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Monday News & Notes

In Dorrell’s whacky world of UCLA football up continues to be down, while down continues to be up. While all of us are not feeling to good about what we saw from our Dorrellian offense last Saturday, the Thinker inexplicably is feeling good!:

So after watching the film of UCLA's 27-17 victory against BYU at the Rose Bowl, Bruins coach Karl Dorrell said Sunday he felt better than he initially did about the offense's play.

"I was concerned that we didn't have the production we had (at Stanford), and I knew it wasn't going to be similar to that, knowing the defense we were playing," Dorrell said. "As I watched the tape, there was really some small corrections, here and there, that if we had a couple of those catches early in the game, that would have started the passing game."

Olson finished 13 of 28 for 126yards, no touchdowns and an interception. But, by the coaching staff's count, five passes were dropped.

"The passing game was a little up and down," Dorrell said. "That's the one area that we have to make sure we shore up. It starts with catching the ball you get an opportunity to catch."
Okay then. I get that if the dropped passes were caught early on, things would have been different in terms of the flow of our offense.

But why then we went into the conservative mode in the 3rd quarter when our offense did nothing? Well more from Dohn:
UCLA's offense was at its worst in the third quarter. The Bruins' 20-3 lead was shaved to 20-17 as the offense ran 15 plays, got two first downs on four possessions, committed one turnover and was on the field for 6 minutes, 58 seconds in the quarter.

"We're trying to play fundamentally better, but we still had some miscommunication and some missed assignments on the offensive side that really thwarted some of our continuity offensively," Dorrell said. "We had five dropped passes, and two or three of those passes were in the early portion of the game, where if (Olson) hits those passes it could have changed the whole complexion of the game."
Miscommunication. Missed assignments. Aren’t those the reason Dorrell scapegoated fired Svoboda (alleged via text message)? What’s the excuse this year. I thought Norvell and Dorrell spoke the same WCO language? And given our players are mostly seniors or experienced starters WTF we are still having issues with communications and missed assignments?

None of the UCLA beat reporters seemed to be asking these questions. I don’t get these guys. These guys seemed to basically going through motions without any interest in calling it like it is. You want an example? Well check out this "report card’ on our game in the OC Register. Here is what Kuwada had to write about our coaching:
[O]ffensive coordinator Jay Norvell was trying some new things – they went with an empty backfield, put five outside receivers on the field at the same time. But the focus and execution of this team just isn’t there far too often and that falls to Coach Karl Dorrell and his staff. Is there any reason why the line doesn’t know who to block on any given play? Is there any reason there are so many dropped passes? Is there any reason the Cougars were able to make plays the Bruins were not? The offense was able to finish its final drive, but afterward one player was joking about those rubber bracelets that they wear with "Finish - Pac-10 champions" on them. Do they also need bracelets that remind them to start fast, play hard, focus and compete? Maybe some more direct coaching would work better.
Guess what grade Kuwada gave the coaching staff based on those points? He gave them an "A". That’s what passes for sports "reporting," and "analysis" in Southern California’s traditional media.

Anyways, moving on Dohn has this little snippet on next week’s opponent:
UCLA's next opponent, Utah, was already reeling after quarterback Brian Johnson and running back Matt Asiata were injured in the season opener at Oregon State, and now the Utes are without second-team All-Mountain West receiver Brent Casteel, who had 10 touchdowns last season. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees Saturday against Air Force.

Tommy Grady, a transfer from Oklahoma, will start at quarterback. He is 29 of 63 for 299 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown this season.

Utah is 0-2 for the first time since 2000.
In other words, UCLA should have no problem improving its record 3-0 despite the "A" level coaching of UCLA’s Dorrellian staff.

Lastly, I am sure you all know by now Bruins have moved up to number 11 in both polls. I will post our draft ballot for blogpoll early this evening with my initial thoughts. So you all can give me your feedback and thoughts on that post so that I can submit a ballot that tries to incorporate our collective take on the state of college football.