USC finally has one break their way, Animated Drive Chart and some other notes & links

It was nice to have a game break USC's way like it did last night.

Like I said in last nights post game thread, we saw just about everything last night. There was good and bad on both sides of the ball but at least we got a win. The win certainly wasn't pretty but it was a win. The defense played a pretty good game even though they still have trouble defending spread type offenses/mobile QB's.

They also started running out of gas as the second half wore on. You could see it in the tackling...or lack there of.

Special teams last night were indeed special so far as getting 'SC the ball (the blocked punt) or getting 'SC some points (the run back for 2-pt on the blocked PAT). But of course no good deed goes unpunished...two missed FG's and an ASU kick-off return for a TD showed we still have some work to do.

I just feels like the team takes one step forward then two steps back.

I guess USC has no choice but to take baby steps this season.

It took NCAA investigators four years to bring the USC football program to its knees, so give this team a little time to stagger to its feet and regain its old, confident gait. Games like Saturday's, a zany 34-33 victory over Arizona State against a lackluster Coliseum backdrop, counts as a baby step. Add them all up in a year or two and maybe they'll add up to a giant leap.

Or maybe not. For every sign of progress, you also see a pocket of stagnation with this team. It's even harder to see this team's future than that of most groups of college-age men.

After what these guys have been through in the previous month -- two last-second losses and a hit-and-run collision with No. 1 Oregon -- they were just relieved to be the ones whose band got to play at the end. If you're going to rebuild a culture of winning, you've got to win -- not look good losing.

Previous month? How about all of 2010...

If it wasn't one thing is was another...no need to rehash the list. Nothing has been "normal" about this season.

I look at last nights game and just say meh...

I was happy we won the game but with the two missed FG's by Houston and the average performance by Matt Barkley, we left some serious points on the table, really give me pause. It is frustrating to see one unit improve that was lacking (the defense) and then see the other unit slip in their performance the past couple of weeks when things were looking pretty good (the offense). That Woods and RoJo were silenced last night gives me great concern.

Something isn't right there.

I said in the comments of the game thread that Matt Barkley owed the defense a bunch of beers or lunch for doing their part if they won. I also said that with how much the defense has been legitimately maligned in previous weeks because of their poor performance they were going to take a lot frustration out on the offense this week, provided they are allowed tackle.

I would be absolutely pissed if I am the defense.

Next weeks game against Arizona should be real fun if the team plays the same way as they did last night.

- - -

Here are Lane Kiffin's post game comments - HT: Scott Schrader of FightOn 247

He really sounds perplexed.

Lane Kiffin needs to take some heat here as well. I realize that play calling is overrated but even I had to scratch my head at some of the conservative play calling...especially the running play on 3rd and 25 in the late third or early forth quarter, I don't remember exactly when.

I thought Jeremy Bates snuck back into the Coliseum.

Anyway, I don't want to belabor it. A win is a win I guess.

- - -

Here are some links from the local outlets:

Was anyone else surprised that Dillon Baxter got the start last nigh?

It marked the end of a comeback of sorts for Baxter, who was suspended for the season opener against Hawaii because of a violation of team rules.

What did Han Solo say to Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars? Great, kid. Don't get cocky.

*

Jill Painter looks at the lack of interest at the Coliseum last night...

In the second quarter, McDonald blocked a punt and USC had the ball at the Arizona State 10-yard line. On USC's first play following the turnover Barkley forced a pass that was intercepted in the back of the end zone.

USC led 14-7 at halftime.

And then it seemed a lot of Trojans fans lost interest and left.

The Coliseum usually doubles as the pre-party of all parties, but not on Saturday. There were tailgaters and such, but the streets weren't filled.

Home owners and business workers used to charge upwards of $80 for prime parking spaces in the area. One guy held up a sign for $20 a couple of hours before the game.

That's what you pay to park at a Clippers game.

Martin Luther King Boulevard wasn't a parking lot.

When was the last time you could drive your car down the boulevard without it taking 30 minutes to drive 300 yards?

Yeah well, it happens to the best of them.

*

Here is RipsIt's 10 takes on last night's game...

With all the crazy plays that happened tonight, can we please take one moment to reflect on the ambidextrous punting performance by Jake Harfman? On his first attempt, he rolled right and punted with his right foot. On his second chance, he rolled left and punted left-footed. I could not believe my eyes, but he was unfazed. "I feel comfortable and I can do it again hopefully," said Harfman, who can kick field goals left-footed as well. How many people have ever punted with both feet in a game though? "I have no idea! Probably zero," Harfman laughed.

It is nice to see that special teams are as important as the offense and defense.

*

Here are the post game write ups from the local papers...

The LA Times.

The OCR's.

The Daily News.

- - -

Finally, here is the Animated Drive Chart...

FULL SCREEN VERSION

Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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