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Learning Point

We are not the only ones who continue to be utterly unimpressed with the coaching job of Dorrell's staff going into the 5th game of the season. Here is Dohn's grade for the coaching staff for the Stanford game:


It is clear defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker knows what he is doing. But after listening to coach Karl Dorrell talk about how great practice was all week, it is a huge concern the offense didn't score in the first half and managed just two touchdowns against the worst defense in the Pac-10.
That's the 3rd straight game Dohn has given Dorrell a "C" or worse for his coaching efforts on game days. Not good. And while Dorrell is fiddling and pretending that nothing is wrong with UCLA's offense, frustration is mounting among key players in the team:
Nine times UCLA entered Stanford territory in Saturday's 31-0 win, but the Bruins scored just two touchdowns. The Bruins rolled up 389 yards of total offense, but had two offensive touchdowns and saw two more drives stall in the red zone.

Within those statistics UCLA's optimism is bred, and its frustration is mounting.

UCLA (3-1, 1-1 Pac-10) moved the football again, but for the second time in three games the inability to finish drives and put an inferior opponent away earlier than in the fourth quarter left the offense lamenting about its potential, and how it will achieve it.

"We're not doing what we need to be doing," Bruins receiver Junior Taylor said. "We still need to capitalize on turnovers. We have to learn how to finish drives, and when (the defense) gives us the ball, score immediately. We're still not doing that. It's great we got the win, but the offense is not where we need it at."
After four years we are still going through the learning phase of Dorrell's WCO:
"I think the biggest learning point was when we didn't make that fourth-and-goal," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. "We came back in the second half and pushed through it and made things happen."
Yeah they came back in the second half and scored 17 points against the mighty Stanford defense. Indeed an awesome display of learning and growing at the Rose Bowl. While Dorrell is in LA LA land, his offensive coordinator is sounding more like a yoga instructor than a football coach:
"There's a high expectation level within our group, but sometimes that can impede you," offensive coordinator Jim Svoboda said. "You still are where you are, and you shouldn't necessarily be someplace. You are where you are. You just deal with reality, and it was fun to see, because they could have just kept struggling, ... and they just kept battling and hopefully they feel like, 'Yeah, that's what you've got to do and everything will work out.'"
Seriously, can anyone translate this nonsense? Our offense is struggling because of its own high expectations? WTF? Are we still going to hear this kind of nonsense after this upcoming Saturday's game, when UCLA gets to take on Arizona's 86th ranked defense in the country? Whatever their offensives issues are, the coaches need to figure out in a hurry.  They had a golden opportunity to get everything in gear and crank it up against the worst team in the country this past weekend. And they blew it. They looked horrible against an atrocious defense, which shut them out in the first half. They ought to be ashamed of that pathetic effort.  The Stanford and Arizona games present golden opportunities for this team to resolve all their issues before they get to play the big boys from Oregon, ND, and Cal. And after last weekend it still looks like the offensives issues are not settled. They will have one more game against another horrible Pac-10 defense to get their offensives issues ironed out. Because, if they don't get their red zone issues fixed this Saturday, they are going to run out of excuses heading up to Eugene.

Meanwhile, as the LA Times notes the defense is shining.

Horton Celebrating a 'furd Fumble (Hans Gutknecht/LA Daily News)

Yes, the Bruins do have the 3rd best defense in the nation. And they should be able to pad their stats some more taking on Arizona's 109th ranked offense this Saturday. But, as I said, I am going to withhold my praises until I see how they stack up against Dixon/Stewart and Quinn/Walker attacks in few weeks.  Forgive me for not getting all excited from seeing our guys finally showing they know how to tackle and stifle some horrific offensive teams. Our standards should be a little higher than that.

This program hasn't proven anything yet. If they want to stay on track to meet the minimum expectations for this season, they will need to demolish Arizona, and head up to Eugene with a good mindset. After our last performance, right now as Dohn notes, there are still lots of concerns Dorrell and his staff needs to address, which they better figure out this week. It is not comforting to see the head coach still talking about learning points after the fourth game of the season. He will probably run out of learning points after this coming Saturday.