Well, I am not going to spend a whole lot of time on this. The overall look of this game has been completely lost (not that it was a pretty spectacle) because of the events of the final minute. Events that took an overall boring game and made it amusing.
Outside of the second to last drive of the game that made the score 21-7 there really wasn't much to be happy about in regards to the offense. Yes, the pass to Damian Williams was beauty but I don't think it was indicative of how the USC offense played the rest of the evening. I won't even try and analyze it, because there is really nothing new to add, other than to say some of the play calling was mind boggling especially when it was 2nd and 35 I think in the 3rd quarter.
Don't get me wrong, anytime USC beats ucla it is a good thing, controversy or not, but it certainly was not great football.
I am still confused at the lack of an identity in regards to the running game. I still wonder why Carroll and Bates don't use Allen Bradford more...and I am not the only one.
Allen Bradford, whose size and strength neatly complements McKnight, needed to be more involved once it became clear McKnight would not be beating the Bruins by himself. USC, naturally, ignored Bradford in the first quarter and briefly played running back roulette with him and C.J. Gable in the second quarter. Was it that hard to figure out why USC’s first offensive touchdown came in the third touchdown when Bradford got all three handoffs. Or that he got all four on the touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter that sealed the game? Not if I did.
Now, you have lay some of that at the feet of the ucla defense...Brian Price is a beast, he was getting some great penetration all night. And the ucla defense did disrupt a good portion of USC"s running game. I have a hard time seeing Price stay for his senior season...he will have an incredible NFL career. Akeem Ayers and that thug/loudmouth Reggie Carter had a nice showing as well.
The USC defense had a pretty good showing. Though it was against a pretty inept ucla offense so I don't know if I would get too crazy about it. The ucla offense has absolutely no running attatck. When you have to use your fullback as your tail back you have a lot of problems. The QB position at ucla continues to baffle many. I don't think any of the QB's on ucla's roster have been effective. I realize that much of that has to do with a patch work O line but you can only use that excuse for so long. The mistakes made by Prince and then Craft later on are clearly developmental...they aren't progressing as Norm Chow coached QB should. Neuheisel has used three QB's at different points this season and the result has been a lack of consistency.
What a mess that is...
Malcom Smith was clearly the player of the game for USC with his pick-six and his 11 tackles on the evening. That earned him Pac-10 player of the week honors so congrats to him.
As for the events of the final minute.
Much has been written on it and I am not sure that I can add too much more to it though I hope to write something on it later today.
Regardless of what side of the fence you are on in regards to this it is pretty clear that the next year is going to be interesting in regards to rhetoric and finger pointing.
My thought process on this simple...all bets are off in a rivalry game. Whiners and losers want to talk about class and sportsmanship, this includes USC fans after the Harbaugh thing, Iunderstand there are differences between the two but most will look past that and lump them all into one pot. Unfortunately, the class and sportsmanship mantra that many ucla fans recite ad nauseum are because they have been beat like a drum for a few years now. Not just by USC but other teams that have embarrassed them.
Anyway, I will have more on this later...