Huskies are rotten to the Corp, as Pete & Co. are exposed by his ex-assistants in Huskies’ 16-13 hostile takeover, and UCLA moves to 3-0 by investing in Franklin
It happens every year like clockwork, but it’s still shocking every time it happens: USC has lost a game where they were huge favorites, to an unranked Pac-10 team. The run includes UCLA’s famous 13-9 miracle, Stanford’s win, aka “The Biggest Upset Ever,” and Oregon State’s recent triumph over a supremely overconfident troy. Pete Carroll is going to become famous for not being able to keep his team focused for a full season, always falling short of their pre-season goals. That being said, ONE loss does NOT necessarily lock sc out of the Title picture. Florida may be the only undefeated team, allowing sc to meet them for the crown. It will take one more loss for their hopes to be COMPLETELY dashed… Is Corp playing in their next game?
With Freshman starter Matt Barkley injured, Aaron Corp started at QB for sc. And at the start of the game, sc shredded Washington like they weren’t even there. They immediately took a 10-0 lead, but then everything changed. The trojans continued to gain yards, especially on the ground, but three times they ended drives with Turnovers. They went 0-10 on 3rd Downs, and Corp’s Passing Total was the lowest since Carroll arrived in South Central.
Corp tried too often to squeeze the ball into double coverage, and he was not good enough to pull it off. Barkley warmed up, but never got on the field. Neither did Mitch Mustain. Maybe, if Barkley doesn’t recuperate quickly, Joe McKnight can just operate out of the Wildcat formation.
It seemed CERTAIN that Carroll wouldn’t allow his team to lose to his old Assistants, but those guys’ knowledge of Carroll’s tendencies, and of the abilities of all the troy personnel, was enough to overcome any rah-rah speeches that Pom Pom probably gave.
The Huskies tied the game at 10, then went up 13-10, but sc tied it up. Then Washington drove down the field and got a huge completion into Field Goal range with less than a minute to go. They made the kick with 7 seconds to go, to win the game 16-13. Huskies fans flooded the field in celebration, as Carroll and his merry band of underachievers slinked off into obscurity.
And speaking of obscurity, the Bruins are trying to escape it, by WINNING some Football games. On Saturday night, the Bruins struggled, but finally put away Kansas State, 23-9. Even though KSU was coming off a loss to lowly Louisiana-Lafayette, they still gave UCLA all they could handle. It was still a one-possession game late in the game, when a blown coverage allowed a wide-open Terrence Austin to score on a 51-yard TD pass.
UCLA’s Defense was the difference, in a game that was marred by penalties and mistakes. The D struggled on an early drive as the Wildcat formation had them admittedly confused on where the ball was going, but overall they kept the big plays to a minimum, and kept the Bruins in the lead. Even fill-in Cornerback Sheldon Price didn’t get victimized tragically, as he kept most plays in front of him. Reggie Carter, David Carter, Damien Holmes, and especially Kyle Bosworth made the Kansas State offensive players feel the pain of physical play, and Alterraun Verner showed what happens when you don’t throw away from him, with TWO Interceptions. Surprisingly, Rahim Moore, who has 5 INT’s this year, dropped what could have been two more. Maybe he’s getting a little cocky about Picks? Leading the Nation in anything can do that to a guy.
Now… if you are a Kevin Craft fan, you may not want to read any more. The popular opinion is going to be that Craft managed a good game, and redeemed himself from last year’s debacle of a season. The feeling in Bruintown is to be nice to the courageous young man, and give him a break, Well, he won the game, but… where was Richard Brehaut? Why couldn’t they split time? Craft certainly wasn’t burning it up. In fact, during the 3rd Quarter, the offense was stagnant. But Neuheisel stuck with Craft, and thanks to a controlling Offensive Line a strong Running game, and one blown assignment, Craft was able to helm the victory. Jonathan Franklin exploited the holes provided, to actually break the Century Mark — a very rare feat for Bruins lately.
Craft utilized Tight Ends mostly, but later found his Wide Outs. Nelson Rosario made a one-handed catch that will be a Highlight of the Year candidate , and Austin got free for the 51-yard clincher, on which he was so open, even Aaron Corp would have hit him in stride. Not to be mean to Craft, but he barely survived against a very bad team, and for a stretch he was his old self again. He threw one INT, and he heaved three others that a good team would have snagged. It was mind-boggling that Brehaut was not given a chance. One wonders how bad he must have been in practice to deserve this kind of confidence-killer. Hopefully, Kevin Prince and his jaw will be back soon, but at Palo Alto, it will take a better performance at QB — and less stupid penalties — to beat the improved Cardinal.
And speaking of improved… the more I experience the new Spirit Squad members, the better I like them. Saturday saw the Squad get to do a two-song routine at Halftime — The Beach Boys and Hendrix — that was worth staying in your seat for. It was awesome, and proved who’s still #1 in the nation. And guess what? Up close and personal, they are just beyond compare. And on a personal note, something happened right before the Walk-in — a little request — that truly made my day. Thanks — I hope you all like it half as much I liked being asked.