|Time for Dorrell, Bruins to live up to promise|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 27 August 2007 14:34|
LOS ANGELES (AP) -It's time for the UCLA Bruins to live up to their No. 14 preseason ranking, and time for Karl Dorrell to show he's turned around the school's football fortunes.|
``It's that point in the program,'' Dorrell said Monday. ``Now it's all my kids that I've recruited. We all expect to do great things and this is the opportunity.
``We look good on paper. Now it's time to show it.''
Dorrell's fifth season as the UCLA coach begins Saturday in Palo Alto, Calif., where the Bruins open their season - and their Pac-10 campaign - against underdog Stanford.
He's 29-21 in his previous four years at UCLA, including 6-7 last season. He's 1-3 in bowl games.
The Bruins have a veteran squad, with 10 starters on each side of the ball back from last year. Fifth-year senior defensive end Bruce Davis believes he and his teammates have a lot to prove.
``We've got a senior-laden team. We've been here for five years and really haven't done much,'' said Davis, one of the Bruins' best players. ``I haven't won a Pac-10 title or national title since I've been here.
``There are 25 seniors and we have a great sense of urgency to bring a championship to UCLA.''
The Bruins' ranking in the poll and other preseason notice is fine, Davis said, but they have to back it up.
``It's all hype,'' he said. ``We haven't proved anything yet.''
The Bruins' defense, which smothered then top-ranked Southern California in a 13-9 UCLA victory to close out the regular season last year, figures to be tough again. The offense is more of an unknown quantity.
Their ability to move the ball will depend a great deal on redshirt junior Ben Olson, who started the first five games last year, then was sidelined in the fifth by a knee injury. He didn't play the rest of the season.
Dorrell said Olson's experience last year helped the quarterback, and that he has absorbed a lot more information since then.
``He was able to expand on that (experience) this spring. He knows probably twice as much information as he did a year ago,'' Dorrell said. ``He has a lot of expectations on himself.
``I think he gets the big picture and we think he's going to get better and better every game. He's beginning to show that authority.''
The Bruins begin their season against a team they know little about. Stanford has a new coach, former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh, who posted a 29-6 record as coach at Division I-AA University of San Diego over the previous three years.
Stanford is coming off a 1-11 season that included a 31-0 defeat by UCLA, and the Cardinal has won a grand total of 16 games over the past five seasons.
``We watched film of Stanford last year for their personnel, and the San Diego film from last year to get a sense of their offense and defense.''
Said Dorrell: ``I'm sure there will be some surprises, some new wrinkles.''
The Bruins' home opener is the following weekend at the Rose Bowl against BYU.
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