Coach Pete Carroll met with the Monday Morning Quarterbacks for lunch today in Town and Gown banquet hall. There were over 150 people present and after a show of hands it was determined that over 20 had gone to the game at WSU. Before the coach arrived, the date for the Spring Trojan Huddle was announced as April 5th - for those of you who need to make your plans 6 months in advance.
The coach was quite honest in assessing the successes and failures in our loss last Saturday to Washington State. While I can't quote him, I can say that his presentation followed the same explanation that appeared in Monday's Los Angeles Times where they did quote him. That explanation was basically that he had not prepared the team well enough for the game. So in effect, he was placing full responsibility on himself. Now I don't want to sound like a cheerleader for PC, but my honest appraisal of his presentation was good. It is possible when a person takes that approach to come off like you are looking for sympathy by taking all the blame. That's not the way he sounded. He impressed me like an adult looking at the team's performance and making an honest admission.
The taped plays shown today were a different mix than in previous meetings. They were about 50/50 successful and unsuccessful plays. His style is to show each play several times from both the press box perspective and the end zone perspective. He frequently stops the action to point out key blocks or cuts. It is possible to get a lot of that from TV but he adds a new dimension by revealing what we were indeed trying to do on the play. I appreciate those insights and they keep me coming back to MMQB.
I've read the posts on the WeAreSC message boards about questions that should be asked. Almost all were. PC answered each and I think most Trojans would agree with the answers or at least admit that the rationale for certain decisions were based on sound football alternatives.
One bit of information that the tape showed that was a surprise to me. I did not realize that we did in fact partially block that last "wounded duck" field goal that WSU used to tie the game. He showed a clear picture of the ball changing direction at the line of scrimmage, then spinning on a trajectory out side the goal posts and then curving back to score.
As for the Cal game, Pete Carroll gives Cal a lot of respect. Based on his remarks and the statistics he quoted, I think we'll have stiff competition in the Coliseum this Saturday. He took questions well past 1:00 PM and then the meeting was adjourned.