Monday, November 20, 2006

USC football: best rebuilding year ever!

Yes, I know that the most hyped regular-season college football game ever was played this weekend, but there were other games to be played as well. On to the recap!

  • Game of the Year or Game of the Century…I forget the exact phrase ESPN used (over and over again for a whole week) to describe the match-up between Ohio State and Michigan. But I have to admit, the game did live up to the hype. It was a strong offensive display from the top two teams in the Big Ten (and arguably the country). And although Michigan took an early lead in the game, the Buckeyes followed up with a touchdown of their own and never looked back. Sure, Michigan came within striking distance. And Ohio State almost gave the game away with their fumbles and an intercepted pass. But Ohio State ended up victorious (just as I said they would). I love being right.
  • It being Saturday and all, there were other games. Boston College revealed that Maryland really isn’t as good as everyone thought they were by beating them 38-16. I’ll be very surprised if the Terps can survive Wake Forest next week.
  • Speaking of Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons played Virginia Tech. In the first quarter, Branden Ore (also known as over 80% of the Hokies’ offense) went down with an ankle injury. In some strange way, this was actually a good thing for the Hokies, as it forced other players to step up their game on their way to victory, 27-6. It was a great victory for the Hokies, who play their in-state rival UVa this Saturday.
  • And speaking of rivals, there’s a new marquee rivalry in the Pac-10—USC vs. Cal. I never really hated Cal as much as I hate UCLA and Notre Dame, but things are beginning to change. All last week, the Cal players decided to talk smack to the media. All DeSean Jackson did was complain about how USC didn’t recruit him as hard as he thinks we should have and how it is USC’s loss. That’s fine, Cal. You go ahead and talk shit. We’ll just use it as motivation.

In what can only be described as a rare defensive battle in the Pac-10, USC’s defense kept the Golden Bears in check. Cal game in to the game with the highest points scored per game in the Pac-10. Against the USC defense, they managed only a single touchdown (their other score was a safety). The Pac-10 rushing leader (Golden Bear) Marshawn Lynch was held to just 88 yards on 20 carries. Nate Longshore, the much-heralded Cal quarterback, was intercepted twice. DeSean Jackson (the smack-talker), known for returning punts for TDs, was held to just 2 receptions and 41 yards. I bet he kinda wishes he was a Trojan now.

Thanks to our kick-ass defense, USC won the game 23-9 and won a trip to the Rose Bowl. I can’t get over that. Just when everyone started counting us out after losing to Oregon State, we grew up and came back. I’m so proud of our team! *sniff, sniff* There’s some talk that USC might play in the BCS Championship (which would be really nice), but I’m not worried about not going. I would be perfectly happy playing in the Rose Bowl.

Up next, USC plays Notre Lame and VA Tech plays UVA. I have a feeling that the Irish will be motivated by USC’s last minute win last year (remember the “Bush push”?). It should be an awesome game!

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