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Friday roundup

Lonnie White returns to a subject of concern in the preseason, both here and in the MSM, the punting game.  While Aaron Perez has been fine in limited action, it remains to be seen whether Perez can be effective in a close, field position game.

White also reminds us that the punting game was ugly the last time the Bruins and the Sooners squared off.

There's more, but this is what jumps out at me:

Oklahoma's passing game ranks 110th among Division I programs with quarterbacks Rhett Bomar and Paul Thompson having completed 18 of 44 passes for 170 yards, with three interceptions and no touchdowns.

The question on which this game will turn is whether the Sooners will discover a passing game.  

Lonnie also has another article about Marcedes Lewis.

After grabbing 32 passes for 402 yards and seven touchdowns last year, Lewis had a breakout game against San Diego State to open the season. In the Bruins' 44-21 victory, Lewis had a career-high seven catches for 131 yards and made it look easy.

"Marcedes, with his experience, size and athleticism will always be a key factor to the productivity of what we do," UCLA Coach Karl Dorrell said. "He's an integral part. We're going to try and utilize his talents as best we can."

Last week, Lewis had nearly the same impact in UCLA's 63-21 win over Rice even though he caught only two passes for 27 yards.

With the Owls keeping at least two defenders on Lewis on every play, the Bruins' other offensive weapons dominated the game.

Finally, I haven't launched a diatribe in awhile.    Gary Kein's $C article is just too preposterous.  In it, the Times  continues its series examining college football attendance.  The premise?  $C's "success means more fans and profits, but at a cost to some longtime supporters."

What's the problem?  According to the article, some longtime season ticket holders were informed that they had a choice, donate or receive seats that were not as good.

Call me crazy, but that's not exactly a high price to pay.

I know, I know, this is the point when we are all supposed to wring our hands, take off our horned-rim spectacles and mutter at how unfortunate the situation is.

NO!  A thousand times no!  First of all, in many Midwestern and Southern universites seats are practically impossible to obtain absent a donation.  Even the UCLA Athletic Department requires a donation for some seats, and the Bruins haven't even had any success in exchange for this supposedly terrible tradeoff.

Second, it's not like these season ticket-holders are being denied seats if they don't donate, they simply might get slightly worse seats.

Third, would the Times be this concerned if the prices were simply raised?  Note that one benefit of a "donation" is (sometimes) a tax deduction.

Furthermore, the higher profits and attendance benefit the nonrevenue sports and the visibility and prestige of the university as well.

There is just no way I would be upset about this if Bruins' season ticketholders were in the same place.  This is what happens when you have unreal levels of success.  As soon as UCLA wins two national championships in a row, they can put in requirements like this and you won't hear a peep from us.

This is the Sports page, you're not writing for a Pulitzer, Klein.

Attention Dan Guerrero: if this is the cost of success, it is a burden I am willing to bear.

But, uh, about that success.  The real season begins on Saturday.

MORE: Kuwada's article. A nice feature on Drew, and keys to the game. The short version: throw the rock to Lewis and stop the run. Brian Dohn's offering is another brutal reminder of Karl Dorrell's very special contribution to the NCAA record book (hint: Perkins again). Nestor has more.