Well, what can anyone say? First, I am pleasantly shocked that I am writing this opinion, because there was barely a chance that I could actually see the game. Well, good things do happen in this world, and through a very lucky break, yours truly was able to view this wonderful display of Trojan Football in its entirety while staying right here in Tennessee. I can't think of a better time to have gotten lucky. This game was a totally dominant effort by the USC Trojans as they dismantled a highly ranked Colorado squad in Boulder. Regardless of who the Buffs may or may not have had, they were never really in this game. From the outset SC had their number and this was a huge victory. Anytime a team wins the battle gaining 444 yards to 61 by its opponent, something was very right.
The USC defense picked up where it left off against the Auburn Tigers. This is a big, strong, powerful Colorado team that has been running the ball against just about everyone. Well, their ability to run came to a dramatic halt on this September day. The strength, speed, and pursuit of the USC defense was spectacular. I can't remember any defense in recent years that was able to shut down a power running game as thoroughly as this squad smashed Colorado. The Buffalos could not pass, run or score with any consistency. The Dline and linebackers played absolute lights out. Much to my surprise, this game was an absolute mismatch.
It was very refreshing to see the more liberal substitution on defense today. At various times of the game, we got to see Bernard Riley and Van Brown play some meaningful minutes. At linebacker, Oscar Lua showed that he is the real deal and I see no way that he can or will redshirt. Also, Sartz contiues to show tremendous athleticism . The thin air made liberal use of some of the players necessary and nobody disappointed. This was an absolutely superb defensive effort. Rarely does the phrase "perfect game" come to my mind, but today's defensive effort was as close to perfect as I can ever remember.
Now, let's talk about the offense. This offense was pretty awesome for three quarters. It was especially interesting to note that not only was the Offense productive, but they got pretty lucky as well. On a pass that I am sure Carson wishes he never threw, a roughing the passer goof by the Buffs negated an interception by Colorado. Carson was also very fortunate that on his other bad decision, the intentional grounding call, it did not cost the Trojans too much real estate. I am the first one to say that Carson is playilng lights out football, but it does appear that thusfar, he is apt to make a couple of strange decisions each game, both in victory and by past history, in defeat. It is never hurts to hope so I am still hoping that Carson will remember that once out of the pocket, it is not "against the rules" to throw the ball away. I know, I know, some will say that some people such as this writer are never happy or satisfied. Au contraire, I am merely pointing out what is factual to this point in time.
What a truly balanced offensive effort. In all but the third quarter, this SC offense was BIGTIME. Chow had the Buffs guessing and they were clueless as to how to play USC. With Carson on his game, with the Oline proving some fans right who claimed they would be an improved unit, and with receivers like Mike Williams and Kelly making some very nice catches, this SC team is really hard to stop. This SC team blocked well and the running game clicked as evidenced by the great run Sultan made. With the athletes that USC has at its disposal, this O is just very tough when they are running and passing. How can a team defend a balanced attack like USC's? No more talk about the Oline being such a weak link. They are not. Winston Justice played like a veteran and the left side of the USC Oline is very good. They don't have to be Ron Yary or Tony Boselli. They merely have to be good, dedicated, and tough. They have played just like that. Carson has not been on his back often in the first two games and the running game has picked up. Of course they can get better, but they are now experienced, stronger and efficient.
At this time, I feel it would be remiss not to mention the SC special teams. We did get a punt blocked and our extra points and field goal effort was less than spectacular (I guess awful would be a fair description). Of course there might be extenuating circumstances, but to my eye, there still needs to be some real improvement on the special teams. We did not have many bonehead penalties and I can't recall a single holding call. We did have a couple of momentum stopping formation or procedure calls, but overall, not a bad effort. I should not to forget to point out that USC also blocked a punt by the Buffs and that lead to a touchdown. Thus, it is only fair to point out that overall, even without a totally stellar effort, special teams yielded more points than it cost the team.
Finally, a short comment about the coaching. I was certainly one who had some questions about Chow last year. I also had to wonder "wassup" in the third quarter tonight. It seemed like we went away from what was working. However, for the vast majority of this season so far, the play calling on Offense has been incredible and neither team had a clue how to stop this attack. I can't help but mentioning that even that Oregon honk, Dan Fouts could not help but mention that he could not recall ever seeing so many guys on O who were simply open and not covered. The Defensive game plan worked like a charm and not much has to be said about that. It is once again a pleasure to point out that USC won the battle of coaching, at least in my opinion. Our game against Kansas State should be very very interesting indeed. I am anxious to see how it unfolds.