You can say what you want about last nights stunner against Stanford but at least try to keep it all in context. I am not going to buy into Gary Klein's comment that this was "one of the greatest upsets in college football history". Big yes, greatest no way. If anyone has been paying attention the last to seasons SC has been walking a tight rope and this time just like Oregon St. and ucla last year there was no net to catch them.
I have many questions as we all do but I am not one of those that wants Pete Carroll fired. That's just silly talk and while all opinions will be heard here it doesn't mean I have to agree with them. This is the guy who orchestrated the incredible run we have been and while I am pissed about last night's game I am far from asking for his head on a pike. It looks like a lot of us have been spoiled with all the success that SC has had the past few years. All the hype, deserved or not, has kept SC at the forefront of the college football landscape and a lot of that has to do with Pete Carroll. His recruiting, his motivation and his success here have brought us a lot of excitement and made SC prominent again. I mean does anyone want to go back to the days of Larry Smith, Ted Tolner or Paul Hackett? Pete Carrol has a lot of swagger and arrogance and for the most part it has worked in SC's favor last night was not one of those instances.
But there are some questions that should be asked and we will ask them.
If Booty was injured what the hell was he doing in the game? If he has a cracked fingertip on his throwing hand why is he in the game. That leads to the question why, with 4 minutes to go do you throw 3 straight passes instead of running the ball and eating the clock. If there is no faith in the running game, Washington didn't look like a world-beater last night, so why not make a switch. I would have run McKnight from the first quarter on. A lot of people will point to the pick 6 as the play of the game, not me. It was the 4th and goal at the end of the first half we can question whether or not to go for it or kick the FG but to come away with ZERO points on that drive is inexcusable. I'm not sure where to place blame here, its either the play calling or the player take your pick. Some will also point to the blocked PAT but that is a whole other issue in regards to special teams, as we have no special teams coach.
As I said last night why Booty is not in Turner's or Ausberry's for their poor performance last night is beyond me. RoJo was a bright spot last night as was Davis though that fumble was disappointing to say the least. Booty has been doing it with smoke and mirrors and opposing teams have figured him out. With out a solid O line you can rattle him by blitzing and forcing him to move. He does not like to throw on the run. The injuries to both O'Dowd and Rachal could not have more of an impact than they have right now. And if Stanford can do it what do you think Cal or Oregon will do. I don't think and I disagree that Sanchez is the answer, as his decision-making has been suspect as well. We will all see him in due time.
For all the talk about the ills on the offense the defense has a lot to answer for as well. This is not the best defense in the country is moot. Pete Carroll is the defensive coordinator so the obvious question is how does Stanford convert a 4th and 20? You can point to a lot of things on the offense and while I said last night that I thought the defense played an OK game that one play stands out. Stop them there and the game is over. The two off-sides penalties that occurred earlier in the 4th are in excusable as both helped keep drives going. I understand about aggressiveness but that is just poor play so the defense has a lot to answer for as well. This whole scheme of bend don't break obviously failed miserably last night so its time to get up and punch the opposing receivers in the mouth and not let them think that thy can go underneath for an easy catch as we have seen time and again.
All this talk about talent and depth doesn't matter if the talent doesn't get any playing time. Experience in real game situations are what make a player better which is why SC was rotating so many players in the early games. When the injuries take their toll that game experience becomes all the more critical. No team plays harder than SC does on the practice field because competition is king. That is why we have a lot players banged up. This is the formula that got us here and I see no reason why we should change it. But players need to be ready to go when the call goes out.
SC needs to pick itself up and get back to work. If Booty is injured then Sanchez needs to step up and show us why he should be the starter next season. No more living off past accolades. SC may not have a chance for the MNC game but there is still a lot of football to play before that can be determined.
Lets go to work...