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Running Out of Time

Time is running out for Dorrell. With 4 games left in the regular season he will probably need to win at least 3 games to keep a grip on his current job.  But Dorrell is not showing any sense of urgency. In fact from his comments today it sounds like he is shooting for a moral victory. Here is Dorrell on today's opponent:

"They do a nice job in understanding a team's weaknesses, and the offense puts some points on the board early and they do that often. We need to make sure we're sharp and do positive things early in the game and keep ourselves within the game early and then have a good finish."
He is just looking for a "good finish."  He never says anything about striving to win the game. Because all he really cares about making sure that the team doesn't look bad enough to lose his job. Well it caught up with him last weekend when his team put together one of the more disgraceful performances at the Rose Bowl. It will be interesting to see what he does this time. He spouted more clichés to the OC Register:
"We know we need to work. We know we need to improve. We know we need to execute. We know we need to move the ball offensively. We know those things have been a struggle," Coach Karl Dorrell said.

"We know all the things that are issues up to this point. Now it's about getting it done and this is a great opportunity to get that done now."
We have heard the whole season from Dorrell and his staff about they need to get it done.  But as Dohn reports the offense hasn't been getting it done, especially after the half:
One of the many things afflicting UCLA's stagnant offense is a lack of productivity coming out of halftime, and it is something the coaching staff has thought hard about.

The Bruins are outscoring their opponents in the first, second and fourth quarters, but they are being outscored 36-26 in the third quarter. Furthermore, UCLA's third-quarter point total is about half of what the Bruins have in any other quarter.

"Our issue is the third quarter. That's what we have to solve, I think," UCLA offensive coordinator Jim Svoboda said. "Notre Dame game? Third quarter. Washington State? Third quarter. Oregon? Third quarter. Washington? Third quarter."

Svoboda mentioned UCLA's four losses, and in those games the Bruins had a combined seven first downs and no touchdowns in the third quarter. A field goal against Washington accounted for the only third- quarter points UCLA scored in the defeats.

Overall, the Bruins have not scored in their past three third quarters.
Hmm. I wonder whose job is to make sure proper half adjustments are made and the team is fired up and put in position to have a "good finish"?

More from the OC Register on how UCLA's passing game is in total disarray:
They worked throughout the summer, seven-on-sevens against local junior colleges, against their own teammates, against nothing but air.

UCLA, with two first-year quarterbacks in Ben Olson and Patrick Cowan, added a day to their quarterbacks' work schedule and they went at it four days a week instead of just three, trying to develop a comfort level with each other as well as within the West Coast offense.

They went through checks and route adjustments, ran set plays one after the other.

And yet, eight games into the season, the Bruins' passing game remains in disarray. UCLA is ranked eighth in the Pac-10 in yards per pass and seventh in completion percentage (58.2) going into a conference game today at Cal, a team that is ranked last in the conference in pass defense but with 18 interceptions has a knack for forcing turnovers in the passing game.
Well after all the clichés from last 9-10 weeks if the Bruins do not get their act together today, then it will most likely turn into a death march for Dorrell for rest of this season. Here are keys to today's game from the Times:
1 Middle ground. UCLA's defensive tackles Brigham Harwell and Kevin Brown will be matched up against California's interior offensive line, which features center Alex Mack and guards Erik Robertson and Brian De La Puente. The Bears love to run the ball up the middle, an area controlled by Harwell and Brown.

2 Pick or burn. Led by senior cornerback Daymeion Hughes' seven interceptions, Cal leads the Pac-10 with 18. But the Bears also have given up 12 passing touchdowns, and UCLA's Patrick Cowan has completed at least one touchdown pass in three of his last four games.

3 Longshore factor. Cal has given up only nine sacks this season, which is one reason for quarterback Nate Longshore's passing success. UCLA, led by ends Justin Hickman and Bruce Davis, has one of the nation's best pass-rushing defenses with 26 total sacks.
He needs to win today. It's plain and simple. Bruins Nation will not be in the mood to hear feel good clichés about "good finish" and to take joy in the "heart" and "toughness" of our players in another road loss.

Dorrell has a 4 game losing streak on the road. And he has a game losing streak on the road against teams with winning record. He needs to end it today to keep from being a laughing stock in Westwood. He is running out of time (if he hasn't already)

GO BRUINS.