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Quarterback Roundup & Some Rewind

A pretty interesting column in the Riverside Press Enterprise wrt our current QB situation:

Few little kids have dreamed of being the UCLA quarterback in recent years, actually, not when they could run around pretending to be Matt Leinart or Carson Palmer.

Saturday's UCLA victory doesn't change that by itself, but it does re-establish the Bruins' credibility as a program in comparison to the behemoth across town.

It also creates one beast of a dilemma for Dorrell.

Olson, who is also a redshirt sophomore, came into this program as the golden child with the golden arm, the prodigy who would compete for Heisman Trophies and All-America status and would put the Bruins back into the national mix.

But this scene said a lot: In the frenzied moments following the game, with the band playing and the fans roaring and players and coaches and family members hugging each other, Ben Olson gave a high-five to a member of the UCLA staff. Otherwise, he walked toward the tunnel alone.

The 2007 question wasn't one that anyone really wanted to answer: Does Cowan, who didn't officially get the starting nod for this game until Wednesday, now have a head start on the starting job in the bowl game and into 2007?

These things will play themselves out in due time," Dorrell said.

Added Cowan: "It's not part of my thought process. I'm enjoying this game, and that's all that's on my mind."
I am not sure how to take that scene describing Olson leaving the Rose Bowl "alone"? Did anyone else see it?

I mentioned one thing I really like about Cowan is his pocket presence and his moxy. He has that aura which projects an image of total confidence and his team-mates feed off on him. From the same column, these comments from Markey are pretty telling:
"Coming in with him as a freshman, believe it or not, I always looked at him as one of the leaders of the team," Markey said. "He's always had that leadership ability. I think he's grown more, but he's always had it.

"He's our conductor. We do everything to protect him, and he's going to do everything he can to make the plays."
I really like that last sentence.

In any event I remain a huge fan of Ben Olson. I do think KD should keep his word when he said if Olson was 100 percent healthy he should get back the starting job. But I will admit right now I am torn over the QB situation.

FWIW I have heard from couple of folks Olson may not be 100 percent yet despite the comments in the papers leading up to Southern Cal game. And it looks like Dorrell hasn't made a decision yet. From Dohn's blog:
I spoke to football coach Karl Dorrell during halftime of the basketball game, and he said no decision was made yet on the quarterback for the Emerald Bowl. He said he would wait until bowl practice to make an announcement.

The Bruins will practice Saturday, then take off next week because of final exams. They will begin preparations for Florida State on Dec. 15. They head to San Francisco Dec. 22 for the Dec. 27 game.
So KD has a while to think this over.  I think at this point I'd vote Cowan to start the bowl game against FSU. However, if Olson is healthy Dorrell should bring him in second quarter and see what he can do again in game speed. Either way folks we are in a good situation with two good QBs to choose from for the short and long term.

And here is another look at what Cowan and his team-mates did past Saturday: