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Looking to Focus (Again)

Well if Karl Dorrell wants to finally put together a break through win on the road this weekend, then his offense will have to step up. Because right now after 5 games into the season, there are still lots of doubts around anemic offense:

Five games into the season, UCLA's offense has been outscored by five Division I players, a group led by Texas A&M running back Jorvorskie Lane.

Lane has scored 13 touchdowns to lead the nation. Meanwhile, the Bruins have scored only 10 offensive touchdowns - seven coming through the air and three on running plays.

And, to the players, the lack of production has been the result of poor focus, execution, and scanty attention to detail. It's little things that kill drives and could crush the rest of their season, given a difficult stretch ahead that includes games at Oregon, Notre Dame and Cal in the next four weeks as well as a home date against Washington State.

"We're not going to win a lot of games scoring one and two touchdowns a game,'' running back Chris Markey said. "I just feel that we have to be more focused when we're on the field and know what's at stake. Our defense is helping us. They're playing amazing football, really, and we have to help them. In this conference, in the Pac-10, we have to step it up.''

That they realize it is a plus, though turning it around might not be as easy as breezing by Stanford or Arizona.

But at this point it is on the players to focus on offense.
Is it just me but our guys keep talking about focus or lack there of related issues after every snoozing or uninspiring performances? They talked about how they took an opponent lightly after the Rice game. Then we heard after Washington game how they might have to pay more attention to details. Like I have said they are not going to have the luxury to be unprepared, out of sync this weekend. Because if they are they will get embarrassed yet again on ABC (last time we were on that network we gave up 66 points).

One guy who seems to be staying cool is Pat Cowan who at least on surface is treating this week just like any other week:
Sophomore quarterback Patrick Cowan on making his first college start this week at Oregon: "Every week, I've been preparing to play, but now I'm just taking snaps with the [first team] in practice and I know that I will be playing. But I still have the same focus and same mind-set."
That was from the LA Times, which also reports on how UCLA receivers are using "cutter" gloves to get an edge. Well they haven't exactly lit up the scoreboard over last 5 games, perhaps that will change this weekend.

Going back to Cowan, the Daily News reports how UCLA coaches are not changing anything despite the change at our QB position:
Although Cowan is making his first start at No. 10 Oregon, he has been in the program longer than Olson. Therefore, there is no reason to scale back the game plan.

"That's not our approach at all," Dorrell said. "We're going to go and see what he can do. He knows everything we've been able to do, even when Ben was in there."
And they are also making sure backup Osaar Rasshan is ready:
UCLA red-shirt freshman quarterback Osaar Rasshan said coach Karl Dorrell came to him last week and spoke about putting in a special package to utilize Raasshan's athleticism.

However, Rasshan said the package was supposed to be put in after the season, but plans changed. With starter Ben Olson out four to six weeks with a knee injury, Rasshan is cramming to get immersed in the offense since he will be Patrick Cowan's backup for the next month.

Is Rasshan paying more attention to the game plan and film study because of the change of events?

"Yeah, a lot," he said. "I was up at 7 o'clock (Tuesday) morning, getting the package early and learning. For myself, I definitely want to do the best I can. But, more importantly, for the team, I owe it to the team to be prepared in case something happens."
Well hopefully next week we will not have to hear from Cowan, Rasshan, and Markey how they need to have more focus and prepare better for the following weekend. Because if they keep looking for it this game, then we are going to be in store for a long second half of this football season.