I don’t know if you all remember my article from a few weeks ago after USC lost on the road to BC. I mentioned and linked to a video in that article that showed USC Head Coach Steve Sarkisian standing on a table in the visitor’s locker room the week before after beating Stanford. In that video he proclaimed what a great victory it was (remind you it was the 2nd game of the season), and he also reminded them that, “The best part about it was the whole nation saw it.” Well Sark, that sword goes both ways, as the whole nation was able to see what happened on Saturday in what is one of the worst collapses I have seen on a football field. The best part about it was that it wasn’t really that surprising. Granted when there was under 3 minutes left and USC was up by two scores WITH THE BALL I certainly thought the game was over. But once ASU got the ball on that last drive I felt pretty good that somehow ASU would win that game. We all know what happened from there, and the whole nation saw it. What a cool week for the Trojans, man.
On a side note, USC had to feel pretty good about their sideline antics execution. The walk-ons and actors on the sideline sure did a great job of creating an amazing environment to play in. Throwing their yellow towels up in the air after a no-call on pass interference was especially well executed. Also, their assistant strength coaches and Graduate Assistants did a stellar job of running up and down the sideline and yelling loudly and acting really TUFF. Those guys really fired up the team and they have a lot of dignity and they aren’t embarrassing at all. So yes, they may have lost on the field, but at least they were having fun! Seriously though, that was one of the most embarrassing things I have ever seen during a football game, and I hope they keep it up; especially if they continue to collapse.
Speaking of collapses, how ‘bout those Coogs! I don’t know what is more impressive, how they lost the game or the fact that I honestly don’t even think that was the worst example of Cougin’ It in the last year (Hello, 2013 New Mexico Bowl.) The fact remains that Mike Leach is one of the worst game managers I have ever seen in sports. I could write a dissertation about his management of that game against Cal on Saturday and I still would not be able to hit on all the things he did wrong. Also, Coogs, if you want to say you got screwed by the refs please acknowledge that the other team scored at will against you, one stop and you win that game.
The best thing about UCLA losing is hopefully the non-stop talk from commentators about how great Brett Hundley is and how he is a Heisman contender can stop. Yes he plays behind one of the worst offensive lines I have ever seen (Although Oregon is really trying to contend in that department), but the fact remains that the guy is Jake Locker except he is wearing powder blue.
I also know there are a lot of Jim Mora supporters in here (I am one of them) but man, there has to be some serious questions about him going forward. For a defensive coach his defenses sure do suck a lot of the time. I saw a stat today that they have 7 sacks on the year so far, for a defense with that much talent up front that is pretty startling; UW has two players that have more sacks than that by themselves (Kikaha and Shelton). Noel Mazzone, his offensive coordinator is just dreadful. As long as he is there they will continue to put up inconsistent results. Adrian Klemm might be able to recruit really well, but he has been at UCLA for three years and I honestly think his offensive line is getting worse. Go look at his résumé and tell me he is worthy of the salary he makes. As long as Mora is surrounded by assistants like that he won’t be able to reach the potential that those players on that team might have.
As for Oregon… I read that Mark Helfrich is a “Quiet Genius,” so Oregon fans have nothing to worry about, right AZDuck?
This week Washington heads down to Berkeley to play Cal. The stadium may be rocking (only chance it will be rocking is if there is an earthquake, because Cal fans) and we will have quite a battle on our hands. Cal can throw the ball like crazy and I really like that running back they have, I think their running game has been pretty solid this year for a team that throws the ball as much as they do. They will get their yards in the air so if UW can stop them a bit on the ground and limit big passing plays I think they have a shot. The front seven will have ample opportunities to get after the QB, but Cal does get rid of the ball very quickly. It’s a pretty intriguing matchup to be honest.
Cal still really hasn’t played anyone of note though. I saw earlier in the day a tweet that said Cal’s first four FBS opponents had an average Sagarin rating of 58; their next seven have an average of 27. Also, their first 4 FBS opponents are 12-10; next seven are 26-9. Perhaps Cal is still who we thought they were before the season started, or maybe not, either way it is pretty interesting.
I truly have no idea what to expect from this game. Before the Stanford game I predicted UW to win; so that being said my prediction for Saturday is Cal 77, UW 4.