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Scrimmage Storlylines ...

Big day today. The 100 play Scrimmage gets started around 11:00 am out on campus. If you are looking to make a trip out to the Drake Stadium on campus click here. I believe this deal is free.  So if you are out in So. Cal. get on the 405 and head out to Westwood. But before you leave, a quick look at today's storylines.

We will start off with Brian Dohn in the Daily News who leads off with the competition for the starting QB spot. Even though the Southpaw Jesus is downplaying the importance of scrimmage, the coaches are hyping this up quiet a bit:

The weekend begins with today's 11 a.m. scrimmage at Drake Stadium, and concludes with a day of coaches' meetings and evaluations as UCLA moves toward solidifying its two-deep for the season opener in two weeks.

Bruins coach Karl Dorrell has consistently described the battle between Olson and Cowan as "competitive." Although it is widely believed Olson has the edge, Dorrell will not elaborate on which player has the upper hand, and reps have been split evenly.

So how significant is the full-blown scrimmage?

"It's important," Dorrell said. "As close to a game situation that a scrimmage brings, you want to see how they compete, you want to see how they execute, you want to see if they make a lot of mistakes or no mistakes. It's the best that we can do from an evaluation standpoint, where the coaches are off the field and they're not coaching every play."
I am hoping for both Olson and Cowan to have big days and then the coaches naming Southpaw Jesus the starter early next week.

Kuwada from the OC Register has some exciting news on the defensive side. Looks like redshirt freshman LB Reggie Carter has made a lot of strides over last few days and is vying for a spot in the starting rotation:
Eric McNeal went into UCLA's fall camp at the top of the depth chart at one of the linebacker positions, and Aaron Whittington has played that position some, too.

But redshirt freshman Reggie Carter can go a long way toward winning the starting job today when the Bruins hold their camp scrimmage at Drake Stadium (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., open to the public).

Carter was one the Bruins' top recruits in 2005, but he did not make it onto the field last season as he worked to learn the defensive schemes. He has continued to make strides with the schemes through the first two weeks of camp and quickly has become the physical presence the Bruins expected, playing with a reckless disregard for other people's bodies.

"Looks good, doesn't he?" Coach Karl Dorrell said. "He's doing well. He's going to get some reps with the first team, and that's where he's pressing right now. He's being noticed making some plays, and we're going to see what he can do with the first team.

"The light bulb is coming on for him. He understands it, and he's not making mistakes. It's fun to watch him play because he's always looking to hit somebody."
This is great news all around. If Carter can translate his practice performance on to the field, Bruin LB corps just may be in all right shape and adequate enough to supplement a fairly deep defensive line.

Speaking of talented freshmen yet another article on true frosh. Al Verner. From the LA Times today:
UCLA cornerback Alterraun Verner is the youngest player on the roster and one of the smallest. But that has not stopped him from emerging as one of the Bruins' top freshmen.

"He's a dynamic player; he's everything that we anticipated him being," Coach Karl Dorrell said of Verner, who is listed as 161 pounds and will not turn 18 until Dec. 13. "If we needed him to play wide receiver, I'm sure that he would make an impact as a receiver. He's an excellent return guy, who's in the mix too as a punt returner and kickoff returner. He's also doing a great job of competing for the third cornerback spot."
Again if Verner can step up it would be a huge boost for our secondary, which along with the LBers will be the most inexperienced units of this defense. But Verner and Carter are showing there is no lack of talent in our team. And we will take talent over experience any day.

Lastly, commenter laertes yesterday brought up some memories of the 1995 Aloha Bowl. So had to share this:

The best part of the game was to celebrate the end of Donahue roaming around the UCLA sidelines. But then we got Dorrell. Woops didn't mean to sound so negative. Ok so that Aloha Bowl came after our 5th straight win over USC. So it wasn't so bad. So if we go to some bowl game this year with 8/9 wins and a win over USC, I won't be complaining too much.

So there you have it.  If you are headed out to Drake stadium with family and friends feel more than welcome to share your observations, thoughts and pictures here. You can even email us the pictures you want and we'd be happy to post them for you. Enjoy your Saturday.