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Two (Actions) for Tuesday and the Roundup

If UCLA were led by a competent coaching staff, we'd be in a situation in which the team would be at least 4-1 in the Pac-10 (6-2 over all), getting ready for a showdown game with Jeff Tedford's Cal Bears, who are leading the Pac-10 with a 5-0 (7-1) record. But we have Karl Dorrell. So this is not a normal game week any more.  Here are couple of things you need to do over your morning coffee before reading other football related news:

  • Vote for the Dump Dorrell t-shirt design you like

  • If you have an account in MySpace think about joining this group.
I am sure some of you may have already started another group in facebook as well.  If you have make sure to let us know by writing it up in the diaries.

Okay now on to today's news.  Karl Dorrell continues to sound like a combination of Marie Antoinette and GWB:
"It's a time where we all realize where we're at," Dorrell said Monday after the Bruins dropped to 4-4 with a 37-15 loss to Washington State at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. "Where can we go from here? That's the point where we're at as a program."
I mean seriously.  I am not going to even bother responding to this any more.

Meanwhile, in terms of the team, we have talked about how one side of the team may be getting fed up (internally at least) with carrying the burden for Dorrell's mediocre team. Dohn reports on how the defense is getting tired:
UCLA's offense had the ball for 8 minutes, 2 seconds in the second half of Saturday's loss to Washington State. The Bruins failed to get a first down in the third quarter, and for the second straight week did not score a touchdown in the second half.

Offensive ineptitude has not only kept UCLA from scoring more than 20 points in each of its past three games, but also placed a hefty burden on the defense.

Subsequently, the Bruins' undersized defense had difficulty late in the past two losses. Notre Dame scored 10 second-half points in a 20-17 win, and Washington State scored 23 points after intermission and won 37-15.

"Obviously, our defense is starting to get worn down at the end of games, and we need to put up more points to help them," UCLA receiver Junior Taylor said. "It's not fair for us, as an offense, to expect our defense to be out on the field for 40 minutes during a game. You're not going to win doing that."

While Notre Dame's comeback Oct. 21 was stunning, with the Irish scoring the game-winning touchdown with 27 seconds remaining, the loss to Washington State resembled the dismantling of a tired defense.

The Cougars finished with 515 total yards and scored on three straight possessions bridging the third and fourth quarters to take control on a tight contest.
Dorrell, of course, doesn't seem to have any clue on how to handle this unbalanced and unhealthy (in terms of team morale) situation:
"I don't think (wearing down) is a concern right now," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. "Everybody has a certain worn-ness to them at this point of the season. We're all tired and sore. & But I know I would want our offense to get more than the 60 plays a game that it's been getting the last three games. We need to get ourselves in the 70 to 75 range, and usually when we're in that range, we're being pretty productive."
Yeah that is sooo comforting. I am sure it is very comforting to DeWayne Walker and his defense that their head coach is not too concerned about them being out there for 40 minutes a game.  It must be that "certain worn-ness" to our D which is causing it to implode and give up more than 500 yards to a Washington State team, just a week after a valiant but demoralizing and exhausting performance at South Bend, where they got zero support from a confused, disorganized, out of sync, hap hazard Dorrell offense.

The result last weekend was not surprising and also wasn't surprising was the grade Dohn gave out to Dorrell and his coaching staff:
Karl Dorrell said afterward he would accept the blame for the worst loss to a Wazzu team since 1936, so he gets it. An offense that scores one TD at home and a defense that yields 515 total yards is awful, no matter how you slice it.
Grade: F
Anyways, I can't imagine how the defense is preparing itself considering the opponent they will have to face this Saturday. From the OC Register:
This week UCLA faces Cal, with its offense that is leading the Pac-10 in passing and is second in scoring and total offense.

But what might be most troubling to the Bruins is that the Golden Bears are coming off a bye week, meaning they'll be fresh and healthy.

Defensively, UCLA is neither of those. The Bruins defense was on the field for 74 plays in the 37-15 loss to Washington State, and 80 plays in the 20-17 loss at Notre Dame the previous week.

"You can tell," said middle linebacker Christian Taylor. "Your body tells you how long you've been out there. It really does.

"I could tell in the Notre Dame game that we were out there a lot, and I think it was 80 plays or something like that, which is like a game and a half, usually.
We will have more on the challenge this defense will be facing later today (or this week).  It should be a very interesting evening this Saturday up in Berkeley. I think it's a good bet that this time Jeff Tedford will not have a brain cramp and punt the ball directly to one of the greatest punt returner in the history of college football.  Yes there will not be any MJD or Drew Olson this time to bale out the hybrid of Marie Antoinette and GWB of college football.

Have mercy.