Sunday, July 23, 2006

Game Four UCLA

If there has been one team that has been a thorn in the side to the UW over the past few years it has been the UCLA Bruins. UCLA always finds a way to pull out an improbable victory against Washington exactly the moment the Huskies feel they have the game in hand. Despite the disparity in talent Washington has been able to give the Bruins everything they could handle the last few years too.

This year should be different.

Coach Dorrell cleaned house with his staff last season despite having a 10-2 record, and flirting with a BCS bid. He wants to upgrade the defense which was one of the worst in the conference last year despite the glittery record.

The Bruins have talent as always, being located in Los Angeles, but this years team is definitely a rebuilding effort. Drew Olsen, Mercedes Lewis, and Maurice Drew have all moved on. The Offense will be led by Ben Olsen the transfer from BYU who hasn't played in a game for five years. The Bruins will be doing a casting call for RB's and should be able to assemble a credible stable to run the ball led by Jr. Chris Markey. On the offensive line, the Bruins will be solid bolstered by excellent recruiting classes over the past three years.

Defensively the Bruins go into 2006 a little shaky on the DL hoping that a couple of key players can return from injury and stay healthy. At the LB spot they are going to be very young led by Eric Mc Neal who has moved up from Safety. The defensive backfield will be similar in talent to last year and a work in progress as the season starts.

Fixing the UCLA defense will take a few more years despite the coaching changes.

Talking about coaching changes the notoriously cheap Bruins just upped the ante by almost doubling their assistant coaches salaries, and also gave Dorrell a five year extension with a bump that puts him at the same level as Willingham at aroung 1.4 million a year.

I liked Dorrell when he was the OC at Washington, and you could see a significant falloff when he moved to Denver and Gilby was elevated. Bottom line is Dorrell is a solid young coach who will keep improving. His new contract will allow him to do that.

Why Washington should win?

Washington has a much better defense on paper going into 2006.

Washington should be able to score on the Bruin defense.

Washington has confidence they can play with these guys.

The UCLA staff went through a major off season shuffle.

The game is in Husky Stadium

Washington has more experience at the skill positions.

UCLA lacks a deep threat.

Why UCLA should win

UCLA always finds a way to snatch victory from defeat against Washington.

The Bruins have a superior OL on paper compared to the UW OL which will allow them to control the ball more. If they can control the line of scrimmage UCLA will score points.

UCLA will be able to run the ball on Washington.

The Bruins have more overall depth and talent.

What do I think?

I think Washington wins because they are overdue against these guys. The team knows we should have beaten them last year, and they know they can play with these guys. I think Ben Olsen is going to be a pretty good QB, and he is going to have time behind his offensive line this year, I just don't think his team will do enough to win against an improved Husky defense.

I think offensively we will be able to move the ball like we did last year on these guys. You can bet there will be some fireworks out there as both teams try to stretch the field. UCLA found a way to win last year almost every week just like Washington's last Rose Bowl team. Somehow the wheels came off against Arizona, and USC last year, but they rebounded against Northwestern with a point orgy in the Sun Bowl.

The game will end up being a higher scoring affair, but Washington will score more points, and end the curse.

UW 34 - UCLA 27 (3-1)


prrbrr said...

JB, I have lived here in SoCal since 1985, and UCLA has always been the thorn, even when we were favored we lost somehow. We are 2-7 since I got here in the Rose Bowl, and even worse overall 6-12-1 since 1985. My niece and nephew went to UCLA. What is really bad is our losses down here have been embarassments in front of kids you are trying to recruit. At one time the UW was close to evening up the all time historical series with the bruins, but now 5 losses in a row. Karl Dorrell reminds me much of TW, he is skewered on a regular basis down here by the media for his non communication also, but winning big last year enamored him to the bandwagon. Hopefully the same will happen to TW this year. I always pick the Huskies to win, but UCLA has gotten into my head. I remember losses to a 4th string QB, and losses where they had no starters on their OL. I hope we kick thir butts this year, on paper they had a lot of key losses in personnel, new QB, RB etc. but.....

Health Insurance Expert said...

UCLA does seem to have our number. I went to a game where we actually won down there...Greg Lewis might have been the RB, it has been a long time.

My cousin went to UCLA, and her husband went to USC, so I do get quite a bit of friendly crap thrown my way.

UW sis even up the series which was amazing, same with Cal, but we have been losing ground the last few years.

UCLA has better talent right now, but not better experienced talent, that makes a difference. The key like every game will be our offensive line.

The one thing UCLA does not need to worry about is their offensive line, they have really picked up some good athletes.