Sunday, October 28, 2007

Last One Standing

We've lost our leading passer, leading rusher, and leading receiver. Two of those three might be back, but could UCLA's offense be any more banged up at this point? Even the backups are hurt. With an always difficult game in Tuscon up next and three juggernaut offenses on the schedule to wrap-up the season, the real question is will UCLA have anyone left to suit up for those games? If you have any eligibility left, you may want to try out for the team, because there's a good chance you'll see some playing time by the end of the season.

Kalil Bell went down in the first quarter, tried to come back, and then was gone for the game. It looks like he has a tear in a ligament in his knee. Exactly how bad that injury is will be determined today after an MRI. I'm sure the news won't be good. Busted knees have kept Olson, Harwell, and Pitre sidelined for large chunks of this season. UCLA has used Bell heavily in all of it's victories, so let's hope Kalil can find his way back on the field at some point.

Markey obviously isn't close to being at 100%. He looked slow and was easily tackled. Of course, it didn't help that the O-line couldn't make a hole to save their lives yesterday. Was our entire starting line out with injury as well? No? Could have fooled me. The protection wasn't there and we couldn't even produce short gains against one of the worst defenses in the country.

Brandon Breazell has bruised ribs. He's a tough guy and I'm sure he'll try and play again next week, but you know he'll be slowed down by the pain. Too bad because he has been pretty much our only consistent play maker on offense. Terrance Austin did a pretty good job of filling in for him. I think he'll be a pretty darn good receiver for the next two years.

Pat came back to earth this week... and with a thud. That knee "fatigue" he had early this was was obviously more of an aggravation to the injury. He wasn't mobile at all. When the Cougs brought pressure, which was often, he couldn't really escape it. As the game progressed his confidence diminished and the passes got less and less accurate. It doesn't help when your receivers are dropping wide open passes either. I think Cowan could manage a game just fine, but we can't expect him to win one. Not with only a few weeks practice all season long and two leg injuries.

Unfortunately the defense isn't in any better shape. Nickola Dragovic, Christian Taylor, Jess Ward, and Chane Moline were sorely missed. WSU ran for 274 yards when they were only averaging somewhere around 75 yards a game. That may have actually hurt the Cougars as they had long drives that didn't end in a lot of points. Half way through the 4th quarter they were still only up by less than one touchdown. UCLA's defense gave up two late TDs but they got absolutely no help from the offense. Zero.. zilch. They were on the field for 38 minutes in that game.

If you are Jay Norvell what do you do at this point? Can you run with a banged up Markey and a schizophrenic offensive line? If Bell isn't back then you need a second back to fill his minutes. Chane Moline manged 5 yards on 4 attempts, including two loses on third and short. I think I understand a little better why Karl Dorrell didn't go for it on 4th and 1 against California. You can't throw with Cowan, that's for sure. It's time for the coaches to dig deep this week and think outside the box. I mean really deep... and outside of that very small box they seem to have.


Anonymous said...

Once the coaching staff knew that Markey wasn't effective, why can they put Christian Ramirez in? The play calling by Novell was too predictable. How many times during the game that on a short yardage he put Moline? The entire Cougars defense knew that we were going to hand off to Moline on short yardage. He needs to mix it up on his play calling or the package he put on the field.

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