Anyways, there are two and only two takeaways from tonight:
SMERGABERGA BOOM CHICKA BOOM BOOM AHHHHHHHHH.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, here's the other takeaway: we won. Plain and simple, we won.
Were we lucky? Of course. Let's not overanalyze this. If you win in triple overtime you are, by definition, lucky. After all, had any one play gone differently, you probably wouldn't have won in triple overtime.
Did some troubling trends come up? Yeah.
- Turns out we dearly miss Shayne Skov and Delano Howell after all.
- The coaches made some questionable calls, running wildcat on a third and nine among them.
- We also ran first down after first down into eight- and nine-man fronts for what felt like two yards per carry. I know our identity is power, power, power, but at some point, ideology has to give way to practicality. USC was daring us to pass, we have the most heralded quarterback since the Genghis Khan era, and on a night said quarterback would finish 29-of-40 (73 percent) and account for four touchdowns, we win by double digits if we give him more control.
- To my eyes, USC won the battle in the trenches, at least until they tired out in the overtimes.
Now to be fair, there were plenty of positives too.
- Gaffney's touchdown was an unbelievable, gutty effort. As the kindly alum next to me said at the time, the Luck to Toilolo pass scores on Sundays.
- USC is a ridiculously talented team that is going to make some sick plays. We weathered them.
- We only had one turnover, made all our kicks and generally didn't shoot ourselves in the foot. It's not like there was a lot of room for error tonight – we needed to be pretty efficient to pull it out, and we were.
- After never trailing all year and pulling off 10 straight 25-plus point wins, the team showed it could rally from a deficit and thrive in down-to-the-wire pressure.
- Individually, Andrew Luck showed an ability to bounce back, leading the squad to four straight touchdowns to close the game, immediately after throwing his pick-six. After today, I'm convinced Luck's single most impressive skill is his ability to feel pressure. With any other quarterback, a lot of Luck's five-yard scrambles are five-yard sacks.
- We had some pretty great play calls too. The double reverse turned 50-yard bomb and the hook and ladder stand out.
- We outgained them by 83 yards on the night, in large part because we held one Robert Woods to 89 yards in a triple-overtime game.
But really, who cares about all of those pesky details, all of the fine print?
You need some magic to win a national title, and we got our fair share tonight. The bottom line is that we are six games away from nirvana, and, fingers crossed, we will only need to pull the genie out of the bottle a few more times.
If we can keep finding some magic -- and keep on winning – no one is going to care five years from now about our strengths, our weaknesses or whether we "deserved" to win a game. They're just going to care that we won them all. Tonight, that dream stays alive, at least for one more week.
All we did is win. Right now, that's all that matters.
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