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Tuesday News & Notes: We Are In "Great Shape"!

The lead in today’s roundup will once again start with uncertain situation at QB. As of right now Dorrell is planning to start Cowan, but nothing is etched in stone yet. Dohn reports:

"If everything goes as planned, we will use (Cowan) as our starter," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said Monday. "If it doesn't go as planned, we have (McLeod Bethel-Thompson) and also we have Osaar Rasshan that we're looking at, and Chris Forcier, who we're also looking at.

"That's the scenario at quarterback."

Cowan was cleared to practice last week, but Dorrell decided to hold him out and give the medial collateral ligament more time to heal.

However, part of Cowan's game is predicated on the ability to avoid the rush and make plays out of the pocket. Dorrell said the coaching staff will pay close attention to Cowan's maneuverability the next three days.

"We'll get a chance to evaluate him during the week," Dorrell said. "That's why if everything goes according to plan, he'll be the guy to start the game.

"If not, then (Bethel-Thompson) has been our most experienced player that has played, so he'll have the opportunity to be the backup and then we'll continue to work with Osaar and Chris Forcier to get give them opportunities to play, if need be.

"All of those scenarios will work themselves out by the end of the week. The bottom line is we have to see how Pat is, from a health standpoint, and we'll make some determinations later in the week about the rest of them."
Well Pat or no Pat, Dorrell will have to win this game. Because apparently he has been out talking about winning a Pac-10 championship (emphasis mine):
"It has been a crazy football season so far," said Dorrell, laughing in disbelief about the recent tumbling acts of national title contenders USC, Cal and LSU and the unpredictable ascension of a program like South Florida. "We've hit our bumps but we're still in great shape for what we want to accomplish, which is win the Pac-10 title."

This is a critical week for Dorrell and the Bruins, who emerge from a bye week to arrive at their midseason crossroads. They are an equidistant six games from either winning a conference title or exposing a more serious crisis.

Where the Bruins go depends first upon where Dorrell points them and what Dorrell inspires them to accomplish. They should have been 6-0 now instead nursing a 4-2 mark with a blowout loss to No. 11 Utah (44-6) on Sept. 15 and an implosion defeat to the Fighting Irish.
Ok Karl. We will take you at your word and assume our team is in "great shape." If that is the case, UCLA should have no problem disposing of Cal this weekend at the Rose Bowl, and then go on to win the Pac-10. As simple as that.

Meanwhile, Chris Foster in the LA Times has a Cowan v. Olson comparison article with human interest angle, which doesn’t have to do with actual game stats, production, and record. The tone of the article is predictable depicting Olson as the reserved/older/mature guy while Cowan being the loosy/goosy/people person. None of this comparison really means much to me. I don’t really buy all that much into demeanor and how it impacts a QB’s play. From what I heard Cade McNowne was a huge pr!ck to his team-mates at times. However, it never impacted their performances during games. So spare me if I don’t get swayed by the sentiment that Cowan just may be the better option because he is more popular with his team-mates. I think given the doofus they are playing for, our entire offense is doomed no matter who is in charge. I loved this note about Cowan though:
"Pat is just the leader of weird," wide receiver Brandon Breazell said, smiling. "I mean, he goes to basketball games with a painted face."
Uhm Brandon there is nothing "weird" about going to UCLA basketball games with a painted face. You should try it sometime and find out how UCLA fans respond to a well coached team that only cares about winning, instead of spouting like an idiot about "dominating" even after losing. Anyway, going back to this weekend’s game, Dorrell had this to say about Cal’s dynamic WRs:
Cal has what might be the best group of outside receivers in the nation in DeSean Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins and Robert Jordan, who have combined to catch 90 passes for 1,065 yards.

But Dorrell is confident in the Bruins' secondary, led by senior cornerback Trey Brown, the national leader in passes defended.

"They have experience at wide receiver. We have a great deal of experience in our back end, too," he said. "We had a little bit of a rough start coverage-wise, but those things have been shored up the last couple of games and our team is playing very confident on the defensive side right now. They're excited about this challenge that's in front of them – this offense that we have to defend, that has tremendous balance. They know about those three guys in particular, so it's something that we're looking forward to."
And we are looking forward to a UCLA victory Karl. After all you have already said the team is "in great shape" to win the "Pac-10." Add to that our defense is now all "shored up." So I'd say it's a "slam dunk" (paging Mr. Tenet) we are going to win this Saturday.

As always no pressure Karl.