Lots to get to this Tuesday morning. Offense getting ready for Utah's blitzing Ds. Special teams assignments getting hashed out, and some other knick-knacks. Here is today's roundup from papers in the Southland:
LA Times's Lonnie White gives the scoop on some of the key players in Utah's blitzing defense:
"He is one of their better players on defense," Pitre said of Weddle, who had four interceptions last season, one returned for a touchdown.
"I know I watched a lot of film of their bowl game against Georgia Tech and he played mainly cornerback against Calvin Johnson. That shows what type of athlete he is. They move him around a lot and like to bring him on blitzes. He's a hard-nosed guy who doesn't necessarily deliver the big hit but seems to be where the ball is at all of the time."
The 6-foot, 200-pound Weddle is not the only multidimensional player on defense for the Utes. Casey Evans -- a second-team all-conference free safety last season -- will start at linebacker but also play safety in the Utes' nickel defense, while Steve Tate, a free safety, can also play multiple positions.
Last season, Utah won four of its final five games, including a 38-10 victory over Georgia Tech in the Emerald Bowl.
Ramona Shelburne of the Daily News has nice story on true frosh Jeremy McGee from New Orleans, who understandably is still adjusting to life after Katrina.
Also from the Daily News, Shelburne notes include how Dorrell is still sticking with Chris Markey (another Louisiana native) on punt return duties, since freshmen Austin is still not quiet read:
But Monday, Dorrell reversed course, naming Markey the starting punt returner for Saturday's season opener against Utah at the Rose Bowl. Sophomore Ryan Graves is the back-up.
"I've had to retract that. We'd love to give Terrence Austin the job, but he's not ready to handle that responsibility yet," Dorrell said.
Dorrell said Austin needed to work on his decision-making and reading the ball off the punter's foot.
Markey didn't seem to mind the change in plans, but added that he won't mind handing the job off to Austin when he's ready.
"Punt returner is one of the hardest positions to play, I think. It's the hardest catch to make in football," Markey said.
OC Register has it's Pac-10 preview out. It's pretty generic. And it's key Pac-10 games excludes the primetime showdown between UCLA and Cal. Whatever.
OC Register's daily report focused on Kevin Brown. Brown is definitely a key player, but as we mentioned before there are lot of options in our DL right now. It is deep (as evidenced by Brown and Moline being listed as second string spot). Dorrell agrees:
Lonnie White's colleague T.J. Simers was also on campus yesterday. Apparently Dorrell couldn't answer his question on why UCLA didn't get a single AP vote. And, to make matters worse for TJ (who these days is a huge Bruin fan), when he went over the Dodger stadium, he had this exchange with Dodger manager Grady Little:
"Have you been hanging around with Karl Dorrell?" I ask.
"Who?" Little says, and there you go.
"It's no wonder UCLA doesn't get a single vote in the AP poll," I tell Little.
"Here you are, the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, working in this city and you don't even know who the coach of the UCLA football team is these days."
"I know who the USC coach is," says Little with a grin.