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:
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.
As for the game itself, the obvious story line is the offense. Here is Dohn:
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."
"We want to execute everything perfectly and blow out Stanford," UCLA tailback Chris Markey said.
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.''
We need a blow out win to get this party started. Will have the open game thread later today. Its go time folks.