So the spin after the win against Oregon State is that Karl Dorrell's program are approaching the last three games as a brand new season. And after that win against Mike Riley's Oregon State program everything is all right again Westwood. And looks like the beat writers are falling for that spin:
"We've shown that we're extremely tough-minded," said sophomore quarterback Patrick Cowan, who will make his sixth consecutive start in place of injured Ben Olson tonight. "We've stuck together through some tough times. Where some other teams would have folded and called it a day, we've kept playing hard. This is a very strong team."
In any event standards have became so downright pathetic in Dorrell's football program these days that coaches and players are raving about not so spectacular win against Oregon State as some sort of rejuvenation and getting excited about the possibility of playing in a bowl game, which no one except people from Hawaii and die hard Bruin fans will care about. From the Daily News:
The bowl, played Dec. 24 in Honolulu, is excited about the possibility of UCLA playing the hometown Hawaii Warriors, which already accepted a bid.
"We'd love to have UCLA," said the bowl's executive director, Jim Donovan. "They're a great program and there are so many direct flights from LosAngeles to Hawaii, it's fairly price-efficient for (fans) to make the trip out here."
UCLA (5-5) has games against Arizona State (tonight) and USC (Dec. 2) remaining, and would clinch a bowl bid with wins in both.
However, if the Bruins split and there are less than six league teams with seven wins, the Hawaii Bowl would likely give the nod to a UCLA team over other six-win teams from the Pac-10, partly because of television ratings, sources said.
However, it is possible a six-win UCLA team would get shut out of a bowl.
The Bruins managed to put some points on the scoreboard in the second half of their victory over Oregon State, scoring two touchdowns and two field goals. They had scored only 17 points in the six second-half quarters of their three previous games, all losses. But any talk of a turnaround would be premature until they can show some consistency.
When the Bruins have attacked, they have been pretty good. Tackling has been a problem and could be again against Sun Devils backs Ryan Torain and Keegan Herring, who are averaging 5.3 and 6.1 yards per carry. But they should be able to get some pressure on quarterback Rudy Carpenter, limiting his effectiveness. Arizona State has allowed 28 sacks.
The Sun Devils' Terry Richardson has missed the past four games because of a sprained right knee ligament, but he is nearing a return and if he plays today the Bruins could have some problems. Richardson is averaging 33.6 yards on nine kickoff returns and 11.1 yards in 19 punt returns. Punter Jonathan Johnson is averaging 41.0 yards per kick.
- If Olson is 90 percent healthy, I wouldn't mind seeing him getting a series or two, if Cowan is ineffective like he was during first half against Oregon State. Let's hope he is not. But if he is leading an offense which is settling for FGs, instead of TDs in the red zone, I'd consider as a sign of ineffective offense.
- Second, I'd like to see Ketchum, Chane Moline, and Darrick Williams get some action today. Specially Kethcum. Whenever he has been in the game he has made his presence felt (for i.e. a key grab on third down against the Beavers last weekend). And at this point he has shown lot more ability than Buamgartner in key passing situations. Similarly Moline has shown his ability in the red zone.
Lots of huge games today in college football (not involving Dorrell's 5 loss team). We will be back later with our game day thread. A pineapple bowl or Hawaii Bowl or whatever is on the line. Hey it's high stakes Saturday for Dorrell's football program.