MMQB report - 11/8/04

Coach Carroll brought coach Ed Orgeron with him to the Monday Morning Quarterback luncheon today. It was a full house and the table talk was dominated by the fog conditions at OSU. The mood around the table is subdued with many Trojans waiting for the big games with ND and UCLA. I certainly hope that is not reflective of the team's attitude.

Coach Carroll brought coach Ed Orgeron with him to the Monday Morning Quarterback luncheon today. It was a full house and the table talk was dominated by the fog conditions at OSU. The mood around the table is subdued with many Trojans waiting for the big games with ND and UCLA. I certainly hope that is not reflective of the team's attitude.

Coach Carroll is just as upbeat and focused as ever. He said that OSU showed up and played like they were ready to beat somebody but that our players just would not let that happen. He talked about how the fog hampered their ability to adjust to substitutions in the early part of the game.

Pete says that we have earned a reputation as a 4th quarter team and we are now into the 4th quarter of the season, so it is our time of year. He did reconfirm that Arbet, Drake and Smith would not be available for the Arizona game this Saturday.

Pete introduced coach Orgeron as a man who instilled energy in the team and a great recruiter. Ed talked about how we evaluate talent and in his distinctive way he said what we were going to do to Arizona. I won't publish his remarks because they would undoubtedly make the Arizona bulletin board.

The Special Teams plays started with Reggie Bush's punt return for a TD. Nothing more can be said about that play other than the game tape shows just how difficult it was to see because of the fog. We also saw Desmond Reed returning a kickoff and another return by Reggie Bush. The placement punt that was downed on the 1-yard line from Tom Malone was highlighted as something that Tom has been working on very hard.

The Offensive plays were a combination of runs and passes, some of which we could hardly see. LenDale White had the most with runs from several formations. LenDale was truly dominant in so many but on the screen pass he did not get the ball high enough on his chest and OSU yanked it out. Reggie Bush was shown in several plays with the end-around being the most spectacular. Four passes to Dominique Byrd brought applause from the audience. We saw both TD's several times. The one handed catch for the first TD was a true demonstration of just what a great athlete this player is. Dominique's second TD was against blown coverage and displayed the great coordination with Matt Leinart to take advantage of that opportunity. Another crowd favorite was the long pass and run to Alex Holmes. It was very close to going all the way.

The Defensive plays were explained by coach Orgeron in his own distinctive way. There are so many highlights that I'll aggregate by player. The most plays featured Shaun Cody who had a sack and several tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Matt Grootegoed was featured in several plays. I liked the one where OSU completed a screen pass and Groots ran about 6 yards to close on the receiver at full speed and dropped him for a loss. In the coarse of the defensive plays, Lawrence Jackson came in for a lot of praise. Both Pete and Ed were quite complementary. The interception by Lofa Tatupu was shown and described as a great play at a time when we needed it. Also, the interception where Eric Wright deflected the ball to Jason Leach was shown several times. Terrell Thomas was complimented on his physical breakup of a pass to their tight end on a short crossing route. Ed described the stunting used on the sack shared by Justin Wyatt and Mike Patterson.

The Question and Answer session was quite interesting because Pete passed several questions to Ed. Since Ed is the recruiting coordinator, many questions were on that subject. Ed of coarse explained that he could not talk about individuals but that did not keep specific questions from being asked. They were answered in obtuse ways that allowed you to draw likely conclusions, but no names were ever used in the answers.

Pete was asked about his defensive adjustments during the game and later why we kept pressuring the OSU quarterback late in the game. One interesting question was how both Patterson and Cody could get fair consideration for All-American honors since they both play on the same DL. The coach admitted that was going to be hard but that every effort would be made. One question indicated that he felt that Matt Leinart was getting hit too much. Another questioned if we deserved a safety when we tackled their QB in the end zone. There were several questions about Arizona and the coaches were complimentary about the progress of that program and the system being installed. The final question was tongue-in-cheek and asked whether winning so much was getting boring. To general laughter, the Coach left no doubt that winning is pretty good stuff.

A note to any new readers: by agreement with the Coach, I can't quote him directly in this report.

The meeting adjourned with everyone in good spirits.


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