Gotta say I am having a hard time getting excited for this Oregon State game. Perhaps my mind is on something else this a.m. (for a number of good reasons). So, this roundup may appear very brief. Then again, not much going in with Bruin football these days. Most of the papers are talking about Ben Olson. Looks like Ben may be available as a backup QB for this weekend. Here is Dohn on Ben's health:
Olson took part in his first practice since he tore a ligament in his left knee Oct. 7 against Arizona, and impressed coach Karl Dorrell.
"He looked a little rusty, but he's not as rusty as I thought he would be," Dorrell said. "He looked like he was ready to stand in the pocket and take some team reps, which he did. I was really pleased with that. He's still not quite 100 percent, but I was encouraged by what I saw. He's a lot further along than I thought."
Olson said he felt slow on his dropbacks, didn't have the "explosion" he wants and was experiencing expected soreness in his knee after practice.
"I couldn't move all that well, but it will get better," Olson said. "I didn't feel that rusty throwing the ball. I just felt kind of limited physically. I kept up on the offense and what they've been putting in. Right now, it's just a lot of physical limitations that I have. I can't play that fast."
Olson said that, when fully ready, he should return as UCLA's starter.
"That's obviously out of my control," Olson said, "but I got hurt when I was a starting quarterback, so hopefully I'll come back the starting quarterback. But it's not my call."
Well, I sure hope UCLA doesn't rush Ben back. At this point, since this is pretty much a lost season, it may be worth it to stick it out with Cowan, and have Olson come back next year fresh and ready, possibly playing under a better coach.
Meanwhile, there's a little movement over at the defensive side
of the personnel at LBs and DBs. From the LA Times:
Sophomore John Hale worked out with the first-team defense in place of injured outside linebacker Aaron Whittington (ankle) and is expected to start against Oregon State. "He's done a nice job when Aaron was out before," Dorrell said about Hale, who started seven games last season as a freshman.... Starting middle linebacker Christian Taylor did not practice to rest a nagging ankle injury, but he's expected to play on Saturday. Sophomore Kyle Bosworth worked in place of Taylor with the No. 1 defense on Tuesday.... Linebacker Korey Bosworth, who suffered a concussion and neck injury against Cal last week, practiced but was kept out of full contact drills.... Cornerbacks Rodney Van and Alterraun Verner are listed as co-starters this week opposite Trey Brown.
One more thing on Van. The kid has been taking a lot of heat this season. As pointed out last week, he even took himself out of the game against Washington State when he was getting abused by Alex Brink. I really hope our secondary coach (DeLoach) is talking to this kid and working on his confidence. That is the worst thing that an athlete can lose. If an athlete loses all his confidence, no matter how talented he (or she) has, it won't matter. As a Yankee fan, I have had to endure this while watching Alex Rodriguez for more than two years. I like this Van kid a lot. I sure hope the Bruin coaches are working hard with him to make sure he keeps his chin up, and slowly gets back in the game. There have been a lot of UCLA DBs over the years who had down junior years, only to come back and finish strong in thier senior seasons. Let's hope that's what happens with Van.
Speaking of finishing strong, yes, there is a chance Dorrell can still right this sinking ship. Well, at least as much as that one-in-a-million chance Lloyd had with Mary in Dumb and Dumber. But still, you know, a chance. So I, or, I am sure, others here, will try to muster up some enthusiasm to talk about the Beavers. But, hey, if you want to beat us to it and get the conversation going, go right ahead.