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Monday News & Notes

For some weird reason the Sleeping Beauty’s quotes were missing from Sunday’s papers. It seemed as if someone from Morgan Center had put on a gag order on the Thinker of college football. Well he is back. Back with his classic excuses, calling out players to explain away the mistakes and sloppiness of his joke of an offense:

All eight of UCLA's penalties were committed by the offense, all six in the second half came with the ball in Oregon State territory and UCLA did not score on any of the three second-half drives that featured penalties.

False starts were again an issue as Reed had two and tight end William Snead added another. The Bruins were also flagged for delay of game, an illegal formation and an illegal substitution.

"You just keep working on it," Dorrell said. "It's something you have to continue to address. We had a couple players in there playing for the first time, significantly. A couple times it was Micah Reed that had a couple of those penalties, and he really hasn't played all that much.

"But still, it's one of those issues we have to continue to work on to get better at, because it is something that always disrupts and offense or defense, or any area, and you just have to continue to harp on those little things to get them corrected."
Seems like no one asked the Thinker why these mistakes were taking place after a string of "good" practices, which he claimed would lead to a "great" game. No one asked him whether he though the Bruin offense had a "great" game on Saturday night?

Anyways, one kid who hung in there through all of this offensive skullduggery was none other than much maligned Ben Olson. From Dohn on how Olson was able to produce despite being handcuffed by Dorvell’s joke offensive schemes:
Olson completed 14 of 25 passes for 220 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Beavers.

And that interception was a doozy. It came on a third-and-11 from Oregon State's 17-yard line, with the Bruins trailing 14-12 late in the third quarter as Olson went to his third option for a possible 4-yard gain.

But after the interception, Olson was 4 of 6 for 115 yards and two touchdowns as the Bruins matched a school record with points in a quarter by scoring 28 in the final 15 minutes against Oregon State.

Included in Olson's fourth quarter was a magnificent 30-yard touchdown pass to Breazell.
I had one thought going through my head while watching Olson on Saturday night. I kept thinking what Olson would have been able to accomplish if he had the chance to play under coaches like Tedford and Spurrier (coaches who recruited him heavily when he decided not to return to BYU).

It is even more poignant given the kind of success Tedford is having with Nate Longshore, who like Olson is a drop back QB without a lot of mobility. Yet Tedford schemes his offense in a way that makes Longshore look comfortable, putting him in best position to connect with the weapons Tedford has sprinkled throughout the Bears’ skill positions.

Given the fact that Olson looks uncomfortable in the pocket at times, wouldn’t it make sense to perhaps roll him out to the left, get him away from the rush, and give him a clearer launch point to work with? To me it seems like Olson has the arm and touch to throw passes ranging from 15-30 yards. Doesn’t it make sense then to wrinkle in more plays (including using TEs and RBs) on first and second downs in which Olson gets to throw beyond 10 yards, instead of constantly calling for dump off passes on first and second downs, which the opposing Ds seem to snuff out even before they get started. For more on this topic make sure to read tliggett’s post in the diaries. Given the suggestions in his post, it’s clear he is more than qualified to write the advanced version of Karl’s Football 101.

Lastly, LAT has this note on our next opponent:
Notre Dame's lone winless season was in 1887 -- its first season on the field -- when the Irish lost their only game to Michigan. The Irish should win one game this season, as Navy, Air Force, Duke and Stanford are their final four games. But Notre Dame's worst record seems within reach -- the Irish were 2-8 in 1960 and 1956. History lesson: Notre Dame's Paul Hornung won the Heisman Trophy in 1956, the only player from a losing team to do so.
I am hearing we are a 22 point favorite this Saturday. Needless to say this is yet another game that doesn’t mean much. The only way this game would have some meaning is if UCLA lives up to its potential, blows out the Irish, and then come out and take care of business against Cal in two weeks. Otherwise, if this game turns out to be another listless, mistake riddled, sloppy wins like the ones Dorrell piled up against joke teams in first half of the season, it will mean nothing.