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The Right Call

So lot of (good) discussion around BN for 48 hours about who is going to be our starting quarterback. For one of the few times I think KD made the right call. From Dohn in the Daily News:

Bruins coach Karl Dorrell said redshirt freshman Patrick Cowan will make his sixth straight start at quarterback against the Sun Devils, but added Olson could play.

"Pat will start again this week. Ben, we'll see how things work through the course of the week to see if he's ready for any duty," Dorrell said. "I know last week he was a little concerned with being the (backup) because he wasn't sure of his physical stature. This week, I know he should feel better.

"And believe me guys, I want to play him when he's good and ready to play. I don't want to set him back."

Olson said after last Saturday's win against Oregon State that he believed he was ready to return. He has been out since he tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Oct. 7 against Arizona.

"The deal with (Olson) is to try and get him both mentally and physically ready to play, and he's working and close to doing that," Dorrell said. "I know that he wants to, but we have to make sure he's mentally and physically ready. That's a decision that I will make, whether he's going to return to play."

Olson practiced last week, but said periods of inactivity caused his knee to tighten. He was UCLA's emergency backup against the Beavers.
I think this is the right call by Dorrell. I have said all along if Olson is 100 percent there should be no question about him being the starting QB. However, from all reports it appears that Olson is not 100 percent yet:
"Talking with our trainers, he's in that 85-to-90-percent range of motion with his knee,'' Dorrell said of Olson, who has not played since he suffered a tear in the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the first quarter of the Bruins' Oct. 7 victory over Arizona.

"The deal with him is to try to get him to be both mentally and physically ready to play. He's close to doing that. I know that he wants to (play). But we have to make sure mentally and physically he's ready and that is a decision I will make whether he's going to return to play.'
And I think that is the right approach here. I just don't think KD and his staff should be taking any chances by messing around with a situation that involves torn posterior cruciate ligament.

I realize Ben wants to get back in the game. He sounds like he wants to get back badly and is nervous about losing his job. But his long term health is way more important for himself and for our struggling program.  More from the LA Times:
Coach Karl Dorrell said Monday he didn't want to put Olson in a situation where he might suffer a setback in his return from the knee injury he suffered Oct. 7 against Arizona.

Dorrell said Olson still was experiencing limited range of motion in the knee and felt stiff and sore in practice last week.
I think it is right approach to start Cowan for the next game, especially after he is coming off his first win as a starter.  Cowan's stats (completing only 50.9 percent (83 of 163) of his passes) leave much to be desired. But he has shown the ability to make some big time plays here and there. And last week he did make some huge plays down the stretch to ice the game last weekend. So he has to start.

We really don't have to worry about Olson transferring. He really can't go that route unless he wants to transfer to some D-1AA program and then transfer back to D-1A. He just cannot afford to go into that situation of uncertainty trying out new teams and schemes (not that KD has a dazzling scheme).

So this is not an ideal situation for Olson. However, I hope Olson and Cowan make the best out of it. I think competition will ultimately benefit both of these guys.

As much reservations and frustrations I have had with Dorrell's coaching, I think he is making the right call in this situation. Let Cowan start the ASU game. If he has an ineffective first half, then KD can think about going with Olson for 2 or 3 series and see what happens. Keep getting Olson a lot of practice time so he is ready in case Cowan is not fairing well against ASU or Southern Cal.  I think at this point Olson's next start will be either a bowl game, Southern Cal (if Cowan is totally ineffective against ASU) or next year's opener.  I just think at this point it is too late to switch things up. Just my 2 cents.