Bruins skating on some thin ice

first_img “We can be a lot better,” UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. “Defensively, we woke up at the right time, but we have to begin to fix some things,and to do some things better through the normal course of the game.” Brian Dohn can be reached at (818) 713-3607. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! At some point the magic will run out. It always does. UCLA, which moved up four spots to No. 8 in the Associated Press poll, trailed Washington by 10 points entering the fourth quarter, but won 21-17 three games ago. The Bruins (6-0, 3-0 Pac-10) were 12 points behind California in the final 15 minutes, and won 47-40 two weeks ago. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The Bruins spotted Washington State a pair of 21-point leads in the first half, then trailed 38-21 in the fourth quarter before rallying to force overtime, and eventually winning on tailback Maurice Drew’s 1-yard plunge. It makes for great theater, and has created a buzz around Westwood not felt since 2001, when the Bruins were ranked as high as fourth. Some credit the turnaround at Washington State to UCLA offensive coordinator Tom Cable, who verbally thrashed the defense at halftime. Cable, according to a few players, tossed in a few expletives and said they were playing, well, soft. But there were other adjustments, like having the linebackers get up the field more to force Cougars tailback Jerome Harrison to run from sideline to sideline rather than up the field. The Bruins also got their safeties more involved, and in the fourth quarter and overtime Harrison had 10 rushing yards — 240 less than he had the first three quarters. But why are these adjustments being made at halftime? Why not after the Cougars jumped to a 21-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter? center_img The euphoria of fourth-quarter comebacks overshadowed everything else the last two weeks, but after needing a third consecutive last-minute score to offset a terrible start, UCLA knows the situation is problematic. Even as players made the long walk from Martin Stadium to the visitor’s locker room after Saturday’s come-from-way-behind, 44-41 overtime win at Washington State, several shook their heads in disgust about needing to rally from 17 points down in the fourth quarter. last_img read more