Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bruins and ESPN GameDay Visit the Coliseum

We hope that everyone had a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. The Trojans certainly needed a break after playing 10 consecutive weeks. USC survived a close game against a solid Fresno St team. I was impressed with the Bulldogs, particularly in how they took USC's best shot in the third quarter and came back to actually lead the Trojans in the 4th quarter. What can you say about Reggie Bush? He just makes big plays in important situations that make a real difference in the outcome of the game. He is truly a special player.

Tailgate Update

  • We had another great tailgate for the Fresno St game....thanks to everyone for helping out
  • Special thanks to Phil Navarro for providing and cooking the wonderful lobster, albacore and yellowtail....Phil has now spoiled us two years in a row with this tasty feast! Of course, he is now morally obligated to provide for us every year :)
  • It was fun to set up next to Fred Matua's family....we were able to trade lobster for bbq'd pork as well engage in some interesting dialogue. Congrats to Fred and his family for making 2nd Team All Pac 10! John Walker's parents were there as well
  • I am not a big fan of the night games, but it is clear to me that the crowd is much louder and enthusiastic for the 7pm games vs the 12:30 games
  • This is the last Coliseum tailgate of the year and with the Bruins coming to town and GameDay making an appearance it should be an electric day!
  • This will be the fifth time that the tailgate crew has been in attendance for GameDay and it is an awesome experience. The Trojans have won four huge games with GameDay in attendance (Rose Bowl 2003, Cal 2004 and Notre Dame 2004 and 2005) and we are hoping to go 5 for 5.

  • Obviously this game will be sold out and with GameDay here, I would expect another early arriving crowd
  • We will be serving our regular breakfast menu as well as a light lunch pre-game. We will be serving food post game as well
  • Pre-game we will be watching Texas and Colorado play in the Big XII Championship Game and post game we will watch the second half of the SEC Championship Game (LSU vs Georgia)

Quick Fresno St Review

  • This week is all about the Bruins so I will not spend much time on the Bulldogs
  • I thought USC played well against Fresno St with the exception of special teams which were terrible
  • I have heard many complaints about the defense, but I think most of the blame goes to special teams. Both Fresno TDs in the 4th quarter were on drives less than 20yds thanks to a long punt return (and penalty) and a fumbled kickoff....hard to blame the defense for 20yds drives
  • I was disappointed to see the Fresno OL getting into the USC linebackers and creating running lanes up the middle....despite that, Fresno still only rushed for 110 yards on 32 carries...very respectable run defense
  • Oscar Lua looked like his knee was bothering him quite a bit....I was surprised that Rey did not see more time at MLB....I hope Oscar can get healthy for the Bruins
  • Dwayne Jarrett did not have his best game as a Trojan...he did not seem comfortable with the press coverage....I expect DJ to play much better this week
  • The defense continued to force turnovers...5 vs the Bulldogs, including 2 interceptions by Darnell Bing. The Trojans lead the nation in turnover margin
  • Reggie was just outstanding....one of the greatest to wear Cardinal & Gold. His performance was one for the ages
  • Mario Danelo has quietly made 9 of 10 field goals this year, including 3 field goals against the Bulldogs
  • Fresno did not have anything left in the tank after playing the Trojans, suffering a terrible loss at Nevada on Saturday night

UCLA Preview

  • The Bruins are clearly a better team than last year, due primarily to the improved play of QB Drew Olsen
  • The Bruins have an explosive and dynamic offensive attack. Both of UCLA's outstanding RBs (Maurice Drew and Chris Markey) are threats as runners and receivers
  • The Bruins have relied heavily on RBs catching short passes (screens, slants) and turning them into large gains....Markey and Drew lead the Bruins in yards per catch. The Trojans must be able to keep the passes to the Bruin RBs to short gains
  • In addition to the backs, the Bruins have a very effective and dangerous tight end in Marcedes Lewis. Lewis leads the team in catches, yards and touchdowns....he is the clear "go to" receiver for Olsen
  • QB Drew Olsen leads the nation in passing efficiency and has 30TD passes vs only 3 interceptions. He is making great decisions right now and throwing the ball with outstanding accuracy
  • UCLA's OL is serviceable, but probably not as good as last year. The Bruins have allowed 20 sacks this year (vs 14 last year and 14 for USC this year) and are averaging 4.2 yds per carry (vs 6.3 for USC)
  • It will be interesting to see if the Bruins try and run at the middle of the USC defense, as Fresno St did with some success in the 2nd half...Fresno has an outstanding center that allowed them to make it work
  • Maurice Drew is very dangerous in space, but tends to get caught up in the pile...let's hope USC can keep him contained
  • Overall, UCLA is ranked 4th in the conference in rushing offense, 5th in passing offense and 5th in total offense...however, due to outstanding special teams and a positive turnover ratio, the Bruins are ranked 2nd in scoring at 40pts per game (5th nationally)
  • The Bruins will move the ball and score points, but I am hopeful that USC can slow down the UCLA running game, put some pressure on Olsen and not allow the backs or TE to make big plays
  • Maurice Drew leads the nation in punt returns and has 3 TDs returning punts...he has not returned kickoffs this year, but don't be surprised to see him back there on Saturday
  • I doubt that USC will punt to Drew, instead choosing to kick it out of bounds or out of the endzone. If USC can control the ball and field position with the running game, it will make it much easier for Malone to punt the ball out of the back of the endzone
  • Defensively, the Bruins have struggled this year and are ranked last in the conference in rushing defense (115th nationally). I am sure the Trojans plan to run the ball often in this game
  • Don't be surprised to see the Trojans throw early to the fullback or throw the quick hitch to Jarrett early to set up the run...I can't think of a single game in the last 5 years when USC committed to running the ball early in a game
  • The Bruin DL is undersized, but have recorded 24 sacks this year
  • Assuming LenDale is healthy, I expect him to have a big game...the Bruins struggle to tackle and White is a load to bring down
  • The Bruin corners are solid and the safeties are very good....however the Bruins only have 5 interceptions this year (vs 22 for the Trojans)
  • Leinart struggled a bit last year vs UCLA (due partially to getting his bell rung)....I expect Matt to be sharp in his last game in the Coliseum
  • The main reason the game was close last year was that USC was 1 for 13 on 3rd down conversions and 0 for 7 for TDs in the redzone (5 field goals). USC is #1 in the country in 3rd down conversions this year
  • USC should have an advantage on the OL (vs Bruin DL) and this could be the biggest difference in the game...last year an injured Jeff Byers struggled to block Kevin Brown
  • Reggie Bush was named Pac 10 Player of the Year for the second consecutive year and 9 Trojans made first team and 4 made second team...congrats to those who earned these honors

UCLA is talented and this is a rivalry game. Let's hope the Trojans can grind out another tough victory at the Coliseum. See you there!

Fight On!


At December 1, 2005 at 3:46 PM, Blogger MDGJR said...

Stand and be Herd!!

Feel the Tradition!

Beat the gutless little bRuins!

S-O-U-T-H-E-R-N C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A!!

Fight On!

At December 1, 2005 at 5:05 PM, Blogger uscparrothead said...

what time does the parking lot open?

At December 2, 2005 at 2:37 AM, Blogger MDGJR said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At December 2, 2005 at 2:45 AM, Blogger MDGJR said...

uscparrothead said...
what time does the parking lot open?

Post from the Herd board....

I just called the Coliseum about parking on Saturday, and they referred me to Classic Parking at (213) 749-5654, which was a recorded message. The lots open at 6 AM. RV parking lots open at 5 PM on Friday night.

At December 2, 2005 at 2:53 AM, Blogger MDGJR said...

"Sports Illustrated, November 28, 1988; Gunning for No. 1"

"Of course it is only a game, but somehow the Trojans, bursting out of that stadium tunnel, have come to stand for a way of life. The sight of those USC teams rolling across the Coliseum grass, dominating their opponents - and without a single penny of government aid that the UCLA's and Oklahomas and Nebraskas depended on, damn it. All of it happened, year after year because the school annually turned out a phalanx of new achievers, men who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and went on to be the cream of their crops and the captains of their industries, men who started companies and expanded businesses that created jobs and took people off the welfare rolls, men who took care to plow back their superabundance into the institution that launched them, so that the Trojan tradition of independence and excellence would go on and on. Yes, the sight of that wave of cardinal and gold articulates everything. Maybe you cannot comprehend that. But a Trojan can."

At December 2, 2005 at 10:31 AM, Blogger waterpolo86 said...

Get ready to cry over what could have been.....the Bruins are ready to spoil the Trojan Party.....The Monterey contingent can't make the celebration but hope the pre-game goes well because the post-game is going to be tough....btw...this blog is only slightly more biased than the LA Times. To borrow some smack from Jim Rome, if I have to hear one more story about an 86 year old trojan fan who has lived his life at the coliseum I am going to.....vomit. Here is the Drew Olson being the top rated QB in the PAC 10 or I mean the the Nation......Where is Leinart?

1. D. Olson UCLA 172.47
2. R. Carpenter Arizona St 167.68
3. B. Brohm Louisville 166.73
4. V. Young Texas 165.03
5. B. Quinn N Dame 162.90

At December 4, 2005 at 3:12 PM, Blogger MDGJR said...

USC 66 - Fucla 19

Goal #1: Own The City. Done !!

Goal #2: Own The Rose Bowl !!

Fight The Hell On !!

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