On a night that saw Florida lose a tough one to Auburn and Michigan win comfortably against PSU, USC had a chance to solidify its place in the polls and make a statement that they could continue to roll provided they could make the plays needed to win. I'm not going to do the traditional game breakdown. That would be pointless. We all know what we saw and the things that need to be done to get it in gear before we hit the last four games of the season.
Once again USC needed a late drive, after giving up 21 unanswered points, to seal the win against ASU. I keep trying to figure this team out and I do my best not to get frustrated but sometimes it's just too hard. It seems, at times, that this team just doesn't seem to play with a sense of urgency until they are at the edge of a cliff and they pull themselves off at the very last second. Last night it was tale of one and half quarters and two and a half quarters. USC came out hot in the first 17 minutes, at one time going up 21-0 before ASU scored a TD late in the first half. Again, the lack of an explosive running game that picks up big chunks of yards, costly penalties that again stalled promising drives and a John David Booty INT for a TD let the Sun Devils back into the game.
That being said, I am beginning to look at this team in a different light. Gone are the days of quick strikes for scores, gone are the 20-plus yard runs and gone is the dominating defense that could be counted onto produce an abundance of turnovers and constant pressure on opposing QB's. This USC team is different, they now grind out long drives; they are using the run in dribs and drabs to move the ball, their passing game moves the ball along but not always with the big play. The defense bendsbut doesn't break. If that's what works than that's fine with me as long as they win.
The fact is they, USC, are winning. It hasn't been pretty but win they do. I said earlier in the year that it was going to take time for the chemistry on this team to come together. The amount of injuries that we have piled up has made that coming together come at a slower pace than we would like. Coach Carroll has them ready to play but sometimes it doesn't always fall in to place in the way we would like. I understand about all of the injuries and how that means we will press into service our talented underclassmen, but at some point things need to come together and results need to be produced. There is no reason why we shouldn't have blown ASU out with as bad as their defense is. Carpenter has had a very shaky season to date and a game like this will do wonders for his confidence as well as those on the schedule in front of us.
I don't want to hear about what we should have done or what we could've done. We had this game in the bag in the first half and we let it go. I don't want to hear about how JDB is doing better than Leinart at this stage of his career. I don't want to hear that Moody is the next Reggie Bush. At this point it doesn't matter. If they continue win all these issues will just be minutia. The way I see things we should go along for the ride and hang on for dear life. If we crash we crash, I will support this team no matter what. I may not be comfortable with how we get the results as long as the results are wins.
We have been fortunate to witness the great run that we have seen. If things don't go as we expect this year of course we will be disappointed, but think about how this team will look next season with all the experience they getting now. It is what it is as long as I am along for the ride I might as well enjoy myself!