It was wet and wild, here’s the review:
Positive – Establishing the Running Game
- It was nice to see the SC offense go back to the basics and just pound the ball; to Chauncey’s credit, he did a fantastic job fighting for yards after the initial hit. Establishing the run game also seemed to help JDB play calm and loose. Apart from the fumbled snaps, I thought JDB played one of his best games of the year, considering the weather conditions. My jaw literally dropped when he scrambled for about 9 yards; he also made a great play on the "illegal forward pass", which was a questionable call. The offensive play-calling was straight-forward and simple and I think it actually benefited our offense. Maybe it’s something to consider for the future…
Negative – Penalties
- We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties and they seem to come at the worst times. A holding call on Matt Spanos nullified a long pass to Patrick Turner, but thankfully JDB followed it up with a strike to Fred Davis. We can’t expect to get away with so many penalties against elite teams. I’m still unsure what is going on and why Coach Carroll can’t get a hold of this problem.
Player of the Game – Chauncey Washington
- Chauncey picked a great night to have a career game; he finished with 220 yards on 29 carries for an average of 7.6 ypc and 1 TD. It is also notable that many of those yards were hard-earned as CW consistently picked up 3-4 extra yards by muscling through tackles.
Play of the Game – Terrell Thomas’ Interception
- With Cal driving to tie up the game and coming off a big 34 yard run to the USC 36 by Justin Forsett, Terrell Thomas came up with a giant interception off a poorly thrown ball from Nate Longshore. Yes, Terrell didn’t have to do more than make a routine catch over his head, but it was a huge momentum shifting play that pretty much sealed the game for SC and kept our Rose Bowl chances alive.
Final Thoughts – RoJo on Kick-Returns
- RoJo (Ronald Johnson) hasn’t gotten much pub, but has there been a more unsung hero on our team? The guy consistently puts us in good field position off kick returns and you just know he’s due to break one the entire way. Thought I should give some props to a player who I rarely see get mentioned.
Well it will be a shortened bye week with the ASU game scheduled next Thursday. It’s obviously going to be a tough atmosphere to play in, but I like the momentum we’re building. With Oregon in a very good position to make it into the NC game, having a chance at the Rose Bowl should be great motivation for the team to get it done.