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A BLOWOUT Satuday Roundup & Notes

Finally. Game Day. And the LA Times procrastinates and waits till the opening Saturday to unveil its college football (UCLA) preview section to go over topics everyone has already discussed and gone over ad nauseum last few months. Check out the first sentence in Chris Foster's UCLA preview:

If not now, when?
You wonder where that phrase originated?. Here is Foster's big picture article on Karl Dorrell:
The consistency of Dorrell's previous seasons was inconsistency. He has a 29-21 record that includes a 10-2 season in 2005, when the Bruins won their first eight games before doing a belly flop in a 52-14 loss to Arizona. He has hired 10 assistant coaches in the last two seasons.

Dorrell's bowl stops have been in San Francisco, El Paso, Las Vegas and San Jose, far from Main Street BCS.

Ed Kezirian, UCLA's assistant director of academic services, has as many bowl victories as Dorrell. Kezirian was interim coach for the 2002 Las Vegas Bowl.

It can be said to this point that Dorrell has been molding a program in his own image, but the final exam for that ceramics class comes this season.
The article has an eye opening remark from Donahue, which I covered in a separate diary. It turns out that not only was the guy a mediocre head coach, but he turns to be a shameless, lying, scumbag apologist. The article also confirms that the relationship between DG and Dorrell was strained following the Eric Scott fiasco, which is a very good thing to hear. It is comforting to hear that DG, despite his public statements in the background, has sent signals to Dorrell that he may not be totally happy with the shenanigans that have been going on in his program for last four years. So the heart of it is that Dorrell now has to win early, win big, and win often to produce a huge season.

As for the game itself, the obvious story line is the offense. Here is Dohn:
"There are some obvious reasons why we'll be better," Olson said. "We worked hard and coach Norvell has brought a different attitude to the offensive side of the ball, as far as demanding and fine-tuning the details. He demands you know what you're doing, and every guy is accountable for what they're doing out there."

UCLA's defense should be superb under second-year defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, as his senior-laden group looks to lock down a Stanford offense that allowed 50sacks, and averaged 2.1 yards per carry and 10.6 points per game last season.

UCLA beat Stanford 31-0 and allowed 166 total yards last season, and not even the installation of first-year coach Jim Harbaugh's version of the West Coast offense should alter that.

So UCLA's offense will be closely dissected as it goes against a revamped defense. The Cardinal allowed 31.4 points per game, 4.9 yards per rush and 387.5 yards of offense last season while running a 3-4 defense. First-year defensive coordinator Scott Shafer brought his 4-3 defense from Western Michigan, which ranked first in the nation with 24 interceptions and 46sacks last season.

But UCLA's defenders aren't concerned about how their offense will perform.

"The offense definitely worked hard in the offseason, and we know they're going to be really good," UCLA free safety Dennis Keyes said. "You can tell in practice by how much harder we have to work. We really have to work hard against them."
Well how are we going to know whether all that hard work last few weeks meant something, Markey clues us in:
The plan is simple today.

"We want to execute everything perfectly and blow out Stanford," UCLA tailback Chris Markey said.
Chris Markey is not the only player making this kind of bold statement. Here is preview from the OC Register in which Kuwada reports UCLA is looking to make "a statement":
"It can't be a façade, in a sense, because it looks good in the first game. But you don't really bury anything,'' Van said. "You don't really prove it to people and you let it slowly just grow back up on you and we can't have that this year.''

Given their problems in the past - UCLA was leading at halftime last year in four of their losses - at Washington, at Notre Dame against Washington State and in the Emerald Bowl loss to Florida State, and within four at Cal - defensive end Bruce Davis was asked if this were a dangerous game for the Bruins. It drew a quizzical look.

"This is a dangerous game for Stanford because we're hungry,'' he said. "We're definitely hungry. It doesn't matter who steps out there. It could be a team of first graders. If they're man enough to step out on the field against us, were going to go after them. We're going to go straight for the throat. It definitely is going to be an exciting game and I expect a lot out of our team, both offensively and defensively. It's going to be fun to watch.''
In other we should all expect a long day for Stanford players such as Mark Bradford who thought about being a Bruin.

We need a blow out win to get this party started. Will have the open game thread later today. Its go time folks.