The Sleeping Beauty's job of improving his record to 3-1 today has become easier. As noted in our diaries and Jake over at Building The Dam Oregon State have lost one of their most explosive weapons - Senior All America returner/receiver Sammie Stroughter - for our game and possibly rest of the season with a bruised kidney. We wish Sammie speedy recovery from his injury. But this should make today's job even more manageable for our much hyped defensive unit, which simply hasn't lived up the expectations to this point of the season.
Elsewhere, the LA Times notes how Dorrell is feeling the pressure:
"You wouldn't understand," he said, adding, "It's Football 101."
The Bruins' course curriculum was better expressed by quarterback Ben Olson.
"The season is still young, but we need the victory bad," said Olson, who was held out of UCLA's victory over Washington last week with concussion-like symptoms. "And we want to go up there and make a statement."
Well Olson and his offensive team-mates will have somewhat of a challenge against a Beaver defense which has racked up some good numbers by playing teams such as Idaho State and Utah. But according to the Times our offense sounds prepared:
Still, the Bruins had two 100-yard rushers against Washington -- Chris Markey with 193 yards and Kahlil Bell with 109. Bell is the Pacific 10 Conference's third-leading rusher, averaging 110.5 yards.
"We definitely had better preparation last week than the week before," center Chris Joseph said. "We knew what to expect. That took the mental aspect out of it, where we didn't have to think about it on the field. We could just go out there and perform athletically and read our keys."
Though it leads the conference in sacks, the Oregon State defense is giving up 259 yards a game through the air. That would seem to indicate Bruins quarterback Ben Olson will have opportunities to shake off back-to-back poor games against Brigham Young and Utah.
Speaking of our offense, Dohn has actually a decent article on Olson this morning, in which he shared these interesting stats:
Palmer, the USC quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy as a senior, completed 63.3 percent of his passes, and threw eight interceptions and seven touchdowns in his first eight starts.
In McNown's first eight starts, he threw three touchdowns, eight interceptions and completed 51.1 percent of his passes. And Anderson's (Darek Anderson from Oregon State) first eight starts included 17 touchdowns (15 against Temple, UNLV, Fresno State and Eastern Kentucky), six interceptions, and a completion percentage of 48.4.
And Cowan, whom some Bruins fans are clamoring for because of his ability to avoid the rush but is out for at least three more weeks with a knee injury, completed 51.5 percent of his throws for 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his nine starts.
Another aspect working against Olson, and UCLA's offense overall, is Dorrell's inability to hang onto an offensive coordinator.
Jay Norvell is the fourth offensive coordinator in Dorrell's five seasons, and Olson's third in three seasons. Although UCLA is running the same complex West Coast offense, Olson and his teammates are learning a third variation of it.
To me it seems like Olson is hanging in there and doing what he can despite not getting any good coaching from a worthless staff and the added coach. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how the kid handles himself today at Corvallis. We will be rooting for them.
Lastly, I will end with these notes from a local paper in Albany, Oregon (in a profile of Trey Brown, the son of Bruin great Theotis Brown):
It has a Heisman Trophy winner in Gary Beban, two Outland Trophy winners in Jonathan Ogden and Kris Farris and a slew of All-Americans.
Former Bruins Troy Aikman, Tom Fears, (cornerback) Jimmy Johnson and Bob Waterfield are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Bruins have played in 28 bowl games, including 12 Rose Bowls. In 1954, UCLA was ranked first in the UPI poll and second by The Associated Press. The program has more top-10 AP rankings than any Pac-10 school except USC in the past 25 years.
Anyways, we will have the game thread up later today. Bruins need to blow out the Beavers.