So some Dorrell fans are not happy about the criticisms directed towards the team's underachieving performance from Saturday. Some folks will always have that - you are either with us or against us - juvenile, childish mentality. That is fine with me. If you don't like what you are reading here then don't. No one is forcing you to read what bunch of die hard Bruin alums are writing up day after day following a football program, which currently is - no matter much you want to be in denial about it - sort of an after thought not just in the country, but in its own city. And do yourself a favor. If you are going to whine about the posts here, dont embarrass yourself in the process by mentioning Dorrell in the same breath with Coach Ben Howland. One guy has vanquished his chief conference rival (Arizona, not USC), has won the conference regular season, conference tourney, took the team to a brink of its 12th championship, and now pretty much "selecting" not recruitng elite Southern California athletes (after taking over a team posting its worst record in 4 decades), while the other still hasn't sniffed the second spot of the Pac-10. You lose your credibility as a serious college sports fan by making that kind of asinine comparison.
Anyways, we will pivot this week and start focusing on Washington. But there are lot of residual concerns from Saturday's game, which as the poll indicates, majority of the Bruins Nation is not willing to put it in backburner as just another "win."
Dohn gets right to the heart of Bruin concerns, pointing to two serious issues emerging after the first two games:
First, UCLA must stop the revolving punt-returner fiasco and find someone who can catch the ball.
Second, the Bruins coaching staff must do a better job of putting the offense, particularly the line, in position to be successful. Based on comments made by players and coaches following each of UCLA's first two wins, being out-schemed by the defense was a problem.
So let's look more at the issue of getting out-schemed on offense. This was especially glaring in the Red Zone. Bruins were not very good in taking advantage in the Red Zone. From the OC Register:
But the Bruins were not particularly happy with their production in the red zone after having to settle for field goals all three times.
Whether a missed block, a breakdown in protection, the Bruins simply struggled.
BO of course made a number of mistakes showing his inexperience. We can only hope the coaches are working on him to point out how he can manage the game better in certain situations, such as learning to throw the ball away (instead of trying to make plays and lose yardage), and also sliding. Those are habits that coaches should totally be able to correct and point out to a young QB. Ben will need to make better decisions as we head into conference play.
The Rice game gave lot of Bruin fans a dose of reality. From DumpDorrell.com:
With a week's preparation and game film in hand, the Rice coaching staff did the opposite. They planned to stop the pass and have our rushers beat them. Even as we racked up nearly 300 yards on the ground, the Rice game plan nearly won out. And KD looked outcoached, again. The obvious question is: what will other, and better, coaches and teams do with now two weeks or more of game film? KD and Co should be worried. Hopefully, they've stopped drinking the cool-aid, stopped with the Happy Thoughts game planning, and stopped with the fly-by-night play calling.
KD has a lot of work to do just to take a step forward again.
Yes, PK Justin Medlock matched a career-high with four field goals, but that is overshadowed by UCLA?s inability to catch a punt with regularity. The problem surfaced again when Marcus Everett muffed a punt and Rice recovered two yards from the end zone. Two games, two muffed punts, and countless head shakes. This will crush the Bruins against a good team
Let?s be honest; overall it was a very lackluster, uninspired effort. Give credit to defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker for keeping pressure on Rice. But the offense?s job is to score, and in five trips into the red-zone, the Bruins scored two TDs. There was also curiously play calls. And why did Chris Markey (208 rushing yards), sit most of the third quarter?
Next up is Washington. Huskies are going to be charged trying to end their own losing streak against the Bruins. We will focus on the Huskies who are getting ready this week to take on Fresno State.
BTW we also played Washington after a bye week last season. And we all know what happened. Let's hope Dorrell doesn't embarrass the program again.