(Photo of Stafon Johnson Leading Conquest at the 2009 Rose Bowl by Icon Sports Media)
My three least favorite college football teams are UCLA, Notre Dame and Cal. This week we play Cal and I hope we kill them. Saturday will make or break someone’s season. The game however is overshadowed by terrible off the field injury.
Stafon Johnson is one of my favorite Trojans. On the field he is smooth, steady and always reliable for a big gain or a goal line score. Off the field he leads by example. He is the spiritual leader of team. When I heard the news I was shocked, then bummed, then worried and scared, then hopeful, and finally thankful and proud. Shocked because this is the type of injury you never hear about. It was a fluke accident. Bummed for Stafon because he has so much potential. He was on track to have a great year. I hoped all his hard work would payoff with an MVP caliber season followed by an early draft selection in the spring. Worried because holy sh*t he dropped 200 plus pounds on his neck. Can you die from that? Scared because I heard he was coughing up blood and had been in surgery for so many hours. Forget about football, this was now about survival. Hopeful because USC is a great institution that takes care of its players. If Stafon was in surgery, I knew the best doctors would be working on him. Thankful that the surgery went well and he was recovering. And proud for all the love and support he has been shown. If you wish to continue that love and support you can send notes of encouragement or anything you deem appropriate to:
Heritage Hall 203b
3501 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Or you can keep Stafon in your prayers.
Now on to Cal, last year the Trojans defense dominated Cal in the Coliseum. The final score was 17-3. The Trojans D held Jahvid Best to 30 yards on 13 carries. This year Best is averaging 116 yards per game. Look for the Trojans to stack the line again and force Kevin Riley to make plays. Riley has not thrown an interception this season. He has a streak dating back to last year of 115 pass attempts without an INT. The last time Riley faced USC he was 4 of 16 for 59 yards and an INT.
More Thoughts of the Day after the jump…
Cal has a nine game winning streak at home. Their last home loss was to USC in 2007.
The Trojans punting improved last week. Jake Harfman took over the job and averaged 46.3 yards per punt and downed two inside the 20 yard line. He might not be Tom Malone but he is averaging 9 more yards per punt than Bill O’Malley. Harfman also had a textbook onside kick.
Why doesn’t MTV play videos anymore? If they did, maybe someone could try to top the awesomeness that is Herbie Hancock’s video Rockit.
Hancock’s video is odd, but strangely arousing.
Barkley going deep last week was a nice change. Five of Barkley’s completions were longer than 20 yards. He threw perfect passes to Brice Butler and Damian Williams. He looks better each week and has only thrown one INT this year.
(Photo of Brice Butler and Marcus Allen by Icon Sports Media)
Damian Williams is a force. He cracked the century mark last week and finished the day racking up 80 yards in punt returns with an average of 13.3 yards per return. Having a sure handed receiver on punt return duty is nice.
Here is a extraordinary commercial. Babes, boobs, booze and street hockey, also known as the molotov cocktail of fun.
The penalties need to stop. Did you hear that whistle? The Trojans just got flagged again. Getting flagged 13 times for 115 yards last week is unacceptable. USC is averaging 73 penalty yards per game, while Cal is only averaging 38.8.
The Washington Redskins are -7 1/2 point favorites this weekend vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why are the Redskins favored? Check out how their Cheerleaders get warmed up for games and you will understand. Did somebody say pillow fight?
Find your NFL odds for this weekend.
Not enough is said about our defense. They are strong. Last week they had 8 sacks (2 byNick Perry and 2.5 by Michael Morgan). The Trojans have sacked the QB 18 times this year. They also recorded 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage vs. Washington State.
Here is a picture worth framing. I feel like a proud parent.
(Photo of LenDale and Sanchez by Icon Sports Media)