Yes, I said it. I actually think for the first time in his five years here, Karl Dorrell, coached a decent ballgame. We were basically two evenly matched teams (Preseason rankings of 12 and 14 respectively) so it was also a good win. We didn't win because of luck, we soundly beat them and all of this leads me to the conclusion that more than ever Dorrell must be fired immediately.
See I've never bought into this hype that Dorrell is mediocre. 33-23 with losses in 3 lower tier bowl games out of 4 and blowout losses to too many losing teams to want to remember is not mediocre. That could be considered mediocre at schools like Oregon State or Washington State, but it's a terrible record for UCLA. I guarantee you if Dorrell had the Oregon State job they'd go no better than 4-8, 5-7 every year, most likely 4-8. In 3 out of 4 full seasons Dorrell has bested that by about two games at UCLA, a school that when compared to Oregon State is the Notre Dame of college football. With his 5th season still in progress he already has led us to two of the most embarrassing losses in school history. So yes, taking everything into account I've always thought Dorrell is by far the worst coach in the Pac-10, not Doba or Stoops.
Dorrell has always proved me right in my thinking that he's the worst coach ever by either blowing games by terrible playcalling throughout the game from start to finish, or when our talent is superior and our players put us in position to win, blowing games by terrible decision making at the end of games.
Washington 2006: We start out dominating one of the least talented teams in the Pac-10 due to superior talent yet every time we get to the red zone Dorrell blows it by changing the playbook and calling run, run, two yard pass (Not exaggerating), FG, and sometimes run, run, run, FG. However, we still get to the red zone three times in the first half all resulting in FG's. Eventually the momentum falls to Washington's side while we attempt a comeback by running out the clock and taking forever to get a play in. (See Dorrell's coaching is so atrocious that we forget how many facets of coaching he's bad at. Remember that besides stubborn, predictable playcalling he also wastes timeouts and burns the play clock by taking forever to get the play called in when we're down in the 4th quarter and need a sense of urgency. This happened at Udub last year and this will always kills us as long as Dorrell's here. So the lesson is even when Dorrell by some miracle calls a decent game he will still more often than not lose close games due to his terrible time management and refusal to go into a hurry up offense when losing in the 4th quarter).
Notre Dame 2006: Walker and the defense puts us in a position to win the game but Dorrell continually blows it by taking a page out of the Washington game playbook and going run, run, 2 yard pass, FG in the red zone and run, run, run, FG in the red zone. If either one of those are touchdowns we aren't in the position we are in at the end of the game we're Dorrell again blew it by going run, run, run (all up the middle), punt while ND was stacking all 11 in the box (Not exaggerating). No matter how often our players and D Walker try to win the game for us Dorrell always likes to keep the other team in it. Not only does he not go for the jugular or knockout punch he doesn't even go for the jab. He just likes to dance around hoping it will be enough for victory.
Oregon 2006: Down by 17 with 4 minutes left in the 4th quarter Dorrell punts it. I'm still scratching my head on that one.
USC 2005: Everyone knows that when you're the less talented team you got to take more chances to try to seize all the momentum you can get. We actually drive it to SC's 39 on our first drive and at 4th and 1 we punt to the most potent offense in the last 50 years. It's a touchback and ends up being a 19 yard punt that SC makes up in one play. While SC still would've won the game all the momentum swings to their side after we didn't try to take advantage of one of the few good drives we were going to have that game. Since it was the first drive of the game, if we made the first and scored maybe we start to believe, take momentum and make a somewhat competitive game out of it. Going for it on their 39 isn't even that risky of a call even if the teams were equally talented.
Washington State 06, Arizona 05, Florida State 06 (kicking a fg at the end of the half instead of going for the td reminiscent of the UDub game again), Utah 07, ND 07, are all just recent examples of Dorrell getting manhandled against terrible teams due to just terrible coachihg throughout. We were never close enough at the end of those games for Dorrell to blow it on one major blunder or a number of conservative series in a row such as Notre Dame 06. All of this brings us to the Cal game.
For the first time since Dorrell's been here we were actually winning the game due to Dorvell's decent playcalling. He made huge mistakes by running on second down inside the red zone in consecutive red zone appearances, which the announcers pointed out. He also did the famous 18 yard punt at the other teams 38 with one yard to go which should've been reason enough to fire him. These mistakes alone almost cost us the game. However, for the first time ever I thought that we were in position to win the game not only due to our players talent and D Walker but due to Dorvell's playcalling. For the first time in 5 years Dorrell proved to me he could rise from horrible and be mediocre. Who knows, we must wait to see if Dorrell can be consistently mediocre or if he goes back to his terrible ways.
If Dorrell in the rest of the season proves he has learned to be consistently mediocre instead of constantly terrible we might be in for 20 years, Terry Donahue part 2. Dorrell may learn how to consistently call a mediocre game (though i doubt it) but he will always play scared in the 4th quarter and mismanage the clock which will prevent us from winning more than one to two fluke big games a year, Pac-10 titles and NC's. Dorrell calls games more scared than even Donahue did, making Donahue look like Pete Carroll when it comes to taking chances. We must end this now.
Fire Karl Dorrell, but DG won't do it unless we keep losing and that's a fact. So the fact is if you want Dorrell gone you better hope we lose. It's the reality of UCLA football. Live with it and don't say I hope we win every game the rest of the year but then hope DG is smart enough to fire Dorrell. That won't happen. Besides ND and Utah already ruined the year. We either win enough to keep Dorrell or lose enough to can him. You either want to lose to ensure Dorrell's firing or you want to win enough and keep Dorrell (trust me he doesn't have to win out to keep his job). Those are the only two options and there is no middle ground because any modicum of success the rest of the season and in the real world DG keeps the pretender.
One last note: In this season of parity in college football many teams lost on last second plays to inferior teams. Unlike most ranked schools this year we lost to not one but two extremely inferior teams. Not only did we double everyone else's embarrasing losses but we also got killed in both those games. Stanford, Appalachian State and Kentucky all didn't win their games until the last play of the game. I wish we could've even said that about Utah AND ND. Instead we were just manhandled.