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Gameday Roundup: Going Through The Motions

While we are all holding our collective breath over the status of our starting pg, the Bruins will be playing a meaningless football game today, which has dubbed as the bowl. Here is their reasoning for it:

We have called this game between our UCLA Bruins and the Arizona Wildcats this year's version of the Bowl - the losing coach of this game will most likely be looking for a new job at the end of the season. You may recall we picked the Arizona State game last year as the Bowl game and the losing coach, Dirk Koetter, was indeed fired after ASU lost. Dorrell, as we know, kept his job. The epilogue to that story is the kind of epilogue we have envisioned for our Bruins - ASU hired an experienced proven winning head coach in Dennis Erickson who has taken the team to an undefeated season this year thus far and a #4 ranking!!

Mike Stoops has been absolutely horrible in his stint at UofA, and they had such high hopes for him. He needs to turn this season around for his Wildcats so that they have some chance to become bowl eligible. At 3-6 (2-4) Arizona must win out to realistically make a bowl game. That seems highly unlikely to happen, but if Stoops loses against Dorrell he will lock in yet another year without making a bowl game and that might be it for him.
As for the Doofus, well we all know the big picture scenario at this point. We want him gone no matter what happens in this game or rest of the season. His players though, specially his seniors, are once again trying to circle the wagon:
"We want to win the first Pac-10 championship [at UCLA] in nine years," senior center Chris Joseph said. "That is the goal of the season, that's the thing we wear on our wrist bands. This is a championship game this week."

UCLA mantra has cast each week as a championship game, and the Bruins have lost two of their last three.

Losses to Notre Dame and Washington State were sandwiched around a meaty victory over then-10th-ranked California. Of course, like Notre Dame and Washington State, Cal now appears to be headed nowhere after three consecutive losses.

The Bruins can go in another direction, with the starting point a victory over Arizona, the easiest task remaining on the schedule. UCLA's last three games are against sixth-ranked Arizona State, fourth-ranked Oregon and 13th-ranked USC.

"Our opportunities to go out there and play this great game, at this great school, are winding down," senior cornerback Trey Brown said. "You kind of got that feeling where it's time now to make this go, it's time to make this thing happen."

For themselves and Dorrell?

Said Davis: "I want for him to be here and be around to take control of this program."
This is coming from a guy who was talking about UCLA playing for the BCS championship (not the Pac-10 one) before the Washington State game and who was alleged put under a gag order. Whatever.

Bruce Davis sounds just like Earl Watson from the Lavin years, completely ignorant and unaware of the big picture. It's a shame. He is a very good player and good athlete. But the way he has associated himself with this coaching staff, I will always have a hard time thinking of him as some great Bruin.

Back to the game day stories. Dohn has a report on what sounds like to me as if the players are going through the motions:
With Aleksey Lanis scheduled to start at left tackle, UCLA will have its sixth combination of starters on the offensive line in nine games, despite having only left guard Shannon Tevaga miss a start because of injury.

"As an offense, we've just been looking at the film and watching all the missed opportunities we have had," UCLA receiver Terrence Austin said. "You don't really see all the missed opportunities we had when the game is played, but when you come back and watch (the film), it definitely is something you see."

Were the mistakes different in any of the losses?

"No," Austin said. "Same exact stuff."

UCLA right tackle Brian Abraham said he believes the solution to playing better is to execute better in practice.

"You do it bad in practice, over and over again, without fixing it, it's going to be bad in the game," Abraham said. "We have to come out (in practice) and if something's wrong, we have to fix it (in practice) and get it done before the game."
Uhm Brian, obviously you guys haven't gotten "it done" for last 4+ years. So pardon us for not holding our breath to find out whether you will get "it done" in next few weeks. We simply do not care much at this point.

If you want to read more about today's game here coverage from What's Bruin, LAT I, LAT II, and the DN.

I am obviously expecting a huge win despite all the litany of excuses the beat reporters cut and pasted into their reports. We have those magic wristbands, remember?

The game thread will go up in a bit.