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Dorrell hasn’t changed course

Times Staff Writer

It has been two weeks since UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said, “I will be very interested to see how we finish the season. And you can use that,” and the Bruins are winless in two games in that time.

Yet, with two games left, Coach Karl Dorrell said Thursday that he has not been concerned about Guerrero’s answer to the question: “Is there anything that could happen on the football field that would lead you to consider making a change?”

“We talked about it right after he made it and he explained it was out of context,” Dorrell said. “I took it at that and moved on with the rest of my day.”

Asked if Guerrero explained what the context was, Dorrell said, “I don’t want to comment about that now, given where we’re at and what we need to do. I know I have a job to do and I have to go do it as well as I can.”

Guerrero was not available to be interviewed Thursday, a UCLA spokesman said, and there was no response on a request for a comment.

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Asked if there was anything Guerrero could have said that would have eased the situation, such as a vote of confidence, Dorrell said, “Things have already been said. I have to continue to move forward and coach and do what I do. I really can’t comment on that.”

Dorrell, now in his fifth season, is staring at an uncertain future.

Early season losses to Utah and Notre Dame knocked the Bruins from the top-25 rankings and three consecutive losses to Washington State, Arizona and Arizona State knocked them out of the Pacific 10 Conference race.

Injuries have been a factor in the last three losses.

Dorrell’s contract runs through the 2011 season, but he could be bought out at the end of this season for $2.05 million, paid over two years.

Dorrell has not blamed injuries for a season that has spiraled downward. But when asked whether circumstances were beyond his control, Dorrell laughed and said, “It has been an unusual year. I have never had a year like this in my career,” then laughed again.

The likelihood of quarterback Patrick Cowan returning this season is slim. He is still recovering from a collapsed lung suffered against Arizona on Nov. 3 and underwent a CT scan and X-rays on Wednesday, which Dorrell said showed Cowan was progressing.

Asked about Cowan’s return, Dorrell said, “Initially they thought maybe toward the end of the season, but it’s really up in the air right now.”

Linebacker Joshua Edwards sat out practice Thursday and was wearing a medical boot on his right ankle because of a turf toe, Dorrell said. . . . Defensive linemen Jess Ward (knee) and Kenneth Lombard (concussion) return this week.

chris.foster@latimes.com


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