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(In response to the Nov. 7 editorial, “The Buckner effect.”)


(Bill) Buckner and (Steve) Bartman are sort of unfair comparisons as what they did was one event, which was either a culmination of or an excuse for the rest of the collapse that occurred.

You are right that this loss was not completely Alex Garoutte’s fault. The 3-plays-and-outs following the two forced fumbles were terrible and looked to be the result of poor play-calling combined with even worse execution.

The decision not to go for two after the last ASU touchdown made absolutely no sense and a successful conversion would have changed the complexion of the game. Ultimately, it would be wrong to pin this loss on the final missed field goal of the game.

And this would all be well and good if that was the only mistake Garoutte had made that night. Unfortunately it was not, which makes the Buckner comparison all the more misleading.

The last attempt was just the third in an zero-for-three field goal night for Garoutte.

The 40-plus yard misses are tough no doubt, but he has the leg, with a season long of 49 yards — and for a ranked Division 1 team, “It’s a hard kick,” is a hollow excuse.

But even that is more than can be said for the 36-yard miss off the late fourth quarter fumble.

With the ball on the 20, that’s an extremely makeable kick that instead gave the Rose Bowl and the UCLA team a huge momentum boost.


Matt Leung reader

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