Monday's Notes and Quotes

Most significant from Monday is what didn't take place at Karl Dorrell's press conference: The report that backup quarterback <b>John Sciarra</b> was arrested. Here is the news from Monday and Dorrell's quotes...

Monday's News:

As reported by the Los Angeles Times this morning, backup quarterback John Sciarra was arrested in August on charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication.

UCLA was uninformed of the arrest until the Times notified Athletic Director Dan Guerrero yesterday. UCLA is still in the process of determining Sciarra's punishment.

Backup cornerback Marcus Cassel received a one-game suspension for the Colorado game when he self-reported an arrest to the UCLA coaches on charges of driving under the influence in June. Sciarra's situation is different since he didn't inform UCLA of the arrest.

The incident took place in Newport Beach and, reportedly, Sciarra also gave Newport Beach officers a false name when he was arrested.

The development is particularly significant coming the same week as the injury to starting quarterback Matt Moore. If Sciarra is suspended, it leaves only redshirt freshman walk-on Brian Callahan left to back up present starter Drew Olson.

Spencer Havner, who left the Colorado game early because of a sprained left shoulder, is officially "doubtful" for Saturday's game against Illinois at the Rose Bowl. However Head Coach Karl Dorrell indicated Monday that Havner's injury wasn't as significant as originally believed and he has a chance to play.

Marcus Cassel, who was suspended for the Colorado game for a DUI in June, will be available to play against Illinois.

Matt Moore is projected to be out 4-6 weeks with the bruised knee bone injury he suffered against Colorado. When he does return could depend on Moore's ability to recover.

Some of Dorrell's significant comments from his Monday press conference...

On penalties:

"We came up short. Obviously we didn't play as clean as we should have played. We have to do a better job as coaches in preparing our guys, and eliminating a lot of those mistakes and when we didn't get those things executed properly. For week two we're excited about getting those things fixed and show progress from week 1 to 2."

On the proliferation of penalties in the Colorado game:

"We have to play attention more. Obviously it's an issue that has to be stressed in practice. Even though I'm very detail oriented, and bark out all of those issues that do happen in practice, that's my fault. I have to do a better job than that. I'm going to be what I have before, but even moreso on all the very little things that can possibly happen in a practice. They might now understand the difference of what I've been preaching since day one because of some issues in the game. It was a great learning experience this first game. Unfortunately we had to learn it at a cost of a loss."

On what issues are correctable:

"I think all of them are. I watched that game and the penalties are obviously issues I can do a better job of coaching on. I think whenever we had a play that didn't execute properly, again that's me coaching that better as to why you should make that play in practice. So I think there are a lot of issues that are correctable. On both sides of the ball. Even on special teams."

On Drew Olson:

"I think Drew will do a great job for us, just like he did on Saturday. Glad we had a close quarterback battle. It benefitted Drew to come into game and we didn't have to limit the game plan. That was a good situation for us.

"Drew will be fine. He moved around pretty well. He made key first downs. He proved he has durability. You wouldn't like him to do it all the time. But he did some things in that game that opened up my eyes about how competitive he is."

On whether a quarterback can lose his starting position due to injury:

"I think we have to decide that when Matt comes back. That's going to be some time. Just in general principles, I don't think a guy should lose his job because of injury. Hopefully Drew is in a rhythm when Matt gets back and thatt's something we'll have to evaluate at that time. I'm very confident that Drew can direct this offense."

On Olson saying he lost focus in fall camp:

"I think that's what gave Matt the edge. I think Matt was more consistent over the long run of camp and that's why he had the edge in being the starter. But I think Drew now knows the team needs him and he needs to play like a starter."

What he felt a big role was for him as head coach:

"To be a calming effect on our team. Our team was very excited to play. We had some coaches that were very excited about playing. I had to combat all of those issues and settle them down. We had a shaky start, where we had the chance to excecute and make big plays early and unfortunately we didn't make those plays. But I was very encouraged with the effort of the team on Saturday."

On the ineffectiveness of the running game:

"It's a lot of different issues when we watched tape. As an offense it was almost every position involved. A misblock here or a misread, or an issue where things didn't line up properly. Colorado did a nice job of stunting against us and moving their front at the last minute on the snap. They did a nice job of camouflaging things. They executed their defensive front better than we executed our offensive front. That's one of those areas as a team on offense we'll do a better job of executing."

Asked if there was any one reason why the running game was so stagnant:

"Hopefully we're going to get better. We have to spend a great deal of attention on correcting the issues that happened in the game. There are a lot of issues and I don't think it's any one position. It's collective, coaches included, in that particular area. Manuel White needs to get the ball. That was something I think is an issue we'll try to address and make sure he's a factor in the game. Those are things we've learned. There wasn't any reason (Manuel White didn't get the ball). There is no reason. Just the heat of the moment, things that were happening. There were some offensive series when we weren't executing things properly. We were behind the ball, second and 30, third and 30. Those are passing situations and you're trying to get the ball downfield. There were a number of different factors. We didn't have the rhythm we needed to have on offense. And that's me. That's me and the coaches. We have to make sure we do a better job of preparing our kids."

On whether he would expand the variety of running plays they would use:

"No, I think our approach will be to tighten it up and to get better. I think that's our issue, more than anything. Let's find a way as coaches to put our kids in the best situation possible so that we can be productive. And that doesn't necessarily mean expanding, but sometimes that means restricting and getting better at something. I would lean toward doing that more than anything."

On Maurice Drew's shaky first game:

"I remember my first game as a freshman. I remember playing at Nebraska as a freshman. I was a kick returner. That ball seemed like it hung up there forever. By the time I caught it there were all of those white helmets about ten yards from me. It's a different feeling. I think that's something you don't really learn to get better at until you do it. You kind of live through that with young players. You have to get that kind of experience. But does that mean I'm any less confident in Maurice Drew? Of course not. I think he's a heck of a player. He will be a heck of a player for us. It's just like anything. You have to learn to walk before you run, but I guarantee you he'll be running pretty soon. We're going to look at him again (on kick returns). We haven't lost any confidence in him. I'm hoping he's learned from these issues, and we've learned from them. And we'll coach better and prepare our guys that much better this week than what we did last week."

About whether the criticism in the aftermath of the Colorado game affects him:

"Not really. We did what felt was right for that given game. I think you prepare in a way that you think is the proper way for that team. It's easy to talk about those things after the fact. Just like it is on Sunday when we come in a watch the game. It's like, ‘Oh boy, we should have done this or could have done that.' Those are the things you deal with as a coach. As you get to know your team better you start building on the positives as the season unfolds. There are always going to be issues and question marks about what and when and why certain things happen. I defend every one of them. When we go into any particular game we go in with the mindset that that's what it's going to take to win. Unfortunately it wasn't for us."

On playing freshmen:

"The only way you're going to get any better is if you play those guys. You can't hold them back. You have to put them in situations in an environment like that. Kevin Brown and Junior Lemau'u are both on that second team defensive line. They had the big eyes for a while. Until they get in that flow of the game. I think you need to throw those guys in there to play so they get the feeling of what it takes to play on game day, the speed of the game, and all the things it takes you try to generate in practice but are hard to do."

On why they substituted the entire defensive line instead of individuals:

"No particular reason why. Just an issue that we wanted to do. We have a lot of confidence in our second team line. And we think they'll need that kind of experience to play."

On the performance of the offensive line:

"We can get better. Just like as coaches. We can get better. Just like our receivers. We can get better. Just like our tight ends. We can get better. Like our backs. We can better. It wasn't an issue that was just totally on the offensive line. It was a collective issue.

"I don't want to give Colorado any discredit. They did a good job of scheming against us. It's one of the things you see on tape. When they get a game ahead of you and they can put some things in that you haven't seen before. That's just part of football. They did a number of things that were very impressive. They had a good plan for us. They did a nice job. My hat's off to them. We're going to learn from that experience and move on to next week."


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