Didn't want to dampen the enthusiasm around our hoops team by having to talk about Dorrell's football program, but there is spring practice going on. CFN has a report on all the Pac-10 teams. They are fully expecting Dorrell to contend for the Pac-10 title even with new coaches and a new QB:
The big spring question is ... What can UCLA do to be better before the fourth quarter and can the D be better against the run? The Bruins showed a freakish knack of stinking it up early and then looking fantastic in crunch time with late wins over Washington, Cal, Washington State and Stanford. However, QB Drew Olson, RB Maurice Drew, and TE Marcedes Lewis, three of the key players in the comebacks, are gone. The run defense was 118th in the nation with star linebackers Spencer Havner, Wesley Walker and Justin London in the mix, and now they're gone.
The most important position to watch is ... Quarterback. Ben Olson is absolutely, positively the starting quarterback, but the 6-5, 227-pound 23-year-old has huge shoes to fill replacing Drew Olson. All Drew did was finish fifth in the nation in passing efficiency only throwing three interceptions before the Sun Bowl when he tossed three picks against Northwestern. Ben, the nation's top recruit for BYU a few years ago, has to prove he can be far more accurate and consistent than he was last spring. In his first practice, the coaching staff was more than pleased with his decision making ability.
Spring attitude... Toughen up. The defense has been too awful for too long, and there's no way the offense can pick up the slack in every game like it did last year. New defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker has already cranked up the intensity several notches this spring, but this isn't a star-studded D. Ten wins might be a lot to ask for again with the season-opener against Utah and a road trip to Notre Dame, but there's no reason to not be in the Pac 10 title race up until the final two games at Arizona State and at home against USC. If the defense continues to be lousy, UCLA won't win at Oregon or Cal and won't have any shot against the Sun Devils or Trojans.
Like CFN we are not calling for 10 wins next season. We are calling for the Pac-10 title and a win over USC deep into Dorrell's fourth year in Westwood. Its time for him to bring something more significant than a bloated season highlighted by last gasp wins over shitty/mediocre football teams. Its time for Dorrell to bring home a conference championship (and win over main rival - it was Arizona/Stanford in hoops) like Howland.