"Oregon will score points." That seems to be the opinion of choice around the college football world. And it's based on the fact that, "USC lost two starters on defense." I'll give them that, but do these people know who the Trojans have to replace them? I'll bet none of them know about Thomas Williams, or Josh Pinkard. You don't see the field at USC, no matter what string you are, if you can't play football. Remember last year when Justin Wyatt and Eric Wright replaced the two starting cornerbacks? Did the defense drop off at all? I think this defense is going to have a great day and keep the Ducks under 20 points.
ESPN's Mark May, welcome to the USC bandwagon. You're a little late, so I hope your seat on the bumper is comfortable.
I have to say, I'm a little bit worried about injuries to our offense because of opposing players taking cheap shots at them. Check out a couple of the touchdowns against Arkansas. After Reggie's second touchdown the cornerback was called for a late hit penalty, and after Jarret's second touchdown the defender took two hard slaps at his arm. Players don't like to be embarrassed and sometimes they have a difficult time calmly relieving their frustrations.
ABC just cut to Keith Jackson and Dan Fouts. Fouts looks good; you can barely see his Duck uniform under his suit.
Again they talk about Oregon controlling the clock. The Trojans' defensive game plan is to limit the long plays and keep the offense in front of them. If the Ducks want to run short routes to keep their offense on the field, that's fine by me.
So now ESPN has this "4 Minutes" movie. This, of course, comes after their highly acclaimed and multiple Oscar winner, "3." I think they're setting themselves up to release, "#5: A Reggie Bush Story," in their new concerted effort to get kids counting.
We should bottle Desmond Reed's energy and save it for when there's another crisis in California.
First play for the Ducks is an inside shovel pass. Oscar Lua stays at home and stops it for a short gain.
So here's the game's first third down situation. They don't get it. So much for Oregon driving down the field.
The Trojans don't have a punt return on the season. Think Reggie Bush knows about that?
There's no way they can honestly overturn that call. I think we should keep an eye on these referee's bank accounts in the next few days if this one gets changed.
I know there have been a lot of terrible calls in college football, but that one goes right up to the top.
The Trojans need to punish Clemens on every play. He's already taken a couple of hits.
Third and four - There's your defensive pressure on the quarterback, and a great play by Sed Ellis.
Field goal attempt – Think this is a fake? The Trojans do. Well, after that horrendous replay overturn, three points is a great defensive stand.
I think in the offseason, the referees should learn the meaning of "indisputable evidence." There have been so many plays in college football this year overturned because of a referee's wrong interpretation of a replay. You can't guess that an Oregon player recovered that fumble because you never saw the ball go into his hands.
The Ducks already know they can't win with field goals.
Reggie Bush waiting for the kick return looks like a puma walking back and forth in a cage.
Squib kick - Are they really going to give the Trojans the ball around the 40-yard line each time?
How's 13 yards on the first play?
LenDale White – how do you do? Chris McFoy on the tackle.
The Trojans keep tackling each other. Ryan Kalil just caused Reggie to fumble on a screen pass. Of course they didn't review the fumble, because the Trojans would have gained field position.
It's probably a sign that I have too much emotion invested in this team when I'm having trouble typing because my hands are shaking.
That touchdown just turned into an interception. Jarrett should have had that and he knows it. The throw was a little bit behind him, but he usually makes that catch. He'll make up for that later though.
Well, we know the Trojans can move the ball with ease against this Oregon defense.
I told my entire family that they weren't allowed to panic and call me until halfway through the third quarter. I've set the over-under at five minutes to play in the first quarter.
I like that play by Pinkard right there, forcing Clemens to keep the ball and take another hit.
John Walker can't let that happen. Nobody should get behind the defense. For some reason, Walker just decided not to participate in that play. Demetrius Williams got a free shot off the line and was never even defended.
As masochistic as it sounds, I'm a little excited about this 10-point deficit. I mean, without the help of the refs, maybe it's 3-0 Oregon, but most likely the Trojans score on that first drive and it's a Trojan lead. This game should start to get fun now.
Oregon will not force a punt if they keep giving USC the ball at the 40-yard line to start every drive.
I'd like to see LenDale back in there now. Settle things down.
How do you not give it to LenDale on either of those first two plays?
That's a great play by McFoy. He changed his route and helped Leinart out.
I can't believe that late his on Tuitele wasn't called. These refs have been atrocious.
Holding call on Steve Smith. The Trojans seem antsy right now.
Interview with Mike Belloti and for some reason he's wearing a necklace made out of a chicken shish kebob. I hope that's not voodoo or anything.
Remember when football was a game where people got hit? The pass interference against Keith Rivers and this personal foul against Scott Ware are two of the cheapest calls I've seen.
The Ducks are attacking John Walker. He's going to need to step up with a big play.
That's a big third down stop. But Lawrence Jackson limping off could prove to be bigger. Hopefully it's nothing serious.
Hey Mo, welcome to the Trojans' sideline. Gotta capitalize on that missed field goal.
I like LenDale White here. Positive plays are what the Trojans need right now, and White is always good for positive plays.
Good play by Jarrett coming back to the ball. I bet he doesn't drop another one today.
Well, there's the end of the first quarter, and after starting out playing like the Little Giants, there are some positive signs. Leinart looks settled down and Reggie Bush is just waiting to break one. There have been some big holes for the running back, and the Ducks' energy has been too high for too long. There will be a drop off and the Trojans will pounce. That being said, the Trojans need to put points on the board with this first drive of the second quarter.
Are these the same refs that worked the game in The Longest Yard? The Trojans should just go ahead and wear orange jumpsuits.
LaJuan Ramsey is simply blowing up the center. The defensive line is having a great game.
Keith Rivers just gave Clemens a little payback there after Clemens juked him on the previous run. The Trojans need a turnover.
That's twice that a dragging receiver has come wide open over the middle of the field.
Darnell Bing just had a great series there with three consecutive pass breakups.
Okay, let's see if we can get this punt return thing down. Nope, another penalty. Pete Carroll better start doing some breathing exercises or he's likely to just explode during halftime.
Hopefully people, including me, will put away all that "greatest offense ever" talk. It might be true and it might be, but it's definitely unfair to these guys. No group of guys should have that much heaped upon them. Especially when they're not even getting paid.
That personal foul helps a lot as the Ducks were about to get the ball on the 1-yard line, but those missed tackles are stating to pile up.
Uh-oh, Dan Fouts is starting to quack.
That's a huge momentum swing on third and 19. If D. Williams hauls that in for a touchdown, which he could have, that stadium would have exploded.
Another field goal. Maybe we should get the smelling salts out for the offense.
All things considered, only being down two touchdowns after the way things have started is about the best the Trojans could have wished for. A normal Trojan drive and a turnover puts them in the lead.
I'd watch for an onside kick here after that field goal. If they're going to give it to the Trojans at their own 40 every time, where's the harm in giving it to them at the Duck 40? I think just once, that risk versus reward thing is going to be too much for the Ducks to stay away from.
I hope this game makes people realize that the only number that's wrong is the 24 by Oregon and not the 1 by the Trojans.
Kirtman converts on third down. Reggie Bush cleared out the entire left side of the Ducks' defense. That's a great play by Kirtman to get that third and twenty.
The Trojans aren't going to have any toes left if they keep shooting them off like this. Dominique Byrd is called for an ineligible receiver downfield.
What's wrong with running straight at the Duck defense? The Trojans offensive line needs to be able to set the tone and Matt Leinart has been just a step off all day.
Hey ABC, let's wait until halftime to start throwing up "Win Streaks on the Line"
There's a run up the middle by Reggie Bush. It's worked all day. Why not?
There's White up the middle for a first down. The offensive line can dominate and it's good to see Kiffin and Sarkisian recognizing this.
And of course, on the next play, Leinart throws a jump ball and stalls momentum.
Okay, I'll ask. "When did Justin Phinisee turn into Ray Lewis?"
Ho hum, Reggie Bush scores another touchdown. I'm guessing the only game he plays where he doesn't score a touchdown is Monopoly.
And all of a sudden, nothing Oregon has done matters. They're up by one score and haven't done anything offensively in a while.
There's some great play by the defensive line. A stuffed run, a sack and an incompletion.
The stadium sounds very quiet now, and could get quieter with a punt return here.
Reggie Bush expends more energy on a one yard punt return than I do all day.
Leinart is constantly missing easy passes, like that simple quick out to Jarrett. The rest of the Trojans look like they are settling down though.
Reggie for 5 more yards up the middle.
Leinart is using the snap count to his advantage now and getting free plays left and right. It's almost as if Oregon can feel the game slipping away. They just want to get it to halftime.
Reggie Bush with a ridiculous 12-yard run spinning and dodging everything in sight. He's so fun to watch that the broadcasters go completely silent when he gets the ball.
Still no calls from my family. Either they actually listened to me or I should call the local hospitals.
Did Oregon put stick'um on their turf? The Trojans are tripping all over themselves as Leinart just took himself down.
That's a big field goal from Danelo, especially since the Trojans get the ball to start the third quarter.
Is anyone else getting a Stanford flashback right now? Come on defense, three seconds are three seconds. Let's finish this half.
Pete Carroll's got it exactly right during his halftime interview. "We couldn't have done anything else to make it harder on ourselves." As I said earlier, the Trojans have to look at a 13-10 deficit and believe that they are basically ahead.
I love how Craig James is giving Aaron Taylor grief over his pick of Louisville to make it to the championship game. They showed a clip of Taylor on August 4th predicting the Cardinals to play in the Rose Bowl. They probably tried to put together a clip of all of James' incorrect predictions but couldn't find a 2-hour time slot on ABC to fit it into.
Reggie Bush tackled by another Trojan on the kickoff return.
Bush with a 38-yard run. What else is new?
Long pass to Dominique Byrd. Hey! Look who's back. It's the Trojan offense.
Dwayne Jarrett with a great catch. It doesn't erase the interception, but it sure silenced the crowd. The Trojans are running downhill now.
I know it's getting repetitive, but this is another big series for the defense. In any sport, it's always best to score directly in response to the opposition. If the Trojan defense can stop them, Oregon's psyche will take another huge blow.
Lawrence Jackson with a big tackle. Apparently Oregon only registered for one half of football today.
Reggie Bush just ran twelve yards with one shoe. Even his footwear can't keep up with him.
LenDale White goes in for a touchdown.
Kaluka Maiava with a huge tackle on that kickoff coverage. If he misses that, the Oregon returner takes that the whole way and the crowd is back in the game.
This Oregon offense can't even get out of their own way now. I didn't see it happen, but I'm pretty sure these teams switched uniforms at some point in this game.
Bing with another good play in pass coverage. He probably should have had the interception, but he was in the right place.
The Trojan defensive line is playing its best game of the season. Frostee Rucker beat his blocker and laid out Kellen Clemens.
Reggie Bush's punt returns should be shown picture in picture on every channel. I see him get the ball, and I see where he's tackled (sometimes) but I have no idea how he gets from point A to point B.
There have been times tonight where Matt Leinart would have overthrown Godzilla. He just missed Dwayne Jarrett badly down the sideline.
Hey Petros, how's that for a Matt Leinart scramble?
Defending Reggie Bush and LenDale White must feel like fighting Mike Tyson. I mean, which fist do you want to get hit by, #5 or #21?
How about that move by LenDale White, hopping over a fallen defender and then wriggling out of the grasp of another one. The Trojans aren't even running downhill anymore, they're sitting on a skateboard.
Okay, Jarrett no longer needs to apologize for that tipped pass in the first quarter. That was an amazing grab, and I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure ankles aren't supposed to bend that way.
The Ducks are getting desperate now, putting Dennis Dixon in at quarterback.
Kellen Clemens looks like he just got picked last for kickball.
Hey James Finley, when you run into a wall, expect to get hurt. Lawrence Jackson is going to pay someone back later.
This Duck offense is probably the worst red zone team I've seen in a while. They turned a first-and-goal at the 4 yard line into a touchdown and then into a turnover at the 20. Truly remarkable.
Dan Fouts is really upset about the chop block call. Where was the outrage in the first half when the refs were jobbing the Trojans?
I know there are a lot of rules about recruiting and which recruits you can talk to and when you can first contact them, but is there any way we can give a scholarship offer right now to each and every one of Reggie Bush's children? I'm sure that the words exist to describe that touchdown run, but they sure aren't in English and I sure don't know them.
Fouts is going off about the Matua block now. When does he unbutton his shirt to reveal his green jersey? It's like in Cool Runnings, when the announcers are wearing the Jamaica shirts under their jackets.
Frostee Rucker is having a game out there. I guessed that Rucker and Jackson would need to step up big in this game, and that's exactly what has happened.
Josh Pinkard made the exact same interception as he did against Arkansas, coming over to the sideline and grabbing that pass. I remember there wasn't much fuss made over his commitment, but he got into USC during the spring semester of last year and made an immediate impact. He is already one of the best players on the Trojan defense and should see the field with regularity as the year progresses.
Dan Fouts can't believe it. He's another Trojan touchdown from lobbing his yellow pom poms onto the field.
I think opposing teams are going to petition the Pac-10 to see if they can play the second half first, so that the Trojans can't take advantage of Pete Carroll's half time speech.
If we had to play a few games using just our second string offense, I don't think I'd mind. I'm not saying I'd take them to South Bend or Tempe, but maybe against Stanford at home. It'd be interesting.
It's true, Desmond Reed would start for just about every other college football team in America.
End of Game
I have no doubt that this game and the day as a whole will illustrate just how ridiculous the AP and coaches polls are. Oregon came in ranked #24 and lost by a bunch to USC, which everyone knew they would. Oregon at #24 sounds about right though. The voters, however, are going to drop them out of the top 25 completely. Meanwhile in the Big-10, Purdue comes into today ranked #11, which, if it's not the most ridiculous thing I've seen, is pretty close, and they lose to unranked Minnesota. The voters are going to look at the score, move Purdue down 5 or 6 spots, especially because they lost in overtime, and then move Minnesota into the top 25, probably the top 20. Is either team better than Oregon? Probably not. The same thing goes for Wisconsin and Michigan. With a win by the Badgers, both teams will end up ranked, and still worse than the Ducks.
I'm not sure that 13 points were what everyone had in mind when they kept chanting "Oregon will put points on the board." This USC defense played a great, and I mean a great, game today. They were put in some tough positions early in the game and forced two field goals. The defensive line played above and beyond their abilities and maybe we can start putting to rest the belief that running quarterbacks can beat USC. Pete Carroll said that this was the fastest defense he's had in his time here and it was evident today. They should only get better as the season progresses, which should mean bad news for future opponents.
The offense was brilliant as well today. I mean, the first half was what it was. I think if Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti sat down and sketched out his perfect first quarter, we saw it played out play for play. But the offense never gave up, and you always had the sense that they knew it was there for them; they just needed some time to get it together.
If this game doesn't prove that Pete Carroll is the best coach in college football (not one of the best, but the best) I don't know what does. His halftime adjustments are getting ridiculous and will be remembered as legendary. Tony Robbins has nothing on the Trojans head coach.
Heading into Sun Devil stadium next week, I expect the pre game talk to be much the same as it was against Oregon. Most people will say that Arizona State will score points, but USC will score more, though I don't expect many people to pull the upset trigger yet (they're saving that for Cal). What people don't realize though is that you can't stay in the game against USC. I mean look at Oregon. They came out jacked up and stuck it to the Trojans in the first quarter. Then what? They were completely emotionally and physically drained for the last half of the second quarter and the rest of the game. No team on the Trojans' schedule can play with USC for 60 minutes. Think about it (I know, I know, it's not exact science…but), if Oregon led the Trojans 44-0 at halftime, they still lose that game. This Trojan team is just dominating; they know no lead is safe against them. And not only do they know it, but the opposition knows it as well.