Alright I know that I have plenty of readers from each side, so I'll try and keep this as unbiased as possible. Everyone is talking about the playbut there are many other issues for both sides that I want to discuss first. One general complaint I have about both teams is the fans. Holy Christ LA fans of all sports just fucking suck, it's as simple as that. No energy, no emotion, LA fans are just way way way too relaxed and mellow, and it is really starting to annoy me. The few that are energetic are the obnoxious drunks, and gangbanger morons, but come on people show some pride in your team, stand up, and cheer ffs.
Wow just when I think that Pac 10 officials can't get any worse, they continue to amaze me. Both sides can agree that they were atrocious tonight. There were many times where they seemed confused, got some calls wrong, kept announcing penalties on the wrong team, took FOREVER on some decisions, and seemed very confused the entire game. Then there was the very very bizarre play where UCLA (lateralled/forward pass, which was it? didn't get to see the replay. They ruled that it was a lateral, but because of an inadvertant whistle moved the ball back, and gave UCLA a "do over"/extra down.) Wow so fucking confused, you can't have it both ways. It's either a lateral and UCLA keeps the play, or it's an incomplete, since the whistle was "inadvertantly blown", hence making the ruling on the field an incomplete pass and there is no "do over". Just a really weird play, made worse by the officials themselves having no idea what the fuck was going on.
- Great win, well any win over the Bruins is a great win, and nice to see Stafon Johnson (the guy who almost died in a weightlifting accident) back on the sidelines seemingly happy and healthy. Fight On Stafon! Allen Bradford was a beast, Malcolm Smith was all over the field, and the defense was fantastic, shutting down the Bruin running game early, and locking down Bruin receivers to save a mediocre performance from our pass rush.
- All right that being said, still a TON of complaints about the game. #1 the Penalty situation has reached an unacceptable level. We are GIVING away tons of yardage with boneheaded personal fouls, lining up offsides, unnecessary PI, and kicking the fucking kickoff out of bounds, which is always 100% unacceptable. The National Championship teams were smart and disciplined, and we won't be sniffing a MNC until we become far more disciplined.
- Matt Barkley has all the tools, and can make all the throws, but still needs to work on his decision making. The pick he threw today was abysmal, throwing into triple coverage when he had a TE on a checkdown route for a 5-10 yard gain, killing a great drive. Still, hard to be too hard on a true freshman QB. The receivers did a terrible job of getting separation today, although much credit has to be given to the Bruin DB's.
- The playcalling on offense continues to be HORRENDOUS. Run the fucking football up the middle. It was the only play that worked all game, it greatly lessens the chance of a turnover, and maintains control of the clock and the game. I am so sick of these 1st and 10 quick outs that almost always result in 2nd and 12.
- Still an improvement over the past few games, but this team has a lot of improvement to make over the offseason if they want to reclaim Pac 10 supremacy next year, and it all starts with not beating ourselves with turnovers and penalties.
- Great effort on defense. The DB's forced another turnover as always, almost had two, and did a very good job of locking down the Trojan wideouts; most of the big pass plays went to TE McCoy or were screens that broke for a nice gain. Good job at shutting down our outside running game, and forcing us into a lot of 3rd and longs.
- Obviously there need to be a lot of improvements made on the offensive line, and at the quarterback position before this team can be an elite Pac 10 team, but the defensive and special teams pieces are in place. Where were Coleman and Franklin tonight? Moline got almost all of the carries, and I feel that they should have distributed the carries more evenly, and tried to some different formations (definitely need to try more Wildcat plays) to run the ball. They had struggles early, but should not have abandoned the run, especially in a close game, because (a) The Trojans have been obliterated by the run this season (b) A 3 back system would have kept fresh legs on the field until they could find something that works, they actually did toward the end of the game, running zone read and wildcat plays (c) The passing game was nonexistent, and USC's veteran DB's weren't surrendering anything tonight.
- Alright obviously it was a classless move, and I'm not trying to defend it in anyway. If I were the head coach, I wouldn't have done it in a million years, because you have to play these guys next year, and I hate giving people more motivation to beat me.
- That being said, I'm a Bruin hater first, so even though it was classless, I absolutely loved it, just because hating the Bruins is so easy, and having watched them beat and taunt SC for 8 straight years, and having to hear it from my Bruin friends growing up, I can never get enough of this. That's what makes rivalries one of if not the best parts of college football. The pure hatred for your rival and everything about them, is something that is engrained within the players, coaches, and fans alike, and is something that you just can't find in professional sports, where money is the be all and end all.
- Stanford did something similar, a couple weeks ago against SC, going for a 2 pt. conversion up by 20+ points in the last few minutes of the game. I was livid for about two minutes, until I said to myself: "We already lost the game, we deserved to lose (Toby Gerhart for Heisman BTW!), and this might be the best thing that ever happens to us. The team had played lackluster ball for the last three games, and that might have just been the spark we needed, and it probably was to wake us the fuck up, and finish the season strong. These aren't professional athletes, they're college kids who often thrive off of emotion, and the Bruin team should be able to use this as a motivation all off season to make themselves better, and to beat SC, just as Harbaugh's act should fire up Trojan players. Bruins: Don't get mad, get even. If nothing else, it sure as hell made this rivalry a lot more intense both for the fans and the players. The crowds have been dead for the past few years, and the players likewise haven't been as into the rivalry as in years past, but this should rekindle the hatred and total disrespect for the opponent, that this rivalry is all about.
*UNBIASEDNESS ENDING HERE*
All that being said, just ANOTHER Trojan victory! Not one that I'm proud of, or going to store in my video library, but any win against the Bruins is AWESOME. Can't wait for next year's game in the Rose Bowl, the Bruins are going to be mad as hell, and will give us another good game, and I hope we're ready for it. Until next year: 28-7, Fight On and Beat the Wildcats!