USC vs. Notre Dame vs. Adoree’

USC vs. Notre Dame
November 26, 2016 at 12:42pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 72,402 (93,607)
Total Time: 3 hours 39 minutes

The legendary intersectional rivalry notched another in the series. Like usual, the Trojans and Fighting Irish play following Thanksgiving every even year. And it was raining, just like 6 years ago when Notre Dame ended an 8-game losing streak to USC off the uncharacteristic drop suffered by RoJo. A different RoJo took the field on Saturday and his Trojan team delivered a different result.

A Notre Dame team entered the game with an unappealing 4-7 record. However, every single one of their seven losses had been by one possession (8 points or less). I’m not trying to tell you that they should’ve entered at 11-0 or excusing them for their losses. All I’m saying is that they’re probably a bit better than their record would indicate. Then USC proceeded to beat them by three possessions even after the Irishs’ garbage time touchdown.

The win painted a perfect backdrop for the annual senior day on an otherwise rare rainy LA day (sarcastically referred to as “perfect football weather” by more than a few Trojan fans). Most of us were expecting it, but not during the first quarter. The ACC officials present at the game seemed intent to aid the ill-weather in every way possible by dragging the game out. In the end, I’m not sure if the fans cheered louder when the sun peeked out over the horizon or for Adoree’ Jackson’s multitude of touchdowns. Just kidding, we know what got the louder cheer. Not everything was exciting fun and games though. The beginning of the game looked quite sloppy.

After a quick field goal by USC to start, the Fighting Irish caught a safety out of position and ran for 74 yards. Adoree’ Jackson managed chase him out-of-bounds short of the score remnisicent of his performance against Alabama. RoJo answered a few minutes later with a 51-yard touchdown run to get to the score to 10-7.

The next quarter and half was basically a soccer match. Seven punts and missed field goal with four possessions apiece. Then the excitement built up over!!…questionable reffing decisions….

I’m not even sure what they called on DeShone Kizer’s lateral fumble. I was at the stadium and didn’t hear jack squat. I rewatched the broadcast and still can’t tell why they decided to call it dead at the ND 8-yard line.

  • Was it an incomplete pass? We would’ve heard a whistle and it’d be 2nd-and-10 instead of 2nd-and-23.
  • Was it an intentional ground? Sure that’d get the 2nd-and-23 with loss of down at the spot of the foul, but the running back was right there and got his hands on it boefre it fell to the ground.
  • Foward progress stopped? Again, why no whistle? On the very next play, the whistle can be heard quite clearly.

Then two plays later, they cancel out a safety just because the official felt like he wasn’t backed up far enough when that kind of thing happens all the time. He was an adequate distance away and had already turned around to face the play.

In the second half, I thought I had an onset of Déjà vu when the refs blew a fumble dead as an incomplete pass, nullifying the touchdown return by Jack Jones. Why not just let him complete the return and review it after that? Instead they make the strange decision to whistle it dead after Jones has run 10-15 yards down the field. At least they got the turnover part fixed on the review. Great play by Ajene Harris and Jack Jones though to give it a chance to happen at all. Harris had to fight through two blockers to make that tip and Jones had the awareness and skill to grab that instantly in middle of his stride.

The last of the egregiously bad calls was during the nasty 28 on 28 hit. Aca’cedric Ware took a helmet shot from ND safety, Nicco Fertitta. Instead of calling the obvious targeting penalty and ejecting Fertitta, they call it a fumble by Ware. Oh, okay, fumbles are a thing now? After a review, they still think it’s a fumble with no targeting. It took them a second review before disqualifying Fertitta and reversing the fumble. Only took two reviews and 10 minutes guys. It took them two tries to flag Jerry Tillery for personal fouls too.

Wish you the best Ron Cherry, but your crew really didn’t do that well this game. That official team dragged it out to be the longest of the season—longest of two season actually. The last time a USC football game took that long was the 2014 Holiday Bowl against Nebraska going nearly 4 hours (3:55). That being said, get well soon Cherry, because your job performance doesn’t make you deserving of a concussion.

Some penalties were deserved though. USC got penalized for roughing the kicker, turning a three-and-out into a first down. USC lucked out with ND missing the field goal. It wasn’t a block though, so no free Chick-Fil-A. Sad times. You tried to give us free chicken Pittman, but it didn’t work. Next time, please don’t give them free possessions with penalties.These kinds of things could’ve been a big deal if the game was closer. The penalties weren’t their only problem.

It’s hard to imagine a game this season where Sam Darnold didn’t get the spotlight. He had a relatively pedestrian game, suffering inaccurate passes in the rain. The bright side is that he didn’t produce any turnovers.

Unfortunately, the star of the game ended up being the one to turn it over. Adoree’ fumbled it on a punt return, making it emotionally painful since it was the start of a possession change. Much like the roughing the kicker penalty, it was after a three-and-out.

Can’t be too harsh on Adoree’ when he scored as much as the entire ND team by the end of the third quarter. All three of his touchdowns spanned over 50 yards:

  • A 55-yard punt return, showing that they don’t need no stinking 2 point safety. He’ll take 6, thank you.
  • A 52-yard reception because he wanted to make Darnold look good too.
  • A 97-yard kickoff return that might’ve been the backbreaker for Notre Dame. It featured a high jump (I thought he was trying to qualify for long jump?) and a key block by Isaac Whitney for Adoree’ to take it to the house. As a bonus, kicker Matt Boermeester had a monster tackle on the ensuing kickoff earning the cheers of his teammates.

Adoree’ is the MVP of the game, no dispute.

One more good thing:

  • Ajene Harris’ pick six 17 seconds after Adoree’ Jackson’s punt return TD. In 17 seconds, USC went from a 3-point lead to a 17-point lead. Not a bad way to end the half. Reminds me of the Arizona State game in 2015.

CommBro Breaker

The regular season has ended with USC at 9-3 (7-2 in Pac-12). Utah’s loss cemented Colorado’s place as Pac-12 South champion, meaning USC just has to sit and wait for a bowl bid now. Not the worst thing in the world since USC can still get a NY6 bowl bid like the Cotton Bowl or even the Rose Bowl (if Washington is selected for the playoff and the Rose Bowl Committee selects USC over Colorado). Personally, I’d rather have the Rose Bowl for so many reasons.

  • Joey Kaufman over at the OC Register, among others, have pointed out that, “Since 1929, the Trojans have appeared in the Rose Bowl during the term of every U.S. President except Barack Obama.” It would be mighty great for them to sneak one in at the twilight of Obama’s second term.
  • It would also continue USC’s streak of at least one Rose Bowl in every decade since 1920. They have yet to get one in the 2010s.
  • It’s also easier to travel to than the Cotton Bowl game (which isn’t at the Cotton Bowl anymore). Guess where it is now. AT&T Stadium. As cool as that place is, I’d rather use my money to see new locations

Good Stat of the Week: USC has won eight streak games.The Trojans have not lost at home this season and extends their home winning streak to nine, spanning over the 2015 and 2016 season.

Ultimate Misleading Stat of the Week: Notre Dame has won ZERO conference championships, meaning USC has about 38 more than them.

Hard to win conference championships when you’re not in a conference. Notre Dame has always been independent, though they do have one foot in the ACC at this point.

Edit: How could I forget? USC completed a no loss November for the first time since 2011!!

USC vs. UCLA: Battle for Pasadena or Something

November 19, 2016 at 7:37pm
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA: 71,137 (92,524)
Total Time: 3 hours 16 minutes

Ah, the annual Battle for Los Angeles—which actually happens in Pasadena rather than LA every other year. I guess it’s still LA County so it counts? But then there’s this…

I guess they’re mad at LA or something because they don’t have their own stadium there.

I still find funny that USC is closer to UCLA’s home stadium than the Bruins are. Nothing like driving almost 30 miles in infamous LA traffic to get to your “home stadium.” Perhaps that’s why an entire freaking section was empty at the Rose Bowl.


Looks like Section 11 and half of section 10

Were they saving those seats for ghosts or something? Or maybe you shouldn’t charge a $110 base price for a regular season game. In comparison, an equivalent seat in AT&T Stadium for the USC vs. Alabama would’ve cost $100. A better seat at the Coliseum for USC vs. Notre Dame is $89. These are all face values, not secondhand pricing on StubHub or anything. The price tag is ultimately what kept me from going for the first time in 6 or 7 years, which probably uncoincidentally was about when the previous low occurred. They probably could’ve packed the place out if they dropped the price a bit to something less ridiculous.

The start was about as bad as the attendance. An aggressive defense let UCLA quarterback, Mike Fafaul complete some passes and bad tackling allowed the receiver to run 56 yards for the touchdown. USC, helped by back-to-back UCLA penalties, scored a touchdown on half a field. Not long after, Sam Darnold throws an interception when the UCLA defensive back jumps the route. That set UCLA up for their second and final score.

USC finally decided they had enough and proceded to go on a 29-0 scoring run by the end of the game. They all got together and decided to play monkey in the middle with UCLA. Of USC’s 12 drives, seven of them were for 9 or more plays. Four were for 10 or more plays, including an 18-play, 9 minute drive. They only went three-and-out twice and only punted twice. If not for some turnovers and penalties, it seemed like USC could score on just about every drive—even against a solid UCLA defense. At the final whistle, USC held the ball for a disgustingly lopsided 43 minutes and 47 seconds to UCLA’s 16 minutes and 13 seconds.

Last year was a similar affair in terms of time of possession. The 2015 totals were 40:01 to 19:59. At the time I thought that wouldn’t be topped for a while. Pretty crazy for it to happen the very next game in the series. As good as it was, there were a lot of hiccups along the way.

Right as the Trojans took the lead, they missed the PAT. Quite the frustrating start, but a lead is a lead. You’d be tempted to blame the kicker for this one, but upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the holder put the laces towards the kicker—a big no-no. This holder has caused quite a few issues in the past and was at fault (at Fafault?) for this PAT.

Drive-killing penalties still plague the team every now and then. Sometimes Darnold’s improv ability digs them out the hole, sometimes it doesn’t. Take for example the 3rd-and-36 when the game was only one possession apart. Darnold ended up throwing his second interception there, which wasn’t too bad. It ended up working out to basically be a punt. However, I think the better option would’ve been to try to pick up 10-15 yards and kick the field goal. Not too big of a deal though.

A big deal was the end of the first half. USC was quickly running out of time. Helton found himself in a similar predicament. He had used all of his timeouts earlier and now had to improvise for some clock stopping. Most people would simply think, “Oh, just get up to the line quickly and spike the ball.” That’s why you’re not a head coach. Don’t you remember that Helton maxed out his timeout skill past 99 in Madden? He put his ability on display again Saturday night by mindgaming UCLA head coach, Jim Mora, to take the timeout for him.

Some More Good stuff:

  • Darnold’s game-changing ability to fix broken plays.
  • De’Quan Hampton making two tough touchdown catches in traffic
  • Ronald Jones getting another 100-yard game
  • Rasheem Green for his pressure on the QB and the field goal block
  • Jalen Greene’s catch on third down while Darreus Rogers accidentally does an impression of a defensive back. They eventually scored a TD on that drive.
  • While the defense couldn’t get any sacks, they pressured Fafaul enough to cause punts on 7 out of 11 meaningful drives. Four of them were three-and-outs.

Some More Bad Stuff:

  • Khaliel Rodgers’ still hasn’t quite settled into the center role. His only snap ended in a 12 yard loss and it could’ve been worse
  • The game got bad enough that the sportscasters, Steve Levy and Brian Griese started t talking about Griese’s glory days at Michigan instead of commentating on the game. They made no mention of a near interception and continue to chat through the entire UCLA possession. The sad part was that this was probably all premeditated to some level. They had clips from the1996 Michigan-Ohio State game andsome of his career highlights all queued up.

Now that the Trojans have done all they can in the conference, they must wait for Colorado to drop a game to qualify as a the Pac-12 South Champion. Colorado will face Utah at home on Folsom Field at 4:30pm on Saturday. Thanks for the loss last week Utah, but you need to win this week.

CommBro Breaker

It’s okay UCLA, it wasn’t a real rivalry game anyway.

There was no stabbing of the field to signify the start of the game. Some say we are still waiting for the 2012 game to start.

Misleading Stat of the Week: UCLA scored more points per minute of possession(0.863) than USC (0.822)

Depressing Stat of the Week: Seven win streak, convincing win over top 5 team and local rivalry, and possibly NY6 bowl on the horizon? Gotta balance it out with some sad stat.

For the first time this season, Matt Boermeester missed an extra point attempt.

Uplifting Stat of the Week: Okay, I can’t leave you on a sour note like that.

UCLA had more yards punting (280) than total offense (266).

USC vs. UW: Party in the Husky Backfield

Washington vs. USC
November 12, 2016 at 4:36pm
Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA: 72,364 (70,183)
Total Time: 3 hours 24 minutes

USC went on the road and orchestrated a double digit win against the formerly undefeated #4 team in the nation in primetime. No other team had even taken a double digit lead against the Washington Huskies previously. The Trojans held their lead for nearly the entire game. With that, Lee Corso’s College Gameday streak of 21 picks, UDub’s 12-game win streak, and a string of unfortunate Pac-12 opponents fall victim to USC’s resurgence.

The story of the game would have to be the championship caliber defense. Yet another week, they hold a team well below their average. USC took a 17-6 lead at halftime, holding Washington to 158 total yards and a mere 36 rushing yards. Somehow, the Huskies finished the game with even less (17) rushing yards than at the half. Other than Adoree’ Jackson slipping to give up a 70-yard touchdown pass, the defense did not allow a touchdown for 60 minutes. A defense that only gives up an average of 6.5 points per half to the former #2 scoring offense in the nation in an offense-crazy college football is one that I’ll take. Clancy Pendergast’s defense even managed to score some points towards the end when when Tee Martin’s offense stalled out in the fourth quarter.

The team mostly rushed four and still generated enough pressure to keep Jake Browning uncomfortable. Porter Gustin remains one of the most influential players on this side of the ball. His pass breakup, two sacks, constant pressures, and hits on the QB were vital to the win.

Adoree Jackson’ would qualify as a tie or close second. Jackson intercepted the Heisman candidate twice, accounting for 40% of Browning’s interceptions on the season (5 total). This Washington team was, and still is #1 in the nation in turnover margin with +15. They really don’t turn the ball over a lot, making Jackon’s achievement that much more impressive. However, a margin like that has as much to do with their offense as it does their defense.

This has been a statisically stingy Washington defense, allowing only 17 points per game, good for #11 in the nation. When viewing it from that lens, the offense did alright. Sam Darnold threw two interceptions, but one wasn’t his fault. Apparently the team has a slipping problem, because Darreus’ slip on the slant route led directly to Darnold’s second interception. The first one was totally on Darnold though for throwing it into triple coverage. More notable is that a redshirt freshman like Darnold was able to

Come on, say it with me

Come on, say it with me

both times. He led a decent drive after the first, but a dropped ball on third down led to a field goal. In the end, it didn’t matter that USC had to settle, but there was no way we could’ve known at the time. That was a pretty big mistake. After the second interception, Darnold led a 60-yard touchdown drive for their only offensive score in the second half. This offense needs to get over that last hump. They had lots of failed drives that could’veeffectively ended the game instead of leaving it up to the defense. Their last three offensive drives ended the following ways: punt (three-and-out), punt, and turnover on downs. Conversely, the defense’s last three were: forced punt, interception, safety.

Sure, Darnold has been responsible for the offensive awakening, but I’ve made three other picks for offensive players deserving recognition:

  1. Darreus Rogers made key receptions and I really mean that. Five of his six catches went for first downs or touchdowns—three of which were on third downs. One of his best plays was when he turned a likely interception on third down at the USC 14 into a 27-yard catch and run for a first down. I’m sure all of that makes up for his slip up.
  2. Ronald Jones, while not breaking off any large runs, showed that he could pick up the tough yards and be trusted to carry for 20 times a game.
  3. Daniel Imatorbhebhe for making challenging catches and a touchdown grab.

Lastly, we can’t forget about the special teams. After Darnold’s second interception, the defense rallied for a stop in field goal range. What really capped that off was a block by Rasheem Green and returned by Jackson to the USC 40. If they had made that kick, it would’ve turned it into a one point game.

I’ve been saying all season that the Trojans had to put together a complete game against Washington to prove to the nation how far they’ve come. They had their opportunity and capitalized, bringing a very convincing win as evidence of their progress. And they did it all with Helton’s strange timeout game, turnovers, dumb penalties, and probably everything else I complained about at some point in the season. All the mistakes they’ve made they were able to pare down to a manageable level. If you were holding your breath, you can celebrate a little now. I am too, nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t go too far though.

As much as I’d like to say…

(CommBro Breaker)

Pac-12, you had your chance when Pete Carroll lost his starting quarterback, most of his defense, and his offensive and defensive coordinator in a single offseason. You had your chance when Lane Kiffin was called in to rebuild a program straddled with unjust sanctions and an unprecedented number of transfers. You had your chance when we had 5 coaching changes in 3 seasons. During that entire stretch of seven years, all 11 (or nine back in ’09 and ’10) Pac-12 teams only managed to put together four Rose Bowl wins, two national championship appearances and one Heisman Trophy winner. For comparison, in the 7 year stretch immediately preceding that, USC topped all of that with 7 straight BCS bowl appearances, 4 of which were Rose Bowl wins, 2 national championships, and 3 Heisman Trophy winners. It’s our turn again.

(/CommBro Breaker)

I wouldn’t recommend actually going on record with that. Helton has clearly taken a huge step forward with this statement win. However, we’ve seen many teams fail to sustain that success. Just at USC:

  • Lane Kiffin 2011 beat #4 Oregon at Autzen Stadium in 2011, but eventually gets fired after 7-6 season and 3-2 start
  • Ed Orgeron beat #4 Stanford at the Coliseum in 2013, but lost to Notre Dame and UCLA

If you need examples outside of USC:

  • Kirk Ferentz at Iowa got a big contract extension after a 12-2 season and Rose Bowl appearance. Now 6-4 (4-3 in Big Ten), but they’re stuck with him and a huge buyout for like a decade
  • Charlie Strong had two 11+ win seasons at Louisville, but is now having trouble putting together a winning season in his third year at Texas

Sustained success is one of the most difficult things to achieve in football. Think of all the flash in the pan coaching jobs that everyone wanted to anoint. This major step is one that had to be taken by Helton, but unless you’re into gambling, you probably shouldn’t be touting him as the next Pete Carroll or anything like that. Helton has many more steps to take and that’s okay. He’s clearly grown a lot since he started and hopefully will grow a lot more. Be patient and let it play out because Helton isn’t going to be fired, hired away, or get a contract extension after his first full season as head coach.

CommBro Breaker 3.14

Useless Stat of the Week: Since Pete Carroll has left USC plays well against teams ranked between #4 for some reason…

  • 26-13 win against 2016 Washington #4 (AP, Coaches Playoff)
  • 20-17 win against 2013 Stanford #4 (BCS)
  • 38-35 win against 2011 Oregon #4 (AP, Coaches, BCS)
  • 48-56 3OT loss against 2011 Stanford #4 (AP, BCS)

Yet, they get beat by almost everyone else in the top ten

Misleading Stat of the Week: The Trojans are ranked #15 and #25 in the AP Poll

The USC Trojans shot up from unranked to #15. The Troy Trojans dragged themselves up from unranked to #25. Troy University is a school out in Alabama. Currently, they have only lost to Clemson.

Doctor Strange: A review

Doctor Strange

Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $ 165 million

After being able to push weird properties like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel presents the latest from their repotoire: Weird, M.D. I mean, Doctor Strange.

Just as how Spider-man taught everyone that getting bit by a spider will make you into a superhero, Doctor Strange taught you that if you text and drive, you’ll get wrecked, become partially disabled and then become a superhero! Out of responsibility, I feel it is necessary to inform you that I was being facetious and you shouldn’t text and drive—or get bit by spiders.

The true lesson of the movie is to stop being an arrogant asshole. I know, that’s a rarity in this world. Yes, I’m being facetious again. Don’t be arrogant or an asshole.

Doctor Strange was a well crafted film and a solid work of art. The combination of the CG and choreography created a smooth experience. Top-notch cinematography and great ideas on the scenes.

My main complaint about the movie? Too short. Everything about it. I wanted a longer movie, longer sequences of the impressive visuals, and the doctor being a doctor for more screentime.

I know nobody paid to see a movie about Stephen Strange doing brain surgeries on people, but I really wish they spent more time building him and his reputation up before knocking it down. He went from House to Harry Potter a little too quickly for my tastes.

If you have the chance, definitely go watch this. In IMAX if possible. I think it’s worth it. If you can’t get it without the 3D though, I would have second thoughts. Still not a fan of 3D.

CommBro Breaker

How better to CommBro Break than to immediately switch to another review. I was slow about getting together a review of Sully, so I’m just going to sneak a mini-review into here.

Sully was a decent film. Hard to really spoil anything for a historical drama, so I’m just going to write.

Some of the dialogue was a little too “on the nose.” The ending read kind of a like one of those fake Tumblr scenarios. Otherwise, it was good. Hard to stretch out a story about 208 seconds to a feature length movie, but they did it. I do actually like how they showed a shorter version of what happened in the cockpit and then again towards the end of his National Transportation Safety Board.

Might be too late to catch it in theaters at this point, but worth a matinee price if you can find it and have time.

USC vs. Oregon: Terrible Towel

USC vs. Oregon (Homecoming)
November 5, 2016 at 4:05pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 74,625 (93,607)
Total Time: 3 hours 33 minutes

This would have been one of those great, feel good games if it didn’t look like a Steelers home game. The Trojans were flagged a total of 13 times for 129 yards.

Instead of Terrible Towels, we had penalty flags

The first few minutes of the game constantly got interrupted for calls. Even if the total 20 penalties all went against Oregon, I would’ve still been irritated by all that wasted time. Part of that is on USC for playing sloppy, but that can only get you so far. Every team says their conference has the worst refs out of a emotion-fueled rants, but watch some games out of every conference. None of them consistently perform that badly—and that’s just the eye test. The statistics show literally half the Pac-12 sits below #107 in penalties per game at this point in the season. That’s actually an improvement from previous seasons.

Oregon head coach, Mark Helfrich, decided to try his luck by challenging the ref’s call on USC’s first offensive play. Personally, I don’t mind, but man was that a waste. It’s a first down play not even two minutes into the game. You burned your challenge for the rest of the game and lost a timeout. Baffling move.

And since we’re on the topic of penalties, it was fun to watch Oregon take two false starts in a row when attempting a fourth down play. The Coliseum crowd noise scared them from a 4th-and-2 near USC’s redzone to a 4th-and-12 and a punt. This all happened after the Trojans took a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. I started to think, “wow, we may blow them out more badly than I thought.” Then the Ducks actually held USC for a few drives and scored their own touchdown. I thought, “oh wow, maybe I was wrong and they’ll actually make this a game.” Then they screwed up their PAT and I changed my mind again. Special teams—on either side—was not a bright spot in this game…except maybe for the Oregon punter pinning USC at the 1 and 3 in the first half. But let’s not stop talking about penalties just yet.

The back-to-back penalties (holding and offensive PI) set USC back to a 1st-and-35. A drive that started near mid-field was now inside their own 20. Seemed like a situation that you would end up punting on for sure. It didn’t help that their next play set up a 2nd-and-34. Passes to Michael Pittman and Ronald Jones more than made up the difference.

Ronald Jones II had another career-high night. Last week was in yards, this week in touchdowns. It’s been a long time since somebody rushed for 4 touchdowns on this team (2005), which ties the record, by the way. Definitely the offensive player of the game. Honorable mention to Deontay Burnett and a freshman honorable mention to Michael Pittman. I can’t let the defense be left out though.

Porter Gustin deserve defensive player of the game for his pass deflections and sacks. It seemed like he was in the backfield pressuring the Oregon freshman quarterback on almost every play. His best play was probably during the bat on 4th-and-2. Oregon had intercepted Darnold and drove to the USC 11 before being denied points by his pass deflection. His performance was instrumental in holding Oregon to half their average points per game.

Both USC and Oregon blitzed on a lot of plays this game. However, the USC offensive line didn’t do a great job picking it up. That probably let to a few ridiculous overthrows by Darnold. Not the best night for him either way, but not horrible either. Luckily, the Trojans were able to take advantage of Oregon’s bad run defense.

Stray Snippets

  • USC under Helton has finally managed to string together a respectable 2-minute drive.
  • TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe’s catch and run off the deflection seems to epitomize the wonky things that happen after Darnold took over as QB.
  • Oregon constantly ran a particular screen to the running back on the left side that got them a bunch of yards. That’s what you get for blitzing so much, I guess.

The Trojans have slowly climbed their way up to 6-3 (5-2 in Pac-12). It’s finally here: the biggest test in Pac-12 play for this season. Washington, sitting at a perfect 9-0. We’ll finally get a measure of how far this has really come from the loss to #1 Alabama in week 1.

CommBro Breaker

Even poor Puddles wanted to be a Trojan during that game. He brought his own plush horse to the Coliseum.

Or maybe he was just using it to chat up the cheerleaders

Or maybe he was just using it to chat up the cheerleaders

An Actual Purposeful Stat that Means a Lot More than Most of the Other Stuff I Put Here: USC is #8 in the nation in sacks allowed (9).

Useless Stat of the Week: USC averages less punt yardage (38.41) than their opponents (41.85).

Misleading Stat of the Week: Ronald Jones lost more yards on rushes than the TEAM.

This one took a lot of mental gymnastics. The stat line credits a -1 yard rush to “TEAM” for the QB kneel. Jones lost 8 yards at some point during his 20 carries.