Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Home Sweet Home!

The Trojans pulled out another hard fought comeback victory on the road. It is never easy to beat good teams on the road and that is what USC has done the last 2 weeks. The Trojans have a huge target on their back and the road games will not get any easier. Everywhere USC goes on the road, it is the biggest game since (fill in the blank). ASU fans said it was the biggest game since Nebraska 1996, Irish fans are proclaiming this the biggest game since Florida State 1993...so on and so forth. The Trojans are happy to be home for 1 brief game before heading out on the road again for 2 more road games.

Please email Tim if you are planning on attending the tailgate this week.

Notes & Tidbits from ASU Game

  • One thing that does not change from game to game is that the Trojans play with heart!
  • The Trojans have been highly penalized in 3 of the first 4 games...something we have never seen in the Pete Carroll era
  • There is so much talk about the offense, but the defense has played outstanding the last two weeks
  • The Trojan D held ASU 200yds and 19pts below their season average (and held ASU to 150yds less than LSU did)
  • ASU QB Sam Keller had thrown only 2 interceptions in 4 games, but threw 5 interceptions against the Trojan D. Leave it to Pete Carroll to confuse a young QB
  • Oscar Lua has really developed into an outstanding MLB and looks like he has regained some of the speed he had prior to 2 (yes 2!) ACL surgeries....Lua is quite a bit heavier than Taputu and made a great play to stuff the run on 4th and 1
  • Speaking of improvements, how about John Walker! (Dan Cherrie and Marcus Wooler have to eat some serious crow) Walker had 2 interceptions and made a great play to break up a pass to the ASU tight end on third and short
  • Justin Wyatt had a battle with talented ASU wideout Derek Hagan. Hagan had 160yds receiving, but Wyatt made a critical interception to get the Trojans the ball just one play after fumbling it away
  • After 4 games, this is starting to look like a Pete Carroll defense. The Trojans are holding opponents under 100yds rushing, putting pressure on the quarterback (4 sacks this week and 5 sacks last week) and forcing turnovers.
  • Injuries on defense are a huge concern and talented true freshman Kevin Ellison is likely done for the season with a torn ACL. Lets hope that Sedrick Ellis (hip) and LaJuan Ramsey (ankle) can get well in a hurry
  • Looks like Kevin Thomas and Will Harris (both true frosh corners) will be healthy for ND
  • There has been a lot of criticism about the offense this week, particularly the play calling. Well, the Trojans ran Bush & White 16 times for 88yds in the first half and 20 times for 267yds in the second half. Not much difference in the number of runs, but a huge difference in the execution

  • By the way, Leinart called the audible into that bootleg run on 3rd down
  • I can't remember the last time USC ran for 373 yards. Bush and White both go over 100yds for the second consecutive game
  • The offensive line is simply dominant right now....just knocking people off the ball and giving Leinart good protection. I have said since before the season started that this may be the best USC offensive line in 25 years
  • The late hit on Leinart was a blatant cheap shot intended to knock him out of the game/season...complete bush league and unacceptable

Arizona Wildcats coming to the Coliseum

  • The Wildcats come to the Coliseum at 1-3 with their only win against 1-AA Northern Arizona
  • Don't take the Wildcats lightly as a 2-2 UofA team came to the Coliseum in 1981 and beat the #1 ranked Trojans despite over 200yds from Marcus Allen
  • Expect a crowd of 90,000....USC is on track to break the school's (and the conference's) attendance record for the second consecutive year
  • The Cats play hard (particularly on defense), but are ranked 105th nationally in rushing offense and 103rd in rushing defense
  • UofA also ranked 111th in turnover margin
  • Mike Bell is a solid running back, but the Wildcat OL is below average. Bell may get some nice runs, but he will also be stuffed for no gain several times. I also expect the USC DE's to put substantial pressure on the QB
  • UofA has some playmakers at WR in Jefferson and Steptoe....Steptoe is also a very accomplished kick returner and had an 80yd return called back by penalty last week against Cal
  • Brad Wood is a threat at TE...I expect to see him catching balls in the middle of the field against the USC 2-Deep zone
  • Arizona has an outstanding kicking game, with the leading punter in the nation and an great FG kicker in Nick Folk
  • USC #3 nationally in rushing offense, #1 in yard per carry by a wide margin
  • USC #1 in total offense and #2 in scoring offense
  • Patrick Turner and Dwayne Jarrett will split time this week....a big opportunity for the freshman
  • I think we will see USC run some play action early, as the Cats will no doubt be expecting the run
  • Maybe this is the week Dom Byrd and Brandon Hancock get involved in the offense or maybe the staff is holding this back for ND

Let's hope some good 'ol Coliseum home cooking can get the Trojans on track for another victroy. See you Saturday morning.

Fight On!


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