Here are some random thoughts on the win:
– It was a win, but a frustrating one. The 1st quarter started smoothly with a quick 3-and-out from Wazzu followed by a quick TD from SC, but then 3 holding penalties, 1 offsides, 1 personal foul, and 1 roughing the kicker happened. Let's not even talk about the 3rd quarter…
– Nice to see Brice Butler get his 1st career TD. There was a overhead shot during the broadcast and you could see Brice start from the slot, move inside on the safety and then get nice separation off the break on the corner route; the defender really had no chance on the play. You can watch Brice talk about the play here.
– Matt Barkley's throw to Damian Williams on the 3rd TD was a thing of beauty and the play of the day. The anticipation and quick-decision showed why he is so highly-regarded. If you look at the play, Matt drops back looking left, checks off, makes a split-second decision to throw to Damian, and then delivers a perfect touch pass (while getting hit) over the Wazzu linebackers' heads and between the safeties.
Credit also goes to Coach Bates/Morton for calling a great play. In post-game interviews, the coaches/players talked about seeing large gaps in the middle of the field while studying game tapes last week. If you watch the play closely, the formation is trips right and 1 receiver to the left; off the snap every receiver runs a streak up field, but the key to the play is the SC tackles let the ends run by them and Joe McKnight, rather than block, jumps forward to mimic a screen play which causes Wazzu's linebackers to bite and take a step forward allowing Damian to run right by them and split the safeties. Great play all-around.
– Want to talk about a player doing work? Nick Perry has 6 sacks already playing limited minutes. He is currently the Pac-10 leader in the category. Nick just has that sixth sense for getting to the quarterback; he set a Michigan state record with 36 sacks in 2007 as a HS senior.
– Some prospects that showed up for Saturday's game: Sharrif Floyd (official visit), Ronald Powell, Robert Woods, George Farmer, Marquis Lee, George Uko, Dietrich Riley, Dion Bailey, Joshua Shaw, Antwaun Woods, Demetrius Wright, and more. The list of visitors could literally make up one side of a HS All-American game.
– Some big injuries from the game: Hebron Fangupo (broken fibula) and Marshall Jones (cracked vertebra) are out for the season. Jordan Campbell also sprained his ankle and Garrett Green suffered a concussion.
– Have to give props to my man Allen Bradford for running pissed off all game. His stiff-arm on the run in the 2nd quarter was vicious. Allen NEEDS MORE CARRIES.
Onto Cal, which should be an interesting game. My head says this game should match up well for SC since we usually win against teams that rely heavily on the run, but considering how undisciplined and inconsistent our offense has looked, it's hard for me to feel confident. Despite Cal's beatdown last week, this game still deserves a lot of hype, since it essentially makes or breaks both teams' seasons. It should be a tough one.