Because of the recent history involving Dorrell's mediocre football program, I think there are many here and elsewhere who will not be surprised if the Bruins somehow find a way to choke in this weekend's football game. I mean there are just many ready made excuses already built in for Dorrell and his little cult that show up here on BN to gloat after expected wins. Here are some excuses I will list right off the bat should the team pull a Dorrell this weekend:
- The game is in Siberia where Bruins usually lose (losing 5 of our last 7 games although the last time we went up there it was 2LiveDrew who saved Dorrell's rear end in OT in a 44-41 win.
- We are favored which means we will find a way to Dorrell it up.
- We will do a Dorrell on 4th and 1 on the Cougars 38 yard line deciding to punt instead of going for the win.
In fact going into this season I thought this was the game Bruins were going to lose (figuring there is no way UCLA would lose in "freebie" games (as Bell calls them) against Utah and ND).
Yet despite the ever present Dorrell Factor, I just don't see how UCLA can screw it up this weekend. I mean even for a Doofus like KD, it would have to be choke of colossal proportion to somehow lose this game against the Cougars.
There is only one word I can think of describe the Cougars: a joke.
They have not lived up to their moderate pre season expectations up this point of this season. In fact as Sportsline.com notes, they have been on a tailspin since their clowning of the awesome Walker defense at the Rose Bowl. From Sportsline.com:
That was the last time the Cougars had much to feel good about. They improved to 6-3 after that win and were ranked No. 25 in the nation. But they lost the following week at home to Arizona to begin a three-game, season-ending losing streak, and they have lost eight of 10 overall and all seven Pac-10 games they have played since then.
WSU coach Bill Doba has no real handle on why the Cougars have had such success against the Bruins of late. He is more worried about how his team will react after a series of tough losses, the most recent a 53-7 shellacking at Oregon on Oct. 13.
And their numbers confirm that perception of them being a weak team. With that note let's start with a look the numbers between our O v. WSU's "D" (all numbers from Pac-10):
|Bruin Offense||07 Rank||Per Game||Couger Defense||07 Rank||Per Game|
|Rushing Offense||3||181.3||Rushing Defense||9||162.3|
|Pass Offense||9||215.6||Pass Defense||9||285.3|
|Pass Eff. Offense||7||115.7||Pass Eff. Defense||10||157.6|
|Total Offense||6||396.9||Total Defense||8||447.6|
|Scoring Offense||5||28.3||Scoring Defense||10||36.9|
So the Cougars are ranked last (10th) or next to last (9th) in every major defensive categories in the Pac-10 except for total defense, in which they are ranked 8th in the conference. In other words if Dorvell’s offense cannot get it done against these guys they might as well chuck their precious bracelets at the nearest garbage dump they can find at the stadium.
From what we are hearing from Pullman Doba is planning to introduce "some whole new packages" on both sides of the ball. Uhm whatever. My hunch is he is going to have his defense sell out against the run and force Cowan or whoever is playing QB for us to beat them with a passing game. After all their vaunted secondary did have success against powerhouse like Idaho:
|Bruin Defense||07 Rank||Per Game||Couger Offense||07 Rank||Per Game|
|Rushing Defense||3||79.6||Rushing Offense||9||108.6|
|Pass Defense||5||241.3||Pass Offense||1||299.6|
|Pass Eff. Defense||4||118.4||Pass Eff. Offense||3||132.6|
|Total Defense||4||320.9||Total Offense||5||408.1|
|Scoring Defense||4||23.4||Scoring Offense||9||24.6|
Obviously you don’t need Karl’s Coaching 101 lessons to notice WSU’s offense, which despite their horrific outing against Oregon has the number 1 passing attack in the Pac-10. It will be very interesting to see how Walker’s boys handle these guys after getting worked by them last year at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA can stop the run. And despite some injury issues at our DL, we have enough depth in our front line to handle WSU’s pathetic rushing attack (9th best in the conference). The question will be how they handle the Brink and his receivers. Here they are hooking up in their home loss against the Devils:
The bottom line Bruins cannot come out like as if they are disinterested and going through motions like they did against Utah. They need to come out on fire and go for the kill right out of the game. Given what has happened to this team in the past, they shouldn’t be needing any kind of fiery pep talk at this point of the season. They will need to come out and get it done.
And I expect them to get it done given their past history. I think everyone is so expecting for them to have a letdown in this game that they will come out with a chip on their shoulder, and play like as if their hair is on hire. Kind of what happened to Lavin’s team in spring of 2001, when they finished the season on a strong note to qualify for the Dance, going all the way to Steve-16. I fully expect now that everyone is looking for the confirmation of a roller coaster narrative in the form a Dorrelian loss this Saturday, Bruins will pull out a huge win continuing the hype about faux rejuvenation of this program.
The Bruins will batter the Cougars on Saturday improving their record to 6-2 (5-0) in the conference. There will be more Dorrelistas coming out of the woodwork and there will be lot more idiots in the MSM writing about Dorrell come back stories, completely forgetting if UCLA actually played up to its talent this season, it would have been in the think of a BCS championship talk.