Southern Cal falls hard at ASU 43-22, thanks to 3 Matt Barkley Turnovers and 3 Personal Fouls by T.J. McDonald (and this is after Barkley had called a SUN DEVIL player “dirty?”)
It used to be that when someone said “TJ is dirty,” they were talking about Tijuana. Now, they’re probably referring to trojan “impact player” T.J. McDonald. At the start of this Nationally televised game, ESPN highlighted McDonald as sc’s Impact Player, and they were right — T.J. had a huge impact on the game — by personally picking up THREE different penalties for dirty play. First, McDonald fed up an Unhappy Meal to a Sun Devil’s head, on an illegal hit intentionally aimed high. Later, he delivered another illegal hit, prompting the announcers to declare that he obviously didn’t learn his lesson. Finally, he took a cheap shot at a ballcarrier who was clearly out of bounds, knocking him into an area of potential injury. McDonald is now a trojan poster boy hero, for embodying the usc philosophy of ignoring the rules to do whatever it takes, no matter how savage, to gain an advantage.
Earlier in the week, Matt Barkley claimed that ASU’s Vontaze Burfict was a dirty player — Maybe so, but Burfict incurred only one flag, so McDonald was 300% as dirty as Burfict. Maybe Barkley was worried about Burfict knocking him out, because Barkley played one of his worst games ever. He lost a fumble on a Sack, and threw two Interceptions, one to Burfict and one for a Pick Six. His first two miscues were inside the ASU 25 yard line, as was Marc Tyler’s lost fumble. These Turnovers were the trojans’ undoing, as they blew a 22-21 lead, giving up 22 straight points to lose by 21, 43-22.
This was sc’s first loss to Arizona State since 1999, a span of 11 games. and it dropped them to 1-1 in the Pac-12, a half game behind UCLA. Of course, sc’s Conference record DOESN’T MATTER, since they are still ineligible for the Championship or for any postseason play. But the loss WILL knock them out of the AP Rankings, in which they shouldn’t have been allowed to be ranked anyway.
Before all you freaking trojans write in to say how they will destroy UCLA later this year, save your effort — You won’t be telling anyone anything that they don’t already know. Beating the Bruins this year is no great achievement of which to be proud — And all it will do is ensure that the Bruins have a better Head Coach next year. Many Bruin fans will actually be silently rooting for sc in that game, just to make sure a new regime takes over in 2012.