I’m glad it was a blowout. Most of the season, I had to listen to “what a great job Karl Dorrell, Drew Olson and the Bruins are doing.” I didn’t think they were doing a great job at all. They were 9-1, but given all the last-minute, come-from-behind wins over bad teams, they were pretty close to being 5-5. Hence the lack of respect in the polls and the 21-point spread on this game, which turned out to be way too low.
The Bruin mantra after last year’s game — a 29-24 defeat, but the first non-blowout in years — was that the program was “moving in the right direction.” Again, I didn’t see it that way at all. The Trojans moved the ball at will, bogged down repeatedly near the goal line, and wound up kicking five field goals. The closeness of the score was a bit of an anomaly.
This year, the Bruins are taking their 9-2 record as evidence of “moving in the right direction,” despite the fact that a 66-19 loss is the worst since the first two games in the series — 1929, when USC won 72-0, and 1930, when the Trojans won 56-0 — after which the rivalry took a five-year break to give the Bruins more time to practice. So, far from “moving in the right direction,” I would say that Karl Dorrell has set the Bruins back 75 years.
And really, the game was not as close as the 66-19 score indicates. UCLA left the starters in the whole game and scored a couple of touchdowns in the last four minutes against Trojan reserves. They were exposed as what they are: A 5-6, maybe 6-5, team masquerading as a 9-2 team.
Now for the good news: In all the Bruin excitement over last year’s narrow defeat, Dorrell was rewarded with a contract extension through the 2010 season. I can only echo what I said at the time, and when he was hired:
Great move! Five more years of Trojan victories!
Five more years! Five more years!