This is not an instigation to engage in flame wars, name calling and other non-sense. This is an honest attempt to engage in civil opinion sharing.
I want to ask UCLA (including BN regulars with whom I exchanged some non-pleasant name calling - promise won't happen in this post) and other non-USC fans several questions. I will provide my thoughts as a dialogue starter.
1. What should have Pete done after RN timeout?
Here is my brief take:
- Rick's TO was "game on" indication
- Kneeling 2 more times and punting the ball and possibly allowing the Bruins to score would be a major negative for PC because
* RN will claim that 21-14 is an indication of how close UCLA is and the gap is closing
* RN will claim UCLA fights to the end..
* UCLA's gain is USC's loss. No question about it
- Thus a "game on" responce was needed.
- Short pass would most likely not work because UCLA was stuffing the run and covering short passes.
- Perhaps "catch and fall on 1 yard line" might have been an alternative, but I am sure the media would find a way to negatively spin this as well
- I didn't really like the celebration, but perhaps Bruins obvious frustration (as evidenced by PAT penalty) really fueled the Trojan sideline
So overall, I think it was a right call with some reservation about the celebration
2. In your opinion, what is the proper "4th down, up by double digits in 4th quarter" etiquette?
A poster on BN posted a list of 4th down attempts in PC era. While applaud his solid research, I believe he left out few instances of really rubbing it in (70-17 pass by McDonald vs Arkansas - and since I hate the SEC, f*ck'em :) ) while presenting some 4th down attempts that were totally justified as classless.
My general take that it is better to go for 4th down conversion than kicking a field goal in this situation. Haters will always find a way to spin it (Urban Meyer kicked a FG vs Miami last year... everyone in Miami was pissed. What if he called a simple run play and scored?). If backups are in the game and simple run down the middle is called, there is nothing unclassy about it. It's better than kneeling on 4th down and telling the opponent "hey you suck so bad that we don't even want to run a 4th down play because your sorry ass can't stop us". So examples like this:
Up 52-7 with under 4:00 left against UCLA, 4th and 10 at UCLA 50 Matt Cassel (USC) rushed up the middle for 1 yard; turnover on downs and Up 45-0 with under 6:00 left against Arizona, 4th and 2 at ARIZ 25 David Kirtman (USC) rushed up the middle for 3 yards
are totally foolish because you have a backup QB or backup FB (not even a RB!!!) running up the middle.
So everyone who has an opinion on this matter, please share and lets keep it civil