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Remembering Utah

Let me reiterate what I wrote in my last post. Not only I am expecting a UCLA win tomorrow, I am predicting it as well. Right now it is too easy to predict an inevitable loss after the Cal win last Saturday. It will conveniently fit into the convenient narrative that Dorrell team is having a roller coaster season. However, I think all of our players are hearing the conventional wisdom that we are going to lose tomorrow. So, my hunch is they are going to come out on an emotional high with a chip on their shoulder at Pullman, and anxious to prove everyone wrong. They are going to come out and do what they can to show that they haven’t forgotten about Utah. Check out these comments in the LAT today which counters what Trey Brown had been saying earlier in the season about how he had put the Utah loss behind him:

Playing Washington State on Saturday gives the Bruins a familiar feeling. A road game against a weaker opponent that is having all manner of trouble in recent weeks. Utah, anyone?

"The Utah game helps us remember to stay focused on not playing down to anybody's level," wide receiver Brandon Breazell said. "We've got to play like a Bruin."

UCLA faced a winless, injury-depleted Utah team the third week of the season and lost, 44-6. Now the Bruins face a Washington State team that has given up an average of 43 points in losing its last four games.

"We have to remember what happened in Utah," guard Shannon Tevaga said.
It is interesting to me who is talking to the press these days. No Trey Brown and apparently no Bruce Davis (thankfully now under a gag under) either. Regardless, I do believe we are going to pull out a win tomorrow, which will further fuel a faux narrative that somehow Dorrell has figured out how to inspire the team (again conviently sweeping last 4+ years of baggage under the rug).

Another factor that is fueling my expectation/prediction of a win, the health of Cowan. Per Dorrell PC is almost 100%:
Cowan normally wears a knee brace but removed it for the first drills, which were quarterbacks doing light throwing and practicing their hand signals in a hurry-up offense. He replaced the brace for the remainder of practice and Dorrell liked what he saw.

"You watch him running around and he can do all those things," Dorrell said. "He has all of his mobility, but we just want to make sure he's 100% ready to go on Saturday."
And they just has an "excellent practice"!
A day after sending the assistants away from the post-practice huddle and speaking at length with his team about focus during practice, Dorrell said saw the desired results in Thursday's practice.

"Excellent practice," Dorrell said. "Good work (for) special teams, offense, defense. I think our focus is getting where I want it to be, and that's what we discussed (Wednesday) after practice, what we needed to have on a great Thursday, and we did that. I'm really happy with the progress."
We are making progress. Turing that corner. Moreover, judging from Dorrell’s comments in the LAT story we have also thoroughly scouted the Cougs!:
"We're fully anticipating anything and everything in a game like this," he said.

"They've lost four games in a row and I'm sure they're going to try and make some things happen. They're coming off a bye, so there's a lot of things they can do differently that we haven't seen."
See there you go. He sounds ready. Doesn’t he?So the players are keeping Utah in mind. Cowan is healthy. Dorrell is just totally prepared.

We are soooo going to destroy the Cougars tomorrow! These guys have me all fired up.

Come on now. Can’t you feel the excitement around our football program?