MMQB recap - 10/11 meeting

The Monday Morning Quarterback luncheon with Trojan Head Coach Pete Carroll was a complete sellout today. The table talk was upbeat with some reservations about openings that Cal exploited last Saturday. Everyone I asked felt a sense of relief that the Cal game was behind us and that we remain undefeated.

The Monday Morning Quarterback luncheon with Trojan Head Coach Pete Carroll was a complete sellout today. The table talk was upbeat with some reservations about openings that Cal exploited last Saturday. Everyone I asked felt a sense of relief that the Cal game was behind us and that we remain undefeated.

Dr. Sample attended today's luncheon and the coach used the occasion for several good-natured stories. He started his presentation with a tongue-in-cheek report on team academics - "like we always do" and said something to the effect "oh, is Dr. Sample here?" Pete was having so much fun that it brought down the house. When given his chance to speak, Dr. Sample did say that his first year we were 3 and 8 so things were definitely improving.

The coach was definitely on today. It was like the game had just ended and the adrenalin rush was still working. He talked about the fact that our continued success will heat things up even more. Pete gave the Cal team a lot of credit for being very good and said that it had been a marvelous weekend.

The coach showed the normal array of successful plays. Today it was more like a celebration without the usual emphasis on why things worked last Saturday. We began with highlights from the Special Team. Cal muffed the punt snap back and Desmond Reed shut down the play. Tom Malone punting over Cal and them muffing the catch with Eric Wright recovering. We saw several of Ryan Killeen's kickoffs and a field goal. Of coarse we took several looks at Reggie Bush returning the kickoff. Desmond Reed made a terrific block on that play.

We started the Offensive plays with the interception of the pass to Dwayne Jarrett in the end zone. It did look like Cal deserved a penalty on that play. Next we saw the cartwheel reception that Dwayne made. A truly phenomenal catch that will be in this year's highlight reel. Next a series of successful plays featuring LenDale White. First a run, then the TD pass and finally another run. They showed his versatility and strength in breaking tackles for extra yards.

The big pass play to Steve Smith up the middle looked great. He was wide open and Matt hit him in perfect stride. We saw a run by Reggie Bush when he took it right up the gut and broke a tackle himself. On the bootleg pass from Matt to Chris McFoy it was really opened up by Reggie going to the flat and drawing double coverage. The offensive series ended with what the coach called a "beautiful" play when Matt took the snap and kneeled down to end the game.

The Defensive play selection was outstanding. Mike Patterson was featured in many plays with most of them being tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Mike Patterson is the Pac-10 and national defensive player of the week. He is really great and the play when he stripped Rodgers of the ball, tackled him and then recovered the fumble is another highlight reel entry. Manuel Wright had several starring plays as well. The coach did point out a couple of plays that worked for Cal last year that we had prepared for and stopped this year. As I remember, there was a quarter back draw, an attempted shovel pass and some end zone pass patterns. On one such play, a screen pass in the flat, Lofa Tatupu saw what was coming and tackled the receiver for a loss.

The final four plays by Cal were the dramatic end-or-game series in the red zone. On the second play where Wright made the sack, Frostee Rucker destroyed the timing to cause the breakdown of the play. The coach described the coverage's we were in on each play but as you know I'm not supposed to quote him - so I don't. Cody was in Rodger's face on the last play of the series.

The Question & Answer period was animated with Pete making quips and facetious replys before really addressing the questions seriously. There were questions about substitution problems (?); different alignments; gambles taken on calls; Cal's execution of crackback blocks; the use of Dominique Byrd; what was said at our time-outs; the use of Lee Webb; an analysis of ASU; the performance of Scott Ware; how recruits responded; the use of Fred Davis; and the use of Reggie Bush. Several other questions were asked and the coach's answers frequently included information on related subjects.

Those who can attend the meeting next Monday will find it very enjoyable and informative. Lunch begins before 11:30 in Town and Gown on campus.

The meeting adjourned with high spirits and in my opinion, everyone was wondering if we've set a pattern for the season and that we should be ready for another close game.


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