regionalized by ABC, so essentially only the West Coast saw the entire game. West Virginia/UConn and Georgia/Georgia Tech were the other games and ABC affiliates jumped from the WVU blowout to the Georgia game instead of the Oregon/UCLA game. Turns out they did everyone a favor.

Keep in mind, before 72,434 people, the unranked Bruins were in the process of upsetting and shutting out the No. 9 ranked team in the country. Oregon hadn’t been shut out in 22 years*. UCLA, in the midst of a three-game losing streak, was on its fourth quarterback of the season, Osaar Rasshan, who was making only his second career start. Obviously, Oregon wasn’t the same without Dennis Dixon and a fully-healthy Jonathan Stewart, but they still should have outclassed the Bruins on talent alone. UCLA didn’t even play well and still won the game easily 16-0.

That doesn’t tell the full story. Despite being an upset of a top ten team by an unranked team and a game with fairly major BCS implications, what happened at the Rose Bowl on Saturday may have been the worst game ever played in modern football. Why the worst? There were no statistical records for futility set, but that’s the point. The game was so ugly and so bad that the teams couldn’t even suck with style.

Consider: combined, the UCLA and Oregon offenses gained only 368 yards. 148 for Oregon and 220 for UCLA. That’s right, the Bruins won a game in which they gained 220 yards on offense. Oregon, a dominant rushing team, rushed for 43 yards on 39 attempts, a 1.1 yard per carry average. UCLA was only slightly better at 3.1 yards per carry. Combined, the teams averaged 2.21 yards per carry (199 yards on 90 attempts). On third down, the teams were a combined 7 of 39 and 0/3 on fourth down. Amazingly, Oregon actually gained more first downs (12) than UCLA (10).

But that’s not all, folks. Five different quarterbacks threw passes in this game and were a grand total of 15/56 for 169 yards, 5 interceptions and no touchdowns. UCLA starter OsaarRasshan was 0/7 with an INT in the first half before being pulled in the second half in favor of Ben Olson (4/10, 64 yds, 1 INT). In Oregon’s defense, Brady Leaf was injured in the first quarter, but when he went out he was just 4/11 for 45 yards. The average pass play in this game averaged 2.7 yards. I can’t believe ABC didn’t show this game!

What, you thought we were done? UCLA won the game 16-0, mostly on the back of three field goals by kicker Kai Forbath, including a 54-yarder. But UCLA’s four scoring drives were as follows: 4 plays, -5 yards, 7 plays, 14 yards, 4 plays, 6 yards, and 4 plays, 31 yards (20 of which was on the touchdown run by Craig Sheppard).

Now for the coup de grace: the punters. Clearly they were busy in this game, since both offenses were barely FBS-worthy. Oregon’s punter Josh Syria punted 12 times for 505 yards and UCLA’s Aaron Perez punted 10 times for 464 yards. They had 9 punts stopped inside the 20 yardline between them, mostly because neither team crossed the 50 very much. When starting in their own territory, the Ducks and Bruins only crossed the 50 yard line with the ball six times – not counting times they were given the ball inside opposition territory – out of 32 possible possessions. UCLA crossed the 50 four times and Oregon twice … in the entire game.

In summary, Oregon and UCLA exhibited a not-so-entertaining level of ineptitude, and the hapless Bruins even managed to disappoint UCLA fan, including our legal adviser and resident UCLA alum, Booter (see his take in the weekly picks), even further because the win means Karl Dorrell may keep his job after all. Not that they’re sorry to see the Bruins win, it’s just their coach obviously sucks and now the only way he’s leaving is if UCLA keeps winning and “Koach Karl” gets the Nebraska job or something. All told, this was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad game. All it needed was a few flames and a guy with a pitchfork and finally it would have all made sense.

Now, let’s never speak of it again.

*Fixed the typo, thanks for the correction in the comments

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  1. 28 Responses to “Worst Game Ever: Fun With Statistics From UCLA/Oregon”

  2. As far as I’m concerned, UCLA and Oregon did not engage in a college football contest on Saturday. No matter how many pictures or “highlights” I see, no game ocurred.

    By MilwaukeeBooter on Nov 25, 2007

  3. 22 total punts in the game. That’s a punt every 2 minutes and 45 seconds. This game sent offensive football back 65 years.

    I saw it with my own eyes. It was like watching an ugly stripper unclothe – you just wanted it to stop.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  4. worst game ever played:


    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  5. I was there, well I mean this friend of mine was there…and he got to see a record setting 54 yard field goal in the 1st half. The longest field goal by a Bruin kicker at the Rose Bowl was the highlight of the….game.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  6. I was there. It was painful. Couldn’t even buy a beer to drown my sorrows. My buddy and I brought our two teenage sons. It was the first football game they’d ever been to. After seeing that display of boredom, they now think that soccer is more interesting. That’s right, soccer!

    By One Depressed Duck on Nov 26, 2007

  7. My vote for worst game ever played, the 1983 Civil War with a final score of:
    Oregon State 0
    Oregon 0


    By Garth Tingey on Nov 26, 2007

  8. Lousy football game, or Great Defensive Struggle? You be the judge. Were this the SEC we would be haring all about how great the defenses are and this game would be an argument for conference supremecy. Thank the football gods we know better…

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  9. For the record (even though it’s splitting hairs), it’s been 22 years since Oregon was shut out.

    — another Duck still in mourning for Dennis Dixon’s left knee

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  10. As the above posters mentioned, this was not even the worst college football game that has involved the Univ. of Oregon.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  11. I’m a Duck fan, and that game was pathetic. However, Oregon was on their 4th and 5th string QBs. Their 3rd string running back was taking snaps. For receivers, they had lost 4 of their top 5, and were using a true freshman converted safety as a starting receiver.

    Injuries have absolutely demolished the team, and Dixon was able to mask the seriousness of the injuries. However, when he went down, they finally caught up with them.

    By jtlight on Nov 26, 2007

  12. That game was horrible and painful to watch.

    Also, I think it is important to note that Oregon was down to it’s 4/5th string Qb’s since 3rd stringer Nathan Costa tore his ACL and MCL on the last play of practice a month ago. Neither one of those guys had any business playing, their main goal this season was to learn the offense and adapt to college ball and now they they are trying to win ball games… not a good situation. They have hardly practiced with any of the 1st team up until the last 2 weeks.

    It’s sad to see how far the Duck’s have fallen, and wonder what could have been.

    By Sean F on Nov 26, 2007

  13. I don’t think it’s right to compare this one to the ’83 Civil War 0-0 tie. In this one, “the game was so ugly and so bad that the teams couldn’t even suck with style.”

    Which of course they did in ’83. They sucked in grand style.

    In this one, “Oregon and UCLA exhibited a not-so-entertaining level of ineptitude,” which again distinguishes this game from the ’83 game.

    I have firsthand knowledge that at least one Penn State grad in the crowd back in ’83 found “the level of ineptitude” between the Ducks and Beavs quite entertaining indeed.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  14. If I had a vote it would be Dixon for Heisman or AP Player of the Year. I hate the Ducks but there is no player in college right now that is more valuable to his team.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  15. Hard to play a decent football game with your backup’s backups. I was there at the game, and yes, it was UGLY. UCLA had a total of MINUS FIVE yards in the first quarter.

    Still, a win is a win.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  16. Mentioning that the backups were playing I think re-enforces McD’s argument that this was the worst game ever. The level of play was so brutal that it wasn’t even fun to watch from a comedic perspective. It wasn’t like it was great players performing terribly. At least you could laugh at that. This was just sad.

    By Phillips on Nov 26, 2007

  17. The Duck’s #2 QB was in the game against Arizona, and that didn’t go much better for them.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  18. Re – What annonymous said about an SEC game.

    There’s a difference between a 16-0 game, and a 16-0 game. 3rd Saturday in October, 2005, was 6-3, and that was a great defensive game, with the defences making great plays to keep the offense out of the endzone. This game was just two offenses being so shitty that their defenses weren’t required to make great plays.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  19. Roles were reversed this weekend. I was trying to turn the channel, and my girlfriend would not let me. I would have rather watched Rachel Ray talk about midwestern cuisine, or the Home Shopping Network for some beautiful jewelry, then finish the game.

    Dear Brady Leaf,
    I do not like you, I don’t believe you are actually hurt, but I am glad you have your brother’s vagina and wont go back on the field.
    Regards, Duck Fan

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  20. It is shocking to think that Stanford and Notre Dame were playing a game and that wasn’t the worst display of football of the day.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  21. Another indication of how bad the game was: the players of the game were both punters.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  22. My son and I were also at the game on Saturday. As he said to me, Dad I thought UCLA put the UG back in UGLY during the Notre Dame game but they just reinvented the true meaning of UGLY, wow, yes the most UGLY game ever. The only uglier outcome would be if UCLA beat USC this weekend and Arizona beat Arizona State which would put UCLA in the Rose Bowl as PAC 10 Champs???

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  23. Earlier this season, I cracked a joke about what Oregon would look like minus Dennis Dixon. I’m now being blamed for this entire string of Duck misfortune.

    By Anonymous on Nov 26, 2007

  24. I was at that game also and right after it ended, I texted my friends the EXACT SAME thing that you titled this blog, “WORST GAME EVER!” creepy.

    By Noah on Nov 26, 2007

  25. Pretty embarrassing showing for a conference that at one point this season boasted of being the best in the nation. Certainly the Ducks weren’t as bad as this for most of the season, but maybe they were never quite as good as everyone thought, either.

    By Kevin Hayward on Nov 26, 2007

  26. Wow. And I thought nothing could have been worse than that Stanford-Notre Dame game that same day.

    By Rachel Bird on Nov 26, 2007

  27. I completely agree that the game was an utterly boring game (2 days of meals consisting of left-over turkey didn’t help), but it was not an entirely dead holiday weekend experience: The UCLA band had a rather crowd-pleasing and hilarious theatrical production (titled “The Downfall of Troy” (?)) to hype everyone up for this Saturday’s UCLA v. USC game. I sure hope UCLA puts on a good game against USC this coming weekend. However, I’m not willing to make any bets.

    By Anonymous on Nov 27, 2007

  28. My ‘fake news’ article about the game. Link is below.


    By Eric on Nov 29, 2007

  29. A not about the link on my last comment — you can copy and paste each line piecemeal into the address bar.

    By Eric on Nov 29, 2007

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