Another escape from the jaws of a loss this weekend. This time it was Washington. After today’s performance, and the upset loss at Auburn by Arkansas, the polls are going to undergo some shakeup. Unfortunately, with the missing style points (where are the 40+ points days??) and some SEC wins by Florida means that USC may still be #3. Who cares? As long as USC is on track to win the Pac-10, it is good.
Now that Oregon lost to Cal, and that too badly, it clearly shows that Cal and not USC is the team to beat in the Pac-10. It is better to reset expectations at this point in the season – USC is not only rebuilding from the loss of Leinart, Bush, White but also banged up at a lot of places. The fact that they are surviving some close games just goes to show that they are lucky as well as resilient (in that order, if you ask me).
As for the game itself, it was great offense in the first quarter and some. It seemed like USC was finally getting to where it was last year – throwing at will, running long plays at will, and generally dictating the pace. The defense was suspect because Washington was also able to march down the field quite easily.
Of course, the trickulation for the field goal attempt was good and welcome at the point.
The second half was quite the opposite. The offense started sputtering and the defense stepped up. The defense should have had at least 4 INT’s, which went abegging. As a result, USC has been dropping in the turnover margin numbers. JDB had an INT and there were no turnovers forced by USC.
More injury news from USC – Steve Smith the superstar from the Wazzu game hurt himself and did not play much of the second half (if at all). What’s the deal with the USC athletes??? Man, I really hope USC is at full strength soon because the bigger games are coming up soon!