Monday, October 29, 2007
It was fun while it lasted, right guys? Lets face it, the party had to end sooner or later. Every loss along the way was justified with a "Rose Bowl" or a "everyone else will lose" response. Not this time. Our loss to Oregon guarantees we are out of the BCS national championship race and out of the Pac-10 race as well. Sure, mathematically we are still in the race for the Pac-10 title, but don't count on it folks. This year, book your tickets to either El Paso or Las Vegas because thats where we are headed.
The team gave Oregon a run for its money on Saturday and we even had a shot at winning the game, but give credit to Oregon who is moving on, while we are not. Here are a few things I have outlined to keep an eye on the rest of this season.
1) Playcalling: Our playcalling this season has been horrific. I never thought I would say that I wish Lane Kiffin was still here. An end around on 4th and 1!!?? Are you fucking kidding me? That is the kind of shit that gets you fired. And that is exactly why Steve Sarkisian should be picking up garbage for a living. "Ask Corso" on NCAA 2008 could pick better plays than this clown. We keep constantly hearing from Carroll and Sarkisian that they have "complete confidence" in Sanchez and "he has been brought into the system" and blah,blah, blah.....
If thats the case, they need to take advice from this man next time they want to run the ball with under 3 minutes on their own 20 yard line down by a touchdown with a 2 page playbook. Or in other words, playing the game just to "play it".
2) Heart: If this team has any of it left, they will take no prisoners and relish the role of "spoiler" and cause ruckus to everyone else's season by injuring and destroying their players and teams.
3) Coaching Changes: Carroll needs to pull his grey muff out of his ass and fire some coaches. Starting with Nick Holt, Carroll needs to lay down the law. Holt has done nothing but steer the ship using 7-9 NFL future lottery picks. No coaching, just cruising. Last time I checked, that's not why he was hired. Carroll needs to take over the defense completely and hire a O-coordinator that can get the job done on his own. I won't even touch on special teams.
4) Recruiting: This season has permanently damaged the perception of the USC football program. Once heralded as "unbeatable" and "athletically and mentally superior" is now being discussed using the words "Stanford", "injuries", and "Stanford." Is everyone else catching up to USC? No. USC has slammed on the breaks with awful coaching, poor preparation, and underachieving players. We still have some 5-star athletes on the radar across the U.S. , specifically in the defensive backfield, who need to be shown what USC is all about.
5) Sanchez: He has shown the cannon and moxy to compete with Mustain next year. I hate to mention the scumbags from across town (still wiping human ejaculate from their photos of Ben Howland) , but like Patrick Cowan, Mark Sanchez has the toughness to compete over a supposed more accurate and pro-style quartertback. Booty has been exposed for the average QB that he is and there is no reason to bring him back. There is this rule that you don't lose your starting job to injury, but rules don't matter anymore. Its one thing when your undefeated and the team is rolling, but its another to say it after you lose to no talent, fairies with an "S" on their helmet.
For once, USC is playing a different role in college football. We can go around crying like babies that we won't play in a BCS game or even yet, get to the promised land and "end-all, be-all" wet dream of all sports, the Rose Bowl, or we can take this opportunity to have fun. Whether its giving Rudy Carpenter a career ending injury or removing the head from Desean Jackson again, there are things to look forward to. It was fun winning national championships and laughing at eveyone that we blew out by 60+ points, but some things we never knew. How does it feel to spoil someone's season? The run is over, we need to rebuild and cause some damage along the way. Fight on!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Pos. No. Player Height Weight Class Hometown
WR 4 Jaison Williams 6-5 240 Jr.-2L* Inglewood, CA
LT 57 Fenuki Tupou 6-6 322 Jr.-TR* Elverta, CA
LG 61 Josh Tschirgi 6-4 310 Sr.-3L* Vancouver, WA
C 60 Max Unger 6-5 300 Jr.-2L* Honaunau, HI
RG 71 Mark Lewis 6-4 308 Jr.-2L* Arroyo Grande, CA
RT 75 Geoff Schwartz 6-7 337 Sr.-3L Los Angeles, CA
TE 83 Ed Dickson 6-5 240 So.-1L* Bellflower, CA
QB 10 Dennis Dixon 6-4 205 Sr.-3L San Leandro, CA
RB 28 Jonathan Stewart 5-11 230 Jr.-2L Lacey, WA
WR 89 Aaron Pflugrad 5-10 172 Fr.-HS Eugene, OR
WR 21 Garren Strong 6-3 203 Sr.-3L* San Jose, CA
Best Offensive Player: QB Dennis Dixon
Quarterback -- This is senior QB Dennis Dixon's team. He makes things go and is the catalyst behind the nation's 2nd ranked offense. The guy is very talented, and although he has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career, things haven't really clicked until this season. He's had to share time at QB throughout his career, and has not had the luxury of continuity in the offense because the Ducks have gone through offensive coordinators at an alarming rate. Last season, Dixon threw more interceptions (14) than TD's (12) and looked lost as he saw his Ducks lose their final 4 games and finish with a record of 7-6. This year the Ducks are (6-1) and ranked 5th in the nation. Dixon is the team's second-leading rusher with 416 yards and seven touchdowns and he has completed 69% of his passes for 1,728 yards and 16 touchdowns with only three interceptions. It's all come together for Dixon this year, he's running that spread offense very effectively and effortlessly. He's very fast and has good vision when running with the ball, but he also has cannon for an arm, throwing the deep ball very well. This QB looks less like the Dennis Dixon that USC faced last year, but he's not quite at Vince Young's level. He's more like the Bryan Randall that USC faced in the 2004 season opener against Virginia Tech.
Backs and Receivers -- Oregon's playmakers have been on fire this season. They lit up Michigan in the Big House, and every other team they've faced this season with the exception of that choke job in Berkeley. They did however, lose two of their biggest weapons in backup RB Jeremiah Johnson and starting WR Cameron Colvin to injury a couple of weeks ago. Both players were making contributions to the Ducks' offense at the time of injury. This significantly hurts their depth, as USC can place much of its focus on its primary weapons WR Jaison Williams (31 catches, 505 yards, 5 TD's), RB Johnathan Stewart (131 rushes, 940 yards, 7 TD's), and TE Ed Dickson (19 catches, 255 yards, 2 TD's). Oregon does a great job creating mismatches with their formations and play designs, and I'm sure they'll take some shots downfield on USC's secondary, which hasn't been exactly ballhawking this season.
Offensive Line -- The Oregon line deserves much of the credit for an offense that is averaging 46.6 points per game, second behind Hawaii and is second in total offense with 550.9 yards per game, trailing only Texas Tech. The line has surrendered just 12 sacks in 211 pass attempts
and have opened up some big running lanes for Dixon and Stewart in that spread formation. They do a good job of forcing teams to overcommit to one side, allowing the linemen to funnel them and open up the backside for cutbacks or misdirection plays. They haven't faced a front seven as good as USC's since last year's USC game in the Coliseum, but they are certainly running on all cylinders right now.
Check back for the defensive preview, which I will be posted sometime after the BC @ Virginia Tech game tonight.
Fight On! Beat the Ducks!!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
USC prevailed in its Gut Check Saturday two weeks ago, bouncing back from that terrible loss to Stanford to defeat the Arizona Wildcats, 20-13. Last week's test was rivalry week against Notre Dame and the Trojans passed by shutting out the Irish 38-0, avoiding a let down against a dismal, 1-win Irish team.
This weekend is Separation Saturday for #9 USC as it travels to Eugene, OR to take on the #5 Oregon Ducks, but also for other teams. This week's slate of games has 4 of the top teams in Pac-10 dueling it out, as well as big games nationally involving top 10 teams. Thursday #2 BC travels to Blacksburg to take on a very good Virginia Tech Hokies team ranked #8. Saturday #1 Ohio State travels to an equally hostile environment in Happy Valley to take on #24 Penn State. Elsewhere in the Pac-10, #7 Arizona State will try to remain undefeated as they host #18 Cal.
Autzen Stadium is a very difficult place to play, probably the toughest venue west of SEC country. USC struggled early the last time it was there, needing another other-worldly performance for Matt, Reggie, LenDale, and Co. to secure a 45-13 win after getting behind 13-0. Last year, the Trojans coasted to an easier than expected 35-10 victory at the Coliseum. USC smothered Ducks QB Dennis Dixon, forced him out of the game, and then smothered his backup, Brady Leaf. There was that interesting exchange between Pete Carroll and Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti, during timeout for a replay challenge though. In case you forgot it went something like this...
Oregon is a fumble away from being undefeated and possibly being ranked #1 in the country. Ducks WR Cameron Colvin, who may be out for the season due to injury, fumbled into Cal's endzone just before he crossed the goaline late in the 4th Quarter. What would have been the game winning TD became a touchback for Cal, and sealed the game for the Bears. Besides that one play, Oregon has looked great all season and pose a big threat to the Trojans. The Trojans are underdogs for the first time in the regular season since its 2003 opener at Auburn (A 23-0 USC win). The loser will suffer its 2nd loss of the season, and will be all but eliminated from the BCS National Championship race and will likely end up playing in my hometown of El Paso for the Sun Bowl.
Check back for Oregon's offensive and defensive previews. I've been swamped by papers and midterms the last couple of weeks, but I'm back on track now. Sorry for the lack of updates during Notre Dame week.
USC 38 Notre Dame 0
We won a game convincingly for once! Good shit. Mark "The Dirty" Sanchez threw 4 TD passes and staked his claim for the starting spot this week against Oregon. For once, our team didn't suck ass against a lowly opponent and USC handled their business. USC dominated Notre Dame in every aspect of the game and handed "Mom Jeans" Weis and the Irish another loss to their dismal season. It's a shame that Jimmy Clausen didn't get a chance to see what he would have been up against everyday at practice if he had signed with USC. Fuck that guy.
Note: Jimmy Clausen revealed that he is of Italian decent, and therefore a Guido.
The Clausen Crew
Those cunt muscles from LSU should have lost this weekend, but they managed to squeak out a victory against a tough Auburn team who had them by the balls but let go at the end. Miles and Co. are bound to fall sooner or later and the world will be a better place. Candy will taste sweeter, and the sun will shine brighter when this happens.
Rutgers 30 South Florida 27
You know the 2007 college football season is weird when this game matters.
UCLA 30 Cal 21
Cal decided to bend over and take one from Dorrell and the band of misfits at the Rose Bowl. Apparently UCLA is atop the Pac-10 standings for now. It shouldn't be long before the Ruins remember that they're a joke of a program and start losing. Cal is done.
The weekend also left us with one of the most disgusting images in recent memory:
Kansas coach Mark Mangino gives obesity a new meaning. This guy is fucking disgusting.
Big game this week against the Oregon Ducks at the Autzen Zoo. It should be a tough game for both teams. I just hope USC can stop the spread offense and slow down Dixon and Stewart. More on that throughout the week...
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Fight On! Beat the Irish!(again)
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
It felt so relieving to see Les Miles frustrated on the sidelines and somber in his press conference. That guy is a fucking douche if there ever was one. I bet his own family hates his guts, assuming there was a woman brave enough to put up with that piece of shit in the first place. LSU lost to a very good Kentucky team on the road. I know what it feels like to lose those triple overtime games at the wire (see Cal 2003). It's a real shitty feeling, and I know LSU fans are hurting. Shit happens though and Les Miles is a cunt, so fuck him.
Then to top things off, as I'm enjoying a nice meal of chicken wings and beer at Hooters, Cal loses to Oregon St. on a bonehead play by their redshirt freshman QB. Cal drives down the field in an attempt to tie the game with a field goal, only this cat decides to be a hero and scramble for a first down and runs out the clock in the process. What a fucking idiot. It was such a good ending to a day that saw LSU fall.
The first BCS poll comes out today and I'm sure USC will be pretty far down the rankings, but with the way this season is going, anything can happen. Big game today in Dallas with the hated Patriots and Bill Belicheat visiting the Cowboys at Texas Stadium. Hopefully Romo can pull this one out. It's also Notre Dame week, so expect a lot of hate and venom aimed this week at Charlie "Mom Jeans" Weis and the Irish. Feast on that.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I haven't been this excited for an SC game this entire season. Ever since Mark Sanchez arrived as a freshmen I've been anticipating his first start. Hopefully the weather will clear up and allow Mark to show the coaches and the fans what he can bring to our offense.
I wonder how Carroll will respond if Sanchez goes balls out on Saturday in a blowout victory?
Odds are, regardless of how well Sanchez plays on Saturday, Booty will be our starting QB in South Bend if his finger is fully healed. We'll see if our program really revolves around COMPETITION next week.
What's Mustain thinking right now?
Friday, October 12, 2007
USC QB Mark Sanchez vs. Arizona CB Antoine Cason
This will be the biggest individual matchup of the game and its outcome could very well determine who leaves this game a winner. It will be important for Sanchez take some shots downfield, but he must be careful not to test Cason, who will probably be a 1st round pick in the NFL Draft. USC's WR corps is not good enough right now to bail Sanchez out on any indecisions or poorly thrown balls. This is his first career start, so mistakes are going to happen. Golden rule for Sanchez tomorrow, KNOW WHERE #5 IS AT ALL TIMES...
USC RB Chauncey Washington vs. Arizona's Run Defense
Chauncey, the First President, must get going early to take some pressure off Sanchez. Washington struggled to break off any long runs last week with Stanford stacking the box on the Trojans. Chauncey needs to run with authority tomorrow, establish himself, and set the tone for the rest of the game.
USC CB Terrell Thomas vs. Arizona WR Mike Thomas
USC Sports Talk has said it many times , Terrell Thomas sucks. I don't where all this talk about him being a lock down defender came from. The average sports fan needs to look no further than across the sideline at Arizona CB Antoine Cason to find a real shut down corner. Mike Thomas is very explosive in this new spread offense that Arizona has implemented. It will be up to Terrell Thomas to break down and not let Mike turn a 5 yard slant into a 70 yard touchdown.
USC RT Drew Radovich vs. Arizona Defensive Ends
Radovich has been USC's most vulnerable offensive lineman during the past two seasons. Many of Booty's sacks and tipped passes have been a result of Radovich doing a poor job in pass blocking. Sam Baker and Jeff Byers are as good a left side that you'll find on any offensive line in the country, so you can expect Arizona to target Radovich. Sanchez will need to feel comfortable in the pocket if he is to succeed tomorrow.
USC DE Kyle Moore vs. Arizona LT Peter Graniello
The Trojans are going to give up yards against this spread offense passing attack, but they will need to generate pressure on QB Willie Tuitama. If USC's defensive line does not register any sacks or force Tuitama into hurrying his throws, then it will be a long afternoon for the Trojan secondary. Sacks and INT's will negate a 400 yard passing day from Tuitama. There's no question that big Sedrick Ellis will once again be a disruptive force on the inside, but he needs Moore or LoJack to get some pressure of the edge.
Offensively, I think Carroll and Sarkisian will pull the reigns back while Mark Sanchez settles down and works the jitters out. They will try to establish the running game early and maintain ball possession in order to keep Arizona's high octane offense on the sidelines. Look for CB Antoine Cason to disguise his coverage to confuse Sanchez and bait him into throwing an INT. Sanchez must maintain his composure if he does throw an early INT. The coaching staff will need to limit his reads and give Sanchez plenty of check downs. Fred Davis has been unstoppable this season and tomorrow should be no different, he will definitely help loosen things up on the outside. Arizona will stack the box with 8 or 9 guys, leaving their corners on an island, so USC will need to make the necessary adjustments and throw the ball in the 2nd half.
Defensively, the Wildcats know that USC's run defense is very good so they will definitely stick to what they do best, which is throw the ball. I'm not sure the Trojans can hold Arizona under 300 yards passing, but the key will be sacks and turnovers. USC's defense will do just enough to win the game. Thomas Williams and Keith Rivers will either jump a slant route for a pick or force a fumble on a quick WR screen. It's gut check Saturday for USC, but the coaches will keep the game plan simple and will be happy just to get back on the winning track...Prediction: USC 31, Arizona 21
Joey -- Joey as unable to post predictions because there was some foul bacteria eating away at his stomach lining.
PCBestever -- If losing to Stanford doesn't fire this team up I don't know what will. Yea I do.... Mark Sanchez will! Guaranteed the team responds with more intensity with Sanchez on the field. Prediction: USC 35, Arizona 6. (With the rain and our blocking on special teams I doubt we kick any field goals tomorrow)
RG3 -- After the unthinkable happened last week, USC will be hungry and ready to win some respect back. If our team has any balls, we'll come out fired up today and start the streak at the Coliseum all over again. Sanchez will start slow and eventually get into a rhythm with his new favorite targets, RoJo and Ausberry. USC 31 Arizona 17
DE 1 Louis Holmes 6-6 265 Sr.*-1L
DT 96 Yaniv Barnett 6-1 315 Sr.-3L
DT 54 Lionel Dotson 6-4 286 Sr.*-3L
DE 97 Johnathan Turner 6-3 262 Jr.*-2L
DE 53 Jason Parker 6-3 265 Sr.*-3L (key backup)
Sam LB 39 Dane Krogstad 6-2 240 Sr.*-3L
Mike LB 33 Ronnie Palmer 6-3 245 Jr.*-2L
Will LB 51 Spencer Larsen 6-1 240 Sr.*-3L
Cornerback 3 Wilrey Fontenot 5-9 174 Sr.*-3L
CB 6 Devin Ross 5-11 170 So.-1L (key backup)
Strong Safety 20 Cam Nelson 6-1 200 So.*-1L
Free Safety 8 Dominic Patrick 6-1 210 Sr.-3L
FS 21 Corey Hall 5-10 190 So.*-1L (key backup)
Cornerback 5 Antoine Cason 6-1 185 Sr.-3L
Best Defensive Player: CB Antoine Cason
Defensive Line -- The Wilcats rotate 3 pretty good players at defensive end. The regular starters are Louis Holmes (18 tackles, 2 TFL, 0 sacks)and Johnathan Turner (10 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks), but Jason Parker (25 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3 sacks) sees a lot of time as well and is the leading tackler amongst the linemen. At defensive tackle, seniors Yaniv Barnet (18 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack) and Lionel Dotson (19 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks) have started every game this season, and are very experienced. In fact, the strength of this unit is its experience. They have been done a decent job against the run, opposing teams have averaged 116.3 rushing yards per game and 3.4 yards per rush. The unit's weakness has been pressuring the QB and causing turnovers. The Wildcats had only 15 sacks last season, and although the 12 sacks they have this year are ahead of last year's pace, they still aren't generating the pressure that Mike Stoops would like.
Linebackers -- The linebackers experienced and very active. Senior weakside LB Spencer Larsen (49 tackles, 2 TFL) leads the team in tackles, junior MLB Ronnie Palmer (39 tackles, 1 TFL) is 3rd on the team in tackles, and senior strong-side LB Dane Krogstad (28 tackles, 2.5 TFL) is the tied for 5th in tackles. They are stout against the run, tackle very well, and make plays all over the field. Their only weakness seems to be the lack of production in pass coverage, given that the 3 starters have yet to record a sack or an interception.
Defensive Backs -- The secondary is probably the strength of Arizona's defense. This is a fast unit, probably more athletic than USC's secondary. Three seniors starters return in the defensive backfield, led by Jim Thorpe Award candidate Antoine Cason. The senior CB is one of the elite cover guys in the country, and he proved it last year when he manhandled USC's all-everything WR Dwayne Jarrett. Cason is the team's 2nd leading tackler with 40, and has TD returns on both a punt (70 yards) and an INT (60 yards) so far this season. Senior CB Wilroy Fontenot starts opposite of Cason, an though undersized at 5-9, he has tremendous speed and good ball skills. The safeties sophomore Cam Nelson and senior Dominic Patrick are big hitters and sure tacklers. Nelson is 4th on the team in tackles with 34, while Patrick is tied for 5th with 28.
The key matchups will be up shortly...
Thanks once again to Scout.com's College Football News and the Arizona Athletics website's Game Notes for providing background info on the Wildcats...
Thursday, October 11, 2007
WR(X): 84 Terrell Turner 6-2 190 So. -1L
Tight End: 48 Rob Gronkowski 6-6 250 Fr.-HS
TE (Small): 9 Anthony Johnson 6-2 210 Sr.*-3L
Left Tackle: 76 Peter Graniello 6-5 310 Sr.*-3L
Left Guard: 64 Colin Baxter 6-4 295 Fr.*-RS
Center: 50 Blake Kerley 6-2 285 So.*-1L
Right Guard: 75 Joe Longacre 6-3 315 Jr.*-2L
Right Tackle: 77 Eben Britton 6-6 310 So.*-1L
WR(Z): 10 Mike Thomas 5-8 195 Jr.-2L
Quarterback: 7 Willie Tuitama 6-3 220 Jr.-2L
Running Back: 23 Nic Grigsby 5-10 178 Fr.-HS
H-Back: 49 Earl Mitchell 6-2 265 So.-1L
H-Back (Small): 18 Delashaun Dean 6-4 198 Fr.*-RS
Best Offensive Player: WR Michael Thomas
Quarterback -- Junior QB Willie Tuitama exploded onto the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2005, but has yet to build off of that first season. He's been beaten up behind a very porous offensive line throughout his career, but he is as dangerous as ever in the spread offense that new offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes has implemented. This spread offense emphasizes short and intermediate routes, but Willie T has a very strong arm and can make any throw on the field. He is athletic and can make plays outside of the pocket as well. The key for Tuitama will be his health and consistency.
Passing Game -- Arizona's offense revolves around its passing game. Not counting rushes by Wildcat QB's, which include sacks, Arizona has attempted 270 passes to only 141 rushes. That's almost a 2 to 1 ratio. USC's defense employs a bend but don't break philosophy, so the pressure will be on Arizona to take what the defense gives them. They have an electrifying player at WR in Michael Thomas (38 catches, 423 yards, 6 TDs) that can score from anywhere on the field. Thomas can run past an overly agressive corner on a deep route, or turn a short 5 yard pass into a 50 yard gain by making tacklers miss. "X" receiver Terrell Turner (25 catches, 327 yards, 2 TDs) and "small" tight end Anthony Johnson (25 catches, 290 yards, 1 TD) present bigger targets for Tuitama. Running backs Chris Jennings (18 catches) and Nicholas Grigsby (14 catches) have been active targets out of the backfield.
Running Game -- True freshman Nic Grigsby became the starter at running back in Arizona's 4th game and hasn't looked back. In 4 appearances this season, Grigsby leads the Wildcats in rushing with 345 yards on 68 carries, good enough for 86.2 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. WR Michael Thomas is a threat and reverses and end-arounds, gaining 111 yards on 7 carries. The Wilcats aren't going to play smash mouth football and control the clock on anybody, but they will catch defenses that are overly focused on stopping the pass sleeping.
Look for the defensive preview later on tonight...
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I give you the USC Song Girls...
USC (4-1, 2-1) is coming off the worst loss in the history of all things holy, but fortunately for us, there are still 7 games to play. The Trojans dropped to 7th in the USA Today Coaches poll, which comprises 1/3 of the BCS Standings, but can still make up for it by winning the rest of its games. It all starts this Saturday though, what I'm calling Redemption Saturday for USC, as the the Trojans host the University of Arizona Wildcats (2-4, 1-2). The Wildcats are also coming off a loss, 31-16 to Oregon State, and have had an up and down season so far. Their slow start can be attributed to their tough road schedule. Arizona has lost all three of its road games at BYU (20-7), Cal (45-27), and last week at Oregon State (31-16). There aren't many teams in the country that can escape from those 3 places without defeat. At home the Wildcats defeated Northern Arizona (45-24), lost a nail-biter to New Mexico (29-27), and then beat Washington State (48-20). They are certainly battle tested on the road this year, so I don't think the Coliseum will have much of an impact on them. They also know that they can come in and compete against USC after playing us tough last year, remember they also beat Cal last year. USC would have finished 2nd in the Pac-10 after losing to fucla if Cal hadn't lost that game.
Fight On! Beat the Wildcats!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
1. Give the senior QB an opportunity to play and prove himself. COMPLETE
2. Allow praised QB to compete for Heisman Trophy. COMPLETE
3. Pull senior quarterback and replace him with the more talented redshirt sophomore quarterback who possess greater athleticism, confidence, arm strength, heart, and intelligence. PROCESSING...
4. Sit back and watch as your offense flourishes under the new field general.
This is only the 5th loss by USC since I've been a student here. Cal in 2003 was pretty bad since it was a triple-overtime loss. Texas in the Rose Bowl in 2006 was the worst night of my life. Oregon St. and fUCLA in 2006 were also pretty disappointing, but Stanford in 2007? Are you fucking kidding me? Stanford? At home? WTF!? Who the fuck loses to Stanford?
I sincerely hope Carroll had to be restrained from going after players and coaches in the locker room. This loss shouldn't be taken lightly by the coaching staff. Sarkisian should realize that his play calling sucks dick. It's hard to imagine Lane Kiffin was drawing up better plays. Nick Holt doesn't know what the fuck he's doing. Every time the camera pans across him, he's looking at his play sheet with a look of "What the fuck should I do?"
USC usually bounces back from a loss and gets their shit straight. Players and coaches usually get their heads out of their asses, and realize that they fucked up and need to start playing/coaching better. I just hope that this loss awakens a sleeping giant that can salvage this season. I say salvage because with USC's recent 11+ win seasons, anything short of a National Championship or a BCS Bowl is unacceptable. We still have Oregon and Cal on the schedule and those games will definitely be a gut check. Whatever happens though, I just hope Pete Carroll gets his wish and gets to play in the Rose Bowl this season. That always "jacks" him up...
Friday, October 5, 2007
USC CB Mozique McCurtis vs. Stanford's WR Corps
McCurtis has been battling injuries and replaces Shareece Wright, who's replacing Cary Harris and Josh Pinkard, in the starting lineup. I don't think Stanford will go after Terrell Thomas much, but expect them to test McCurtis early and often with the 6-7 Evan Moore on fade patterns, and with short passes to the speedy Mark Bradford and Richard Sherman. USC plays a lot of soft zone coverages, so it's important to tackle and prevent yards after the catch (YAC). McCurtis played well against Washington last week and has always been a tough, reliable defender so I expect him to rise to the occasion tomorrow.
USC DE Kyle Moore vs. Stanford LT Ben Muth
Moore has been a pleasant surprise this season. If he can continue to pressure the QB off the edge, it'll free up Sedrick Ellis up the middle and LoJack on the opposite side. Moore needs to get to Stanford's young QB early and rattle him, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh will probably call a bunch of roll outs and bootlegs to get Pritchard on the move giving him a pass-run option. Pritchard is said to be very athletic, so it will also be important for Moore and Jackson to play with discipline and keep the QB in the pocket.
USC Running Backs vs. Stanford MLB Nick Macaluso
Macaluso has registered only 5 tackles in the 3 games that he's played in. When Chauncey Washington, Joe McKnight, Desmond Reed, Allen Bradford, Hershel Dennis or whoever it is that gets meaningful carries is in the game, they need to punish Macaluso. USC's offensive line is almost certain to open up holes like this against Stanford's porous defensive line, so Macaluso better buckle up his chin strap and get ready to make some tackles.
USC TE Fred Davis vs. Stanford SS Austin Yancy
Davis, a blue-chip WR in high school, has become QB John David Booty's favorite and most reliable target. Davis is making the most of his catches, whether it be picking key first downs, stiff-arming would-be tacklers, or hurdling defenders after a long catch and run. Yancy (6-4, 215) definitely has the size to match up with Davis, but like Davis, is also a former WR. Does he have the experience and toughness to contain a player like Davis?
USC FB Stanley Havili vs. Stanford SLB Pat Maynor
Booty has struggled to get the ball to his WR's this season, but Havili and Davis have been great outlets. USC likes to roll out Booty on play-action and dump it to Havili in the flats. Stanford's defense will have to choose whether to honor the run or prevent Havili and Davis from having a big day in the passing game. Booty tends to lock on to his targets, so if Maynor can anticipate a route he might be able to jump on it and make a big play.
Offensively, the Trojans can run the ball at will against Stanford, but with C.J. Gable out for the season and Stafon Johnson being banged up, I think they'll monitor Chauncey's carries and let Booty air it out early on. It will be nice to see offensive coordinator open up the playbook and get the WR's involved. Once they establish a big lead, it'll be time to control the clock and see what McKnight, Bradford, and Dennis can do. Expect another big day from Davis and Havili.
Defensively, USC will probably try to confuse QB Tavita Pritchard, who will be making his first career start on Saturday. Look for Carroll to show blitz before the snap by creeping up the linebackers and disguise the coverages, only the switch to a totally different look at the snap of the ball. The crowd noise, coupled with Pritchard's inexperience will make it difficult for Stanford to change plays at the line of scrimmage. It won't take long for USC's front four to pressure Pritchard and force an early turnover, opening up the flood gates. USC has been hit hard by the injury bug this season so I'm sure Carroll's #1 objective for tomorrow will be to end this game quickly and to emerge from it relatively unscathed and as healthy as possible. USC is losing respect in the polls though, so style points definitely count...Prediction: USC 45, Stanford 6
Joey -- USC uses Stanford as a "healing" game, just like they did last year. Beware of more sloppy play from Booty with all the injuries. The defense rolls as usual. USC 42 Stanford 13
RG3 -- USC's stagnant offense wakes up and will send chills down the spines of all the haters out there. Booty regains some lost ground in the Heisman race and Chauncey Washington rushes for 200 yards... at the half... USC 49 Stanford 3.
PCBestever -- Allen Bradford destroys at least three people blocking, rushing, and on special teams on his way to a three touchdown performance. 'SC needs only one half to make a statement and then we'll get to see the Dirty Sanchez in the game...USC 52, Stanford 14
Fight On! Beat the Farm!!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
DE 91 Pannel Egboh (6-6, 275, Jr.*)
DT 99 Levirt Griffin (6-4, 270, So.)
NT 95 Chris Horn (6-5, 273, Sr.)
DE 80 Erik Lorig (6-4, 260, So.*)
SLB 44 Pat Maynor (6-2, 217, Jr.*)
MLB 50 Nick Macaluso (6-3, 235, RFr.*)
WLB 20 Clinton Snyder (6-4, 230, So.*)
CB 2 Nick Sanchez (6-0, 190, Sr.*)
FS 22 Bo McNally (6-0, 208, So.*)
SS 23 Austin Yancy (6-4, 215, So.)
CB 6 Wopamo Osaisai (5-11, 200, Jr.*)
Best Defensive Player: LB Clinton Snyder (23 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 FF)
Defensive Line -- The weakness of Stanford's defense clearly lies with their front four. They are switching from the 3-4 front to a more attacking 4-3 base defense, but thus far the results have been the same. The Cardinal are surrendering 189.8 rushing yards per game, and 454 yards of total offense per game. They are undersized, which means that their LB's won't be able to roam free with both of their defensive tackles weighing in at around 270 lbs. DE Pannel Egboh, the team's 5th leading tackler with 19, can be disruptive off the edge at 6-6, 275 lbs.
Linebackers -- Stanford's LB unit is pretty good, considering they have to shed blockers all night as opposing teams pound it against their porous defensive line. They are still struggling to replace their all-league middle linebacker Michael Okwo, last year's senior captain, but their outside linebackers Pat Maynor (31 tackles) and Clinton Snyder (23 tackles) are very active. Maynor and Snyder each have 4.5 tackles for loss, while trying to pick up the slack for redshirt freshman MLB Nick Macaluso (5 tackles in 2 career starts) who has yet to make an impact.
Defensive Backs -- The Cardinal secondary has had a rough start as well, allowing 264.2 passing yards per game and intercepting the ball only twice this season, but games against Oregon and Arizona State will help skew any team's defensive stats. The safeties are big question marks. SS Austin Yancy was playing WR for Stanford last season and FS Bo McNally is a former linebacker. You have to wonder about their instincts and lack of experience at the positions. The Cardinal have a very solid trio of CB's in starters Nick Sanchez and Wopamo Osaisai, and a reliable veteran backup in Tim Sims. Osaisai leads the team with 6 pass breakups, while McNally and Sims account for the 2 INT's Stanford has produced.
Look out tomorrow night for the key matchups and predictions, I know we didn't get to that last week, but we will this time around.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
WR 4 Mark Bradford (6-2, 215, Sr.)
9 Richard Sherman (6-3, 195, So.), key contributor, leads team in receiving
LT 76 Ben Muth (6-6, 301, Jr.*)
LG 72 Mikal Brewer (6-3, 297, Sr.*)
C 62 Tim Mattran (6-5, 298, Sr.*)
RG 60 Alex Fletcher (6-3, 295, Jr.*)
RT 63 Chris Marinelli (6-7, 304, So.*)
TE 83 Jim Dray (6-5, 255, So.*)
45 Ben Ladner (6-3, 250, So.*), key backup
QB 14 Tavita Pritchard (6-4, 200, So.*), starting for injured Ostrander
RB 5 Anthony Kimble (6-1, 210, Jr.*)
FB 48 Owen Marecic (6-1, 235, Fr.)
WR 8 Evan Moore (6-7, 236, Sr.*)
Best Offensive Player: WR Richard Sherman
Quarterback -- As we mentioned yesterday in our first look at Stanford, sophomore Tavita Pritchard (pictured below) will make his first career start this Saturday in place of senior starting QB T.C. Ostrander, who suffered a seizure this past Sunday and will not be suiting up against the Trojans. This is really unfortunate for the Cardinal on two fronts. First, they will be tossing young and untested QB into the fire that is the otherwise known as the L.A. Coliseum. The Trojans have won 35 consecutive home games, and 24 straight conference games at the historic arena, both streaks are Pac-10 records and currently stand as the longest in the nation. Pritchard has played in only one game this season and nothing can be said from his stat line that includes only 2 pass attempts for 10 yards and 1 rush attempt for 18 yards. Scout.com's 2007 Stanford Preview said that Pritchard won the backup QB job after showcasing his arm strength and quick feet in the spring. Secondly, Ostrander is a fifth year senior who has certainly paid his dues, serving as a backup to Trent Edwards for four years, and has enjoyed a solid season so far. His physical well-being has to be the team's number one priority at this point because they probably won't be playing in a bowl game this winter. I can't say that Ostrander would have engineered an upset over the top ranked Trojans, but he's not likely to make the mistakes that the young Pritchard will undoubtedly commit this weekend. All we can say is, "Get well soon T.C. Ostrander."
Passing Game -- The strength of the Cardinal offense lies with the WR's. Stanford's wide-outs are big (Bradford is 6-2, Sherman is 6-3, and Moore is an astounding 6-7), experienced, and have big-play potential on any given snap. Sherman has been the most productive WR and leads the way in receptions (20), yards (339), and TD catches (2). The only question about the passing game is pass protection. The Cardinal allowed 50 sacks a season ago, and have allowed 15 sacks in 4 games this year. Complicating matters is the loss of starting LT Allen Smith. Junior Ben Muth started his first game last week against ASU, and now is expected to block Trojans DE Kyle Moore, who is having an outstanding season so far. Ostrander did a decent job holding on to the football, throwing 3 INT's in 166 attempts, we'll see how the young QB Pritchard does in the turnover department.
Running Game -- Anthony Kimble is the primary ball-carrier. He has carried the ball 59 times for 288 yards and 3 TD's this season. He has good size at 6-1, 210 lbs. and has the speed to take it the distance, as seen by his season long run of 60 yards this season. As a team, the Cardinal have had trouble running the ball. They only managed 52 yards in the opener vs. fucla, and finished with negative 2 yards last week against ASU. It's been said that Pritchard is a good athlete and can make plays with his feet from the QB position, so that might add another dimension to Stanford's running game. The Trojans did a great job bottling up Jake Locker last week, but they'll again have to be cognitive of their rushing lanes and then punish Pritchard if decides to leave the pocket.
Tomorrow night: Preview of Stanford's Defense
Thanks to College Football News and the Stanford Athletics website for
providing some of the background in this preview...
Those are the Texas Longhorns doing the Superman during their game against UCF. Besides watching 3/4 of the team dancing to this on the sideline, the funny thing is that it wasn't even their home stadium. You have to respect any public display of the Superman, especially when you're the visiting team. My favorite part is when the players taking the field as they're still dancing... funny shit.
Here's a clip of Sebastian the Ibis, mascot for the Miami Hurricanes or the U, dancing to Crank Dat in the endzone. This is an instant classic for mascot displays. Not only is he doing it wearing a big ass mascot head, but he takes off the jacket and goes dumb. It must be fun going to Miami games this year and getting to watch Sebastian do his thing.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
"If you’re a Trojans fan, however, you have three reasons to be concerned right now: Injuries (guard Chilo Rachal joined center Kris O’Dowd and cornerback Shareece Wright – who himself was replacing the injured Cary Harris – on the sideline Saturday); the lack of a second dependable receiver after Turner; and Cal/Oregon/Arizona State. The Trojans, which have to play all three of those ranked teams on the road, are clearly far from invincible, and both the Bears and Ducks sure looked good Saturday."
Lets see. Where should I start on this one? I'll just validate or invalidate his 3 reasons...I guess.
1) Chilo Rachal has never been a great offensive lineman. This guy usually get pancaked by other lineman or by Jeff Byers who has pancaked the entire defense onto Rachal. Seriously, that was a reason to be concerned from the very beginning. At least Tiny can actually move some weight with his body.
2) The lack of a dependable receiver AFTER Turner? Christ, does this guy even watch the games? Turner has never been a dependable receiver to begin with for God's sake. Last time I checked, a receiver catches footballs and I have yet to see Turner do that every now and then. In fact, we have no dependable receivers. Hazelton is a "me-first" player while Ausberry is FAR from the elite scout teamer he once was (Allegedly). And if Booty's arm can catch up to Rojo's speed, maybe we can stretch the field sometime soon. We blame Booty for alot of our struggles this season and sometimes its deserved, but this past game at U-Dub shows that he has no sure hands on this team.
3) This last reason is kinda iffy. "Stewart" might have a point, but its not very strong. Do Cal and Oregon scare me? Yes. Is Desean Jackson a gamebreaker? Yes. Is Dennis Dixon a threat? Yes. Does Terrel Thomas suck? Yes. But I have one reason and its probably the best reason why those teams will NOT beat USC. Pete Carroll. I can assure you Mike Bellotti and Jeff Tedford will have some rear leakage when they are staring across the field from the man who is the best game-day coach money can buy. USC might be struggling right now, but no one is showing any respect right now and when that big game comes, Pete Carroll will make things right. You can take that shit all the way to the bank. Comments welcome.
The Cardinal have a player dealing with a scary medical situation, but they still have a game to play this Saturday. Stanford comes in to this game at (0-3) in the Pac-10 and (1-3) overall, and Saturday's visit to the Coliseum will be Stanford's first road game of the season. That doesn't bode well, for a team struggling as much as the Cardinal, to play the #1 team in the country in your road opener. They opened up the season with a 45-17 loss to fucla, and then after a bye, got their lone win in a 37-0 rout of San Jose State. Then, they lost back to back games against Oregon (55-31)and Arizona State (41-3). All three of those losses came against teams who were ranked in the Top 25 at the time, and who are all still currently in the polls. The USA Today Coaches Poll has Oregon at #13, Arizona State #19, and fucla at #25. As Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins would say, "It's Division I Football," not the University of San Diego, where Harbaugh began his head coaching career 3 seasons ago.
It's certainly been a rough 1st year for Coach Harbaugh, who may be better known for his mouth than his wins at this point in his career. Harbaugh stirred some off-season controvery when he lashed out at his alma-mater, the University of Michigan, for devaluing academics and encouraging student-athletes not to choose majors that may be too rigorous. There was also the matter involving USC, spefically Coach Pete Carroll. Harbaugh claimed that Carroll has only one more year at USC, according to a source inside Carroll's coaching staff. Maybe Harbaugh should be more worried about watching film on last year's game in Palo Alto that ended in a 42-0 rout by the Trojans.
On the home front, Carroll just needs to make sure his guys do not overlook the Cardinal. The 35 game home winning streak is by no means in jeopardy, USC is a 38 point favorite, but the Trojans continue to deal with injuries. Center Kris O'Dowd and right guard Chilo Rachal will both be out for a while with knee injuries, while CB's Shareece Wright and Cary Harris could both be out this weekend. WR Travon Patterson is out for the season, and maybe even C.J. Gable too, according to Scott Wolf. Still no word on Brian Cushing, who is still out, but Thomas Williams has been outstanding in his absence. Carroll has a lot on his table right now, but Stanford might be what the doctor ordered. It will be interesting to see how the two coaches greet each other on the field.
Look out for Stanford's offensive and defensive previews coming in the next couple of days...
Fight On! Beat the Farm!!