A three-game season

COACH BILL DOBA updates the injury list, talks about the importance of the next three games and also how he deals with a tough loss. And every loss is tough on the head coach.

With a ton of recruiting prospects in town, coach Bill Doba hadn't had much time to look at videotape of the game or do much of anything else before the Sunday night press conference. But it's apparent the Cougs can't continue to make the kinds of errors they're making week in and week out and expect to win ball games.

"Some of the mistakes that we continue to make, they're not only the fundamentals but also technique, sometimes in pursuit angles, stopping our feet on blocks -- things that we've been working on since last spring. We'll do it right three or four times, and then not do it right the fifth or sixth time."

It's frustrating for Doba but he said the only way out of it is to remain upbeat and keep working hard in practice.

"I just think you have to remain positive and keep working with the kids."

Doba had been upbeat in the week leading up to the USC game but none of that was in evidence on Sunday night. The losses have been tough to take this season, especially since he believed this team was going to be better than 3-5 to this point.

"It's tough on the fans for one night and its hell for me for the whole week...(the losses) wear on you."

Doba pointed out before the season began that the team was young, which often leads to more injuries. But he also thought the Cougs were very close to putting it together after the Arizona game. He certainly didn't expect a four game losing streak at that point.

"Quite honestly, I thought we'd be a lot better."

With the Cougs needing to win out both to become bowl eligible and to notch a winning season, Doba noted the seniors who've had such a big hand in the Cougs' success over the last three years.

"I just feel bad for our seniors. I want them to have a winning season in the worst way. We have a three game season left and for those guys, we've got to try and win all three of them. But we have to concentrate on one at a time, obviously."

With the tight ends such an integral part of the Cougar offense, it may be telling that the four game streak coincided with the Cougs losing Troy Bienemann and Cody Boyd. Bienemann has returned but the severely bruised shin has clearly limited what he can do -- Bienemann playing at all is more a testament to his tenacity than anything else.

There have been X-Rays and MRIs on Bienemann's leg -- all have come back negative, there is no ligament damage and the bones are all in place.

Brian Hall came out of the USC game with a stinger, his availability will be known later in the week.

Steve Cook had a slightly sprained foot but the defensive tackle is probable for UCLA.

Boyd will go out on Tuesday and test his shoulder in contact. The hope is he'll be ready to go against the Bruins.

Chris Bruhn will give it a go on Tuesday, it looks promising to get him back this week.


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