UCLA's Season Ends With a Whimper

Mercifully, the 2003 UCLA football campaign limps to an unsurprising finish. The Bruins had no business being in this bowl game -- their record didn't justify it, nor did the way they played at the end of the season.

If the team can't master an offense during an entire season, are we really to believe that an additional few weeks of practice and one more game will really make a difference?

I was intrigued by the hiring of Coach Dorrell and am cautiously optimistic that he can turn the Bruin program around. But warning lights are blinking all over the Rose Bowl field. This team had to be one of the most penalized in UCLA football history and the quarterback situation was handled poorly from beginning to end.

Eric Forseth

Los Angeles


I nearly choked when I read of a "regal crown" being placed atop a Fresno State team that went just 8-5 in the regular season.

Defeating a less than mediocre -- far less -- rag-tag band of Bruins who ridiculously qualified for a bowl game and even more ridiculously accepted the bid, hardly earns any team so much as a Burger King crown, much less a regal one.

Andy McHargue

Los Angeles


Steve Spurrier is available to coach in college again. Dan Guerrero should cut his losses now by firing Coach Dullard and pursuing Spurrier. One year of Dullard's sleepwalking reign of error has embarrassed Bruin faithful enough.

Rod Hersberger

Santa Barbara


How appropriate that UCLA was exposed at the Silicon Valley Classic. The namesake conjures up images of an artificial, image-enhanced, yet ultimately leaky and faulty foundation. This perfectly describes Karl Dorrell's abilities as a head football coach.

What is most worrisome is that he insisted the Bruins were well prepared and ready to play a big game. After almost a month of practice and planning, the Bruins were as unprepared for this game as they were for all the previous ones. The Bruin seniors, at least, deserved better.

Allan Kandel

Los Angeles


I never thought I'd ever agree with T.J. Simers. However, after watching the corpse-like Karl Dorrell on the UCLA sideline during the Silicon Valley Classic, I am now convinced that even Mr. Simers himself could put some fire into what appears to be a lifeless Bruin football program.

Barry P. Resnick

Costa Mesa


My parents taught me that when you make a mistake, admit it, correct it and move forward. Dan Guerrero, Karl Dorrell was a big mistake.

Robert Dourian



Five words: Bruin Head Coach Steve Spurrier.

Dave Goldfarb

Studio City


Sure it was another abysmal offensive performance by the UCLA football team, but it's bound to help recruiting. After all, any decent high school player has to think he can start right away for this team.

Richard Turner



I know that it's only his first year, but Karl Dorrell's first Bruin campaign could not have been less impressive. He inherited a decent program and then rendered it a complete embarrassment. Please come back, Bob Toledo. All sins forgiven.

Jack Wolf



Why did UCLA accept this bowl game? Everyone in his right mind knew what was in store for the Bruins.


And to think that Drew Olson is UCLA's future! So what is his excuse this time? Matt Moore isn't around. He was quoted that the extra weeks had improved his ability to read the defense and without the added pressure of Moore, he was now in control.

Yeah, that was apparent.

Russ Ramirez

Costa Mesa


Granted, he has been on the job for only a year, but Karl Dorrell turned in the season's worst performance in college football.

I attended the Silicon Valley Classic, and during the first half, I was astonished to see the vaunted UCLA defense make the Fresno State offense look like the second coming of "the Four Horsemen."

This being the 13th game, I was hoping to see some improvement in the team. The only improvement I saw was that UCLA cut back on its penalties. Of course, UCLA was aided in that because the officials decided that pass interference did not exist.

I pray that this is UCLA's bleakest moment, but given the loss of this year's senior class, I'm of a mind that the glass is half-empty.

Jerry Namba

Santa Maria


Years from now, people may not remember how ill-prepared the Bruins were to play their bowl game. It will be very hard to forget, however, how Karl Dorrell chose to punt from the Fresno State 30 when trailing by eight points in the fourth quarter. To say he's in over his head does that cliche a disservice.

Mike Reuben

Anaheim Hills


The question is not whether Fresno State belongs in the Pac-10, the question is, does UCLA still belong in the Pac-10?

Wayne M. Cutler

West L.A.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World