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Saturday Note

Light news Saturday for Bruins. I am sure our coaches and players will be keeping an eye on the Huskies going up against Fresno State. I am not going to get to watch it. So for those of you who watch it, please share your thoughts and observations either in the comment or in the diary section.

All the UCLA beat reporters seem to take the day off yesterday except for Brian Dohn. Dohn has a report on how Harwell is looking for more playing time in the DL:

Defensive tackle Brigham Harwell played about one-third of the game against Utah and about half of the Rice game, all of which gave him time to reflect while standing on the sideline.

And he decided he needed to improve his preparation if he wanted more playing time when the Bruins open Pacific 10 play next Saturday at Washington.

"On the sideline, you do think a lot," Harwell, a junior, said. "You do get down a little bit, but each day you think, 'OK, I need to get better. I need to work on this.' So all week I've been watching film in my room, doing more things in practice."

Harwell, who was the jewel of UCLA's 2004 recruiting class, was supposed to team with Kevin Brown to form the interior of the defensive line.

Instead, the coaching staff is playing Kenneth Lombard and Chase Moline more, and Harwell and Brown are sharing snaps. The two have been together on the field for only a handful of plays, with Brown starting ahead of Harwell against Rice.

"I think I can play better," Harwell said. "I talked to (defensive line) coach (Todd) Howard and asked him, "What I'm doing bad, and what I'm doing good.' I just have to get better. The bye week, I was really focused on having good practices."

Harwell, who was UCLA's best defensive lineman last season, is yet to record a tackle in 2005.
This is simple. Its the coaches job to get Harwell and Brown motivated, focused, and fired up for the Husky game. I love the contributions we have been getting from Lombard and Moline. But it is really Harwell and Brown, who are supposed to be the superstars of this (fairly deep) defensive line. Harwell just has too much natural talent not to have a single tackle at this point of the season. That is ridiculous. The coaches need to light a fire under Harwell and Brown soon. Because we are not going to play loser teams like Rice rest of the season.

And Washington is going to challenge them in a week from today with a powerful ground game, that features two good backs in Kenny James and Louis Rankin (rushed for 100 yards in both of UDub's games), who are averaging well over 5 yards per carry. Next Saturday is going to be a major test for the Bruin front-7, who so far hasn't faced a legit challenge this season. Washington doesn't have a great QB. So they will try to overpower the Bruins in the trenches.

So whatever it takes to get talents like Harwell and Brown motivated, I sure hope the coaches get it done. Because they will need to come out ready and focused, and meet the challenge of shutting down the Husky running game. We will find out some more whether the defense attitude has truly changed under the new coordinator DeWayne Walker.

Anyways big college football Saturday today. WWL is hyping it as 'Separation Saturday'. If you are looking for primers on todays games forget the WWL though.  There are great reads in the blogosphere at SMQ, M Zone, and EDSBS. Reading their coverage will get you ready for today.

Enjoy the day.  I will put up a weekend open thread later today.