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Friday News & Notes

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Let’s start our Friday roundup by going over to Rakes of Mallow and read CW’s preview for Saturday. It’s a great read.

Meanwhile, the guys over at DumpDorrell.com has a pretty good break down of the game, keying on stat of the week:

This week's stat that will be key to our winning the game is: time of possession. Look for our Bruins to have significant time of possession advantage over Notre Dame through 3 quarters. We need time of possession advantage to win the game. If we don't have that advantage, Notre Dame can steal a win. That is key to this game for us. Notre Dame can't stop the run because they just don't have the personnel, experience or talent, on their D line. 11 freshman are getting significant playing time. They are near dead last in the country against the run (#107) allowing 210 yards per game. Our offense is averaging 199 yards per game. Although we may not have Chris Markey, we should be able to run the ball easily against the Domers. That will give our offense great time of possession. Dame's passing defense is highly ranked (#7, 149 per) simply because everyone can run on them. Their pass rush is not so good, ranked #98 in the country in sacks at 1.2 per game, and they are ranked #102 in tackles for loss.

On the other side of the ball, Notre Dame's O-line is among the worst in their history. Yesterday on the Bruin Show, Notre Dame bloggers expertly pointed out their flaws, their youth and inexperience, their size, their lack of talent. In one now famous play that encapsulates their season, the Domer bloggers recounted how Purdue had a 4-man rush against Notre Dame's 5-man front line on a 3 step drop pass play. All 4 Purdue lineman, ALL 4(!), got to the quarterback as he completed his 3rd step. There is a picture apparently on the Dame internets that shows this growing legend of a play. Notre Dame's offense is ranked dead last or near dead last in the country in nearly every category: rushing (#119), passing (#106), passing efficiency (#100), total offense (#118), scoring (#118), third down conversions (#116), tackles for loss allowed (#119) and sacks allowed (#119, almost 6 per). They also are horrible with discipline, consistent with their youth and inexperience, netting nearly 8 penalties per game (#84) for about 65 yards and -.6 in turnover margin (#88). And in time of possession they are ranked #113. Oddly, they are among the nations best at 4th down conversions at 8 for 12 (#16). Nevertheless, our defense should keep them off the field for a long time.
As DD notes we will not have Markey for tomorrow’s game. Although Markey’s absence should have no impact whatsoever on the final score of the game given the talents of Moline and Ramirez, Dohn has some disturbing details wrt to Markey’s injury:
With UCLA ahead by 19 points and less than four minutes remaining in last week's 26-point win at Oregon State, Bruins tailback Chris Markey carried three straight times to finish a scoring drive.

Instead of getting experience for sophomore tailbacks Chane Moline and Christian Ramirez, an already hurting Markey scored with 2:12 to play to put UCLA ahead 40-14.

The repercussions could be felt Saturday when the Bruins host Notre Dame at the Rose Bowl.

Bruins coach Karl Dorrell said it is "unlikely" Markey will play because of turf toe, so the inexperienced duo of Ramirez and Moline will step in of support of starter Kahlil Bell.

"I'm anxious to watch (Ramirez and Moline) play," Dorrell said. "I'm pretty confident they'll do well."

Markey, who is averaging nearly 16 carries a game, did not practice this week because of turf toe, which, according to Wikipedia, is a sprained metatarsal phalangeal joint.

After carrying three times in the first half at Oregon State, Markey took an injection in his right big toe and carried 16times in the second half. The injection numbs the pain, but can cause more damage to the injury.
I already mentioned earlier how I just don’t feel comfortable with the idea of giving athletes pain killing injections so they can get some action in the short term. I just don’t understand what exactly was the emergency for Markey to have that pain killer, given we have pretty decent talent at the RB position in Moline and Ramirez.

Moreover, having Markey in there with 2:12 to go and up by 19 points, was just asinine on the part of Karl Dorrell. It is just one more example of inexplicable decision on the part of a head coach, who has acted like a total moron on a consistent basis when it comes to "managing" this program. Its too bad its ultimately kids like Markey who ends up paying the prices of his idiotic decisions (or lack there of).

Speaking of idiotic moves Foster from the LA Times has a story on Brian Price, who thanks to Dorrell’s inability to pay attention to details is just now getting up to speed after five weeks into the regular season:
Though freshmen historically haven't played much in Karl Dorrell's tenure as head coach, expect to see more and more of Price.

"He's learning the defense and the level of play, trying to get acclimated to both at the same time," UCLA defensive coordinator Dwayne Walker said. "There's going to be an adjustment period. But he's picked up some things already. I was watching tape [Tuesday] night and going, 'Boy, look at this move, look at that move.' "

Price, who missed six weeks of practice and three games, is now second on the depth chart, behind Jess Ward, at one defensive tackle spot.

"I've been getting a good feel for college football," Price said. "The No. 1 thing in college football is it's a little faster. If I play like I can play, the way the coaches want me to play, I'll be fine."

Walker and defensive line coach Todd Howard are seeing to that.

"I've been riding him a little bit, trying to raise up his expectations," Walker said. "We raised the bar a little bit for him."

Said Price: "I still have a lot to learn. . . . Right now, the pass defense is easier for me. I'm really more of a pass rusher. But I can stop the run."
I am excited about the prospect of what Price can do under a new and competent coaching staff.

The kid Price will probably gunning after tomorrow is Jimmy Clausen, who suffered a hip injury in his last game. According to Dohn’s update Coach Weiss is saying that Clausen is moving around in a "completely normal" way. Now if Clausen gets the start tomorrow, it will be a QB matchup featuring a duel between two local stars. Here is a story on "Clausen-Olson showdown" from the 101. I sure hope the UCLA coaches use the favorable matchups in their favor, and put Olson in favorable position to get in rhythm and control the game. It should be a gimme given Notre Dame’s track record this season. Anything less would be another indictment on the failed Dorrell reign at UCLA.

GO BRUINS.