…and it’s still a close, competitive game. USC 21, Wazzu 15, 6:47 left.
I must admit, I’m markedly unimpressed with USC’s play today. From what I’d seen before, I felt confident that the defense was good enough to carry the team until the offense, which is clearly capable of brilliance but needs time to mature, comes into its own. Now, I’m not so sure. Washington State is the first team to really challenge USC’s secondary, and the results have hardly been consistently encouraging. Nor has the defensive line looked particularly stellar. The first-half red-zone defense has been a highlight, but if you imagine a better offensive team like Oregon or Cal in Wazzu’s shoes, these Trojans won’t be able to really shut them down without some marked improvement on defense, which until now I thought we’d already made. So the offense, which has continued to show flashes of brilliance tonight — but only that, flashes — will need to score more than 21 points to win those games.
Luckily, Oregon and Cal are in November at the Coliseum… as is Notre Dame. That’s a big deal. But for now, let’s just focus on beating the Cougars. (Breathe, Brendan… breathe.)
UPDATE: And, just as I post that… touchdown USC!! Trojans lead, 28-15.
Re: my analysis above, I offer a major grain-of-salt alert: I suck at football analysis. :) So perhaps I’m wrong in some of the details above, and I stand ready to be corrected if someone offers a better analysis. But I think my general impression that USC has not looked terribly impressive tonight is certainly correct. I just hope they can hold on for the win.
On the other hand, Wazzu has also played well. No denying that. But I don’t think the Cougars are sufficiently talented that, even playing well, they should be able to put this good of a scare into the Trojans. Unless the Trojans aren’t as good as we thought they were.
UPDATE 2: Where is the pressure on the WSU quarterback??
UPDATE 3: Touchdown Wazzu. 28-22 USC with 4:07 left. I don’t like the fact that it’s a six-point game, rather than seven. Makes me nervous.
Still, a couple of first downs will ice this thing. C’mon now, don’t Coug it, Trojans!
UPDATE 4: 1:10 left, and USC has to punt. So it’s up to the Trojan defense to prevent the upset. Yikes.
UPDATE 5: White men can jump! If USC holds on, player-of-the-game honors go to the punter who snagged that bad snap.
UPDATE 6: 3 seconds left, Hail Mary coming…
UPDATE 7: Trojans survive!!!