Friday News & Notes

Defense continues to be one of the focal points of concerns in Dorrell’s "show me" season. Chris Foster from the LA Times has a report on how despite all the hype, DeWayne Walker’s much pimped defense has turned out to be less than mediocre (kind of like the entire coaching staff):

"I think consistency is the one thing we need to get," defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker said. "I'll say 75-80% of the time, I've seen the type of defense that we are. Like last week's game, through 52 minutes we played lights-out football. I'm looking for that the whole game."

This week, against Oregon State, would be a good place to start.

The Bruins are giving up an average of 389 yards a game. Even Stanford, arguably the Pacific 10 Conference's worst team, rolled up 383 yards -- 331 passing. UCLA is giving up 27.2 points a game.

"Every team is a little different, actually a lot different," linebacker Christian Taylor said. "They will try to skin you a different way. But we have to be better."

The Bruins were last season -- with the same personnel. Through the first four games in 2006, they gave up averages of 221.5 yards and 13.7 points a game. It was the jumping-off point for a unit that finished 35th nationally in total defense after being 113th in 2005.

UCLA is 69th this season.
If this defense wants to prove that it was worthy of all the pre-season hype, it should make a statement this Saturday. Having some good moments against pathetic teams like Stanford, BYU, and Washington (never mind the disgraceful performance in Utah) doesn’t prove anything. If this defense wants to show it’s a unit that is worthy of being a Pac-10 championship, it can start by coming out and putting up dominating performance this Saturday against a team that has been proven to be inconsistent on offense and have made a lot of mistakes.

As for dealing with the defense of Oregon State, which is getting some attention after putting up big numbers against powerhouses such as Idaho State and Utah (oops), Dohn clues us in on how the Thinker might be approaching the Beaver defense with ‘football 101’:
So perhaps Saturday will give insight into whether Dorrell is teaching at an advanced college level, say Football 401, or whether UCLA's run game belongs in the prep ranks.

Bell is averaging 110.5 rushing yards per game. The Beavers have yielded 118 rushing yards this season.

"They're fast, athletic, strong (on the defensive line)," UCLA right tackle Brian Abraham said. "This is, by far, the best defense we faced. They play hard. They all play to the whistle. They're real stout in the middle.

"They have big dudes, big (defensive) tackles to stop the running game. And they can mix it up. They have their big, athletic ends and their fast, speed-rusher guys. They've got really good linebackers. It's going to be tough."

The Beavers start eight seniors and three juniors on a defense allowing 29.5 rushing yards per game, and 0.9 yards per attempt.

In the middle of the 4-3 defense (that's four defensive linemen, three linebackers for those who have never taken Football 101) are seniors Gerald Lee (6-foot-1, 280 pounds) and Curtis Coker (6-1, 309).

Birmingham High of Lake Balboa product Dorian Smith (6-3, 258) and Jeff Van Orsow (6-4, 266) are the defensive ends.
Again if Dorrell has really put together a championship level team in his 5th season (the year that is supposed to be THE YEAR for the Sleeping Beauty), his team should be more than prepared to handle this kind of challenge from a lower tier Pac-10 team on the road.

And boy Dorrell sounds totally prepared! I mean just read the practice reports Dump Dorrell guys have been posting this week quoting the Thinker. The Sleeping Beauty is brimming with sunshine. And he continued the same tune yesterday:
As for the practice, here's what coach Karl Dorrell said: "Good practice. We had a good one today, had good one yesterday, and we're getting ready to play a great game."
Did you hear that? They are gonna play a "great game" tomorrow. Going by those words I am going to expect a 21+ point UCLA thumping of Oregon State tomorrow in Corvallis.

GO BRUINS.
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