Tuesday, October 25, 2005

That's What I'm Talking About!

The Trojans returned to their dominating form with a convincing 51-24 win over the Washington Huskies. More importantly, the Trojans have finally finished a grueling stretch of 5 road games out of the first seven contests, including 2 sets of back to back road games. USC now plays its last 5 games in California, including 4 games at the Coliseum. This long stretch at (or near) home will make the USC players happy enough to dance.

Tailgate Update

  • Tailgate will be in its usual spot and will be there plenty early
  • Breakfast served in the morning with a TV schedule of GameDay at 7:30am and either Oklahoma vs Nebraska or Clemson vs Georgia Tech at 9:00am
  • Menu is breakfast burittos, bagels, pancakes and donuts
  • Late lunch/early dinner after the game with UCLA/Stanford game on TV. Good chance to watch 2 future USC opponents
  • Game is a sellout...92,000fans and homecoming
Notes & Tidbits on UW Game

  • USC had it's lowest offensive output of the season (in terms of yards), but that was due more to field position than Washington's defense...USC only punted once
  • The Trojans broke a string of games with a 100yd rusher as both Bush and White were under the century mark
  • The offense seemed to be in a much better rhythm and went back to shorter drops and shorter passes....it was nice to see Dom Byrd catch some balls in this game
  • Speaking of tight ends, Fred Davis is turning into a punishing run blocker. I think Fred has a very bright future at USC and he will continue to make larger contributions as the season progresses
  • Brian Cushing made his return to the field and seemed to be in on every play...including the first blocked punt of the year by the Trojans. Cushing seems to have a nose for the ball, much like Matt Grootegood did, but Cushing weighs in at 6'4" 230lbs vs Groots at 5'11" 210
  • Leinart looked much more relaxed and seemed to let the game flow to him...much fewer forced throws down the field
  • Jarrett continues to amaze with 3 TD catches, including a ridiculous one hand grab in the back corner of the endzone. Jarrett will likely break all of Mike Williams TD records before he is done at USC

  • It was nice to see Reggie get a punt return for a TD.....now I would like to see #5 turn it up field a bit more on kickoff returns
  • How about that kickoff return by Darnell Bing...that was very impressive for a 6'3" 220lb safety!
  • It was a shame to see John Walker get hurt. Walker has been beaten a few times this year, but the kid is a warrior and a true Trojan. I hope we see #18 back on the field soon. More on the cornerback situation below
  • The Trojan defense recorded 5 sacks and only allowed 59yds rushing. The Trojans have stuffed the run all year and are starting to put pressure on the quarterback...believe it or not, I am really starting to like what I see on this defense. More on this below

Notes & Tidbits for the WSU Game

  • Make no mistake, this is a very, very dangerous Washington State Cougar football team. The Cougs had Cal down 10 with 5 minutes to go and had the Bruins down 17 in the 4th quarter, but found a way to lose both these games
  • The Cougs are very explosive on offense and are averaging almost 520yds in total offense per game (#3 in Pac 10 and 6th nationally)
  • Jerome Harrison leads the way for the Cougs' rushing attack (he is ranked #1 in Pac 10 and 2nd nationally at 166yds/game) while Jason Hill is one of the best receivers in the conference and nation (ranked #1 in Pac 10 in yds/catch and #2 in TDs, catches/game and yds/game)
  • The Cougs are averaging almost 40pts a game, good enough for 3rd in the conference and and 9th nationally
  • WSU's QB play has been a bit shakey with Alex Brink throwing 10 interceptions (3rd worst in Pac 10) and completing only 55% of his passes
  • The Cougs depend on the big play to score, resulting in low completion percentage, stalled drives and low time of possession
  • Look for the Trojans to stuff the run and force Brink to throw underneath...something the Cougs do not like to do. I am sure the Trojans focused all week on not letting Jason Hill catch deep balls behind the secondary
  • I've been told that coach Carroll is very pleased with his "new" secondary. Pinkard is playing better and better at the corner position and true frosh #15 Kevin Thomas (Keto) really impressed coaches with his play against UW
  • True frosh #7 Cary Harris and #26 Will Harris will start to see time as well
  • If the front 7 can continue its solid play, I am starting believe that the Trojan secondary can be much better as the season goes on...if this happens, the Trojans will be even tougher to beat

  • The Cougs have tendency to turn the ball over (16 turnovers in 7 games, vs 9 for the Trojans) including 11 turnovers in 4 Pac 10 games
  • WSU plays an aggressive blitzing style of defense, which has allowed them to total 26 sacks (6th nationally). However, with that aggressive defense comes opportunities. I would expect to see USC have the opportunity to make some big plays on the Cougs (preferably on slants and screens!)
  • The Cougs are ranked in the middle of the Pac 10 defensively (#7 in scoring D, #5 in rushing D, #6 in passing D and #5 in total D)
  • All Pac 10 LB Will Derting and outstanding WR/PR Michael Bumpus are out for the Cougs this week

Should be a great game and an electric environment in the Coliseum. Look forward to seeing everyone there. Let's hope the Trojans can grind out another victory over a tough Pac 10 opponent.

Fight On!


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