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Let's Part the Red Sea

I saw a neat sign on College Football GameDay something like - even Moses couldn't part this red sea... funny. Lee Corso pissed them off so much with his pick of SC that the red sea in Nebraska may swallow him up!

Today is USC's first test of the season. With all the hype that has surrounded this team over the past few months SC needs to deliver a decisive blow in order to prove to those who either don't buy into the SC hype or those who have jumped off the bandwagon that this team is for real. Pete Carroll has always had one goal and one goal only...win the Pac-10. His philosophy is simple if you win the Pac-10 the rest SHOULD take care of itself for the most part the cards have come up aces with SC always achieving that goal.

With SC being anointed to the top spot in the polls to start the season I'm sure there was a little pressure to perform and for the most part SC took care of business against Idaho. SC may not have played the way the MSM or the pollsters wanted in order to justify SC place at the top spot but a win is a win. I realize it is a bit of a cliché but SC needs to come out firing in order to take out the crowd in Lincoln. Take out the crowd and you take away one of Nebraska's big advantages. Nebraska's faithful are traditionally hospitable and there is no doubt that SC's fans will their visit to the land of Corn but one they get into the stadium all bets are off and SC will have overcome the noise that is sure to permeate their being right down to their bones.

From The L.A. Times:

USC is the first team ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll to visit Lincoln since 1978, when the Cornhuskers upset Oklahoma. And though Midwesterners are noted for their hospitality, Husker Nation is congregating again for an NCAA-record 284th consecutive home sellout to help will an upset.

"I know it's going to be crazy," Booty said. "They're bringing the whole state out, but that's the way it should be. I'm looking forward to getting into that environment."

For Nebraska (2-0), the matchup against the Trojans offers the ultimate "statement" opportunity, a chance for Coach Bill Callahan and the Cornhuskers to announce that their football program again belongs among the nation's elite.

USC (1-0), picked by most prognosticators to reach the Bowl Championship Series title game, also will be playing to perception after an open date last week. While the Trojans had a week off after a convincing but less than dominant victory over Idaho, No. 2 Louisiana State and other teams, such as Oklahoma, won impressively.

USC Coach Pete Carroll, however, dismissed the concept of playing for style points and poll position.

"I could care less," he said. "You just have to win games."

Classic Carroll and true to form!

This is not SC's first big out of conference game, they have been down this road before We all know how much Pete Carroll is driven to succeed. His drive is infectious and he always strives to get the most out of his players. That also means that he doesn't get worked up over what some call marquis match-ups or big games. SC takes all of it's opponents seriously there is no one team that is greater than another as SC found out last year you can get tripped up looking past an opponent. But SC has been in this situation before.

From the Omaha World-Herld:

A year ago, Arkansas hosted Southern California on a Saturday night in September. Record crowd. Fans yelling like there were spiders in their socks. Impressive atmosphere.

"I don't think USC's impressed by much of anything," Schaeffer said.

USC hung half a hundred on the Hogs and won by 36.

Now college football's version of the Rolling Stones are coming to Lincoln, accompanied by their Hollywood groupies and cheerleaders in white sweaters and - oh, yes - a 57-4 record in their last 61 games. Nebraska Saturday night will throw its whole package at 'em: Tunnel Walk and Sea of Red and five national championship trophies. Sorry, Husker fans. To USC, this is just another tour stop.

"I know that everywhere we go, in every game we play, we get guys crazy to beat us," said USC coach Pete Carroll. And the fans are nuts to beat us. . . . Its something we've come to understand and welcome."

So step on stage with the Trojans for a few hours if you wish, but take pictures. The show will be gone to the next town before you can say John David Booty.

Auburn, Ala., Aug. 30, 2003

That was the first major tour stop of the Carroll era. USC had been playing on par with Stanford the better part of 20 years when Carroll took his team down South for a season opener in front of 86,000 fans. The Tigers had national title hopes. USC won 23-0.

Eugene, Ore., Sept. 24, 2005

Oregon's Autzen Stadium, one of the nation's loudest places to play, went bonkers when the Ducks jumped out to a 13-0 lead on top-ranked USC. The Trojans scored the next 45 points.

South Bend, Ind., Oct. 15, 2005

OK, this time USC was toast.

Joe Montana gave Notre Dame players a pregame pep talk and the Irish responded with a Herculean effort. They led 31-28 with two minutes left. Then Southern Cal converted a fourth-and-nine and scored on the final play to stun Touchdown Jesus.

"They're the modern-day dynasty," said Nebraska cornerback Cortney Grixby. "Nebraska owned the '90s. Since the millennium, they've been the team."

I would throw in VA Tech at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, sorry I can't stand little Danny Snyder as he has taken one of great NFL Franchises and run it into the ground. The Squire must be rolling in his grave hence I will never call it Fed Ex Field, but I digress...

To me the game plan to day is simple. Both teams have some great talent and both have shown they can win but I see it coming down to two things:

  1. Take out the crowd. Taking the crowd out of the game will force Keller to try and be the hero in order to get them back into it, when Keller forces things bad things usually happen. Keller is really up for this game as he sees it as a chance for redemption. That could be a problem for Keller if he lets this game get to his head by trying to exorcise some demons from 2005. So how do you take the crowd out of this game??
  2. The SC Defense must control the Nebraska Offense pure and simple when that happens Keller will force some plays thus making the costly mistakes and that will take the crowd out of the game. It is as simple as that. If Sc plays they we expect them to the crowd will be anon-factor and Keller will in effective. They don't need to shut them down but jut Keep the plays in front of them and not get burned. The SC offense will do what it needs to do but the defense needs keep Lucky, Keller and the receivers in check. Do that and we win the game. I want a convincing win but I will take any win.
We'll find out tonight.

FIGHT ON!