The trojans are Lucked Up Beyond All Recognition, after Stanford’s Andrew Luck saddles them with their second straight last-second photo-finish loss

Yeah, I know:  UCLA sucks much worse than usc does, and usc is going to kill the Bruins in December.  UCLA got absolutely destroyed by Cal on Saturday, 35-7 (it was 28-0 at Halftime), reverting back to their pathetic early-season “form,” while usc came within 4 seconds of beating 16th-ranked Stanford, who beat UCLA 35-0 a month ago.

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy what happened to troy on Saturday.  For the second week in a row, Monte Kiffin’s Defense allowed a game-winning drive in the final minute, culminated by a Field Goal as time expired.

Has usc EVER lost back-to-back games on “walk-off” kicks before?  Regardless, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of miscreants. The trojans were looking for payback last week against Washington, after falling in Seattle last year, and the trojans were again looking for payback yesterday, after getting beat (to a bloody pulp) in the Coliseum by the Cardinal in 2009.  But just like Mel Gibson’s “Payback” movie, the trojans’ payback attempts did not pay off.

On Saturday, the trojans battled back and forth with Stanford all game.  The trojans scored the first TD of the game, very easily, but then kept falling behind by 7, and catching up each time.  Finally, the Trees shanked an extra point, opening a huge window for troy with under 10 minutes to go.  On the ensuing drive sc failed to convert a 4th Down, but got the ball back on a HUGE — and inexcusable — fumble.  They then drove the length of the field, and despite Freshman Robert Woods (224 yards Receiving) totally CHOKING AWAY what would have been his 4th TD catch of the night, they were still able to get into the end zone and make the PAT (no sure thing for troy’s horrible kickers) to take a 35-34 lead, with 1:08 left.

The trojan fans went nuts, understandably, thinking that the road upset was theirs.  NO WAY could Monte Kiffin’s Defense blow it royally two weeks in a row.  But that very Defense — in need of making a statement after last week’s collapse — made a huge statement on the first play of the drive.  For some reason, Stanford QB phenom Andrew Luck threw a 4-yard pass, nowhere near the sideline.  The Trees did NOT HAVE TIME to dink and dunk without at least stopping the clock, without using their two remaining Time Outs.  It was an absolute W.T.F. moment… until a dumb trojan bailed Luck out.   WELL AFTER the Receiver’s forward progress was stopped and the whistle had blown, LB Chris Galippo came flying in a delivered a two-handed blow right to the Receiver’s FACE!!  Not only did the penalty give Stanford an extra 15 yards, but it also stopped the clock, and revved up Stanford’s momentum.

From the new, better field position, the Trees DID have time to dink and dunk, and that’s what they did.  A couple of 10 yard completions, and a 16-yard Draw Play run set them up in excellent Field Goal position, with plenty of time — 16 seconds — left.  Stanford ran a couple more needless plays, just to use up the rest of the clock, and then center the ball between the hash marks.  Then, with 4 seconds left, they brought out the kicker, Nate Whitaker, who botched the PAT, for a chance to redeem himself.  Lane Kiffin still had a Time Out, but instead of using it to ice the already-nervous Kicker, he just left it on the table, and Whitaker calmly knocked it right through the uprights, sending sc into oblivion.

The Bowl-ineligible trojans had already lost their hopes for an AP Poll Title when they choked to the Huskies, and now it seems hopeless for them to catch the Ducks for an unofficial Pac-10 Championship.  So all they are playing for now is Lane Kiffin’s job.  Most of their alumni might want them to tank the season, so that they can get a real Coach.  And those same alumni probably want Lane to fire his Dad on Monday morning.  Will the arrogant trojan players even show up for their next game?   This really isn’t what they signed up for.

The sad part is, even if they completely MAIL IT IN for the rest of the year, they’ll still win in the Rose Bowl by about 4 Touchdowns.  The Bruins’ Texas Anomaly notwithstanding, there is no way that the Bruin Defense can contain Matt Barkley, Allen Bradford, and Woods, and even if they CAN run on sc, the Bruin Offense will not be able to keep pace with sc.  It will clearly be sc’s high point, and the only thing positive about their whole season.  It might even be their only win of the second half of the season.  If so, Rick Neuheisel, Norm Chow, Monte Kiffin, AND Lane Kiffin might ALL be looking for work by January… and very few Bruin or trojan fans will shed a tear. 

After the Bruin/Bear game, Rahim Moore said that the Bruins played WITHOUT any emotion.  If Neuheisel can’t MOTIVATE his team emotionally, he loses his appeal as a Coach.  After all, he’s not an x’s and o’s kind of guy — He’s all about positivity and psychology.  If Moore says the same thing after they lose the Rivalry Game, Neuheisel will have some explaining to do, but no one will want to listen.



  1. Jake Avatar

    What was worst than losing to Cal by that much was that my wife went to Cal. So that was no fun :-(.

  2. JosephineBruin Avatar

    beat the ducks

  3. UCLADavid Avatar

    Wondering what your take is on T.J. Simers in the L.A. Times. Despite how bad our team is, I thought his most recent columns attacking UCLA fans was particularly mean-spirited and for me was the last straw in 10 years of hating his articles. I’ve talked to very few people who care for his column, and it’s not just Bruin fans. Almost every fan of every team in L.A. seems to think Simers’ articles are a waste of good space, and a poor legacy for the paper that gave us Jim Murray, Mike Downey, and Scott Ostler, to name a few.

    With your fan base on this blog site, if you were to go after Simers, you might have a shot at forcing him out at the L.A. Times. Any interest?

    [T-H’s Note: I think he is a lot smarter than most people give him credit for. These mean-spirited articles are totally tongue-in-cheek, just BAITING fans, trying to get under their skin, and trying to evoke emotional outbursts. He would LOVE a campaign to get him fired. It would just show how many people “don’t get it.” The way UCLA has performed recently is DESERVING of this kind of article. Anyone who is still buying Neuheisel’s optimism SHOULD be questioned. I’m not saying that the Coach should be fired, but how many “we’re going to get better” speeches can you listen to, before you too become skeptical? Simers is just going after UCLA right now, because EVERYONE ELSE is going after Kiffin and u$c, so it sets Simers apart to go after the less-targeted Bruins. I still read the Times Sports page every day, as I have for the last 40 years, and the feedback that Simers gets shows how stupid the public is, and how they take some things way too seriously. Remember how he called Coach Wooden just “Wooden?” That would have been incredibly disrespectful, if it were coming from anyone else, but if you understand Simers’ “persona,” it fits in. Don’t get me wrong: I’m NOT a “fan” of Simers, or of his stories about his Daughter (who CARES?!) — I just don’t want to give him the satisfaction of getting riled up over what he writes. Besides, when he goes after athletes that I DON’T like, sometimes it’s enjoyable. Some of the Dodgers who refuse to talk to him, or who cuss him out, don’t get it, and are just asking for a write up that will make fans dislike them. In summary, I appreciate YOUR point of view, and yes, I would prefer page two if it were Ostler’s, but I don’t want to contribute to anything that would give Simers MORE publicity. Even THIS note is giving him too much exposure. The best course of action is to give him ZERO feedback. Just like an Internet Message Board troll, the only thing you should do is ignore him. If he gets NO REACTION at all, his days at the Times would suddenly become numbered.]

  4. Rick Avatar

    Excellent response, T-H.

  5. BruinGray Avatar

    Concur, T-H hit the nail on the head. Dead silence is the kiss of death to the sports scum like Simers and Plaschke. I canceled my Times subscription years ago because it had slipped so far in quality in every section. Really started when the Chandlers ceded control and then sold out to the jerks at the Trib.

    To think that when I was an undergrad the Times gave us folks like Murray, the others you mentioned, Jon Hall, Malamud, not one of whose soiled jock Simers, Plaschke or the Domer idiot who runs the show now, Dwyer, could even hold. But those were more elegant, civilized and educated days. Even with Vietnam, race riots, etc. We were a better country then. And so were our newspapers and other media.

    Even this post, as was the case with the one from T-H, violated my NO SIMERS rule. But sometimes, you have to break some eggs to make an omelette, as the cliche goes.