The Arizona game November 5th will kick off at 3:22 p.m. It will be televised in Southern California by Fox Sports Net West 2.
For all the latest on the team, including updates on injuries, watch the following videos of Karl Dorrell's Monday Press Conference.
Karl Dorrell, 10-24, Part 1 --
Karl Dorrell, 10-24, Part 2 --
Karl Dorrell, 10-24, Part 3 --
"On to week eight of the season. Had a very good win last week. Our goal was to start fast, and we preached that all last week about getting our offense and defense in rhythm early in the game. We were able to do so. It was fun to see our team have that type of performance, where all three teams were playing very very well. Special teams was solid and neutralized their special teams. Oregon State had a very good special teams unit, and we knew that going into the game, and we wanted to match or overcome the great things that they were able to do so far in the season and we were able to do so.
"Offensively, it was a great performance as you know with Drew Olson, with his six touchdowns, Maurice Drew with what he does, Marcedes, and so on and so forth. We had a number of guys who had great games consistently in a row where people have stepped up and made some great plays and we continue to do that. That's one of the things I'm real excited about our offense, we're constantly improving, and we're constantly utilizing all of our personnel, and that's something I envisioned all along the way, and those things are close to the things that I want to be.
"Defensively, we made some strides with our run game defense. It probably wasn't reflected as much in the total stats at the end of the game. They had some running plays toward the end of the game that gave them a little bit more stats with the run, in terms of what the running back has done at the end of the game. We made some progress in terms of getting back into turnovers takeaways, creating some plays for ourselves to give the offense a chance to score and that was the difference in the game. We get three turnovers that were in our favor and kept us with the edge most of the game. They scored the first 7 points and then we scored to get control in the first half and then maintained that control in the second half.
"This week will be a lot different with Stanford. Stanford is a well coached football team, they had their early season struggles at the beginning of the season but they look nowhere close to the team that they were at the beginning of the season. They are playing very well on defense, offense is playing awfully smart, they are the least penalized team in the conference, they do a nice job with takeaways as well, they are second in the conference right behind us with protecting the ball and getting the ball back for their offense. They've been very efficient, their defense is really raising up and doing great things right now, at the time that you want your defense to do those things, toward the end of the season. So we know what our issues are going into this week playing up at Stanford. It's always a tough place to play for UCLA, and it's just like Pullman, it's one of those things you just have to stress and overcome, and getting ourselves with the mindset of going up there and getting the job done with a great game against Stanford.
"We had some minor injuries in the game. We're hoping that's what the case is. Mike Mccloskey, who went down in the first quarter, he has a shoulder strain or a rotator cuff strain. He had his MRI done, it was inconclusive. He's going to take some other tests. It does feel better but I would say there is a 50/50 chance for him to play. Kenneth Lombard has a mild ankle sprain, wasn't anything significant. He should be ready to play by the end of the week and he'll start practicing tomorrow and gradually increase his load throughout the week. Marcus Everett who had a mild knee strain. He actually came back in the game and played and as soon as we got in a comfortable level in the game we ended up taking him out. We didn't necessary need him in the fourth quarter. He should be ok and ready to go as well this particular week. And then Brian Abraham, who Noah Sutherland started for in the game-Noah played very well by the way-he's fine. He had a flu and a running fever for two or three days last week. He's over that. He feels better, he should be ready to play this week as well, so we are in pretty good shape going into the week against Stanford.
Karl, just wondering what you thought of Meyer's play at center.
"Meyer, Aaron Meyer, our center, played nervous at first, his first real game of getting that type of experience, but as the game kept unfolding he got better and better as the reps and plays he was accumulating in the game. So by the end of the game he was playing very very well. We are very pleased with seeing his growth in that particular game coming off the bench where you're nervous as anything when you haven't played and he settled in and did a nice job for us. Same thing for Noah Sutherland, if that's a question as well. Noah came in and had his first start and played very well. He had a great week of practice. We know that with Brian being sick Noah had the reps in practice and did a fine job and now we have two big strong tackles that we feel we can utilize if either one of those guys go down."
Coach, three years ago you had to move Kevin Brown from defensive line to offensive line because there was no depth. Now all of a sudden you got Sutherland, Meyer, Matt Willis coming in. Talk about the difference where your team is coming from three years ago to now in terms of depth.
"We do have depth. It's youthful depth. That's the only issue, like I said with Aaron, playing really his first game playing and playing against a very good team defensively, particularly their tackles inside were very good tackles for Oregon State, he held up there pretty well and towards the end of the game he was holding his own. So it's good to see that type of progress. We do have depth in our program now, they are just young guys though. They are sophomores and freshmen and we are going to continue to build on that depth in recruiting, but the core of our team is a very youthful team anyway. We are a sophomore, probably our strength is our sophomores right now."
Eric McNeal seems to become a factor the last couple weeks. Could you talk about that and what he means I guess to your run defense and overall?
"He had a good game. He tackled well, made some open field tackles in this particular game. Our safeties were stressed a little bit. They max protected a lot and threw the ball deep down the field and their receivers made a few plays on us and he was there to get the guys down, and he did that in the run game as well. He had a very good game versus Washington State. He was the special teams player of the game and defensive player of the game for a guy who didn't start in that game. And then he played another fine performance this past week against Oregon State. So he's getting his feet wet, he's splitting time in there with Dennis Keyes and Jarrad Page, and now we have Chris Horton back. He'll get in there and get some reps as well. So we have four really good safeties we can rotate in there to keep ourselves fresh in the back end."
Going back a few years, was there any doubt in your mind that Maurice Drew was big enough or tough enough, physical enough, to have the impact that he's had, and also to get you to assess the type of blocker he is on blitzes.
"He's as talented as we thought he would be. I know that most people in the recruiting process did not think that he was big enough to be a big time back but that wasn't anything that was our concern. When you watch him on tape, he did everything that we were looking for that exemplified a high end performer. He had great balance, great speed, explosive, strong, powerful. he's low to the ground so you're asking the question about how is his pass protection, so because of his size he already has the leverage strength and he does a great job of picking up linebackers and helping with the tackles and even with the guards if they get pressure inside. So he's done all those things very very well. He's stronger than you think. He has that little body but he's pretty compact, and a lot of teams probably recognize that fact after they play him because of his style of play and particularly his heart. He plays pretty hard."
Coach, could you talk about Walt Harris, and also coaching against Tom Hayes, your former defensive coordinator?
"I don't know Walt all that well. I met him for the first time this spring at our head coaches meetings. He seems like a great man. I've had a lot of respect for him in this profession. He's been known to be a very good quarterback coach and offensive mind. He's been successful everywhere he's been. It's just like him and Tyrone coming back to this conference. It just gives this conference that much more credibility about the type of coaches in this conference. Now as far as Tom Hayes, Tom Hayes is their defensive coordinator and was our defensive coordinator here when I was playing. He's an excellent football coach. He's been here a number of years. He's very thorough, very detail-oriented. It'll be interesting playing against him when he was one of our coaches when I was playing here. It'll be a fun game, it's going to be a tremendous challenge for our team. As we know to go up to Palo Alto and play in that stadium and for us to continue the success that we are building in our program and this is part of the process. It's fun to be in a position we're in, with the opportunity to get to one more win this week, and a great challenge. So our players are excited for it."
Karl, have you seen the UC Davis tape of Stanford and I'm wondering if you could kind of say what's happened to Stanford to make them play better.
"They are playing a whole lot better Brian, that's all I can tell you right now. They are doing some good things. They have some youth on their team and some of the older players that they have are doing some great things and who knows why they had the start they had but that doesn't even matter at this point. They have one loss in the conference so they are very close to being a factor in what's going on particularly at the end of this stretch in our pac-10 conference race, and they are playing very very well and very very confidently, so that's our challenge. To match that kind of intensity and that type of execution, and for us to continue the great things that we improved on this week and build it to be a better thing for ourselves next week."
Karl, as the season has gone on, have you noticed a difference in the way that defenses gameplan against you guys. Were they looking for something more at the beginning of the year and now are they defending you differently?
"They are defending us honestly now, because of our utilization of all of our skill players. If you look at all the stat categories on our team, we spread the ball around. Sure we try to get an emphasis of getting the ball to Marcedes Lewis, he's a big target and that's going to be an emphasis each and every week. But there's been a number of receivers that made plays. Maurice in this particular week made two big plays in the passing game. We already know what type of runner he is in the backfield, and everyone else is just stepping up. Ryan Moya, our true freshman tight end, catches a 48 yard touchdown. We're not afraid to get the ball into people that are open. And that's really how we're built. Just to utilize Drew's sense of operating this offense and he finds the open people and guys are making plays."
"They were more conscious of stopping maybe one or two people early on, and now that we're building resumes for everyone else in our offense, it's tough to defend just one or two people. We want teams to be stressed, and we understand our running game is part of that equation. We need that to be effective for everything else to work, and it seems like those things are falling in place for us right now."
Hey coach, just wanted to see if there is any new update on Kevin Brown's recovery, how he's doing, if there's a new timetable for him to come back, if he would come back if he was healthy towards the end of the season?
"I would say unlikely he'll be back by the end of the season. He is as we speak at the doctor today getting his screws removed from his ankle, and I know that's a process of rehab and all those things and the doctor really tells you exactly from this point what's going on but because it's week eight, there's only four games left, I would say it's unlikely that I would try to utilize him at this point in time."
Coach, John Hale started at middle linebacker. Justin London came in and played well, but talk about John Hale.
"John has been a pleasant surprise for our defense. He came in as a freshman, just a smart physically mature kid that can handle playing on the college level in his first year. He played outside linebacker for us, and played that well. We've been a little dinged up at the middle linebacker position and we moved him to middle linebacker this past week and he played very well in the middle. That's where he played in high school so I think that helped him some, just that experience in high school. He's been a pleasant surprise for us and he gives us that depth. That's the future. He's one of those guys that is going to be a four year player for us and be a strong factor in our defense for years to come."
Karl, on the depth chart, it's London or Hale listed, is that just based on Justin's ankle?
"That's just what it's based on."
Coach, could you talk about the turnovers this year. You've only got four through seven games, that's almost a phenomenal number. Why is that happening that way?
"It's a point of emphasis, I know that. I really don't want to talk about it all that much, because you might jinx me. I don't want to all of a sudden we have this huge game of turnovers against us. But it is something we really emphasize in training camp. We emphasize on our defense getting the ball back for our offense and protecting the ball. There's no magic formula, it's just a point of emphasis just like the red zone. We've been playing very very well in the red zone offensively. It's just a matter of emphasis. We want opportunities to put points on the board and those are opportunities we've been taking advantage of, and particularly taking care of the football."
You guys moved up to sixth in the BCS standings this week. Is that something you take a look at already at this point in time or do you try to not focus on that?
"Not really focused on that at all. There's four games left and that just started and that's not anything that's a point of emphasis right now. Stanford is a big big issue for us right now in this particular time. It's week eight, we have a lot of great things going for ourselves, and the teams are going to get tougher and tougher along the way and our focus right now is going up to Palo Alto and getting the job done and coming home with a victory."