Is Notre Dame overrated or USC was too good?

Seeing the game yesterday made me very happy, but at the same time I started thinking, is Notre Dame really as good as it was made out to be? If yes, then it makes USC even better than what it has been made out to be.

But what if Notre Dame was really overrated and its boosters had just unjustifiably made them ranked so high at the beginning? What if Notre Dame was not that good?

I don’t care at the end, of course. USC beat one of its biggest rivals and that too handily. If not for Booty’s 2 INT’s, the blocked punt and that one freakish run by Brady Quinn, this would have been a flawless night.

The offense did seem like it was working like a well-oiled machine, the defense has really come up in the last few games and the special teams showed up too (way to go, Cushing!).

Ok, so now it is down to the last regular season game with another big rival who is doing not that well. ucla in Pasadena. I am not as tense as I was for the Notre Dame game, but I just hope there is no over confidence and complacency in the USC team and the “looking ahead” mentality. They do need to win this one and then start the chatter.

Roses are red and USC wins another Pac 10 Conference Title

I was a little bit unsure of how the game was going in the first half, but after seeing the defense step it up big time today, I feel a lot better in general about the health of the team at this point in the season.

The offense is sputtering, and JDB still seems to telegraph his passes, but we have huge playmakers in the team in DJ, Steve Smith and in this game CJ Gable. How cool was the catch for the first down by DJ jumping high in the air just beyond the marker? How cool was Steve Smith’s 4th and 2 conversion to a TD? How cool was CJ Gable in his monster runs at various points in the game? Awesome.

I was not willing to quote the turnover margin that USC had against Stanford because hey, it is after all only Stanford. But to create so many in one game against a team like Cal is worth noting.

USC kept the 35 points per game Cal to a miserly 9 and that says a lot. The defense deserves a huge pat on the back for doing that to Cal. Good stuff.

There is a reason to feel upbeat for USC Trojans.

Of course, next week is going to be a different game. So we’ll keep the celebration limited to tonight only. 🙂

Another bad trend for USC this season

Another bad trend that USC has fallen into this year: start the second half with a punt (or a turnover) instead of coming out and scoring a TD, which was almost a certainty last season.

Lack of turnovers forced, INT on first possession of game, punt/turnover on first possession of second half … how can they keep winning like last few years?

USC Oregon

Once again USC has started their first offensive drive with a freaking INT! What’s going on???

Also, what’s the deal with the 4-5 3rd down conversions given up in Oregon’s first offensive drive? Of course, it was a good defensive stand at 4th and 1 to stop the Ducks.

I do not intend to live blog the game but just some initial thoughts.

USC chops the tree but I don’t think it was enough

USC chopped the Stanford tree, but the game itself felt more like USC struggled to make a statement. USC was in total control, no doubt, and Stanford had some things going for them, but in general, I think there were a lot of times in the game where USC had to put away the drive or create a turnover and they did not.

But of course, I am happy that they shut out a team, does not matter that it was lowly Stanford with a 10.4 points average so far (last in NCAA). It was good to see some long passes actually being caught and it was also good to see some turnovers.

What seems to be the problem (or at least one of them!) is that JDB is a little too mellow. I know it is good to be calm and collected but I think JDB is just too calm. There seems to be a lack of killer instinct in him which I think Leinart had a lot of. And the calmness sort of turns into complacency and carelessness. Which in turn could explain the high number of turnovers.

In any case, it is now on to the final stretch. First up is Oregon. Oregon has shown some weakness in the last two games which of course they have been able to cover up quickly in the second halves of those games and win well. USC has its work cut out big time and I think the game should start out as evens, without a clear favorite.

Can’t wait for next Saturday! Fight On!

USC finally loses and that too in a bullshit game

USC’s multiple streaks ended. And sadly, in a loss that I can only term as bullshit. There were so many chances that the Beavers gave the Trojans to stay in the game, and so many (plus more) chances that the Trojans gave up. Forget about blowing away opponents in the recent past after a bye week, forget about having a great October/November under Pete Carroll, this team plain sucked today.

I feel so bad that the loss did not come against a worthy opponent, no offense Beavers. Losing to Cal or to Oregon or even ND would have been sort of digestible. This loss against a “gimme” opponent is just pathetic.

How about those bloody turnovers! Chauncey was supposed to have a breakout game here but he was one of the culprits. And forget about the final stats for JDB, but his unfortunate INT at the top of the first quarter after a quick strike by the Beavers was probably a very costly turnover. If USC had made the scores even, it would have made OSU slight overwhelmed but instead the INT gave them more confidence and they just did not let up.

Anyway, I hope USC is not the answer to Stanford’s winless season so far, next week!

Another escape for USC

3rd game in a row where USC won by touchdown or less. And this one did not look close at the beginning. The first quarter or so, USC seemed to be on track like the last season and much better overall compared to earlier games from this season.

Then what happened? I don’t know, because I stopped watching because we went to someone’s house after the end of the first half. All I saw was the bloody interception which was returned for a touchdown to even the score at 21.

After seeing 21 points in just over a quarter I thought it was going to be a nice win like one of the big ones last year. But looks like the offense just went to sleep and the defense also started slipping against the ASU offense. Rudy Carpenter stepped it up and some of the dropped catches and stuff from the first quarter disappeared.

Whatever the case, this USC team is not going to get any style points. Maybe there is a case to make for USC that they do end up on the winning side rather than on the losing side, but at the same time, the closeness of these last few games gives the opposition some confidence and makes them believe they have a chance. It was not the case last year and it made a few opponents wilt before they should have, and handed the victory to USC.

But for the wins, I would be tempted to say that USC is loving to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Thankfully, I don’t have to say that. Not yet, at least 🙂