As fans, it is our natural inclination to overreact to everything that happens. The other team got a first down? "How could they!?" The other team scores? "I'll never feel happiness again!" The team loses to an opponent it was projected to beat? "Fire the coach!" (Obviously I'm just guessing on the last one). Given our tendency to overreact to every little thing, I am here to be the resident wet blanket for Conquest Chronicles after a resounding victory over Boston College.
The final score of Saturday's game doesn't do justice to the performance put on by the Trojan defense. Boston College only managed to get on the scoreboard after the USC starters had left the field early in the fourth quarter. Before we jump up and down, lets remember that this was USC facing a Boston College offense that scored 24 points per game against an FCS opponent and Wake Forest.
Boston College is a good school with a beautiful campus; and if you got a point for every different color the leaves turn in your part of the world every autumn they would be perennial BCS contender. USC on the other hand, features 11 defensive starters who, according to Rivals, rated as All-American candidates coming out of high school. How many All-American high school prospects did the Eagles have in the starting offensive lineup Saturday? We'll guess a number much lower than 11.
By all means Trojan fans should be happy the team came away with a win Saturday and can start looking ahead to Utah State. However, if USC hadn't just lost to Washington State would the reaction have been the same? Just like the week before when numerous "Fire Lane Kiffin" apparel lines popped up is it not possible we are over reacting to one game?
Yes the loss to Washington State was bad (read: unexpected) and yes it feels good to watch the team get back on track. But before we go and say we can't wait to see how the 5-2 stacks up against Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game (which obviously is farfetched), let's remember who the opponent was Saturday.
According to Athlon Sports, Vegas projected Boston College to win from 4 to 4.5 games this season. On the other hand, USC was projected to win from 9 to 10.5 (L.O.L.) games. In other words, the Trojans did exactly what they were supposed to Saturday, something far more noticeable given the lack of doing what they were supposed to last week.
An offense featuring five-star prospects and a newly confident quarterback came out and looked like an offense featuring five-star prospects should. A defense Oregon hasn't shredded in at least six months came out and blanked an inferior opponent while the starters were on the field.
I wrote last week that the Washington State game was the least fun I'd ever had watching football. This week brought the fun back. This week I watched Cody Kessler open the game with a deep pass and applauded right along side everyone else. This week I walked out of the Coliseum happy about a win against Boston College, happier about a win against Boston College than logic says I should have been. That being said, lets take a page out of Coach Kiffin's book and take the ups and downs of the season one day at a time.