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Roundup: A 'Deceptive' Win

It looks like you all have done an awesome job of articulating what has been going through my head after watching last night's ugly win. Please keep the posts coming guys. Your thoughts give all of us sanity as we wade through some of the nonsense we read through the MSM every day wrt to UCLA football.

As expected players and coaches' quotes have shown up all over the local players, blowing up another meaningless win over a pathetic lower tier Pac-10 program that UCLA should cream 9 out of 10 times.

Anyone who watched that game last night knows what an ugly performance it was until when Oregon State decided to self destruct in spectacular fashion in the fourth quarter. Dohn to his credit called the 40-14 score "deceptive" aptly describing how the Beavers gift wrapped a UCLA win:

Breazell turned the game with his catch, breaking of a tackle and running, but Oregon State (2-3, 0-2) placed the pretty blue and gold bow on the win with its inability to handle a rudimentary kickoff.

After Breazell's touchdown, Oregon State's Gerard Lawson fumbled the kickoff and Matt Slater fell on it.

"The ball was just laying there," Slater said. "I couldn't believe he didn't make an attempt to get back on it, or nobody else was there to get on it. I just hopped on it, and it was like, `Happy birthday.' It was just sitting there."

Three plays later Kahlil Bell, who fumbled on UCLA's first two offensive plays (the second of which was returned 33 yards by Al Afalava for a touchdown), finished the drive with a 4-yard run to give UCLA a 26-14 lead.

Lawson then fumbled on the next kickoff, which was recovered by Rodney Van on Oregon State's 39. After four Chris Markey runs, Olson connected with Breazell for a 30-yard score.

"We came through when it mattered the most, and that's the most important thing," Olson said. "We just wore them down, plain and simple. Out there at the end, we were playing harder than they were."

In 2 minutes, 45 seconds, UCLA scored 21 points and turned a 14-12 offensive mess into a 33-14 lead, which made it seem ancillary the Bruins didn't have a first down until the 8:35 mark of the second quarter.

The Beavers demonstrated losing last week's 19-0 lead at Arizona State wasn't a one-time trick.
Yet it didn't stop the players from blowing up this win:
`'This is the most hostile territory I think I've been in and just to hear 45,000 people just shut up instantly is the most amazing feeling,'' defensive end Bruce Davis said.
First of all it looked a environment from JC game where the home team couldn't actually fill out its 45,000 capacity stadium. Per the official attendance figure 41,137 not 45,000 bought ticket for that game, and the way stadium looked on television, I wonder if the actual attendance figure broke 40,000. Yet there was Davis and Brown (who to his credit did his job in terrorizing the arguable the worst quarterback in the Pac-10) weren't shy about painting what should be a routine victory for a Pac-10 championship caliber team into a "huge" one. Whatever.

These guys were probably taking their cue from their overhyped coordinator who also didn't waste any time in taking credit for this deceptive win:
"We really talked about redeveloping this defense," coordinator DeWayne Walker said. "There was talk about all the starters we had coming back. The first four weeks didn't look right. We challenged some guys, put the heat on guys, and they responded."
Uh yeah. So Walker is talking about his players responding 4 games into the season against a team UCLA dominates no matter who is the DC. We will see what kind of soundbites he comes up after the games against Cal and Oregon, teams that will come at us with vaunted spread Os, which he still hasn't shown any ability to solve.

Also worth noting from Dohn's article linked above:
"A little birdie told us they were going to try and establish the run," UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker said. "We knew they wanted to try and protect the quarterback a little bit. They like to throw the ball a little bit, but I think they tried to take a little heat off him."
Not exactly what he means by "little birdie," but I bet the SID from Corvallis might want to look that into a little more.

In any event, I think it will be foolish to take too much out of this defensive performance and the one we will surely see this coming Saturday, when our defense will expectedly pulverize a pathetic Irish games. Again these performances will mean nothing if they all get blown up by the offenses designed by Tedford and Bellotti.

Meanwhile, DeWayne's boss is nowhere to be found in LA area papers today. Its really weird. I have not see any major quotes from the Sleeping Beauty in any of the main LA papers this morning (if I have missed something please share them in this thread). However, what I did find was this usual satiric piece from Simers meant to agitate the Dorrell critics - that's us. I think Simes is trying to make the point that Dorrell is not out there making the plays or botching them, but missed the central point that it was a Dorrell led team that came out looking unprepared, not focused, looking hapless against a team they are supposed to dominate if the players performed up to their potential. Simers then went on to provide a disturbing quote from Guerrero:
"You could sense the confidence of the whole team; it was one of those games where you needed great technical and motivational halftime adjustments," said UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, who had the choice of Riley or Dorrell. "Clearly our defense responded, and then finally we hit the home run."
OK, so you've got to worry about a former baseball player charged with the task of hiring a football coach and not understanding how the scoring works in the game, but right now up here in this Halloween outpost they would argue he got it right.

Uhm I am not sure how else to interpret that remark except that it totally misrepresents what actually happened in the game. The fact is of Oregon State had a competent QB and average special teams, they would have gone up with a bigger lead and put the game away by the beginning for the fourth quarter.

I am not sure what "confidence" DG is referring to but it is certainly not the "confidence" we see in a Ben Howland coached team, which imposes its will on the opposing team on the road during crunch time. There was nothing about last night's performance that gives any of us "confidence." To suggest such is a deep insult to the intelligence of the UCLA football community that follows this program on a day to day basis.

I do want to reiterate couple of positive notes in this roundup, which is to give huge props to Brandon Breazell and Ben Olson. Breazell has been amazing. And as Dorrelian noted early this am, Olson showed a lot yesterday. Despite being handcuffed by early turnovers, undisciplined, poorly coached OL that was killing drives, and providing him with no protection, he hung in there, took his shots, and came up with the win. And Oregon State's defense is a little better than Washington's defense that embarrassed itself at the Rose Bowl (before playing inspired against the Trojans).

Anyways, we are 4-1 on our way to 5-1. Then again as we have pointed out to before to celebrate this kind of "good start" as sign of progress in Dorrells program is nothing less than being in a state of denial. In last 4 years Dorrell's teams have started with a record of 4-2, 4-2, 6-0, and 4-2 only to fold and underachieve in the usual Dorrellian fashion every season. So to get excited about this deceptive 5-1 team after next weekend's destruction of Notre Dame, would not only be foolish but also ignorant given the Sleeping Beauty's mediocre track record in Westwood.