For the second straight week, USC's defense couldn't keep their opponents from a last minute drive down and a game ending field goal. And, of course, they couldn't help from shooting themselves repeatedly in the foot along the way.
Nate Whitaker, Stanford's place kicker, booted a 30-yard field goal with four seconds remaining giving Stanford a 37-35 victory and the Trojans their second straight defeat.
THREE THINGS TROJAN FANS CAN'T ARGUE ABOUT:
USC Is Stockpiled With Offensive Weapons – Matt Barkley is a legit NFL quarterback as a sophomore. He will hang around for at least one more year and by then he will have a firm grasp on Lane Kiffin's offense. He will be the best quarterback to play at USC, and it helps to have the best wide receiver tandem in the Pac-10 in Robert Woods and Ronald Johnson.
USC Has Lost Its Defensive Swagger – You are lying if you didn't think the Trojan defense was going to blow it again. At least, they are finding new and exciting ways to shoot themselves in the foot though like the unsportsmanlike penalty on Chris Galippo. However, that being said, Galippo will be the key to the Trojan turn around on defense this season as he will replace Devon Kennard at middle linebacker. It hasn't clicked for the defense yet. They are still over-thinking in Monte Kiffin's Tampa-2 defense instead of just reacting and flying to the ball.
The Trojans Offense is Their Best Defense – Long sustained drives will help hide your weak defense. The Trojans have the running backs to control the ball and the tempo of the game but they get greedy when they see “Wonder Boy” Matt Barkley just handing off the ball. It's sexy to score in bunches but sometimes your best defense is a slow offense.
USC Isn't That Far From Being Back On Top – The Trojans were an 11-point dog at Stanford. They lost last year by an embarrassing 34 points. They should have, could have, would have won it but they didn't. However, they didn't lie down. The offense can score with the best of them in the Pac-10 and the defense is experiencing some major growing pains (key word = "growing").
STAT OF THE GAME:
The Trojans led by the brilliant play of Barkley converted on 9 of 15 third down opportunities. If you tack on the additional fourth down conversions then the Trojans were a blistering 11 for 15 during money downs.
WE DON’T DO GAME BALLS:
Instead, we do a “Tan NBC Peacock That’s Sporting Shades” because this is LA, baby!
Kiffin said coming into the Stanford game that they were going to make a concerted effort to get freshman receiver Woods the ball. Mission Accomplished! Woods caught 12 passes for 224 yards and finished with three touchdowns giving Trojans a ray of hope for the future. Woods is electric and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Hey Lane, keep feeding him the ball!
"This was a week where every time the players picked up an article it was about how the USC dynasty is over and it’s going to take 10 years to come back. We lost a game on a last-second field goal last week and we come up here as 10-point underdogs, and to see the way our guys fought today was good." – Lane Kiffin, USC coach.
BY THE NUMBERS:
|TIME OF POSSESSION||29:34||30:26|
USC Trojans (4-2, 1-2 Pac-10) vs. Cal Bears (3-2, 1-1 Pac-10)
MY RECORD FOR PREDICTIONS: 6-1
|RESULTS||GAME DETAILS||MY PREDICTIONS|
The Trojans win with an offensive explosion.
Trojans 42 - Warriors 28
Virginia keeps it close at half but second half is all Trojans.
Trojans 34 - Cavaliers 17
Minnesota scores first and then the Trojans roll.
Trojans 42 - Gophers 13
@ Washington State
Trojans put on an offensive and defensive clinic.
Trojans 54 - Cougars 6
USC will pulled away from the Huskies in the 2nd half.
Trojans 42 - Huskies 24
Stanford take advantage of a weak Trojan Defense.
Trojans 24 - Cardinal 48