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Big Ben Time

Let's get right to it. Coverage in the big-3 on Olson becoming the next starting QB for Bruin football:

Dohn on Big Ben's unwavering confidence:

Ben Olson has the frame, the big arm and the persona to quarterback a high-profile team in the glamour capital of the world. All he needed was the job.

Now, he has it.As expected, Bruins coach Karl Dorrell named Olson as UCLA's starter for the Sept. 2 season opener against Utah at the Rose Bowl.

Olson beat out fellow redshirt sophomore Patrick Cowan for the job.

"I expected it," said Olson, a 6-foot-5 left-hander. "It was just a matter of time. I didn't know when it was going to happen & but I wasn't surprised at all because I believed I was the starter all along. It was just a waiting game, I guess."
Dohn went on his blog to downplay the expectations on Big Ben:
[W]hat should the expectations be?

In my mind, not very high at the beginning. Olson hasn't thrown a meaningful pass in nearly five years. Defenses will be working overtime in an effort to confuse him. On the heels of Drew Olson throwing 34 touchdown passes and six interceptions last season, expectations for Ben Olson could be off the charts. If emails I've received from fans the last eight months are any indication, fans' expectations are way too high.
That is fine. I am not exactly sure what Dohn means by fans' "too high" expectations. As far as the fans are concerned here, I don't believe any of us are expecting Big Ben to replicate DO's statistical performance from last season. All we are expecting from our coaches is to get a 23 year former No. 1 national recruit ready to manage the game - so that he can use all the talents around him and minimize the mistakes. Again Big Ben is going to be helped out by a core of good backs and receivers, not to mention a schedule extremely favorable for a young team. Remember Big Ben has as much experience as Wayne Cook did going into that 1993-94 season. He has had two years of Svoboda's tutelage in Dorrell's WCO. So, I don't think it is too much to expect Big Ben to manage this team the way Wayne Cook did back in 1993. And even Wayne Cook with experience of only 13 passing attempts got us 8 regular season wins a victory over USC and spot at the Rose Bowl:

Wayne choked away the Rose Bowl, but was good enough to win the Pac-10 and beat SC

Yes, that Wayne Cook. I don't think it is too much to ask for when we expect the coaches to get a talent like Ben Olson ready to manage the team just like Wayne Cook did during 1993 regular season.

While Big Ben to no one's surprise is the new starter you have got to love the attitude of Pat Cowan. He gave Olson a spirited competition. And now unlike some of the other prima donnas we have seen around college football, instead of sulking he is getting ready for the season just in case he has to step up. From, the OC Register:
Cowan said the better player had won out.

"Ben did what he needed to do to get the job," he said. "I'm here to make the team better. I know I'm one play away."
Good for him. There are lot of major programs who would love to have a QB like Cowan waiting in the wings should something bad happen, for i.e. starting QB getting BOMARED.

On the defensive side some changes in the DBs due to injuries. From the LA Times:
Injuries to junior cornerback Michael Norris (knee) and junior safety Matthew Slater (shoulder) paved the way for UCLA to shift freshman running backs Jeremy McGee and Christian Ramirez to the secondary. [...]

With the uncertain status of Norris, Slater and sophomore safety Robert Kibble, who has multiple sclerosis, McGee and Ramirez worked out with the defense on Monday.

Ramirez said he wasn't surprised by the switch.

"It had crossed my mind, definitely," said Ramirez, who was considered one of the top recruits at safety on the West Coast last year at Imperial High. "I had been watching everyone on defense going down and I knew that it was coming."

Ramirez will play free safety behind junior Dennis Keyes and redshirt freshman Aaron Ware. McGee, who ran for a touchdown in Saturday's scrimmage, worked with the third team defense at cornerback on Monday.

"I am switching sides to basically help the team," said McGee, adding that Dorrell and running backs coach Dino Babers "came to me and told me that it would be my decision to come back [to running back] if I wanted to, but right now ... I'm focused on cornerback."
So we may get to see eager, hungry, freshmen talent early in the season. Not a bad thing.

Just 11 more days to go.