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: 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.
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.
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.