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What we learned from the Washington Defeat

After sleeping on it and after reading a few things from yesterday I have some further thoughts on yesterday's loss.

They are in no particular order...

Some may say that it is not right to criticize a player...but I am going to do that here... if that bothers you then stop reading now.

It is safe to say that there is no longer a QB controversy at USC...real or imagined (I am looking at you Scott Wolf).

Sorry, Aaron Corp was flat out terrible. Especially with all we have been led to believe in regards to his ability.

It looks painfully evident that Aaron Corp is not a big time QB in the mold of the prototypical Pac-10 QB. Maybe he fits better in a spread offense or in some FCS program but not a program like USC.

Aaron Corp looked like a deer in the headlights against an unranked UW team yesterday, he repeatedly threw into heavy coverage and missed wide open receivers, as well as under-throwing them constantly. So much for showing us poise and strong decision making like we have heard time and again from the so-called experts who attend almost every practice during Spring and Training Camp.

Aaron Corp made the kind of mistakes today I expected from Matt Barkley last week. I don't want to hear anymore that Corp threw zero interceptions in Spring Ball and Training Camp or that he has great mobility or that he had great high school numbers because those are ancient history and mean nothing. I could care less that he was a Gatorade Player of the Year or some such insignificant award. He played like a Pop Warner kid out there yesterday. He did not instill a sense of leadership on the sidelines like we saw with Barkley last week.

He did not rally this team...

He did not fire them up or challenge them on the sidelines...

You know you are in trouble when the sideline reporter noted that QB coach Jeremy Bates ran down the list of plays to see what he felt Corp could or could not execute... and cover!

Corp aint the guy, at least not right now...sorry if that sounds harsh.

I do not want to hear that PC didn't give Corp enough time to prepare as the starter because he never "officially" told him...that is crap. It should not have mattered, if Corp wanted it so bad then he should have been prepared...I mean come on, he got most if not all of the first team snaps last week when Barkley couldn't go. How much more of a signal do you need. The kid certainly has some talent but he could not execute it yesterday...who knows where it goes from here but not getting the "official" word from PC is a cheap excuse.

I am stunned that there was not any adjustments when UW's Linebackers were moving toward our right side as Corp took the snap from center. After SC scored with ease on their first drive UW adjusted and put 8 guys in the box and basically dared Pete Carroll to beat it with Corp's arm...We saw the result. To keep UW from stacking 7 or 8 defenders in the box, a pass play is the only way to keep UW honest, we saw none of that. Heck, even the announcers saw that UW was vulnerable to the screen and SC never attacked them with it.

So, what does that tell us?

Now we know why Pete Carroll waited so long to publicly name the starter. He sees something in Corp that is unsettling. Maybe Corp simply doesn't have the confidence to chuck it downfield and I think you saw it in the play calling...if you can't spread the field your play calling becomes conservative and that is exactly what we saw yesterday. SC is inside the UW 10-yardline driving for the go ahead score and they could not punch it in...that was because the the coaching staff never thought enough of Corp's ability to throw the ball accurately...that says a lot, too much actually. It is clear that Corp's on the field demeanor handcuffed the play calling.

This is a telling comment from Wolf's blog...

After the game Pete admitted that they talked about replacing Corp with Barkley in the fourth quarter, but that they hoped that Corp could take what he "learned" and moved the team. Then Pete, very uncharacteristically, said "But he couldn't get it done."

Pete never singles out QB's. After every JDB loss, and the OSU game last year, Pete never, ever said "John David/Mark couldn't get it done." But he did today, which means he has no confidence in Corp, and that the Aaron Corp era in officially and forever over.

Whether it is right or wrong it certainly showed PC's hand.

That is a vote of no confidence!

What we saw yesterday was statistically the worst performance of any QB in the Pete Carroll era at USC.

That kind of hits you in the mouth right there.

More importantly, this is why Pete Carroll was so pissed that Sanchez left...after yesterday's debacle I can now see why. He saw enough of Corp and Mustain to know that Barkley was his guy (and that was before Barkley even showed up on campus) but that he needed at least a year to get him comfortable.

There were plenty of mistakes yesterday to go around with both the coaches and players. I mean come on, where was a pump fake yesterday, a roll out or a stop and go from a receiver? Anything just to mix it up! What was Pete Carroll thinking at the end of the 1st half running the ball with no timeouts. Did he take a page out of Jim Tressel's play book? I mean jeez, come on at least use a QB sneak to get a first down and stop the clock, that worked every time used it against Ohio State and UW is no tOSU.

Here are some incredible numbers...

0-10 on 3rd down

0-1 on 4th down

110 passing yards with 1 INT and almost a couple of others

250 yards rushing and only 1 TD

4 fumbles 2 lost

UW had 290 yards of offense

Now, the coaching staff has get some of the blame here and this is not going to be pretty....

On 3rd and 15 with UW driving for the winning score it boggles the mind that PC did not throw the kitchen sink at Locker. The Defense got some pressure on Locker for a good portion of the game sacking him some 4 times yet PC drops the defense back into zone and they convert...shades of Stanford in 2007.

I love Pete Carroll but he has to stop micromanaging the offense. He has all this potential NFL talent, he has a QB coach that has been pretty successful at the pro level and these guys are not showing us progress this season.

Anyone here think we missed Taylor Mays yesterday? If he is in the game he keeps the UW offense honest. McCallister is no Taylor Mays...he has a ways to go.

I understand that its their team and they get to make the call on who plays but I am really perplexed as to why we didn't see CJ Gable on the field or Allen Bradford more. It is clear that there is no way to fix the fumble situation and there is no way or no interest to punish players for it when it is stressed time and again. This frustrates me more than anything. I watched Broderick Green and Joe Adams play last night for Arkansas and I can see why Green transferred and why Adams switched. Those guys were the featured worrying about 5 guys behind you that SHOULD see the field if you screw up. There is no punishment for stupid plays or not protecting the ball....unless of course you are CJ Gable.

To be fair on the flip side Stafon and Havili have been our go to guys in the past and they have come through so I think it is fair to cut them some slack. It is pretty clear that Havili was trying to make a play to get some additional yards.

I think that this hurts USC more down the road on the recruiting trail. Why come to SC and work your ass off only to see guys not do the one thing that is so important yet still get into the game?

If Spicer is anywhere near the field of play next week I am going to spit. That is two years in a row that Spicer has committed a personal foul penalty in a game like this. He needs to sit or he needs to go.

As for the rest of the defensive front, what a wasted effort!

It could have been a lot worse...UW only scored one TD.

Big Props have to go out to Griffen, Casey, Perry, Morgan and even Galippo had a decent game. The secondary on the other hand.............

So far the defense has allowed only 34 points in just 3 games...that is pretty incredible when you consider all the time they have spent on the field.

I bet the defense goes out and tries to nail the offense in practice just to take their frustrations out!

They have done their part.

The big question now is how this team will respond???