2 Straight Weeks of Mediocrity, Almost a Decade of Superiority

USC not impressive the past 2 weeks. Amazing the past few years

[ Saturday, September 26, 2009 | 0 comments ]
USC was impressive off the bat by outscoring Washington State 20-0 in the 1st quarter. However, against a team they were suppose to beat by 45 points, they only outscored WSU 7-6 the rest of the game. Put that all together, and for a second consecutive week, USC did not look like a championship caliber team. Haunted by turnovers, penalties, and a clear drop in offensive play calling, the Trojans had trouble sustaining drives majority of the game outside of the first quarter.

That concludes this week's game recap. There is not much else to say about that.

What does deserve some acknowledgement is what Pete Carroll has done for USC. The fact that over the past few years he has lost so many players to the NFL and still manage to be in the conversation for a National Championship. I have not seen any other program that has been capable of replacing so many players and so many coordinators without seeing a drastic drop in performance.

Many coaches' pitch to their recruits is that they will have significant play time off the bat. Is that really a good sales pitch or does it just reflect society's need for instant gratification. These young athletes aspire to be NFL stars and make the life changing million dollar contracts. They should be insulted when they are pitched a pro bono collegiate stardom because they are being sold short of their dream. Pete's pitch I'm sure involves preparation to someday be in the NFL. It's not about starting as a freshman, it's about starting a future career and fulfilling a dream. USC gets knocked for their stars "busting" in the NFL. ie: Matt Leinart.

There are thousands of QBs in high school and only a handful make it to college. From there only a handful make it to the NFL. In the end only 32 Quarterbacks win a starting gig in the league. So is it so bad for Matt to be sitting behind a future Hall of Famer in Kurt Warner? Sooner's former QB and Heisman winner, Jason White didn't even get drafted. Where is Florida's National Champion QB in Chris Leak? Buckeye QB Troy Smith never earned his spot from rookie Joe Flaco. Matt Cassel has signed bigger contracts than them for just holding a clip board in college.

Pete Carroll's players haven't been that impressive the last two games. USC has fallen short of National Titles the past few years, but Pete Carroll and his players have not fallen short of their promises and goals. Pete pitches them NFL careers his players have gotten them. That isn't just impressive. It's amazing. Read the full story »

Makings of a Bad Day

[ Saturday, September 19, 2009 | 0 comments ]

The power went out in the middle of the night. My alarm clock is blinking 3:05am but it's really 7:30am. I'm an hour drive from work that starts at 8 am sharp, and I'm a slow dresser. I rush and get to the office only to realize I left my laptop at home. I managed fine by quickly remaking my PowerPoint presentation at the office. I already knew what to put on my slides, but will just have to live without the fancy transitions and pictures I made the night before. I didn't lose my job, my manager still thinks I'm one of the best, but now when I walk by my co-workers new office after he got promoted I wonder what could have been.

USC has had some huge disappointments the past few seasons that has cost them a shot at the National Championship. What those losses all had in common is that they were an absolute shocker. When Vegas is surprised, you know it was completely unexpected. Today's loss against Washington is just as disappointing, but you can almost see it coming. USC had all the makings of a bad day.

It started when Steve Sarkisian and Nick Holt left town with USC's offensive and defensive playbooks along with the knowledge of all of Pete Carroll's style and game time tendencies. Matt Barkley, the freshman phenom, injures his shoulder the week before. Safety, Taylor Mays, hurts his knee and sits out as well. It definitely looked like it can be ugly. Trojan fans all know it, but just didn't want to admit it. I didn't want to give in to that notion as well.

A team who could not win a game last year may have just ended Pete Carroll's hopes of a National Championship with this win. It definitely had the makings of a bad game, a bad day, and what looks to be a bad year.

Game notes:

Aaron Corp is the first QB in the Pete Carroll era to lose a game in his first start.

Joe Mcknight is now averaging 1 fumble per game this season.

Mitch Mustain was seen warming up in the second half, but Pete as always didn't give up on his QB. Read the full story »

Joe and Matt Shined When it Mattered Most

[ Saturday, September 12, 2009 | 0 comments ]

The biggest rookie quarterback mistake made in the game was not by Matt Barkley, but by true sophomore Terrelle Pryor. With the game on the line after USC just rumbled their way for a 3 point lead with just a minute left, Terrelle Pryor was not able to handle the pressure and was called for grounding. The loss of down and yards just made it difficult for the Buckeye offense to get close enough for a field goal to at least tie the game and send it to overtime.

The only stat that matters in the game is the final score of 18 - 15 with USC pulling off an amazing come from behind win. The rest of the stats are not worth talking about because they were absolutely ugly. Barkley completed less than half his passes, threw an interception he has become known for in practice, and only averaged 6.3 yards per throw. Joe Mcknight who was ineffective throughout the game didn't post any significant numbers until it mattered most.

Going by the numbers there were no stars in this game. But going by what matters most, winning, Matt Barkley and Joe Mcknight are truly stars and definitely shined tonight.

Game Notes:

CJ Gable only saw action in special teams. He has always been known as the best blocking back and could have prevented what almost became a costly sack on Barkley as Joe Mcknight was ineffective in pass blocking.

Stafon Johnson showed he's a true sport. He came in and scored when needed, but spent most of the game on the sidelines.

Matt Barkley appeared to have injured his throwing arm and noted after the game that he felt pain but kept going. Corp was given a chance to throw the ball after the injury but only on the sidelines. Read the full story »