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The Return of SPJ

You think KD can hear the Bruins Nation? After saying for last few weeks that he may wait till end of spring (June) to name his starting quaterback, he finally saw the light (relenting to an overwhelming majority in BN?) and named the right guy as UCLA's starting QB:


AP Photo/Danny Moloshok

Jill Painter from the Daily News has the story on Dorrell's "audible":

UCLA coach Karl Dorrell called an audible Thursday and named Ben Olson the starting quarterback.

It was no surprise that Olson won the job, but an announcement wasn't expected until after tonight's spring game. Dorrell and his staff apparently had seen enough from Olson and Patrick Cowan.

"We felt it was a good time to do it," Dorrell said. "We found out all the information we needed. We're really fortunate to have two caliber guys in our program. Ben was more consistent. He had a higher completion percentage and was a little more productive. That's the difference. We're ready to move forward."

At least one player had no idea Dorrell named a starting quarterback, and he was in team meetings Thursday. It was unclear if the team was told of the decision but the quarterbacks found out Thursday.

Dorrell did not make either quarterback available to the media.

Dorrell said Olson's completion percentage — which he wouldn't reveal — was higher than Cowan's but he wouldn't say by how much. The difference is believed to be big, especially because the decision was made before the most important day of spring.
I found the comment about the player who was present in the team meeting not knowing about this decision kind of odd (then again I find lot of things Dorrell does to lead/manage his program odd).

For instance Dorrell wouldn't reveal the completion percentage of his QBs. That is again pretty remarkable contrast from Howland's comments to press, can just dish out whenever asked not only FG% of every one of his players, but any germane statistics to Ben Ball (such as the number of charges they take). Again can't help but notice presence of these two coaches when they talk to the media.

Anyways there are some numbers out there that allows us to discern the performances of SPJ and St. Patrick this spring. SPJ's numbers (the ones that are available) are better:
The Bruins, who will hold their spring game tonight at 7 at Spaulding Field, scrimmaged twice with Olson holding a significant statistical edge. The left-hander completed 6 of 11 passes for 100 yards with one interception in the first and 4 of 9 for 28 yards and two touchdowns in the second. Cowan hit just 2 of 8 passes for 7 yards in the first scrimmage and was 2 of 8 for 40 yards in the second. He did not throw a touchdown pass.

Olson held an edge in seven-on-seven and team periods during the week, as well.

"At this point he's been more accurate as a passer, he's done the things we've asked him to do to run the offense, he's moved the team in scrimmages,'' offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said.
Sounds good to me. Now Olson needs to get majority of reps during practices, stay focused through the summer, and make sure he is totally ready when the team comes back in August to make its expected run to the Pac-10 championship. SPJ can't get too comfortable though. Per LAT apparently KD is leaving himself room to flip flop on his "audible":
Dorrell avoided characterizing the decision as final. Asked whether he might change his mind if Cowan outplays Olson when fall practice begins, Dorrell said, "Let's get to the fall."
So there you have it. SPJ has returned as the starter of the UCLA football program. But it's not a permanent thing yet because KD may just switch his mind after fall practice. Thank goodness for decisive and strong leadership at the top of Bruin football program.

Anyways for now let's enjoy SPJ's return. If you guys are heading out to Spalding field tonight (7pm kickoff) take some pictures, give us some reports. Apparently Morgan Center is renting three additional sets of bleacher seats to accommodate a crowd of 2,000. Have fun guys.

GO BRUINS.