USC vs. Notre Dame: Championship Wishful Thinking Ended

Notre Dame vs. USC
October 21, 2017 at 4:43pm
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN: 77,622
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Do you remember the last time USC didn’t score in the first half? At Corvallis in 2010, where the Trojans lost 7-36 and starting QB Matt Barkley had to be taken out with an injury. Seven years later, the #11 Trojans played about as well as the unranked Temple or Boston College against the #13 Fighting Irish. If you combine this game with USC’s 2013 trip up to South Bend you might get a full game’s worth of scoring!

Any hope at an outside shot of a playoff berth has been ended. Now fans are forced to adjust their expectations and are uneasy about the rest of the season.

No matter how good a coach is, eventually they will lose—maybe even a team that they have no business losing to—but a prepared coach shouldn’t really get blown out often. Not at this level. Not with this kind of team.

The team gave up. Hell, it looks like they were never really into it to begin with. The team looked completely unprepared and unable to tackle. From what I’m seeing, I’m guessing they stopped tackling in practice. Sources confirmed that. Hasn’t Helton learned from the mistakes of his predecessor? He worked directly under Kiffin when he made that same unfortunate decision. Uncoincidentally, it’s starting to look like that 2012 season; a depleted roster edges out unconvincing wins through sheer talent, but ultimately squanders the season due to poor preparation and coaching decisions—only Kiffin didn’t get blown out that season.


BAD: Allowing 377 yards rushing. That’s higher than ND’s average. Allowing 8 yards a carry is also fairly disappointing

BAD: Producing unforced turnovers.

BAD: Defense unable to balance out the offense by getting takeaways of their own

BAD: The punt return game. They made a change, like I wanted them to do. It resulted in another unforced turnover. You’re telling me the entire roster doesn’t have anyone that can reliably field punts?

BAD: The missed field goal almost got overshadowed in my mind because of all the other things that went wrong. A 27-yarder should not be that difficult.

BAD: Could not establish a run game.

BAD: I could list more but who wants that?

GOOD: Fink showed some good runs.

GOOD: Deontay had a great game despite his quarterback struggling.

Yeah…that’s about all the good I can remember

CommBro Breaker

As bad as that was, firing should not be on the table at this point. A third midseason firing, all within 5 years ,at a school that had previous not done it before, would be disastrous. Firing the guy at the end of the season might be hasty as well. He should get about three years. If he fails to make the necessary changes this offseason, then that’s the point when those considerations should start.

Lottery Stats

Depressing Stat of the Week: USC averages 2.71 turnovers a game. They have not had a game with less than two turnovers this season.They are tied for 127th in the FBS for total turnovers (19). The only team that has more turnovers that SC is San Jose State.

Running count of fourth down conversions: 4 of 12 (33%)

Running count of opponent fourth down conversions: 9 of 15 (60%)

USC vs. Utah: FumBowl Eligible

USC vs. Utah
October 14, 2017 at 5:14pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 72,382 (93,607)
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

So this post comes unbelievably late, even by my poor standards. In my defense, I was busy struggling through studying and struggling through my midterm. Kind of like how USC struggled all the way through this game against Utah. Clearly the struggle bus is a malady that affects all.

Tickets now on sale.

The problems started with some early fumbles—one leading directly to a touchdown. Three first half fumbles by a single player is quite concerning. That’s almost half the first half offensive drives ended by lack of ball security. But hey, at least there were no interceptions! this might’ve been a different game had Utah not missed that medium length field goal.

I must admit that there were a lot of distractions for me during this game, so my analysis it sorely lacking. I barely have time to write this so y’all can forget about me watching plays frame by frame like I used to do.
Speaking of time, there’s a bunch I’d like to get back from those officials that saw fit to measure for the first down like 3 times in the same set of downs. They had so many measures, the band almost thought it was their sheet music.
GOOD: The defense didn’t allow any points in the second half…until the last minute. They also managed to stop a potentially game-winning two point conversion.
GOOD: Scoring 21 straight points to take the lead.
GOOD: Darnold played an acceptable quality in the second half.
GOOD: Tight ends are finally getting more involvement in the offense. Here’s a stat for you: 75% of USC’s touchdowns came from the tight end position group.

GOOD: Punter, Reid Budrovich, continuing to field bad snaps.

BAD: Obviously, the other side, stop snapping so badly. This ain’t bowling. The ball needs to leave the ground.

BAD: Only having 49 rushing yards at the half.
GOOD: The run game picking up in the first half.
GOOD: Only three penalties for 35 yards—one of which was absolute garbage and not a pass interference.
GOOD: Tyler Vaughns, bailing out the team on fourth down again.

CommBro Breaker

At 6-1, USC is bowl eligible! Even if the season ends in five straight losses, USC will continue the streak of qualifying for a six straight year. That’s kind of a low standard for a USC team to live up to, but…

Lottery Stats:

Don’t be greedy. I already spread some stats throughout the post.

Turnovers off of Turnovers: We got another one this game! How exciting!

Running count of fourth down conversions: 3 of 10 (30%)

Running count of opponent fourth down conversions: 9 of 15 (60%)

USC vs. Oregon State: Groundhog’s Day

USC vs. Oregon State
October 7, 2017 at 1:07pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 60,314 (93,607)
Total Time: 3 hours 12 minutes

You see those people hiding from the sun there at the edge? That’s the kind of day it was. Did USC win? It’s hard to tell with all the negativity still going around the fanbase. Some of it is warranted.

Remember that sequence where USC fumbled and Oregon State missed a field goal? Then USC fumbled and Oregon State missed a field goal? Then USC fumbled and Oregon State missed a field goal? Then USC fumbled and Oregon State missed a field goal? Then USC fumbled and Oregon State missed a field goal?

Oh wait, it only happened twice. I thought it was Groundhog’s Day. Groundhogs are pretty much just beavers. Do missed field goals figure into the turnovers off of turnovers count? Emotionally, it sure feels like they do. On that note…

GOOD:  Jack Jones getting the students some Chick-fil-A…err, I mean blocking that kick.

BAD: Getting a personal foul penalty on a perfectly clean hit just because the Oregon State player failed to secure his own helmet.

GOOD: The Oregon State player that thought he was so cool for catching “touchdown” pass that he felt the need to talk crap. Had it actually been a touchdown, then the penalty would’ve been assessed on the following kickoff. Much less costly. Instead, he got them pushed back to the 15. BAD: Lucky for him, they ended up scoring that TD anyway.

BAD: Punt return game. I was never impressed with it, but this was the last straw for me. I would make a change at this point…if I had any influence.

GOOD: Backup QB, Matt Fink, getting to the endzone in an impressive run.

GOOD: Always good to get Jake Olson in the game. He gets to look like a boss on the broadcast.

GOOD: Finally some garbage time. It shows that the team actually had a secure enough position to start playing back ups. The last time was probably USC-ND back in 2016.

BAD: Oregon State is probably one of the worst, if not the worst, team on their schedule. The win was never in doubt, but they made it painful. If the same thing keeps happening, it’ll be a hard fought game against Utah next week.


CommBro Breaker

USC can’t seem to score without the help of a turnover (counting missed/blocked field goals). Heck, they can’t even score with the help of them sometimes. The offensive coaching staff continues to field a product offensive to the fans.
CITY OF ANGLES EXCLUSIVE: I actually found their offensive gameplan for the first half of the season. See below:

This must be what they tell Darnold to do on all the RPOs and read options.

Lottery Stats:

Depressing Stat of the Game #1: Total 1.5 turnovers per quarter. Messy game to watch. The first quarter had three total turnovers and two missed field goals.

Depressing Stat of the Game #2: Despite running only once, Fink has second most rushing yards by an SC player this game. The second “run” credited to him was recovering a fumble for a gain of 1 yard.

Misleading Stat #1: Fink has better TD:Turnover ratio than Darnold this game. 1:0 compared to 3:3.

Misleading Stat #2: Fink has 100% completion on the season.

Running count of fourth down conversions: 2 of 8

Running count of opponent fourth down conversions: 7 of 13

USC vs. WSU: Streak Ended

Washington State vs. USC
September 29, 2017 at 7:36pm
Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA: 33,773
Total Time: 3 hours 46 minutes

A short week, road game, and piling injuries spell disaster against a ranked opponent on a week night. There’s no relief in sight as the 12 game slog continues. The 13 game winning streak lies broken in Pullman in what many predicted as the trap game of the season. Sam Darnold played what could possibly be his worst game a as a starter. We all knew it was gonna happen eventually and now it has. The feature image is a representation of the season! That’s how you can look at it.

You can also look at it as a decent spot to lose. A lot of this can be explained away by the selection committee for the same exact reasons: short week, road game, ranked opponent, piling injuries, no bye week—provided the team can win out and be in the conversation at that point. Perhaps the loss will relieve a lot of the pressure that’s been affecting the team. As long as the team regroups and plays better on offense, the ceiling for the season can still be high.


GOOD: Great interception by one of the best defensive players. Uchenna Nwosu decided to play hot potato with an offensive lineman…until he realized he wanted fries with that.

Yeah, I went there. Cardinal and Gold (Soruce: Corpse Reviver, Wikimedia Commons)

BAD: What the—Nwosu gives you the ball at the 3 and you repay him with only 3 points? The next scoring drive is more of the same crap. Drive starts at the 27…3 points.

GOOD: Punter, Reid Budrovich, continues to show competence at the position. Fields strange snaps and kicks far.

BAD: That was the first time in my life that I’ve seen a delay of game penalty on the defense. Of course it’s Pac-12 officials that call it.

BAD: Offensive pass interference on the Trojans at the beginning of the second half. They showed the replay a few times and I didn’t see anything blatant enough to call. I don’t have time to rewatch games anymore, so I can’t say anything for sure. At this very moment, I should be working on two papers that I have to turn in the coming week, but here I am writing this anyway. Anyway, this penalty basically killed the drive.

GOOD: Darnold showing he can still run it.

BAD: The Darnold magic ran out. He must’ve used it all just to get the game tied up.

GOOD: Getting play calls for read options and a QB sneak.

GOOD: Joseph Lewis and Tyler Vaughns had some good catches that game—Vaughns especially.BAD: Allowing more 4th down conversions

BAD: Defense allowed too many big plays. Run defense continues to be a sore spot.

BAD: Too many injuries

CommBro Breaker

At least Washington State is still one of the Pac-12 schools that need a Costco size pallet of wins to even out the series. The series record is 59-10-4. Only USC’s next opponent is worse, with a series record of 61-11-4. Beat the Beavers.

Lottery Stats

Ronald Jones looks to have decent stats. 128 yards on 14 carries, averaging over 9.1 yards per rush. But 70% of that came from a single big run.Take that out and you have 42 yards on 13 carries…an average of 3.2. Doesn’t look so good anymore. No hate or anything. He did well considering he returned from injury. My point is that if the team can’t run and it certainly can’t pass, what can it do? As we saw, the defense can’t carry you through every game. Barely getting 320 yards of total offense does not look good at all. A single player can often have a stat line like that.

Running count of fourth down conversions: 1 of 6
FINALLY, a conversion. On a 4th-and-13, no less. Still kind of a shaky throw by Darnold, but a heroic catch by Tyler Vaughns to keep the Trojans in the game.

Running count of opponent fourth down conversions: 7 of 11

USC vs. Cal: Strawberry Turnover

California vs. USC
September 23, 2017 at 12:43pm
Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA: 46,747 (of 62,467)
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes

‘Tis probably bittersweet for Cal now that their stadium no longer has “Kabam Field” attached to it. The name and branding really didn’t fit the venue, but Cal really needed—and still needs—that money to fund their renovations. If you don’t already know, their athletic department is operating on roughly a $20 million deficit largely due to overly optimistic projections for the renovations. I won’t get into that though. Today, there was a different disaster on the field: Cal’s offense in the fourth quarter.

The stadium isn’t the only thing that got rebranded this year. Former USC defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox, made the leap to head coach and instilled a new culture within the team. It was apparent through their 3-0 run, beating teams like UNC and Ole Miss. It was apparent throughout the game today.

Quite interesting that Wilcox did well everywhere except at USC: at the University of Washington, the other UW (Wisconsin), and even Cal. Yet he managed to have a thoroughly unimpressive campaign at USC.

It has to make me wonder if it’s something about SC. Were the position coaches not developing the players properly? Failures of strength and conditioning? Mind control nanobots in the LA water? Just baffling. A person can spend their life contemplating these issues and come to no conclusion.

Meanwhile, USC heads into another fourth quarter with the game tied. Had it not been for an offensive implosion by Cal, the win would’ve seriously been in question. Six turnovers and USC wins by 10 points. Great job by the defense, but something needs to be fixed or a loss is impending. Don’t be like 2014 FSU or 2012 Notre Dame.


BAD: Both sides of Cal’s line push SC’s around. Their DL managed to get significant pressure rushing only 3 or 4. They knifed into the backfield early, disrupting a good number of run plays. While the stat sheet doesn’t show a ridiculous number of tackles for loss allowed, I assure you, the damage was there. On the other side, their OL allowed them to run confidently and convert 4 out of 6 fourth downs.

GOOD: That might’ve been the best Pac-12 official crew I’ve seen in recent memory. No super controversial game-deciding calls. They let the people play. Now requesting Mark Duddy’s team for the rest of our conference schedule. Please?

GOOD: On a similar vein, not as many stupid penalties this game. They weren’t swimming in false starts flags like usual.

GOOD:  Deontay Burnett!! Week in and week out, he has been our most reliable receiver.

GOOD: Congrats on Sam Darnold’s first non-multiple interception game of the season.

GOOD: Who is this Uchenna Nwosu guy? Can we give him two scholarships? The outsider linebacker has played absolutely insane this season. He seems to bat or tip a pass every other drive. He also gets credit this game for the weird almost interception fumble.

GOOD: Stephen Carr played a decent game, filling in for the injured Ronald Jones as starter. Outside of the single fumble, he did what he needed to throughout the game.

GOOD: Being able to make a strawberry turnover pun.

CommBro Breaker

3-0 #24 Oregon just lost to 0-2 unranked ASU. Stanford went from losing to SDSU to making UCLA wish they played Memphis again.  An Arizona team that turned the ball over 5 times (-3 differential) still managed to keep it close against #23 Utah. Maybe you just can’t tell what a team will do any given week. Maybe the team will be fine squeaking out wins.

How did that man Wilcox convince a former FBS head coach to serve as his defensive coordinator? Has he become the Saban of the West?!

Lottery Stats

Running count of fourth down conversions: 0 of 5

Running count of opponent fourth down conversions: 6 of 10

Turnovers off of turnovers: 1

USC vs. Texas: Texas BBQ Can Give You a Heart Attack

USC vs. Stanford
September 16, 2017 at 5:40pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 84,714 (93,607)
Total Time: 4 hours 1 minutes

Rey Maualuga led the Trojans out of the tunnel on what many Texas and USC fans expected to be a blowout win for the Trojans. Instead, they had poor Matt Leinart standing in the end zone with PTSD flash backs while Vince Young and Matthew McConaughey were grinning. At that point, we were all reminded that Tom Herman was 6-0 versus ranked teams. I bet thousands of Bruin fans worldwide almost renewed their subscription to the Longhorn Network.

Overtime has not treated USC well since the current overtime rules were instituted in the 1995-96 bowl season. USC was 2-6 in OT games since 1996 and 3-6 overall. The last OT win was under Paul Hackett back in 2000. It’s good to be able to win in OT, whether or not the Trojans should have let it get to that point.

The team showed some grit—something severely missing from teams during most of the sanction years. The entire game tasted like a receipe for an upset once it got under way. I’m sure most people were expecting the big L for USC once Texas scored their go ahead touchdown with 45 seconds remaining.

The defense held the Longhorns to a net rushing yardage of…one and zero points (the points came off a terrible pick six). They did worse in the second half, allowing 10 points, but the offense should have gotten the job done. They scored a net of 10 points through 60 minutes of play. Really not acceptable when you have what so many proclaim to be a future first round pick at quarterback.

Apparently the Trojans only wake up at the end of a half. All their points during regulation were scored within three minutes of the end of a half.

The special teams and offense looked pretty bad for a stretch. After the first interception by the Trojan defense, the offense picked up a delay of game after the change in possession. Not much excuse for that kind of crap. Then it’s followed by a false start and a negative play. The ensuing punt had a bad snap that skipped along the ground. It’s a good thing the MVP punter, Reid Budrovich, managed to field and kick that…only for the coverage team to allow it to roll in for the touchback…

Good: Deontay Burnett made great plays, diving catches. He even had the instinct to bat the ball down to prevent an interception at one point.
Good: Reid Budrovich’s long punts and ability to field a bad snap. He pinned Texas deep in their own terrority and helped the defense shut down Texas for most of the game.
Good: Chase McGrath, the walk-on freshman kicker, missed his first field goal. Not that surprising, given that it was a 45 yarder and first college kick. He follows that up by infalliably making the two highest pressure kicks possible. The first, that sent the team to overtime, even had a suspect hold with the laces out. The second sealed USC’s 12 game winning streak. I feel that I to remind you that those are the first and only successful field goals in his college career. He made up for his miss one hundred times over.
Bad: Some of the special teams play (aside from the kicker and punter) was sloppy.
Bad: Receiver drops continue. One led to a pick six.
Bad: Defensive backs struggled at times during the night.
Bad: Still penalties…especially false starts. How do you go from field goal range to 4th-and-36 around midfield. Nasty.
Bad: Texas stopped the Texas Tesla and Carr by packing box. From one hundred yards rushing each, to less than 100 yards as a team.
Bad: Collin Johnson? Change his name to Calvin Johnson
Bad: So many Texas fans showed up, the Trojans almost lost home field advantage. After Darnold got up from and tried to quiet the crowd…as if he thought the Trojan fans were the one doing it.
Bad: Darnold on a series towards the end of the fourth. He came up looking quite confused and rattled. He proceeded to throw three straight passes on tilt. The last one sailed uncatchably over Tyler Petite’s head resulting in an interception. Flashbacks of John David Booty’s broken finger against Stanford in 2007 came to mind.
Good: In defining moments like the end of the second half and in overtime, legacies are cemented or broken. Would you be known like Leinart for his clutch plays in college—or be lost to history? I think the Trojans answered that question.

CommBro Breaker

Before you do anything else, go grab your 3 sack Big Mac and enjoy the spoils of victory. I have to wonder though, do Texas fans get one too for sacking Darnold 3 times? Eh, I don’t really care. USC picked theirs up on what I call a perfect set of downs on defense: three sacks in a row, forcing them to punt. In reality, they only needed 2 more for the burger at that point, but I’ll take three sacks in a row. Too bad we didn’t get Chick-Fil-A from a blocked kick as well. Not that I would eat either of them out of laziness…

With Stanford’s loss to San Diego State, I’m going to venture to say that Texas might be better than people give them credit for and Stanford worse. That basically means we still don’t know where USC stands after one fourth of the regular season has expired.

Or maybe there’s something to that Body Blows Theory.

Lottery Stat: Since I don’t have time to do some running weekly stat types, I’m just gonna pick one each week and run with it. Whatever I feel like is what you get. Texas had a higher fourth down conversion percentage (66.6%) than third down conversion percentage (25%). USC was 0 for 3 on fourth down conversions while Texas was 2 for 3.

USC vs. Stanford: The Answer to Life

USC vs. Stanford
September 9, 2017 at 5:40pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 77,614 (93,607)
Total Time: 3 hours 11 minutes

You know what I like about USC-Stanford games? The game clock actually runs at a decent pace. The teams usually have balanced drives that actually last a while. It’s like being able to watch a rally in a volleyball game rather than back-and-forth aces.

There isn’t too much I want to say about this game. They really turned it around from last week. Stanford scored less against the Trojans than the Broncos did. Shocking.

Also shocking was getting 307 yards rushing even after losing yards on kneel downs. Forget about it being a rank #14 team…David Shaw coached Stanford teams have allowed an average of 115 yards rushing per game. Being able to put over 300 yards on them in a single game shows the caliber of the running backs and the offensive line’s runblocking. The 307 yards amassed by the Trojans would have been one fourth of Stanford’s total rushing yards allowed over fourteen games in the 2013 season.


Bad-Good: Back-to-back two interceptions is not a good look. The first pick in the game I might let go. Gotta take risks, sometimes it doesn’t go your way. The second one was another into double coverage and had almost no chance of being completed. No more of that, please. On the other hand, he threw four touchdown passes and most of them were superb throws.

Good: Defense did their job, other than one or two big plays allowed.

Bad: This one isn’t on the team. C’mon Pac-12 officials…There were some blatantly bad calls and lack of calls. Seems par for course in Stanford-SC matchups though.

“Clock operator, please reset the game clock to…”

Good: Two one hundred yard rushers.

Good: Continued Deontay performance.

Good: #14 Stanford looks to be the hardest team on USC’s regular season schedule. Barring any surprises, USC just has to remain consistent and healthy. It’s college football, though, and there will always be surprises.

Good: Balanced and complete offense.

Don’t know: USC offense looks like it’s gone through a lot of changes like:

  • Running out of split back sets. Usually, even when they line up like that, they motion one back out before the play starts
  • More RPO plays
  • Speed option play

CommBro Breaker

Ain’t City of Angles if I don’t spit some stats at ye.

This was USC’s largest margin of victory against Stanford since 2008 (45-23).

Oh, and I should probably explain the title. 42—the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

USC vs. W. Michigan: 100 Degrees of Inconsistency

USC vs. Western Michigan
September 2, 2017 at 2:22pm
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: 61,125 (93,607)
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

I was basically hiding for the past few months, but I couldn’t keep myself away now that football season has started. However, things will be in a new abridged format seeing as how I am experiencing a severe time deficit induced by graduate school.

Or maybe the real reason is because I’m having an identity crisis. My new degree is Public Administration, so can I even go by CommBro anymore? Public Admin doesn’t lend itself well to cool puns though. PUADbro? PAbro? Okay, that just sounds like a racial caricature of someone trying to pronounce Pablo. On to the real stuff.

As you can imagine, it was hot as hell so maybe this wasn’t the best game to be in the student section. I miss my old seats in the shade already. I’ve noticed that some traditions have died off since I finished undergrad. It was reassuring to see the section still packed out in the fourth quarter despite the triple digit temperatures—AND  subpar product on the field.

The last home opener loss was a 7-14 defeat at the hands of #5 Florida State back in 1997. That John Robinson’s final season before getting unceremoniously fired. While head coach Clay Helton probably wouldn’t be at risk even if he lost this game, it’s usually bad to come close to breaking a 20 year streak. I really need to speed this up because I have to do homework.

GOOD: No major injuries. Without byes, this is vital.

BAD: Darnold with the 0-2 TD-INT ratio. He underthrew and threw too many risky passes. Both interpcetions were from tips. Perhaps the new release on his throw is affecting his performance?

BAD: While Darnold clearly didn’t do that well personally, high snaps from Nico Falah certainly didn’t help. One resulted in a fumble that was barely recovered.

BAD: You know what else didn’t help? Key third down drops from a lot of receivers.

GOOD: The exception was Deontay, showing that the Rose Bowl performance was no fluke. He has worked hard amongst all the highly ranked wide receivers and has shown that he is the most complete and consistent WR.

GOOD: For a while there, it seemed like the MVPs were the kickers. Chase McGrath, other than one kick out-of-bounds,—which was really close to being a touchback—he had a good, deep kick that launched it out of the end zone. He was also perfect on PATs. I blame the coverage team for the kickoff return for TD. Reid Budrovich punted well without qualification in his debut.

BAD: Defense struggled in tackling, allowing the Bronco running back to break a bunch of arm tackles. Getting Cam Smith back improved the defense, but they were mediocre. The offense did put them in a bad spot though.

BAD: Too many penalties. 9 for 94 yards?! That’s not even counting the yards from offsetting penalties and the kick out-of-bounds. Unsportsmanlike penalties have no place in a team. Also, key penalties revived dying drives, allowing Western Michgan to score.

GOOD: Ronald Jones II was the player on the game. He was back in form, dreads and all. He put up Heisman numbers all while breaking tackles and making large runs. His 8.8 average yards per carry and three touchdowns carried the sickly offense.

GOOD: True freshman Stephen Carr showed that he could excel at the college level, capping off his day with a 52-yard scoring run. On the other side of the ball, Marvell Tell, decided to answer Carr’s score with a pick six, showing Carr that he wasn’t the only #7 in town.

GOOD: JAKE OLSON GOT TO SNAP THE BALL. There are also sweet pics of his dog. :3

PAbro Breaker? Nope, doesn’t work.

CommBro Breaker

Apparently both teams thought they were only allowed one touchdown per quarter until someone told them otherwise in the fourth quarter.

Western Michigan may have went 13-1 last year, but they had a relaxed MAC schedule. I highly doubt that they are even Pac-12 caliber and warranted such a hard fought victory.

The Trojans should have them out and rested their starters. Recall that there are no bye weeks for this team. Meanwhile, perennial contender, Stanford, is coming off a bye week.

USC Coliseum Naming Rights

I was quietly planning a hiatus from blogging, since I will be a full-time grad student in addition to being a full-time employee soon. But that was before reading the news today. I’ve already went to great lengths to gripe about the Coliseum renovation, so why stop now?

So if you haven’t heard the news, The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum got a naming rights deal for $70 million over 15 years. From United. Yes, that United.

It’s one thing to have a naming rights deal. I don’t think it works for certain stadiums. Certainly not ones with so much history. What could you add to “Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum” that wouldn’t make it significantly worse? I’ll wait to see how that one shakes out. Maybe they’ll find a way to do it tastefully.

But United Airlines? The same United that had a huge customer service and PR blunder about a month ago? I don’t know if that’s the best thing to associate with at the moment. Don’t tell me they couldn’t and wouldn’t be picky as long as somebody was paying. If it was $100 million over 15 years from a company like…Trojan Condoms, do you think USC would’ve taken it? Someone probably would’ve said, “hey, maybe all the jokes and negative publicity connected to that wouldn’t be worth the money.” But the next best thing, United Airlines, that’s okay.

So let the jokes begin.

They might as well let the Raiders lease a spot again. That way, when you get beat up by a fan, security can tell you that it was sponsored by United.

Great timing on the part of USC. When you’re about to take out 16,000 seats, displacing a bunch of upset fans, who else would you go to for a sponsorship? Because nobody displaces upset customers like United.

This one is a personal anecdote. The one time I went to the Coliseum for an NFL game, I saw quite a few interesting things. All of it seems awfully relevant now. It was an LA Rams preseason game and I went just for the hell of it. I entered around kick off and saw a fight in the stands that ended in security escorting them out. Then a fight broke out on the field, leading to a few ejections. As it neared halftime, a group came in, claiming we were in their seats. We all produced our tickets and realized that a seller on StubHub managed to sell the same seats twice. For some reason, the ticket scanners at the gate still let us all in. Overbooking seems to be the norm!

You know what, I’m not sure why I am criticizing this naming rights deal anymore. It’s a better match than most Tinder dates.

CommBro Breaker

Whooooa wait. I got a naming rights deal offer for $150 dollars over 8 years!! That’s $18.75 a year. Do you know how many chicken nuggets I can get with that?! Like 120 at Burger King or something.

As a result, the name of my blog will be changing to City of Angles presented by The Onion.

Our new logo. Still better than the Chargers

See you at the Coliseum for years to come!

Japanese Origins Double Feature: Multiple reviews

Ghost in the Shell

Runtime: 1 hour 46 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $110 million

Ghost in the Shell got low ratings, but I thought that might be because it deviated from the source material and was mired in controversy over the casting. But nope, it definitely deserved low ratings.

For the entire film, I kept waiting for something to happen, for the pace to pick up. It felt like there was no climax or culmination of events that would make it a worthwhile watch. Just entirely absent from the movie.

Part of the way through, you get to meet the mysterious figure teased in the trailers. At first, he seemed like a good character. He was haunting and had an interesting story. In the end, he absolutely wasted—and not the drunk kind. The writers must’ve imbibed before finishing the script.

Mini-CommBro Breaker

It wasn’t all bad. They created a cool looking city in post. I wouldn’t watch the movie just for that though.

I don’t know the source material at all, so I can’t tell you if it makes it better or worse. The movie is just weak to the point where I felt like I wasted my time.

Your Name. (Kimi No Wa.)

Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes
Budget: Not Listed

I watched this about 20 minutes after Ghost in the Shell. I almost felt like I had to redeem the night after that mess of a movie. The difference between the two was like orange juice and tar…assuming you were looking for a refreshing drink. There might be useful application of tar depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

While Ghost in the Shell felt long and plodding, Your Name. left me wanting more. I will definitely be adding this one to my small Blu Ray collection.

I’m not going to say too much more because the less you know about it, the more enjoyable the experience will be. The animation is movie-quality. The writing, direction, and execution all came together for something great. It was an emotional roller coaster for me.

Mini-CommBro Breaker #2

Yes it’s “anime.” That carries some stigma, I know. Still worth going. I’d go again to drag others along…if the theater run for this wasn’t so short. Unless you’re horribly opposed to reading subtitles, you should be fine.