From the diaries. GO BRUINS. -N
cross-posted from DumpDorrell.
It's time to use Dan Guerrero's own words to assess Dorrell's performance during yesterday's BYU game at the Rose Bowl. Sure, we won the game, and as we expected, the Dorrellistas are starting to come out in force in plain view ... proudly ... to defend the win and Dorrell against "haters." But the ultimate arbiter of the job Dorrell is doing is Dan Guerrero. Let's revisit what Guerrero said he expects this season:
"The important thing this year," Guerrero said, "is that we don't beat ourselves, that we play with consistency, that we're an excellent second half team and that we improve as the year progresses."
Like we did last week and will continue to do throughout the season, let's assess Karl Dorrell's performance yesterday against BYU with thsee clear points of analysis in mind:
- We don't beat ourselves. Grade: C -. This one is a little hard to evaluate since there weren't many clear instances where we shot ourselves in the foot. There was only 1 turnover, which again is great. Our penalties were down to a bare minimum of only 4. Nice job there. We looked to be executing well, so good marks on that. However, WTF was that call late in the game on 3rd and 1, where we pitched to Markey on the short side of the field??? Just where did Training Jay and Dorrell think Markey was going to go?? How about nearly 0 down-field passes?? How about using a Khalil Bell, who was destroying our opponent again, more often than using Markey, who was whimpering into short yards?? How about being more creative with the play-calling?? How about not playing into their strengths on defense (the run) and attacking their weakness (the pass) more?? We would probably give the execution portion of this criteria a B, but the strategy and play-calling brings this grade down to a C- because we almost and should have lost the game.
- Play with consistency. Grade C. Our offense had only 99 yards net in the second half, after gaining nearly 140 the first half. Maybe that is consistently bad, but we certainly came out worse in the second half, scoring only 7 points. We scored on three out of seven series in the first half, but had series of 5 plays, 4 plays, 3 plays and 3 plays in the third quarter when BYU came back. The defense was strong in the first half, bad in the second half as well in allowing 2 TDs on BYU's first 2 drives, so we were inconsistent during the game. We have 2 games to look at this season. Our offense played well the first game, but poorly yesterday. Even though BYU is better than patsy Stanford, obviously we were inconsistent there. The defense, for all their tough talk has not been convincing in either game. Though we had the same number of sacks this week (4), BYU's first year starting sophomore QB looked poised in the pocket with so much time, just like Stanford's QB last week. The defense has been consistently bad against the pass, but better this week against the run, allowing fewer gross rushing yards (63) compared to last week (95). Some improvement but not much.
- Excellent 2nd half team. Grade D. The second half was the most disappointing aspect of the game. Where were the halftime adjustments?? What did we do differently? Why did we stop using Bell and use Markey more often?? Why could we not get some different downfield pass plays called to spread the field?? The only offense we generated was at the end of the game after a bad call on a fumble that went in our favor, just as BYU was getting ready to score and go ahead at OUR house. Shudder to think how this game would have turned out had BYU scored there, like they seemed to be destined to do. 99 net yards offense in the 2nd half. Only 31 yards in the 3rd Qtr to their 200 yards. WTF??? BYU was getting behind our lines easily, sacking Olson 2 times and catching him at the line several other times. They were stopping our drives cold after just a few plays. We were running the ball with Markey right into the line, or dumping out into the flats practically signaling their defense to ensure that we got the fewest yards possible. It was ugly. We got conservative. The only reason we don't give Dorrell an F here is because we did generate a game-winning drive. Sure, we were ahead, but we did ice it with that last drive and so Dorrell gets spared the F. There were some good runs in that drive by Khalil Bell. Whatever, this type of performance will not get it done against Pac-10 teams. Now, even lowly Notre Dame looks like it can have a shot.
- Improve as year progresses. Grade C. We are only into the 2nd game, but as we said, this was not an improvement. Dorrell said after the Stanford game that we had some things to work on. Well, it didn't seem like we made any progress at all, except maybe against the run. What happened to that open offense?? What happened to that "best defense in the nation." Hey a win is a win, but in this season of giant upsets and giant disappointments, wins can be bad omens of things to come. We don't need this season to teach us that, we have last season. The game was Rice! Remember how we all picked apart that game and how awful we looked, especially compared to the opening Utah game?? Dorrell cultists and apologists said that we were over-reacting, and a win was a win ... we knew differently and we all now know how that season turned out. BYU looks like this year's Rice. Sure, we have Utah next week, and that should be another easy W. But going forward, after watching Oregon destroy Michigan at the Big House, and Cal beat Tennessee, and Washington start out strong, and Wazzu give Wisconsin a game away, and ASU stir up past visions of glory, the idea that Dorrell is going to outcoach those teams seems less and less likely ... again. However, we cannot give Dorrell less than a C here because well he has 2 wins.
These are our thoughts, let us know what you think.