So you’re Karl Dorrell, you’ve got the No. 11 team in the country at UCLA, 1o returning starters on an excellent defense and you’ve got a nice little out of conference cupcake in 0-2 Utah before returning home for the start of conference play. No problem motivating your team for this one right? Uh, wrong.
UCLA got absolutely crushed by the Utes this weekend, losing 44-6 to a hapless team that had dropped consecutive games to Oregon State and Air Force. Ouch. The Bruins really do have a good defense, but Dorrell, who’s never seemed like a guy that’s any good at motivating people, somehow couldn’t get them to play up to par (or anything close to it) against Utah. They gave up 386 total yards to a team that only gained 196 against Oregon State.
The big problem for the Bruins wasn’t their defense’s absolute collapse. It was their offense’s inability to hang on to the ball and the countless mental mistakes that good coaches eliminate. Dorrell is supposed to be an offensive coach, but it seems like he has a new offensive coordinator every year (this year the victim is Jay Norvell, after Jim Svoboda was fired following last season) and since the departure of Maurice Jones-Drew, they haven’t had anything that resembles a solid offense. On Saturday they had three interceptions and two fumbles, and were shut out 30-0 in the second half. Quarterback Ben Olson, the consensus top recruit in the nation out of high school in 2003, was 20-40 for 290 and three INTs. He spent most of the afternoon under pressure or on his back. The Bruins also showed their lack of focus, poise and discipline by getting flagged for 10 penalties.
The little games on your schedule are often the most important and the fact that Dorrell – who looks shockingly like Laterrian Wallace of Real World/Road Rules Challenge fame – couldn’t get his team to even show up for this one is telling. You can’t get caught, especially on the road and especially against an obviously inferior opponent. And the Bruins didn’t just get caught, they got shot, stuffed and mounted by the Utes as well. When your players don’t show up for a game, there’s no one to blame but yourself Karl. And that’s why you’re the winner this week.
Apologies to O.J. Simpson this week, we just couldn’t see the value in discussing that waste of space on here again.