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Another Dorrellian Saturday

Bruins slept walk through another Game Day, but pulled out a win to honor their team-mate:

They wore black bands around their left arms, honoring a former teammate and friend, Marcus Cassel, who died Friday from injuries suffered in an automobile accident.

The UCLA Bruins were told of the accident after a morning walk-through, and word of his death started spreading while on the bus waiting to go to the airport for a flight to Arizona and a matchup with Arizona State with a bowl game on the line.

They made it through their meetings. They made it through all of their team functions.

And on Saturday, they made it into the group of teams that are bowl eligible with a 24-12 victory over Arizona State on the strength of a defense that scuttled the Sun Devils' offense and two huge plays from flanker Brandon Breazell, who had not caught a pass in three games.

Breazell caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Cowan in the first quarter and an acrobatic 35-yard touchdown over Sun Devils safety Josh Barrett in the fourth quarter.

And the defense held the Sun Devils to 264 yards.
While it was an emotional win no doubt, but their performance (especially on offense) was still less than inspiring, ensuring a bid for some no name bowl game in December:
"It's a great win for our team," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. "We rallied around each other. We had a lot to prove. We had to prove we're getting better. We've still got a lot of character. ... We have some good kids. Some great, great young men that have a lot of character and I have a lot of respect for."

UCLA's win means no more than six Pac-10 teams can achieve seven wins. And since the Pac-10 has six bowl tie-ins, every seven-win team would be guaranteed a berth.

And even if UCLA falls to USC, six wins would be enough to send them to the South Pacific.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl executive director Jim Donovan said he "would love to have UCLA," and is now possible.

"It's weird with all the stuff going on, but it's a nice feeling to know that we made it to a bowl game," Bruins tailback Chris Markey said. "After we had a four-game losing streak, we got together as a family and told each other to keep fighting."
While the Bruins are feeling good about their second win a row (in the so called "new 3 game season" being pimped by the no talent ass clowns on Prime Ticket) over their second straight hapless Pac-10 opponent and excited about going to another pathetic bowl game some time in December, last night's game did nothing to alleviate concerns about Dorrell's ineffective offense. Bruins only had 274 yards of total offense last night, following up on 262 yards total yards against Oregon State.

Dorrell's (presuming he is calling all the players instead of rumored-to-be fired Svoboda) offense is still depending on our improved defense to carry the team. It hasn't been able to put together sustained drives keeping our defense on the field for way too long. Except for those two big plays from Cowan to Breazell, the offense did absolutely nothing.

And what you will not find in the papers today is folks talking about what Dorrell decided to do after the Bruins made a goal-line stop on 4th and 1 around mid-point of the second quarter (7:33 mark). Dorrell once again cowered by calling for 3 straight running plays up the middle. Instead of trying to make something happen, and taking some chances, he once again called plays showing he wanted his team to do nothing except for to play not to lose. That will not get it done against Southern Cal.

What will not get done against Southern Cal - the play of Patrick Cowan. Cowan is a good players. And during some moments here and there he has shown the signs that he can be a very good Pac-10 QB. Once again he failed to complete 60 percent of his passes (14 for 24 for 184 yards). And if you take away those two big passing plays to Breazell (56 and 35 yards TDs), his line is 12 for 22 and 93 yards. Again that will not get it done against the defense they are going to take on in two weekends. At this point Cowan should get the start against Southern Cal, however, if he is not effective at all against the Trojans, early going, then Dorrell will have to think about bringing Olson in, and jump start the Bruins at the Rose Bowl.

Speaking of that game - all season we have been hearing from some Dorrell minions that how he has been keeping some plays under wraps because he didn't want to show his hand to Pom Pom. lol Whatever. Well that excuse will not work on December 2nd. If there was a game Dorrell had to go all out and unleash everything he knew (don't laugh!), this game would be it. And we are going to find out fairly early how he is going to coach. If he coaches like a coward again by electing to punt on 4th and short in Trojan's side of the field, then he will officially be a dead man walking in Westwood.

As of today Dorrell still has not produced any evidence of discernible progress in Westwood and has not made a case for being the head coach of this lackluster football program. And even a win over Southern Cal will not do much to bolster his side of argument.

Dorrell needs to understand even if he wins against Southern Cal, this season  has still been an abysmal failure. He can talk about "growing" and "developing" all he wants, but the fact is this is a talent enough team to be at least 8-3 (or 9-2 given that the Ducks are getting exposed as a fraud) program going into the Southern Cal. However, lack of leadership and coaching, has reduced this program to spin a 6 win "bowl eligible" regular season as a cause for excitement. And that is your Bruin football - Dorrellian.