Cal hasn't beaten USC since 2003. That ONE loss kept USC from playing in the BCS title game against LSU...
I think most if not all USC fans know that if given the chance USC would have beat LSU that year...but I digress.
Sooner or later all streaks get broken...is this the year that Cal finally prevails?
I can't answer that, but I know that before Cal can break the streak they need to make sure that they don't let what happened last year at the coliseum happen again this year.
You know, USC dump-trucking Cal 42-0 in the first half...
USC rolled to a 42-0 halftime lead over the Golden Bears on Oct. 16, 2010. It piled up 372 yards and 20 first downs. Cal had 65 yards and three first downs.
Trojans QB Matt Barkley completed 20 of 29 passes for 257 yards with five touchdowns -- tying a school record before halftime -- and no interceptions. Cal QB Kevin Riley completed 3 of 12 for 51 yards with two interceptions.
"We didn't make any plays and they made every play," Cal coach Jeff Tedford recalled. "I thought Barkley played about as well as he could play. He was on big-time. They had everything going and we didn't make plays."
OK, its fun to reminisce...but that's in the past.
USC has a lot of work to do this week. Cal has many issues of their own, but its not like USC is locking everyone down everyone they are playing right now.
Even more concerning is the running game.
We have all marveled at the show that Robert Woods and Marqise Lee have put on so far this season, but the without the balance that a solid running game would provide sooner or later the Woods/Lee well will run dry.
Marc Tyler has had some good performances but the running game overall is stagnant.
USC ranks 71st among 120 major-college teams, averaging 136.6 yards a game.
"It's just been very up and down," Coach Lane Kiffin said Monday. "Not near enough explosive plays."
USC has passed for 14 touchdowns and rushed for four.
Marc Tyler is entrenched as the starter, but the coaching staff has not settled on a consistent complement.
And at a school popularly known as Tailback U, the Trojans lack a breakaway threat. USC's longest touchdown run is 10 yards.
Not exactly what we are used to....And not exactly what we expected.
Dillon Baxter's disappearance is even more perplexing. We have heard and read that Baxter is doing all the right things after his issues last season but he still barley sees the field. Morgan and McNeil get on the field but when they make a mistake they seldom get back into the game. I don't expect much from Carlisle right now...
I hate hearing that a player is doing great in practice only see him ride the pine during the game. I hated it under Pete Carroll...I hate it under Lane Kiffin.
I am not sure what Kiffin is expecting from his RB's if they hardly see the field...Tyler can only do so much.
That is why the George Farmer experiment at RB will be interesting to watch.
I still think this is more about Farmer wanting playing time than Kiffin all of a sudden finding a diamond in the rough with a player they already had. If it works, great...
- - -
Here is a look from the Cal side of things...
One potentially very entertaining element to Thursday’s game against USC is the showdown of Allen and Robert Woods at wide receiver. Both are sophomores and regarded currently as the top two receivers in the Pac-12. Woods leads the conference and is tied for the national with 11.0 receptions per game while Allen is second in the Pac-12 and tied for 11th nationally at 7.8. Woods also is the conference leader with 149.4 receiving yards per game (tied for second nationally) while Allen is second in the Pac-12 at 133.6 (sixth in the nation).
Allen and Woods met at a high school All-American game but haven’t kept in touch since.
“I am definitely looking forward to it,” Allen said. “He’s a great athlete. We’re both good athletes. It’s going to be a great show.”
I'm not really sure about a showdown seeing they are both on the offensive side of the ball.
Maynard hasn't been playing up to what some think he should, passing at around 51%. If he can't get the ball to allen then it won't be much of a contest.
Again, why Tedforfd doesn't let Maynard use his legs is a big question considering haw Tedford gushed about Maynard's mobility.
- - -
Preview: USC at Cal « The Trojan Empire
USC Trojans striving for more production on the ground - ESPN
While the USC passing attack has been one of the most prolific in the nation, the Trojans know that they have to get their running game going.
Farmer worked his way into role for USC - The Orange County Register
USC's Lane Kiffin and Cal's Jeff Tedford still call the plays - latimes.com
Coach Lane Kiffin says he's not about to give up calling plays for USC offense.
- - -
And a couple of videos...