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Just Another Dorrellian Sunday

Looks like Meriones has done a great job of articulating all the positives, negatives, and questions from yesterday's Dorrellian performance.  To follow up on his takes, I wanted to offer up some of my thoughts focusing on the themes that are going through my mind today:

Getting Better:

Again here was Karl before the BYU game:

"This is a good week to get better."
I don't think I need to insult anyone's intelligence by listing numbers from the Stanford and BYU games to analyze whether Karl's team got "better." From Steve Dilbeck in the Daily News :
The Bruins couldn't pass much, couldn't run much, couldn't sustain a whole lot of anything.

"It wasn't our best performance offensively," said UCLA coach Karl Dorrell. "We can do a lot better on every aspect.

"There were a lot of things we left on the field that we need to get corrected. Our offense is still evolving into the offense that we're hoping it will be."

Yep, there is always evolution.
Evolution? I thought it was all about the installation. There is not much to add to this point wrt to Dorrell.

I have browsed through the message boards already. As someone already pointed out in the comment threads, his apologists are blaming everyone - coordinators, coaches, players (heck some even are calling out the students for not showing up early) - except for Dorrell.

It is the same pathetic routine that Michigan football culture went through wrt to Lloyd Carr before completely cratering into the abyss this season (just like Lavin's last season at UCLA).

Blaming Olson

Speaking of our offense, I will zero in on the dominant topic of this Sunday. Ben Olson right now is the easy target for not just Dorrell apologists. A lot of folks are unhappy with his inconsistent performance from yesterday which resurrected the memories of the Rice, Stanford, and Washington games from last season. But I will ask the same question I posed last season: whose responsibility is to put Olson in an offensive scheme that takes best advantage of his physical talent and also game plan accordingly?

Does anyone here actually believe if we had Booty, Longshore or Carpenter, it would have made a difference in our offense? And if anyone here is actually dumb enough to pine for Patrick Cowan, just look up the Florida State game and replay the second half (while you are at it, you can also look at the tapes of the Notre Dame and Washington State games too).

Maybe, just maybe, things would be have been a little difference if the combination of Dorvell had enough sense to recognize that it was Kahlil Bell who had the hot hand early in the first half. Wouldn't it have more sense that, instead of just sticking with the rotation of Bell and Markey, our coaches gave Bell extra carries in the second half? It was Bell who was hitting the holes lot harder and running with more determination. Maybe it would have made sense to have him out there in 3rd quarter, running over the Cougars, putting the Bruins in short yardage situations, and giving Olson a better hand to manage the game, instead of having him operate out of typical 3rd and long situations?

Another note that is worth mentioning on Olson. If you look back at the game tapes, you will see the difference between the read of progressions between Hall and Olson. Many times, Hall would be going through his reads, checking off his first and second options, before going to his 3rd. In comparison, there was Olson, locking into his first receiver and then throwing at him after he seemed open (instead of throwing at him while the receiver was in his route). The timing was completely off. I don't know, to me, that is something that has to do with coaching schemes, and how coaches prepare their students with schemes and techniques.

Max Hall came across as the better coached and prepared quarterback. While Olson ... I don't think I have to finish the sentence. I am pretty sure, at this point, if we had John Elway out of high school, "learning" and "growing" under KD, he would come across as the less prepared quarterback against Max Hall.

The way some people are coming down on Olson reminds me of the losers who used to come down on Ced Bozeman for not being a good point guard, instead of focusing their fire on Lavin. [Note I am not talking about the on-point observations by M and some others on BN who are zeroing on Olson's techniques. I am talking about certain blowhards who are making blanket assertions that Olson will never be a good college QB]

So people who are saying Olson will never be a good QB, need to lay off him. It's not his fault that he is saddled with mediocre (some would say shitty) coaching.

Player Rotation

So, Dorrell seemingly scapegoated D J McCarthy, the former WR coach out of Westwood because apparently he used a hockey style substitution pattern last year, paying no attention to getting the most talent on the field or involving players who had the hot hand.

So, my question is, why did it take so long to get Gavin Kethcum into action?

Do we have TEs on our team? Do we? Because I thought getting our TEs into the mix is one of the big parts of the WCO? I am speaking as a Niner fan who grew up watching the WCO and seeing TEs like John Frank and Brent Jones hauling down one clutch catch after another and scoring money TDs. So where were our TEs?

And, on this topic, I will reiterate the point I mentioned above: why wasn't Bell used a little more since he had the hot hand? Where was Ramirez?

I mean, was KD was watching the same game the rest of us were watching? Did he take the time to suggest to his latest scoapegoat OC during half time that perhaps it would be a good idea to give Bell few more carries in the 3rd quarter?

Where the F was KD during the game and WTF was he actually doing?

BYU Coaches Out-scheme (Over-hyped) Walker

It was two senior stars of our defense who won us the game. If not for Trey Brown and Bruce Davis, we'd have our first series of diaries this Sunday on coaching candidates for this December. But what struck me from yesterday was our how helpless our defense looked against BYU's offense in the second half.

I mean we had Max Hall getting a first down from 2nd and 19. Our zone blitzes were, except for couple of uber athletic efforts from Bruce Davis, essentially worthless. Hall was OJing up our secondary at will.  Everyone except Trey Brown in the defensive backfield looked lost. Horton and Keyes were finding themselves out of position. And I am not sure our CBs were laying a finger on BYU receivers at LOS.

Watching our defense last night reminded me of those Kerr coached defenses when we were left hoping and praying for turnovers, lucky breaks and penalties and waiting for the other team to stop themselves, when it looked liked our defense was not going to do much to stop them from imposing their will, and drive into the end zone. It was pathetic.

And I am not going to buy the excuse of DL losing its effectiveness because of Harwell's injury. We have a deep enough DL that his replacements should have stepped up. And there was the usual preseason horseshit we were fed about our players OMG being faster, quicker, and in more shape than ever. Fast twitch muscles baby!

So, after two games, despite all the talk, Walker looks ordinary and I'm not sure he looks good enough to coach at a MWC program.


Let me make something clear. We looked like a Dorrellian football team yesterday. But that doesn't mean we are going to lower our expectations in Dorrell's "Show Me" season. I don't care how bruised up we are. That is not going to serve as an excuse for dropping the ball next weekend against a bad team, or going into the rest of our season as we will still be favored (at least in terms of talent) against every team we take on until the last game of the season. Dorrell has to produce. Period.  And if he doesn't, and continues the put up underachieving performances like he did yesterday, he will have to take his dog and pony show somewhere else besides Westwood.

Anyways, if you want to read up more on yesterday's pathetic performance here are the reports from the LA Times and the Daily News. I didn't really feel like reading them. Because frankly I have the same feeling in my stomach this Sunday, like I do after our team loses or blows a game. In other words:

It's just another Dorrelian Sunday.