Man I hate to bump M's latest master piece down, but I have no choice but to get to major stories/themes of game day. You don't think all the discussions over here on Bruins Nation and elsewhere concerning Dorrell's shortcoming are being heard? Well, then check out this graf. From today's LA Times (emphasis mine):
But a UCLA loss would end the Bruins' 10-game winning streak at the Rose Bowl and open another checkout line for critics who have been complaining louder and louder about the state of the football program.
Coach Karl Dorrell expects his team to rise to the challenge rather than wallow in last week's still-bitter defeat. "This team is very resilient and they are not feeling sorry for themselves," he said. "The coaches aren't feeling sorry for themselves. We picked each other up and blamed ourselves in a lot of circumstances."
In UCLA's West Coast offense, quarterbacks are expected to complete 65 percent of their passes.
But in losses at Oregon and at Notre Dame, Cowan went 32 of 63 (50.8 percent) for 329 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
"We've really been facing a lot of pressure," UCLA offensive coordinator Jim Svoboda said. "It's a combination of (defenses) really want to test a young quarterback, but they also think they can cover your guys.
"If I'm a defensive guy and (the quarterback) is not getting balls off, and not beating them, you keep doing it. They're taking the risk, and you have to make them pay for the risk."
Furthermore, UCLA's offensive output of 216 and 245 yards, respectively, in the past two games is lower than any game since the Steve Axman-led Bruins offense had 164 yards in its bowl loss to Fresno State to conclude the 2003 season.
So PC will have to step, as will the Bruin OL and running backs who will confront a ferocious Wazzu front-7:
It will test the offensive line and its ability to recognize fronts, as well as target and get the right defenders blocked. That's something that could be a problem because of the Bruins' struggles to run the football, gaining 65, 104 and 26 yards on the ground the last three weeks.
It also will test the running backs in blitz pickup.
Frampton is leading Washington State with three interceptions. Brackenridge has two. Since 1999, eight DivisionI teams have picked off more passes than the Cougars with 124. UCLA quarterbacks have thrown the football to them 12 times over the past five seasons - the Bruins did not play Washington State in 2000 or 1999.
2 Rush to victory. Washington State running back Dwight Tardy has been on a recent roll, rushing for 145 yards in a win over Oregon last week. After a strong start, UCLA's Chris Markey has struggled in recent games, rushing for only 32 yards in 19 carries last week in the Bruins' loss at Notre Dame.
3 Start fast. Last week, Washington State jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a victory over the Ducks. A year ago, the Cougars took a 21-0 second-quarter lead over UCLA before the Bruins rallied to win in overtime. This season, UCLA does not have the same quick-score ability and that may give Washington State an edge.