Closing the Book on Arizona St.

A win is a win right?

In what was obviously the "worst" win of the Pete Carroll era many of us were definitely shaking our heads.

I am not going to get to crazy with this.

We all know what we saw.

It was ugly but USC left Tempe with the win. Yes, the defense did the majority of the work in helping SC get the win but I don't know how many of us were satisfied with the win. The offense was clearly not firing on all cylinders. Matt Barkley had a terrible evening...not that that is a bad thing...he was destined to have a "freshman outing" sooner or later. This was agme where the defense bailed SC out. The previous weeks it was the offense that carried the day.

Regardless of how it looked its still a win in the book.

Things on offense looked so bad that some thought this team was being coached by Paul Hackett...

If I did not know better, I’d have sworn we were looking at a Paul Hackett coached USC team on Saturday in Tempe. We looked that bad. That undisciplined. That off the mark. Coverages were blown. Our vaunted speed on defense was nowhere to be seen. Our freshman phenom QB looked like, well, a freshman QB minus the phenom.

And don’t even get me started on the play calling. If I were Pete Carroll (or Mike Garrett as Carroll seems befuddled by this implosion of the mighty Trojans), I’d be taking Offensive Coordinator Jeremy Bates and Defensive Coordinator Rocky Seto out behind the proverbial woodshed. 3rd and 15 and you call a running play? Are you freaking kidding me?

The USC offense continues to struggle on 3rd downs, something USC fans have not seen in the offenses of the Pete Carroll era. However in the past we’ve had guys like Norm Chow and Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian calling the plays. Remember? Remember when USC was explosive on offense? Remember when every single play called wasn’t a 2-4 yard running play?

Ouch!

I never thought I would see the day where some fans were pining for the days of Kiffin and Sarkisian.

I admit I was scratching my head too at some of the play calling but I wasn't the on the sidelines so I couldn't possibly know all the coaches knew. The running game continues to perplex...there were some flashes of big plays but for the most part it just could not get going. The offensive line had a very difficult time with ASU's bookend Defensive Ends. BArkley was skittish back there all night. It looked like he never got his feet set. His throws were all over the place and to make matters worse some of the throws that were nice were dropped...I am looking at you Blake Ayles.

I guess things looked so bad that some wondered if Pete Carroll was going to pull Matt Barkley...

USC coach Pete Carroll said Sunday night he never considered removing freshman quarterback Matt Barkley from the Trojans' 14-9 victory over Arizona State.

That is not surprising, given Carroll's affection for his freshman quarterback.

But it is unexpected that he is answering questions about pulling Barkley, since he was being discussed as a Heisman Trophy candidate a few weeks ago.

"It wasn't all Matt's fault," Carroll said. "He got rushed, we didn't hang on to the football. I'm not worried about him a bit. He didn't have the game he's been having.

It was bad, but there was no way Pete was going to pull Barkley.

And he is not worried...

In the last six quarters, Barkley is 12 for 38 for 161 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The USC offense has scored only 10 points during the span.

Coach Pete Carroll acknowledged Barkley did not play well against Arizona State, but he is not concerned.

"I'm not worried about it a bit," Carroll said Sunday night.

Struggles against Arizona State are nothing new for USC quarterbacks.

Mark Sanchez, for example, lost a fumble and had three passes intercepted in the third quarter last season against the Sun Devils.

Barkley, facing the top-ranked defense in the Pacific 10 Conference, was seven for 22 for 112 yards with an interception Saturday....

Look, I never would have expected Barkley to light it up every week.

Players get injured, opposing defenses figure out little things from watching film and sometimes a player just has a bad game. Barkley isn't God...he isn't infallible so crap happens. I mean what was Pete going to do? Put in Aaron Corp?

On defense it was nice to see Pete Carroll make some adjustments. It was nice to see the CB's lined up tight against ASU's receivers but it still was frustrating to see the middle of the field open with ASU getting good yardage with some quick slants. The front four continue to be beasts. They made it tough on Sullivan in the first half and continued it in the second half when ASU switched QB's

So, SC looks a little more mortal...Any team would look mortal with the road schedule that SC just went through and I doubt many if any other team would have done any better.

ASU has a stout defense and with SC struggling on offense for whatever reason, it made what should have been an easier win a little close than what many of us wanted to see...

Stanford and Harbaugh are next on the slate.

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