Saturday, December 1, 2007

Winning the War

The game against SC went down pretty much as everyone expected. The UCLA defense played pretty well and our offense was atrocious. The silver lining should come tomorrow or Monday when Dan Guerrero final puts an end to the Karl Dorrell era. While the Trojans may have won this battle, UCLA will hopefully win the war with a new coach.

When the Bruin defense held Booty and the Trojan offense to a 3-and-out on the first series, it looked like UCLA had come to play. Austin picked up the punt around midfield and the Bruins were in position to start their first series in SC terrirority. That was until he fumbled. Another big defense stop a few plays later on 4th down and the Bruin defense was feeling its oats. Then came the Markey fumble. So a big pass and a dive in the end zone later and the Trojan's "first drive" ended in a touchdown thanks to the UCLA offense.

It really was a tale of three teams out there. The UCLA defense, the USC Trojans, and that abysmal lot of players that was also wearing blue-and-gold. It seemed like the UCLA offense was desperately trying to lose that game. Their first 6 series ended in 5 punts and a fumble. They ended up committing 4 turnovers and you're not going to beat too many teams playing like that, but especially a #8th ranked Trojan team in the Coliseum.

Really, USC wasn't all that dominating. The Bruin defense held them to only one touchdown in the entire second half. If UCLA under Karl Dorrell had even a semblance of an offense, it could have been a close game or a Bruin victory. They didn't necessarily need a great offense or even a good one. Just an offense that is suitable for the college game and these players. One that maybe had some elements of misdirection beyond a triple/reverse fake-pass. The two reverses executed ended up being total duds with one getting canceled by illegal motion and the other ending in a poor exchange and a fumble.

The announcement that this era in Bruin football can't come soon enough. The experiment that was Karl Dorrell's reign was summed up in tonight's futility. It's too bad because I really liked Dorrell and wanted him to succeed since he is a former Bruin player. But his time has come and UCLA needs to start closing the gap with the other premier teams in the conference. Tonight was an all to painful reminder that this program still has a long way to go.

(photo credit: AP)

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