Late fourth quarter…

…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!!!

Whew.

7 Responses to “Late fourth quarter…”

  1. Texasyank says:

    They relaxed after the last touchdown. Not good.

  2. TXMed says:

    This offensive line for Wazzu is missing two starters but they look like they’re full of all Americans. Brink (the Wash. St. QB) has all day and they’re just throwing those quick hooks and outs against the Trojan zone. Well, up until this present drive with 5 minutes left in the game…here the trojans have given up two big pass plays.

    Wazzu averaged less than 2.0 yards per carry on the ground against Baylor! But this offense looks in fine shape against what was supposed to be a dominant Trojan defense. Maybe we’re just having an off week…

  3. Toni says:

    Mail Mary… is that like a hail mary for men?

  4. Brendan Loy says:

    LOL Toni… thanks… just fixed the typo. :)

  5. Toni says:

    LOL well it is not like ever have a typo :P”’

  6. Andrew says:

    Undoubtedly, we came out flat today. The fumbles, the lack of a pass rush, shoddy tackling, no push on the offensive line… this is the worst I’ve seen USC play in a long time. And, this is the best I’ve seen Washington State play in a long time. The Cougars came to play, and the crowd played a big role.

    Still, this was an encouraging game. Being a second consecutive road game, far from home at a small-but-loud stadium, against a team that has finally started to use its talent and a quarterback who is finally maturing and consistently making good decisions, I’ll take it. This was a classic “trap” game, and USC survived it. (For a perfect example of the danger of trap games, see: Michigan State at Illinois today, or Fresno State at Nevada last year after the Bulldogs played USC close in a tough loss the week before.)

    USC’s only away games here on out are at Oregon State, at Stanford, and at fUCLA — hardly a murderer’s row — while Cal, Oregon, ASU, and Notre Dame have to come to the Coliseum. I’ll be shocked if we lose a game this season until the BCS game, or play anywhere close to as sloppy as we did today (did you see how many dumb penalties we committed today? Ugh).

  7. AO says:

    In 2003, a young SC team went up to Cal for their 4th game, a game they were supposed to win easily, and walked out with a heartbreaking loss. Today, a young SC team went up to WSU for their 4th game, a game they were supposed to win easily, and walked out with a win. Let’s keep it in perspective.