So, it's already college football bowl season- you know how I know? I 'think' there was a bowl game played last week or weekend, and there was a bowl game tonight as well. I know hah? On a Tuesday? And remarkably, just 3 days before Christmas- which, also happen to be considered as the busiest days of traffic and commerce during the most consumer-driven holiday of the entire year? The good news about all this is that it was actually played at night. (which makes a huge difference- economically, as opposed to the crazy notion of being played say, . . . during the daytime???) The bad news? The game actually occurred in the first place. Final score for tonight's game: BYU 44, Oregon State 20.
And the final score doesn't do justice to what BYU did in that game. The Cougars banged the Beavers like a screen-door in a hurricane! (wink: Loco)
It's not like the Beavers got manhandled, statistically. The Cougars simply put the clamps down on the Rodgers' brothers and didn't let those twins hit their well-known 'breakaway gear'. The Beavers' got 'special-teamed' hard by the Cougs. OSU couldn't escape the penalty-bug and couldn't quite recover from 2 costly fumbles and one highly untimely interception. The first half was just horrid, offensively for the Beavers. The second half was, remarkably- no better. For instance, take JacQuizz Rodgers' fumble: did you know that for the first time ever in his college career, he coughed-up the ball on a clean hit and as a reward for doing so- BYU dined-and-dashed their way to a resulting touchdown. Believe it or not, it was at that point and moving forward that the Beavers didn't stand a chance. You see, Coach Mike Riley did something very uncharacteristic of him. He didn't adjust to Coach Mendenhall's defensive gameplan and got out-coached for the remainder of the game for the first time in a long time of coaching football. BYU held OSU to just 7 pts and getting past mid-field only 2 times in the first half.
The second half wasn't all that much better for the Beavers, and it's not like they couldn't move the ball well. OSU killed themselves with penalties and turnovers in the second half. Admittedly, Beaver QB- What's his name? Canfield had a terrible outing. He just didn't make plays when he was asked to and the Rodgers-boys fumbles killed OSU's momentum in very harsh ways. During this one series, BYU punts- OSU starts gaining good yardage and momentum but then, they cough up the ball (this time, it's James Rodgers fumbling after making a great catch) giving the ball back to BYU, BYU goes on to score 7. OSU, undaunted drives hard on the ensuing series, matching the BYU touchdown with one of their own. (finally?) Stay with me, 'cause the game continues now- into the 4th quarter, BYU up 37-13. Now, BYU RB-Unga, fumbles- giving the ball right back to Oregon State. Only to see Canfield get intercepted in BYU territory. If they could have just put some points on the board in this series, we wouldn't be dealing with the 'Pac-10 is soft' issue we're dealing with right now. This is the team that almost won our conference? As it was, Canfield's INT proved costly because the Cougars scored 7 off that fumble and in went his replacement.
This Beaver loss was pretty strange, in that Coach Riley made some unusual calls. He "went for it" so many times, Tiger should call and tell him, "Dude, why you wanna do that? It just isn't worth it!" Well, let's see? 4th and 9, eh?-(Canfield just didn't have it Coach! even Canfield knew that! and he's HIM!!!) 4th and 10?-(You're not gonna get lucky twice, you only got the other 1st down from a retarded penalty- this play has fake punt written all over it?) 4th and 7?- (dude, Coach! YOU ARE JUST NOT GETTING IT ARE YOU?)
Call it Pac-10 homeristic of me, but THAT was not Coach Mike Riley last night. Of all the coaches in the Pac-10, you'd think Mike Riley would be the last guy out of all of 'em to be done in by the team otherwise known as "Giant Killers". Now I'm not taking anything away from what Coach Mendenhall has achieved since taking over the reigns as head coach of the Cougars when former BYU HC Gary Crowton resigned and became the OC at U of Oregon in Eugene. Mendenhall's victories are practically stuff of legend- beating the Oregon Ducks & Ucla, losing to Cal and Arizona in 4 previous Las Vegas Bowls. He's taking numbers and owning ass! Sursly! AND NOW, beaver. Too! But, in what appears to NOT have a plan to counter BYU's objective of taking the space away from James and plugging the holes/filling gaps so JacQuizz can't slice and dice? C'mon Riles! Some- in the media, have talked about the cold and the wind as being a big factor in Canfield's throws and poor Beaver play? Like the city of Corvallis, Oregon DOESN'T HAVE THAT? Gimme a break, that BYU team played intelligent football, to a man. They accomplished this by not allowing their LB's to get sucked into traps or stuck in traffic. The Cougar secondary showed Coach Carroll very nice defensive packages to scheme against the shiftiness of both the Rodgers brothers. (where has all our defensive aggression gone in our secondary? those Cougs looked like Trojans 2003). It wasn't as though BYU was bigger, or faster, or matched up well against the Beaver lines, they just found ways to identify the cut-blockers and taking him/them out/making him miss his assignment, thereby exposing the Rodgers in the open and swarming their space. The key to Mendenhall's success was the fact that he wasn't sure his gameplan would work, but was willing to give it a try. I hazard to guess, if Coach Mendenhall needed to adjust for any reason whatsoever during/throughout the game? He'd have at least 1 or 2 other back-up plans.
It's called 'respecting your opponent', people. MWaC wants/feels/needs to prove themselves- it's totally in their best interest to do so. It's as if Oregon State's staff somehow forgot that Oklahoma was a highly rated team before they played BYU earlier this year. The Sooners almost pulled it off, but. . . . .doesn't that one-point win over a Big-1 powerhouse like Oklahoma mean anything to anyone these days? Mendenhall coaches the game the way it's supposed to be coached- as does Wittingham at Utah- they respect their opponents strengths, and gameplan to aggressively f_ck-up whatever it is their opponents hope and wish to do in a game. And as such, they'll leave no stone left unturned in devising ways to beat their next victim on their schedule. I can't honestly say the same for other coaches in other conferences, and. . . .I'll go so far as to say, we very well could be experiencing that with our very own coach here at USC. How else to explain the inexplicable? 4 freaking-miserable-years-in-a-row of remarkable ineptness in losses to, on paper- inferior teams? It started with fUcla, then Stanford, next OSU Beavers, and (take your pick really? let's just go with the first one out of the 4 for this past season). . and shockingly- the Washington Huskies.
If this Las Vegas Bowl portends the fate of Pac-10 success for the remaining bowl games in which our teams must face in the next couple of weeks- than I'm feeling even more uneasy and unsure of our chances against the Eagles of Boston College. Indeed Pac-10 college football fans, if this LV Bowl result is an indication of how superior we mistakenly feel or think we are, as compared to the ACC, Big 12, WAC, MWaC, and Big 10- then I officially am jumping off this snarky-bandwagon.
Now that the Beavers got spanked, what's in store for the Bears of Berkeley? And 'Furd, what are their chances against the Sooners? How badly is Arizona gonna get husked by Nebraska? Is all the husking and shuck-ing gonna continue or stop when the Ducks find some Buckeyes as Roses parade by? OMIGOD! What about this? Would if those gutty-little-bruins win their game against Temple? Hey, don't laugh! I think the city of Philadelphia owes them a whole lotta love, after the beating Villanova put on them in last year's NCAA men's basketball tournament. Don't they? Or. . . . . something, 'cause that capital failure was ugly? Aren't they (bRuins) entitled to a victory just handed to them?
"Please, oh football God of mercy and blog-reading,
Thank you so much for teaching us all a few lessons of humility and respect this past year. You do so many wonderful things for us. We really needed that kinda tough love from you. Thank you also for blessing us with hot chicks in mini-skirts and sweaters prouncing around our fields and. . . THOSE HIGH KICKS are a massive hit with all of us, including a large number of . . . ? Ahem,. . . Oh, thanks also for giving us grace, in the form of Tim Tebow, we are not worthy of your kindness nor . . . . the pure pleasure of just knowing a Tim Tebow actually exists in this beautiful, yet sinful world. And if you are reading this now, we want you to know that we're so very sorry for all the bad things that have been said towards our opponents, rivals, fans, friends of fans that we despise, family members of rivals and their coaches, as well as their coach's mothers, and so on- and so forth. I'm also sorry for even thinking we could win forever, than that would mean- if we ever played You in football- we would expect to win? And so in hindsight, that's just silly. At this time, I'm sure you know I'm about to ask you a big huge favor, right? (Gosh you're so, Supreme!) Well, it's not THAT huge. . . . actually. Would you please see to it that the teams of the Pac-10 go on, from this day forward, and re-commit themselves to being champions by respecting each and every opponent they might face, working their darndest on each and every down that they play, beating each and every one of the particular player who lines up against them and doing so with the intention of forcing that opponent/player to quit on their ass, thereby submitting their opponent to the resignation of defeat?
If not, how 'bout that Tesla I asked about last year? "