Weekly Musings – Washington Edition

Okay – I feel like it has been forever since I got to do this (USC had a bye week two weeks ago and I was buried on business in NYC last week). so I am excited to get back into it. I watched a good amount of action this week from 3pm on, and it was a fun weekend. I am looking forward to bringing my 5-year old daughter to her first game at the Coliseum next weekend. This is just special stuff – the whole college football thing. Enough intro – let’s do my 5-1 Trojans first and then run around the country,

– Boy USC got off to a huge start. Crazy strong running by Silas Redd and an acrobatic interception by Dion Bailey. Barkley’s pick on the potentially third straight scoring drive early was really just a great play by the UW safety. But when it is about to be 17-0, and instead is 10-7, you can’t help but feeling very ill.

– What an extraordinary pass and catch on the Barkley-to-Grimble TD. But the play that set that whole drive up was the 3rd and 5 pass to Lee that he turned into a big play downfield. Lee is simply a textbook playmaker of a Wide Receiver, and he has a huge financial future ahead of him.

– I don’t think I have seen it happen but once or twice in my life that the player who actually blocks a punt also ends up getting the ball and scoring. That defensive stop, by the way, was the result of Breslin’s unbelievable pass rushes on the prior downs. Awesome.

– I just can’t stand the play call for the 45-yard pass on third and five and we really need a good, sustained drive. Very upsetting.

– Some very concerning and disappointing discipline-oriented penalties (false starts including one on a punt, running forward in motion, holding away from the ball on what was a touchdown play, etc.). These things are probably what concerns me most about this Trojan team.

– However, what was not a disappointing play on our guy – but was rather just an inane call – was the late first half personal foul call against Woodie when he pushed the SOB off him who had been sitting on top of him for about an hour. Sorry, but I don’t know what they expect him to do. There should have been a personal foul call, but not on Woods

– We may have won, but we are not close to being the team we need to be until we are putting teams like this away. This game should have been over mid-third quarter but Trojans couldn’t exhale until 4:00 left in the 4th

– I also don’t like that McNeal run on 3rd and 6 when we were down to the 25-yard line with six minutes left. I liked a lot of the insistence on running in the second half, especially when Barkley was really struggling. But on that play, we needed play action.

– Overall, Matt makes big plays often, particularly over the middle to Woods and Lee who then go downfield, but he doesn’t look highly proficient … I expect that to change.

– The story of the game was not really anything great we did (though we had some moments, especially on the D-line). We blocked a punt that we scored on, they missed a make-able field goal, and their quarterback fumbled the ball on the goal-line. Those plays really were the game, though we ran the ball modestly well.

– A win is a win

And as far as action around the country …

First off, that outfit Erin Andrews was wearing was grounds for employment termination if she picked it; and it was grounds for contract termination if Fox picked it. What an utterly bizarre career move she made.

– It remains hard to believe Alabama will be tested until the final game of the year

– The South Carolina loss to LSU was disappointing, not only because I like the Gamecocks, like Coach Spurrier, and hate LSU, but also because of how the loss happened. Just really bad QB play for South Carolina, and LSU actually ran the ball very well.

– I do believe Tao and the Domers made some big time plays to stop Stanford down the stretch, but if anyone believes Stanford did not score a touchdown on that fourth down, they may as well believe Golden Tate made that catch in the Seahawks game a few weeks ago. It was a touchdown, and I stand by my ongoing belief: The criticism of instant replay should be that THEY GET IT WRONG, constantly; not in the delay it represents.

– But the remarkable thing about that game was seeing Notre Dame storm the field – after beating the, ummm, #17 team in the country. I have seen the Domers barely celebrate when they beat a top 5 team. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

– So, how is that Heisman looking in West Virginia? Wow. I mean – wow. The pretenders get revealed during the second half of October.

– Oregon State is legit. Their problem is the same one my Trojans potentially face. The concept of having to beat Oregon twice …

Okay – I’ll leave it there for the week. The more I think about the nonsense end to the Notre Dame game, which I am freely admitting totally robbed Stanford, the more I think about the 2010 and 2011 USC games against Stanford, and then quit thinking about all of it. Yep, I hold grudges.