On Saturday, after Oregon State's 27-20 win, the team instead headed through the tunnel and into the locker room.
"I was pretty disappointed, not being able to celebrate with our fans after the game, just having that sort of feeling, having to walk to the locker room with a loss.
"There's disappointment," he said of the team's mentality. "We left a lot out there on the field; we pulled out everything we could in that last fourth quarter to try to get a stop, try to get the game tied up, but we just fell short."
UCLA has taken pride in being a second-half team, and though the Bruins weren't able to get the win, the team played until the last second ran out on the clock.
"We were still in it. If we did all the things we were supposed to do, if we had executed like we should have, we would be where we needed to be at the the end of the game, that we could even win the game, let alone get it tied up. Things just didn't go our way," said McDonald.
Oregon State's offense, led by quarterback Sean Mannion and receivers Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks, got the best of the Bruins' secondary, and McDonald is the first to give credit to the Beavers' talent.
"They are great receivers. They found ways to get open; they were blanking the field on the ones that they did catch, but the quarterback put the ball where he needed to put it, and I tip off my hat to them," he said.
McDonald knows that how the Bruins' handle the loss this week will speak volumes of the team.
"We just have to attack. We learn from this. We have the twenty-four hour rule. We let it hurt us, let it get to us these next twenty-four hours, and we just use it to help us. There's no going back, but we'll be fine.
"It'll be a huge test to see how we respond. All the doubters will come back; everyone was saying how good we were, how great of a season we were off to. We have to be able to be the same guys that we were last week," he said.