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One more week to go ...

So just one more week to go. This is it. We are going start bring the bogus on Utah as much as possible for the next few days. If you haven't done it already, make sure to read Menelaus's preview of the Utes from few weeks ago (the only change from that preview is the QB situation as Ratliff won the starting job this past week). Meanwhile, let's take a look at what folks are saying in today's papers.

 Jill Painter of the Daily News reports on how the D is getting ready for Utah's option:

Defensive tackle Brigham Harwell isn't particularly fond of defending the option but that's what Utah runs, so that's how UCLA will open its season under new defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker.

Harwell is confident Walker's new schemes will be successful and he's eager for people to take notice.

"It's important, but this is about us. We're not trying to prove anything to anybody," Harwell said. "We know what our defensive goals are. We know no one really respects us.

"Our coaches have a good game plan for this. We'll surprise a lot of people."

It's quite a task for the scout team to simulate the option in practice, but linebacker Christian Taylor believes this is a good test for UCLA. The Bruins saw a spread offense against Northwestern in the Sun Bowl last year.

"It plays into our hands, almost," Taylor said. "We're a fast defense. We can run. I think our strength is using our athleticism. We're just going to fly to the football and make plays."
Well let's hope Taylor can back up the talk about the defense being "fast." Because you know we didn't see any of that speed much of last season.  Utah game is going to tell us a lot about this much hyped new defense as we are going to find out whether our players are put in position to make tackles and disrupt the rhythm of Utah's offense.

 More on the Utah's spread-out offense from the OC Register:
"They're spread out. They're a spread-out offense that utilizes the run game very well from the shotgun," Dorrell said.

"We've probably played some similar offenses, like a Northwestern or at San Diego State, which is a very similar offensive style.

"But these guys are pretty good at executing it, and they've been doing it probably longer than anyone else.

"It's a difficult system to defend, no question about that. We're going to have to be assignment conscious. They run some option from it, too. It's one of those things, you definitely have to read your keys and play with discipline. It's a challenge for our defense."
It may be a "challenge" for our defense, but that is exactly why KD brought in a new Defensive Coordinator (DC) to string to together a legit Bruin defense. Remember he has already fired his first OCs and DCs. So there are really no excuses now for getting it done. Lot of pressure on the new DC to produce right away.

 Speaking of the new DC, Lonnie White reports on DeWayne Walker's road to Westwood. Nothing you already didn't know. Walker is a So. Cal native who grew up caring about SC. Coached under Pom Pom and eventually came on aboard last year after a mercenary career in the NFL. Let's hope he is the answer and will actually stick around Westwood.

Lastly, another UCLA season preview. It predicts us to finish 7-5 after starting the season 5-0. Well if we do that, Karl Dorrell will officially be toast, and will be gone either by the end of this season or be a dead man walking next season.

But we are going to stay positive and wish Dorrell goes 9-3 and beats SC.

Just 7 more days.