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Notes On Oregon State

As I mentioned yesterday we own Oregon State. I should have added that we own Mike Riley too:

Riley? He's 0 for 8 against UCLA, including a somewhat surprising 0-4 when he was assistant head coach/offensive coordinator under John Robinson at USC from 1993 to 1996.

"I knew somebody would notice that," Riley said. "I mean, four years at USC. . . . can you believe that? . . . I think it's hopefully about time."
And yet this guy was one of the finalists for the UCLA job in 2002 thanks to the job search conducted by incompetent boob, Donahue shill Bob Field. Anyways ... going back to this game. For the overwhelming majority of us on Bruins Nation, we are not going to learn anything new wrt to Dorrell's coaching abilities from this game. Even if Dorrell goes on to actually put together a Pac-10 championship this season, the Utah loss will stick out like a sore thumb, and will keep the pressure on him not to produce a mediocre 6-7 win following season.

On the other hand if Dorrell loses a conference game to a lower program like Oregon State (which it hasn't lost to in almost a decade), it will effectively seal his fate at Westwood, and continue expose him as the biggest con artist/fraud posing as a head football coach of a major college program since the days of Steve Lavin.

Given the fact that this is THE YEAR for Dorrell's football program it should have no problem marching into Corvallis and man-handing an erratic and mediocre Oregon State football program, which is coming off a Dorrellian choke job against Arizona State (wasting a 19-0 first quarter lead last weekend losing 44-32) and has a less than impressive record of 2-2.

It's 2 victories came against Idaho St (a 61-10 pounding that totally pounded their stats) and oh yes a 24-7 victory of Utah. But then again don't be impressed with Utah (you shouldn't be unless your last name ends with Dorrell or you happen to be one of his cultists more interested in his future than the future of UCLA football) considering they followed up their 44-3 blasting of Dorrell's best team forevah with a 0-27 humiliation against UNLV.

Their special team is a total joke:
The Beavers are near the bottom of the Pac-10 in kickoff returns, punt returns, and net punting, where OSU is No. 9 in the conference and No. 113 among 119 Football Bowl Subdivision schools. . . . Riley said placekicker/punter Alexis Serna was having one of his better nights punting at ASU until he shanked a six-yard punt in the second half.

Riley said OSU's blocking on kickoff returns was poor in Tempe.

"And there have been some major blunders in the punt return game," he said, noting two fumbles this season by Sammie Stroughter.
And these guys are absolutely terrible in terms of taking care of the ball (from the same link):
Staggering turnover totals: OSU quarterbacks have been intercepted an FBS-leading 13 times in four games. . . . The Beavers are tied for 118th nationally in turnovers lost (16), and they are 113th in turnover margin (minus-2 per game).

"It sounds like two years ago," said Riley. "We've got to turn that around. In the games we've lost (turnovers) just hit you right between the eyes. A productive offensive game doesn't mean anything when you give them the football back like we do."
So with that in mind here is a look at the matchup between the Beaver offense and perhaps the most hyped defense of the Pac-10 conference coming into this season. [Numbers from Pac-10]

Bruin Defense v. Beaver Offense

Bruin Defense 07 Rank Per Game Beaver Offense 07 Rank Per Game
Rushing Defense 3 85.5 Rushing Offense 7 160.5
Pass Defense 10 304.2 Pass Offense 2 289.8
Pass Eff. Defense 6 125.7 Pass Eff. Offense 10 110.4
Total Defense 6 389.8 Total Offense 4 450.2
Scoring Defense 7 27.2 Scoring Offense 7 30.0

If our defense has truly atoned for their disgusting performance against Utah, they should come out like gangbusters on Saturday and just demolish the Beavers.

This means shutting down their running attack of Yvenson Bernard and tee of their new quarterback Sean Canfield. BTW everyone is talking about UCLA's QB shuffle. No one in the traditional media has taken note of the fact that this will be 5th straight game in which our D will be taking on an offense with a different starting QB from last season.

This will be a big time game for our secondary which to date has been a huge disappointing coughing up a Pac-10 leading 304.2 yards per game. And this could be the perfect game for them to ?make a move.? As mentioned above Oregon state QB are leading the nation with 13 picks, an average bunch that includes Sean Canfield who is tied for most interceptions (9 picks) in the country.

On the UCLA side Horton and Keyes have continued to be disappointing. Sure Keyes had the 60 yard pick 6 against the Huskies, but he was subsequently burned for huge players. I figure given the propensities for Oregon St QBs to turn the ball over at such a rapid, this would be the game for these guys to get back in groove.

Last year DeWayne Walker was able to scheme well against Riley?s predictable offense. Bruin DL dominated the OSU?s OL, generated lot of pressure on Moore to make him look like the MM we all saw in the Dorrellian offense. We?d expect the same kind of performance from our D, if things as Dorrell claims have been ?fixed? since the Washington game.

And now lets look at the numbers on how the Dorrellian O matches up against the Beaver D:

Bruin Offense v. Beaver Defense

Bruin Offense 07 Rank Per Game Beaver Defense 07 Rank Per Game
Rushing Offense 4 216.0 Rushing Defense 1 29.5
Pass Offense 7 226.5 Pass Defense 7 259.5
Pass Eff. Offense 8 117.6 Pass Eff. Defense 8 135.7
Total Offense 5 442.5 Total Defense 1 289
Scoring Offense 6 30.5 Scoring Defense 4 23.8

I think if there was something somewhat encouraging from last weekend?s game, it was the play of our offense line. Now granted they were going up against a pathetic Husky defense, but still I will give them some credit for absolutely overwhelming (albeit a tired) Husky line even after Cowan went down. They were so dominant that the Law Firm didn?t have to throw a single pass once he came in.

Coming into this game the OL will get a chance to show if they have made actual progress by going up against a decent Oregon State defense that is currently leading the league in run defense. But then again we have to keep in mind to date they have taken on some really mediocre teams (the exception here being ASU which is somewhat unproven as well).

If UCLA is supposed to have a Pac-10 champion caliber football team it should be able to mount a credible rushing attack against a team that is leading the league in rush defense while giving Olson enough protection and time to get in rhythm. Again it is worth repeating what Bell told to the LAT earlier this week:

"If we can go out and establish ourselves and be physical from the jump, we can just grind teams," said Bell, who is third in the Pac-10 in rushing at 110.5 yards per game. "Then we come back and throw the ball, too. That's pretty hard to stop.

"It's all in the mind-set. Once we get the mind-set that we are the best team in this conference, that we can run the ball, that we can pass the ball, that we can do anything we want to do at will, then we're going to be a pretty good team."
And of course we are sure out esteemed Sleeping Beauty is on the players to make sure they are in the right ?mind-set? now that he has decided to take matters upon himself (!) for the first time in five years.

We should expect a UCLA offense that comes out firing in all cylinders, dominating the LOS, grinding down the Beaver defense, opening up huge holes for Bell and Markey, while giving Olson enough time and protection to get in rhythm.

If the Bruins truly want to make statements that they are a team to be reckoned with then they should come out this Saturday and improve upon last weekend?s undisciplined and penalty ridden performance when they had to depend on a momentum changing pick-6 to get themselves going at home.

There will be no excuses for a sleep walking performance this Saturday.