So, after four games against mediocre to horrible teams, a lot of people were putting DeWayne Walker, Karl Dorrell's prize defensive coordinator on a pedestal. A lot of people were going ga ga over a Bruin defense, which - gasp - was making some tackles against the Rices and Stanfords of the world. However, after the last four games, all the luster of Walker's defense has worn off. Yes, the defense put together a great effort (for about 59 minutes) against Notre Dame, but after the Cal game, the same old questions and issues have emerged concerning the Bruin "defense."
From the LA Times:
"You don't want to make excuses ... but you still have to tackle," Walker said after UCLA gave up 433 yards to California in a 38-24 loss at Berkeley on Saturday. "It bothers me. It's bothered me the last two games.
"We had games like this and then responded well. But now it's happened back to back."
Cal running back Marshawn Lynch and wide receiver/punt returner DeSean Jackson often danced around the first tackle attempt by the Bruins and then gained chunks of yards before being stopped.
The Bruins did not allow those types of plays early in the season. Back then, whenever a UCLA defender failed to make a tackle, a teammate would be close behind to make the stop.
Anyways, more from the OC Register on how one of the more impressive early season defensive statistics has fallen off:
In its 38-24 loss to the Golden Bears, however, Cal was 6 of 9 in those situations, and now the Bruins are not leading the Pac-10 in that statistical category. They have been passed by Oregon State, the Bruins' opponent Saturday at the Rose Bowl. The Beavers have allowed opponents to convert 25 percent of their third- down plays for first downs.
UCLA is second in the conference and third in the nation at 26.7 percent. The slow slide coincides with a four-game losing streak that started with Bruins defenders bouncing off of Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart.
On Saturday, it was the same thing against the Golden Bears' Marshawn Lynch.
"They did everything we expected them to do, we just weren't making the plays we needed to make, and they popped a couple of big ones on us," free safety Dennis Keyes said.
The Golden Bears were not in many third-and-long situations, but they did convert a third-and-8 in the first quarter on a 19-yard pass from Nate Longshore to Robert Jordan. Their average gain on those six successful third-down plays was 9.3 yards.
Once again, UCLA players "just weren't making the plays" after talking all week about playing with "focus," and working on to "finish" the game. But, hey, their head coach is not worried:
I know you have already heard the bullsh!t from Dorrell and his supporters about UCLA being a young team. Of course, they are conveniently forgetting to point out that Cal is being led by a first year sophomore starter, a junior running back, and a sophomore wide receiver. Yeah, you don't hear Tedford and Cal athletic administrators making the excuses for their team being "young" and "inexperienced." While the Cal team continues to improve and truly develop down the stretch, it's Dorrell team that continues to implode as usual during the second half of the season.
All season we have heard so much about the improved UCLA defense and how things have dramatically improved under DeWayne Walker. Yet, here we are after a four game losing streak when the evidence on the field points to the fact that really nothing has changed.
And, yet, Dorrell is out there talking about "real good improvement" trying to spin like a clueless, incompetent, miserable politician in this campaign season.
Have you had enough? Well then sign this petition today and pass it on to everyone you know.