Weekly Musings – Colorado Edition

I strongly suspect that my feelings this morning are very similar to what many other Trojans are feeling: Thrilled we continue this winning streak, thrilled Arizona knocked off Utah to give us control of our own destiny, and really squeamish about this Oregon game on Saturday. I’d probably feel better if Stanford had whooped up on Oregon this weekend, but we seem to be going into Eugene for a re-energized Oregon team after two weeks of us struggling against far, far, far weaker offenses in Colorado and Arizona. The reality is that we have the weapons to go up there and compete, and I can remember a certain 2002 game in Eugene also played at 12:30pm that seems to me to have truly changed the direction of our program … But we will need far better pressure on the quarterback, and most importantly, far better defensive secondary play, than we have been getting, AND we now will have to do this with two starting linebackers out for the year. Losing Cameron and Lamar for the year is a punch in the gut, but it is the punch on which Fight On is made of. We must get guys to come in behind them and compete. Am I nervous about this Oregon game? You bet I am. Do I believe we can go in there and win? Absolutely.

The Colorado game was a lot of fun in some ways. Look, they are a team (Colorado) getting better, not worse, and while their record doesn’t show it, their margin of loss does. Used to getting blown out in every game, they are now losing week after week after week in close, competitive games. For the second week in a row we were reasonably unphased after getting behind, and stepped up with big offensive plays, great use of the running game, and key defensive stops. Being able to come back from a deficit is the hallmark of a good football team. With that said, my wish list for the Oregon game after the Colorado game is as follows:
– Better unity between Cody and his receivers not named JuJu. Particularly with Steven Mitchell, they often are not on the same page
– A defensive secondary that can win some one on one matchups when they are in man
– A special teams that buttons it up in ALL aspects of the game, especially are coverage units

I don’t think Oregon’s quarterback is very good and I really don’t think he is very good when defensive lineman are punching him in the face. But they have the skill players in the backfield and the wideouts to give us fits. Our defensive strategy must be up for the task, play to our strengths, and pull off the best game plan of the year.

Trojans, the game we play the week AFTER Oregon means NOTHING right now. THAT powder blue team is the team that ONLY cares about us. We must be focused on the most important game of the year which right now is Oregon. Coach Helton has his work cut out for him. I think he will have our boys ready.

Some have expressed concern over Clay’s decision to go for two midway through the third quarter, a decision that got un-made for him by a penalty. Mack Brown expressed disagreement, and the way things played out it could have hurt us had we gone for it and not gotten it (what if Colorado ended up kicking a field goal at the end which would have won them the game instead of tying it). The reality is that the rulebook says to wait until the fourth quarter for that kind of stuff so I think on paper Mack is right, but I also think a coach has to make a decision sometimes in the mood and feel of the game, and the reality is that it was a low scoring game and our defense had been containing Colorado. Either way, it didn’t end up mattering, but I do sympathize with those who are fearful of Helton sometimes playing a little CLK video game football.

JuJu is the most potent weapon we have and he is THAT good. Keyshawn good. BMW good, but better. Truly special, with a lot to do in his time remaining at USC.

Iman Marshall is the player we need to have a breakout performance in the secondary.

Just as Madden did with Cal, the Justin Davis ability to get to the edge on that final drive and convert a third down is why we won the game.

Cody is a tough kid, and has a chance to finish his career at USC in a blaze of glory. One step at a time. Oregon is what is in front of us. Fight on Cody, fight on Coach, and fight on USC. Beat the Quacks.

Around the country:
– Alabama is the best team in the country right now
– Stanford is why Notre Dame will not make it to the final four playoff, I think. But Stanford really blew it Saturday night in a big, big way
– Washington State did not deserve that win over UCLA in the Rose Bowl Saturday night after that play-calling late in the game which caused the pick and that defense which let Rosen skip into the end zone. But they got it done and no one at UCLA cared, because Washington State was not wearing cardinal and gold
– I watched the entire Utah/Arizona game on mute because of that windbag idiot, Petros
– Stanford failed in their two point conversion because there is a God and the refs completely screwed Oregon on that PI call that made the touchdown possible to begin with
– Could Oklahoma State sneak into the final four?

Let’s get into Eugene and do what we do. Fight on!!!!!!!!!!!!