Part 2 -- Watch Video
Part 3 -- Watch Video
(Coach Dorrell motions to someone in the back of the room) "Way in the back."
How can you stop Reggie Bush?
"Well, you start by asking those eleven teams before our game about the same process. I don't know if you can really stop Reggie Bush. That's a tremendous player as we all know in this room. Our team knows that, and we're gonna do our best to not let him have too many big play opportunities. That's what you have to do. He's magic with the ball in the hands any way, shape, or form he gets it whether as a returner, receiver, or runner. It doesn't matter. He's just a dramatic player, and that's why he's one of the best in the country at what he does. I don't know if you can really stop him, but we need to make sure we're paying some attention to him. We need to restrict as many opportunities as we can."
Out of the eleven teams they've played against, who have you studied in particular?
"We watched all eleven. We had time to do that with three weeks, and there's only so much you can take from all those game. You're program is what you're program is in terms of its foundation. I'm talking about UCLA. You can't make wholesale changes right now. That's not what has gotten us to this point. We're nine and one. We feel good about what we've done up to this point. We know there's some issues we have to clean up. There's some growing up issues. There's some fundamental issues. We're just gonna continue to build on the things we've done during the course of the season. There'll be wrinkle or two just like they'll have a wrinkle or two for us. It's gonna come down to great execution; playing smart. Turnovers, like I said, will be an issue. We just anticipate a great football game."
Indistinguishable Something about the BCS.
"Well that the next hurdle. I've got a big hurdle before that. I'm not even gonna be concerned about that right now. What we're concerned about is this week's game. A lot of the ramifications from this week's game will take care of itself. If we come out victorious which is what our plan is to expose and do the things we're capable of doing."
Drew Olson doesn't seem to be interested in the comparison to Leinart, but it's sort of hard to resist for the rest of us. When you look at that match up on Saturday, what do you see?
"Two really good quarterbacks. One has been proven. One has been the Heisman Trophy winner, and has had another solid year back to back. We have one we just talked about that has come from nowhere, and has had a tremendous season. He's done some tremendous things for our program. It's gonna be a great battle. Matt has been in these kind of games much longer with all the stakes on the line, and Drew has been able to perform all year with that type of pressure. We anticipate a great game. I think both of those quarterbacks will play well, and I'm hoping ours plays two or three plays better."
You've been part of this rivalry for a long time. What makes it unique?
"In the same city. I think that's what is special about this rivalry: It's in the same city. I like it. There's something you have to deal with almost daily. I think in any other rivalry, they're in different cities and you play that game. Once the game is over with, you don't see them for awhile. In this city you see them every day. It makes it special. It does. It's a great game, and with all the stakes on the line this week, that makes it even better. Hey Bill"
Hey Karl. Going back to Drew and Matt: Do you think Drew has had a better year than Matt, and do you think that he has been…And I realize personal accolades don't mean much as far as the big picture, but has he been hurt in stuff like Heisman and All American because he plays in the same town as Mat Leinart?
"In don't think so. I don't think he's been hurt by it, Bill, to be honest with you. He's excited about the year he's had. There were no expectations for Drew Olson at the beginning of this season so there has really been nothing to been disappointed about. His goal was really to engineer this offense to be the best as it could be, and for him to perform better than he had done in his previous years at UCLA. So he wanted a great senior year. He's done that. Stats wise he's as good as there is in the country. I think what hurts him is that he hasn't done that in longevity. He hasn't done it last year building it up and building his case for this year. That's what hurts a particular case like this, but if you have to go on this year alone, he's as good as anybody. Wouldn't you agree? OK."
Are you careful not to define the season by
this game? You've taken in three years now…you're nine and one, you're playing
for a Pac 10 title, and after the
"It's still a great step to make. You're playing your rival team from the same city which is number one in the country, which is on a tremendous win streak. There's some unprecedented records that they're doing along the way. This is a tremendous opportunity that we have. Great is our rivalry, but it's all those things in addition to it. This rivalry would be great if both teams were one and nine at this point. It doesn't matter. It's what all the stakes that play into it in addition to the rivalry. Plus we have a chance to accomplish the goals we set out for the beginning of the year. It's a great game. How do you underestimate this type of game? You don't. We're excited about playing it. We're anxious to prove we're a pretty good football team. We've made those positive steps during the course of the football season. I don't think anyone anticipated for us to be where we're at. That's probably true of every man, woman and child in this room. That's just the way things work out. That's the great thing about sports; sometimes somebody surprises you, and we happened to do that a little it. We're anxious about one more time in our conference."
So what will it mean to you and this program to knock off number one?
"It means that you've done some great….You've taken care of some opportunities. It's all those things that this gentleman was talking about with the BCS which takes care of itself. It gives our goal which was trying to be in contention, and trying to win the Pac 10 conference and having a stake in that. There's a lot of things that are important about this game."
Coach, do you think UCLA is getting the respect it deserves being nine and one, and going against the Trojans?
"That's building. That's building every step of the way. We've gotten some respect which is a goal. You keep getting respect, but you have to earn yourself, including my self, every step of the way. That's just part of the process. I like it. I like that we're just continually staying the course for what we believe in which is our foundation for how we do our business here. It's been proven that it ‘s working. We'll get the respect we deserve when it's all said and done."
Coach, with three weeks off, did you learn anything from last year, with hindsight, about being sharp going into this game?
"You still wanna complete as well as you can against each other, and that's what we really have done the last two weeks. That's really all you can do. Someone has asked me, "Do you like the three week break before this game?" No, I don't. I'll stand on record; I don't about having that type of layoff. But you know what? That's what the situation dictated for last two years. You make the best out of it. We've been able get some people back as far as the health issue. We're freshened up a little bit so we'll have a great opportunity to perform as well as we can perform on Saturday."
You've watched all eleven of USC's games. If Lendale White were unable to play how much would that change their offense?
"Not much. Not much. If you look at just their last game, Lendale didn't have as many carries as the previous games that he's played. That so called number five was all over the place. It's not going to change their output. They have enough depth and talent to continue to move forward in their program. We have to be ready to perform against Lendale or Reggie Bush, Matt, all those receivers, the tight ends, they have a great offensive line…There's a lot of weapons on that offense that you've gotta make sure you're playing sound, and your making them earn everything they deserve to earn during the course of the game."
Karl, some of the players in this game grew up together playing on high school teams. Do you see that manifest itself this week? Do you see players acting differently or saying things that are unique to this match up?
"No, not really. I think it's
beyond that. Yes they were teammates, once upon a time, early on, but it's now
about two different programs competing against each other. That's all it's
really about right now: Both programs competing in
Karl, how tired do your kids get of hearing about USC?
"How tired do they get? Well, you're gonna hear about any team that has done as well as they have been doing for as long as they've been doing it for a great period of time. What I use it as is motivation. You have to be able to set the bars higher for your program and what you want to accomplish in your program. Every team across the country would love to be in the position that their (USC) in. That's why we work and do the things we do. It's to be at a point in the program to win as much as they've been winning. We've had a great start in doing some things like that this year, and we want to build from what we've done this year into our future."
Yeah Karl, does last year's SC, UCLA game, where you guys played them tight for most of the game, does that impact anything confidence wise …..
"Different team. Some guys that played in that game…I'm sure they're drawing from that experience in how they played in that game. But we're still playing with some very, very young players that didn't play last year. You just have to keep on building your program with what has gotten you here. We just need to perform to our potential. We don't need miracles. We just need to perform as well as we can play. There have been times where our offense has been unstoppable and our defense has played very well and our special teams have played very well. This is one of those types of games that we need all three of those areas to play at their best for something great to happen, and we think that can happen."
Karl, is USC the best college football team you've ever seen?
"It's right up there. This is a very talented football team, and they have done tremendous opportunities along the way during the season." (Yes that's what he said)
Coach, when Drew Olson got hurt in Las Vegas last December, did you have any idea, first off all, that he'd be starting, and second that he'd have the type of season he's had?
"He worked really hard after his injury from that bowl game last year. There was always the question mark with would he be ready at the start of training camp, but when the doctors told us in June that he was cleared to go, at that point, that really proved how fast he really took his rehab in terms of how dedicated he was. He didn't miss a day. He did extra. He put in the extra time to be able to do the great things he's done this year. When the doctors told me in June that he's cleared and ready to go that was impressive. Like I told you already, he's worked really, really hard to get into the position he'd in right now, and I'm really proud of what he's done."
Coach, where do you rank Reggie Bush amongst the backs you've seen and played against?
"He's up there. He has to be among the top two or three in my life at this level. I've seen some good ones… played against some good ones."
Who would be your one, two, and three?
"Ahh, I'm not gonna go there with that, but he's up there for sure in that top group. He's a talented…he's a difference maker. He is a difference maker."
How do you feel about the…Is USC… (Coach cuts off the question)
"He's from Helix, by the way which is the high school I went to. I thought I'd throw that in there."
Is USC giving you guys the respect that you think you deserve?
"It's hard to say. I can't pinpoint any one school. It's been a building process since I've arrived here at UCLA. It hasn't been just one program. It's been every program in this conference that we've had to build a level of respect with. It's not any one team. It's not any one program. It's something that UCLA had to prove itself along the course of building this program, and that's what we've been able to do to this point. We're continually working on that process, and the respect is slowly coming along. But we understand that we have to continue to strive and earn it every step of the way."
Coach… (Coach interrupts the question)
"Alright? Thank you."