The Illinois Fighting Illini and the UCLA Bruins are still playing the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, despite neither team being particularly good at football. The second quarter resulted in the first scores of the game, though, so they're making progress toward a winner despite the best efforts of both teams. At halftime, the Bruins hold a four-point lead.
Bruins quarterback Kevin Prince, who spent most of the first quarter alternately getting sacked and rolling around on the ground in pain after being sacked, managed to create the first touchdown of the game with a 16-yard pass to Taylor Embree.
The Fighting Illini of Anaheim managed to get into the UCLA red zone with under 2:00 left in the half. They ended up at third and goal at the five yard line and took a time out with 0:30 left. Not to be outdone, the UCLA interim coach called a timeout as soon as the teams retook the field with 0:28 left. The oneupsmanship is breathtaking. The UCLA timeout proved to be the trump card, however, as Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was sacked all the way back to the 18 yard line. Illinois seemed to be unaware the clock was running as the field goal team set up, forcing them to use their final time out with 0:01 left. It's okay, they get more timeouts in the second half. So we'll have that to look forward to. The eventual 36-yard field goal was barely good, sending the teams to halftime with UCLA ahead 7-3.
Despite that flurry of score, the game has continued to be a plodding affair of dropped passes and lost yardage. It must be said that the play has improved in the second quarter from "historically abysmal" to "god-awful." That, of course, is not enough of an improvement.
A short list of things that would immediately and drastically improve the quality of play in this game:
- Insert "honorary coaches" Joe Montana and Jerry Rice into the game
- Pile of banana peels every 20 yards
- Pre-empt the game and show stock footage of the Puppy Bowl
- Replace starting players with Keystone Kops
- Pretend the grass is hot lava
- Attempt experimental, first-ever helmetless bowl game
- Quarterbacks attempt to hand off ball to referee on every snap
To discuss the matchup with UCLA football fans, go to Bruins Nation. To talk about the matchup with Illinois football fans, head to Hail to the Orange.