Pretty brutal to lose a game where you only give up 86 yards of passing. But their QB's running ability helped them to generate 263 on the ground.
I'm really lost on how to get more out of our passing offense right now. Having our top two receivers out for most of this game obviously hurts but we do have some talent among the freshmen.
We'll look to rebound at home against Washington. The schedule after that is @Cal, Oregon St, @Pitt, and @USC. We need two wins to get into a bowl game. We aren't beating USC and we don't have many home games left. Have to pick this one up ...
QB Burford is still hurting from his quadriceps strain. He has not responded well to treatment. When he got hurt I was anxious to take a look at Edwards. Not so much anymore - I want Jack back. He is getting some snaps this week.
OT Lonie Smith has pelvis inflammation. Sometimes I just shake my head at what the trainer tells me ...
ILB Jerry McCullough has been the best player on the defense, but we are likely to miss him in this game. He has a cracked patella and is not close to 100%.
ILB Bryant Bruschi has a torn thumb tendon. Another guy that really shouldn't be in the lineup, even though he wants to play. He gets the shot because I'm not going to our 3rd stringer for this one.
OLB Travis Wilcox has a fractured elbow. Our linebackers were just devastates last game. Another guy that should sit - I'm really impressed that these guys want to play through serious injuries.
The bookmakers are insane, listing us as 19 point favorites at home. I'm not sure we will score 19, given the performance over the last month.
Washington is 5-3 on the season with a 3-2 mark in conference. They are not a prolific offense, but their QB Detmer finds the end zone (16 TDs on the year). Defensively, LB Reese covers a lot of ground. We have more talent than these guys, but I am starting to question our heart.
A game crash has wiped the Washington debacle from our history. I'll be replaying that game now.
98,283 make their way into the Rose Bowl to watch todays action. The weather conditions are typical California - 68 and sunny.
Alvin Brown runs back the opening kick 85 yards! 7-0 UCLA, 14:42 to play in quarter.
That is the first time I've seen any opening kick returned in about ten seasons of play.
WR Merlin Kunz makes an amazing one-handed grab for a 35 yard pickup against our defense.
QB Lance Detmer picked up a pair of 3rd and 8s to keep UW going, and then a 3rd and goal from the 6 to tie the game up. 7-7, 10:58 left in quarter.
Edwards completes his first two passes to the running backs, but can't convert a 3rd and 4. We punt.
Run defense has been strong on the first two drives. The Huskies have 14 yards on 9 carries and they have to punt from their 45.
We do a nice job of mixing run and pass on the next drive for the first 50 yards, but the brakes get slammed on the offense when we hit the Washington 30 yard line. McMullen trots out for a 40 yard field goal and he hits it. 10-7, 2:25 left in quarter.
DE Ronald Smith makes a big hit behind the line of scrimmage on a 3rd and 5 to force UW into a 3 and out.
We have a 3 and out series on the next possession, losing 7 yards. Punt.
Detmer finds WR Kenny Turnbull for 26 on a 3rd and 12.
Detmer goes for another 12 yards on 3rd and goal for a TD pass to Turnbull. 14-10, 11:13 to play in half.
3 and out for the offense.
Another big 3rd down conversion for Detmer, this on for 26 yards on 3rd and 10. We have sacked him a couple of times, but can't get anything going on 3rd downs. Washington is 6-8 on 3rd downs, with most of them being long ones.
I was giddy when they ran a draw play on 3rd and 10 from our 23. We stopped the run for 3 yards to force a field goal attempt.
And Washington missed the field goal!
Edwards completes a pair of 15 yard completions, then Brown runs for 18. This is how I have envisioned our offense running! We are at the Washington 32, time to see if we can move the ball on the shorter field this time ...
WR Stablein is hurt run-blocking, then WR Byrum goes down with a kidney injury? Yikes, don't see that often on the football field.
We find ourselves with a 4th and goal on the one. What do you call?
Our offensive coordinator thought a handoff to the fullback Hagood Morris was the way to go. And I'm happy to say that his play call worked to perfection, as the offensive line gave him room to squirt in. 17-14, 1:14 to play in half.
Washington got a 32 yard run, but ran out of time to score. Not particularly good clock management by the Huskies.
Our defense has taken away the run (except for the late 32 yarder), making Washington one dimensional.
We have no big play potential in our passing game right now. Edwards is 9-13 for 78 yards, but with two WRs out and our main guy academically ineligible we may start pulling guys out of the stands to play in our trips/quads sets.
Detmer finds WR Kunz wide open and he is fast enough to finish the play. 74 yard TD pass, Washington is back in front. 21-17, 14:17 to play in the third quarter.
Brown picks up a bunch of yards on the next drive, but it dies at the Washington 40. Punt.
Defense makes a stop on 3rd and 5. The defensive coordinator looks relieved that his guys finally brought something to the table. Never mind that Detmer is still completing 75% of his passes and we haven't forced any turnovers ...
Brown again gets into the secondary, going for 19 yards and climbing above 100 yards with 1 1/2 quarters still to play. He looks great; we really could use him finding a way to beat that last man on one of these runs.
Add 21 yards on a screen pass to Brown, and a 15 yard run by Brown, and it is getting pretty easy to figure out the UCLA offense.
So of course we hand off to the backup RB twice. Brown gets the third carry, but ends up one yard shy of the first down marker. 4th and 1 at the 20.
We again go for it. QB Burford is in, looking downfield but everything is covered. He sprints for the marker and it is close. The spot is very favorable and we retain possession after a gutsy two yard dive on a busted play.
Backup RB Dwayne Baker appears to have injured his shoulder after a ten yard pickup. He leaves for the day with 23 yards on 6 carries.
RB Isaac Davis is in, this may be his first carry of the game. Good for 4 yards.
The defense is keying on Brown, and we are once again faced with a 4th and goal on the one yard line.
McMullen takes a 19 yard field goal, 21-20 Washington with 3:08 left in 3rd quarter.
Washington goes 3 and out after a wideout drops a deep ball on 3rd down.
CB Alvin Brown makes a big play on the punt return, taking it back 35 yards to the Washington 35.
QB Edwards finds a wide open WR, Dave Detmer (who?), and he should be able to walk it in! But he stumbles and Washington CB Charles Siani hauls him in after a 19 yard gain.
We find ourselves with 4th and short again. 4th and 2 at the Washington 13. Edwards waves off the field goal time and drops back to pass. He finds Brown in the flat, who makes a move and darts in for the TD! Edwards then completes a pass to the backup TE for the 2 point conversion. 28-21, 14:18 left in the game.
We have a very good sequence defensively, forcing a 3 and out that was keyed by a good push from the defensive line.
We can't take advantage, however, and have to punt after a 3 play effort.
Detmer is back on track on the next drive. He moves over 300 yards for the game, mixing up short and medium passes.
We stop them short of the first down on a 3rd and 6 from our 9, setting up a 4th and 1. We declined a five yard penalty here ... hmmm. Not sure I like that knowing how often teams go for it on 4th down.
Detmer to Kunz, TD on the next play. 28-28 with 7:23 to play.
Detmer is 20-28 for 338 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs.
WR Kunz has 6 catches for 162 yards and a pair of TDs.
I'm insanely jealous of that kind of productivity.
On 3rd and 10 Edwards sees TE Pettis Larscheid break free on a TE streak. He lofts it up, it hangs in the air forever, but Pettis lays out to make the fingertip grab! 48 yard pickup.
Edwards is picked off on 3rd and 10 from the UW 32, but it is called back due to pass interference. 1st down.
Another 3rd and 10, Edwards runs through his options before settling on Brown for a dump off. Good choice, Brown makes a couple of moves to finish with 14 yards on the play.
But Edwards can't keep up his run of good play, as he throws an interception in the end zone. Washington takes over at the 20 with less than 4 to play.
They get 1 on 3rd and 1, despite the defense reading the play. I'm not pleased with that spot.
Washington has a 3rd and 8 on our 44 with 0:43 to play - we discuss our schemes during a timeout. The defense brings heat on Detmer, who rolls out looking for WR Turnbull. But the throw is low and incomplete.
Washington ball 1st.
DE Smith gets a huge sack on 3rd down!
Washington converts a 45 yard field goal, 31-28 Huskies.
Disaster on offense - we pick up a unneccessary roughness penalty.
3rd and 20 from the 35.
Brown loses one on the next play, so we set up for a 54 yard field goal to tie.
McManus has a good leg, but this is a lot to ask.
Too much, apparently, as we run it. No first down, game over. I'm stunned and not at all amused.
We had avoided penalties all game before the one in OT. Just a galling way to see the game end.
DE Smith made a couple of big plays in this game. He is a significant piece of the puzzle for next years team, so this is exciting. DE Banducci had two sacks as well. All in all, we collected four sacks and surrendered zero.
Our secondary was a horror show, however. We have to significantly upgrade here in the offseason.
Brown had 27 carries for 130 yards, but his longest carry was only 19 yards. He had at least 4 carries in the 15-20 yard range, so we really need him to break one of these runs.
CB Alvin Brown is making plays in the return game. He scored one TD and set up a 2nd TD with a 35 yard punt return.
Time for some midseason stats ...
Thanks to Eaglesfan for the help with FOFC settings.
Burford will resume play as the starter this week. Edwards had his chances but couldn't generate enough offense or victories.
WR Byrum gets to rest this week - hopefully it only takes one week to come back from a bruised kidney.
ILB Jerry McCullough, still our leading tackler, will miss one more week.
We have a couple of other minor injuries, but the backups are nearly as good as the guys who will miss time.
Looking at the schedule, Cal is the weakest team left. Time to make our stand.
We are nine point favorites heading to Cal. They have the #17 offense and the #100 defense. This looks like a nice opportunity for Jack Burford to assert himself. But he is working with a substandard set of receivers.
Cal has a capable QB in JR Victor Glover. We have to respect what he brings to the table after being run over in the passing game last week. His top target is JR Jerome Kulbacki, who has 9 TDs and 918 yards in 8 games. Two RBs split the carries, combining for about 850 yards. On defense, MLB Shawn Michel is a three year starter and a tackling machine.
I'm glad to help (even if you are running the Bruins ;))
I'm enjoying reading your dynasty.
Opening drive, we string together 3 first downs - one for each QB and one for Brown. Down to the Cal 13 with a 4th and 1. A false start penalty makes this an easy call. McMullen is good from 36, 3-0 with 11:18 left in the quarter.
McMullen puts the kickoff out of bounds, Cal starts at the 40.
Six plays later Cal is in the end zone - 18 yard screen to cap the drive. Glover was 3-3 for 39 yards on the drive. 7-3, 8:39 left in quarter.
Burford gets crushed on a sack where we were called for holding.
But on the next play he spots WR Dan Brown open down the sideline. He throws a strike and we have a 79 yard TD! 10-7, 6:53 left in quarter.
Another short field for Cal as we give them 15 yards on a face mask. They start at midfield.
OLB Travis Wilcox comes up with a big sack on 3rd down, knocking Cal out of field goal range.
They pin us on our 6 with the punt.
Two running plays result in a safety after losses on each. Ugh. 10-9, 3:35 left in the quarter.
And the Ugh is compounded when Cal takes the kickoff 80 yards for a score! 16-10, 3:02 left in the quarter.
Edwards completes back to back passes for big gains, to Stablein and Jackson. Jackson fought hard to make his 34 yard grab, shedding the tackler and picking up extra yards.
Edwards comes through on 3rd and 11, finding TE Larscheid for 13 yards, down to the 6.
We pick up back-to-back illegal motion penalties, but Cal gives it back by roughing the passer.
Brown, who has gotten nothing since the opening drive, fumbles on a big hit but we recover at the 9.
McMullen comes in for a 21 yard FG attempt and misses it. He will be cut after this game.
The defense makes a stop near midfield.
Another penalty on offense, up to 5 now in the early part of the 2nd quarter.
FB Hagood Morris bursts for 24 yards on a 3rd and 16.
Brown picks up one on 3rd and 2 - he now has 35 yards on 16 carries.
We punt it away.
Cal is a machine on the next possession, moving the chains relentlessly until they hit our 10. A fourth and goal at the 2? Go for it, TD, 23-10 with 3:18 to go in half.
Glover is 10-11 on the day for 99 yards and 2 TDs.
3 and out, game is not looking good so far ...
The defense responds, with Banducci recording a sack on 3rd down. 3 and out.
Edwards, who is still getting 40% of the snaps, throws one to the wrong team. Cal gets the ball at our 36 near the end of the half.
One play drive for Cal, 3rd TD pass for Glover. 30-10, 0:19 left in half.
McMullen is cut and Edwards will only play if there is an injury for the remainder of the year. I've had more than enough of both of these guys hurting our team, despite their talent.
Cal has totally shut down our run game since the openeing drive and I don't see a lot of runs in the 2nd half now that we are down 3 TDs.
We've actually outgained Cal and have a small time of possession advantage. Both stats are meaningless.
Glover to Kulbacki is clicking to start the 2nd half, connecting twice for 20+ yard plays.
They are also running the ball well, finishing this drive with a 4 yard scamper. 37-10, 10:31 remaining in 3rd.
We come out running, while down 27 points, and pick up a couple of first downs.
A holding penalty, followed by a pass interference call, set up a 2nd and 34. End of drive. Punt.
3 and out for Cal.
Our passing game is clicking on the next drive, back to back first downs for Jackson and Larscheid. We are down to the 20 before we start moving backwards on a busted run and a sack.
McMullen, dead man walking, hits a 48 yard field goal. 37-13, 1:14 left in 3rd.
Cal runs some clock at the start of their next drive, then decides to finish us off with a 53 yard scoring strike. 44-13, 14:11 left in the game.
Glover is now 16-22 for 252 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs.
Edwards is sacked and fumbles, Cal gets the ball on our 20.
Cal faces a 4th and 2 on our goal line and sets up a screen. Because being up 31 points, and adding 3 more, isn't enough. We stuff them.
Brown fumbles, giving Cal the ball on our 23.
Again Cal goes for it on 4th and 2. This time they convert, setting up 1st and goal.
RB Chat Chatman hits 100 yards on this drive.
Cal finishes it with a 24 yard field goal. 47-13, 6:01 to play.
Holding wipes out a first down, so we have a 3 and out.
Cal adds a 38 yard field goal. 50-13, 1:35 left in this debacle.
In true UCLA fashion, we pick up a garbage time TD. 70 yards from Burford to Stablein. 50-20, 0:41 left.
It is official - my team has given up on me for the year. I guess I won't need to feel guilty when I revamp the coaching staff in the offseason.
Eagles, at the moment I'm running the Bruins into the ground. So that should be fun for you :mad:
Pass defense remains a huge concern - 8 TDs and 0 INTs by opposing QBs the last two games.
Derrick had a substandard game, with only 71 yards on 25 carries.
Burford was a bright spot. Two long TD passes, zero turnovers. We will be giving him all of the snaps for the rest of the year, barring injury.
Nothing good to say about the defense. We don't have enough talent to survive without forcing turnovers, which we seem to have stopped doing.
Good news - we bring back WR Gary Brewer, along with ILB Scott Wilson and CB Ken Byrd.
Bad news - CB Alvin Brown goes to the bench.
Brown is our best CB, but is anyone remotely good based on performance? More importantly, he was beginning to make plays in the return game. Still, I think we have done well on the tradeoff here. I'm sure Burford will be elated to have the big-play wideout back in the fold.
On the injury front, we lost SS Noland King to a dislocated shoulder. His season is probably over.
Up next is Oregon St. We are seven point favorites. Vegas just isn't paying attention to our team, it appears.
Heading into the Oregon St game, we feel good about bringing back some talented players. In addition to Brewer and Wilson coming back from suspensions, we return ILB Jerry McCullough. Hopefully this will translate into more big plays on both sides of the ball.
Oregon St QB Lamar Horner is a good one right now as a redshirt sophomore and looks like he has the ability to play at the next level. He makes big plays but struggles with his accuracy. RB Reuben Driver has already gained 1158 yards on the year, over 150 more than our own Derrick Brown. MLB Jessie Buckhalter is a four year starter who is leading the team in tackles and sacks.
The Beavers are 5-4 on the year, 2-4 in the Pac 10.
The fans still love UCLA football, as 99,569 make their way to today's game.
First drive ends after we punt on a 4th and 1 near midfield.
Beavers punt near midfield.
Derrick Brown finally has the huge run we have been waiting for, an 80 yard TD. 7-0, 9:04 left in first quarter.
We bring some heat on 3rd down and Horner throws a pick. SS Joe Lusk makes the play and we take over at our 45.
3 and out. Punt.
The Bruin defense responds by forcing a 3 and out. Horner is 1-7 for 24 yards.
We have another 3 and out. Our QBs are 3-8 for 18 yards.
The punt pins OSU at their 8.
QB Horner is injured on a running play and is doubtful to return. Even though he is having a bad game, this should be a big break for us.
OSU has to punt after the backup fails to complete his first attempt.
We counter by having QB Jack Burford hurt on a draw play. Return unlikely.
We have to punt from their 40 yard line as our drive stalled with the backup QBs.
Again the punter does his job - they start at the 5.
3 runs for OSU and a punt.
Brown picks up one first down, but we have to settle for a long field goal attempt for Wayne. He is money from 48 yards. 10-0, 9:25 left in half.
A holding penalty slows down OSU and they are forced to punt.
Brewer makes a great grab, but only for 7 when we need 10. Punt.
We get a piling on penalty on the punt, granting OSU great field position (48).
Another 3 and out for the Beavers. They only have 3 first downs with 4 minutes left in the half.
So of course we give them a break. Brown fumbles, OSU takes over at our 35.
The defense is not amused. FS Greg Moore picks off a pass on the very next play. We lost some yardage in the turnover exchange, but are elated to have the ball back.
Our clock management is horrible on the ensuing possession, but we manage to line up a 58 yard field goal at the end of the half and Wayne nails it! 13-0 at the break.
Neither team can pass the ball. They are 5-15 for 51 yards and 2 INTs. We are 10-22 for 78 yards. If we avoid turnovers, and let Brown eat up clock, we should win this game.
Brown has 15 carries for 157 yards so far.
I'm very pleased with Wayne as our kicker.
3 and out for OSU on opening drive of 2nd half.
We start at their 37 after 18 yard return + 5 more for a face mask.
So much for no turnovers. QB Greg Moorehead is intercepted after we were inside the 20.
Oregon State picks up a couple of first downs, but can't sustain the drive. Punt near midfield.
Same story for our offense. We try to open things up around midfield by taking some shots downfield, but no such luck. Punt away.
OSU keeps getting 3rd and short and converting them. Finally we force a 4th and 1 at our 45. They pick up 15 on a tricky screen pass.
QB Steve Daniels appears to be gaining confidence.
But the drive stalls - 4th and goal at the 3. They finish a 18 play, 83 yard drive with 3 points. 7:23 off the clock and they are still down 2 scores. 13-3, 13:01 left to play.
3 runs and a punt for the UCLA offense.
Another punt for OSU. Clock is there enemy now as we are under 10 minutes.
We pick up a couple of 3rd and longs to frustrate the Beavers.
Brown hits the 200 yard mark on this drive.
The drive ends at the 32, where Wayne comes out to see if he can add to the lead with a 50 yard field goal. Yes. 16-3, 4:28 left in game.
They punt on 4th and 2 from their 36 with 3 1/2 to go. Hmm, might have needed to go for it there.
RBs Brown and Isaac Davis both put together runs of 10+ yards and we are salting the game away.
We punt from our 39 with less than a minute left and pin them at the 3.
Nice to add a win here, particularly for the home fans. Defense was terrific, but helped a great deal by the QB injury.
Award finalists are out now - I've included everyone who is Pac 10 or on our schedule this year:
QB - Victor Glover (CAL), LaShaun Sharpe (USC)
HB - Derrick Brown (UCLA), Eddie Treu (STAN), Todd Vereb (USC)
WR - Derek Johnson (USC), Jerome Kulbacki (CAL), Joe Sherman (USC)
TE - Dexter Mann (PITT), John VanDyke (ORE), TE Jim Withrow (PITT)
OL - Sammy Linton (OSU), Tom Tolbert (ORE)
DL - Ben Hayes (ORE), Ben Logan (USC), Damien Tate (ARI)
LB - Shawn Michel (CAL), Glenn Murphy (WSU), Robert Nix (CSU)
DB - John Nottingham (ORE)
K - None
P - Gary Bell (PITT), Tremayne Frisch (OSU), Sonny Thomas (ASU)
Return - Derek Johnson (USC), Merlin Kunz (WAS)
POY - Victor Glover (CAL), LaShaun Sharpe (USC), Todd Vereb (USC)
DPOY - Shawn Michel (CAL), Damien Tate (ARI)
Coach - Steve Gilmore (WSU), Monte Simmons (USC)
Glad to see that Derrick made the final cut at his position, even if he won't win the award. Too many guys that I recruited at USC on that list. And their new coach - lets see if he is there in four years when my recruits are gone :mad:
Pitt, #17 in the nation, is 8-2. Their only losses were early to #3 LSU (37-30) and #14 Virginia (41-23). They have won seven in a row, including a pair against fringe Top 25 teams in Syracuse and West Virginia. Good team.
We are going to be missing a pair of WRs today - Bill Stablein and Cliff Byrum are both hurting. I'm tempted to push one of them because this game is probably more winnable than USC next week.
Outside of those guys, we are pretty healthy. SS King remains very hurt - only chance of playing again is a bowl game.
Here is a little info on our one award nominee:
We are listed as six point favorites at Pitt. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
RB Kimo King is a bad man in the backfield for Pitt. He is comparable to our Derrick Brown. They are deep at the RB position behind King. Additionally, Pitt has a pair of highly regarded tight ends. The defense is fairly non-descript. Nothing about their offensive or defensive rankings screams that this is a force to be reckoned with, but they have strung together wins. Hopefully the Pac 10 is tougher than the Big East ...
Have had RTE 91 errors in two of last three games, which is slowing down the dynasty. And is very frustrating ...
Haven't posted standings in awhile:
Still three undefeated teams - USC (back at #1), Texas (much tougher SOS - 11 - than USC), and Miami (OH). Miami has climbed all the way to 4th.
Washington State fell from the ranks of the undefeated with a 38-17 loss at Arizona. They are still #5 in the nation. And they will not face USC this season.
Uath is at #9 - might see if we can schedule a game against them in the coming years ...
Pitt comes out running on their first four plays, setting up a 4th and 1 at their 49. They elect to punt.
And pin us at our 1.
One play drive - safety for the Panthers. 2-0, 12:31 left in quarter.
RB Kimo King is giving us fits, getting into the secondary with ease. He has 5 carries for 56 yards already.
Add 23 on his next touch, down at our 13.
QB Buck Brown throws an 11 yard TD pass to up the lead. 9-0, 9:42 left in quarter.
Brown rumbles for 24 yards before being pushed out at the 25.
Burford completes his first four attempts to four different receivers.
But the drive dies inside the Pitt 20. Wayne kicks a 32 yard field goal. 9-3, 5:30 left in the quarter.
King runs for 13 on 3rd and 10, he is up to 93 yards on 8 carries.
The defense responds on the next set of downs. Punt.
Three and out for the offense, including a 3rd down sack.
We record an interception on 3rd down, but it is called back on a defensive holding penalty. This was one play after Pitt recovered a fumble - we can't catch a break right now. They have the ball at our 32.
King goes over 100 yards for the game on the first play of the 2nd quarter.
The refs try to even the score, taking away a 3rd down conversion with a holding penalty.
Pitt has to settle for a 45 yard field goal. 12-3, 12:14 left in the half.
We fumble the kickoff, giving Pitt the ball at our 26. This game has been a disaster so far.
Brown throws another 11 yard TD pass. 19-3, 11:12 left in the half.
We put together a few first downs before RB Isaac Davis is leveled after a 10 yard gain. The ball is on the turf, and we have another turnover.
3 and out for Pitt when they elect to punt on 4th and 2.
Brown is running hard on this drive, moving the chains a couple of times.
We get a break on a Pitt defensive penalty on 3rd down to keep the drive alive.
But a 3rd and 14 is too much to overcome. Wayne boots a 39 yard field goal at the end of a 12 play drive. 19-6, 1:16 left in the half.
We force a 3 and out, burn two timeouts, and get the ball back.
An 18 yard punt return puts us at the 50. If not for a tripping penalty, Detmer may have run it back all the way. But tack on 15 more yards and we have the ball at the 35 with 0:31 left.
6 yards on a screen pass to Brown, final timeout.
Burford drops back to pass, incomplete.
Wayne hits a 47 yard field goal, closing out the scoring for the half. 19-9.
We are lucky to be in the game after a couple of bad turnovers.
Statistically, the game is pretty close. We are moving the ball on offense pretty effectively.
We need to win this game or next week at USC to make a bowl game. We are back at a point where I wouldn't mind seeing one more game with this team, so I hope we have a great 2nd half in us today.
Burford hurts his knee escaping a tackler on our opening possession of the 2nd half and is out for the rest of the game. That is a big setback. Jack was 10-19 for 80 yards, but I don't like our other options at the position much. Particularly when we are playing from behind.
QB Gary Anderson hits his first attempt, 15 yards to Gary Brewer up to the 49.
2nd attempt - picked after leading Jackson into the safety for a colossal hit.
Brown converts a 3rd and 8 with a 10 yard completion to TE Mann. He is able to hold onto the ball after a big hit, unlike some wideouts ...
The defense doesn't break on this drive, forcing a 27 yard field goal attempt. It's good, 22-9 with 9:47 left in the quarter.
We come out throwing - 3 straight completions for Anderson.
The 4th play is also a complete pass, but Stablein fumbles and Pitt recovers at their 42. We are now down 4-0 on turnovers today. And surrendered a safety.
Defense forces a 3 and out - they have played a pretty solid game despite the score.
3 and out, Pitt will get good field position.
They take over at the 49.
Brown and Redwine get 15 on 3rd and 16, they punt.
We are pinned at our 6.
We'll need a big play, I don't trust this QB to lead a 94 yard drive without one.
Neither does our offensive coordinator. We hand off 4 straight plays and punt.
Pitt gets a 31 yard return, starts at our 35.
2 play drive, two completions for Brown. Two point conversion and the score is 30-9 with 0:51 left in the 3rd.
Forget what I said about wanting to play a bowl game. USC is going to destroy us next week.
3 incompletions - punt.
DT Chuck Rachal records a sack. Then forces a fumble two plays later, but we are allergic to live footballs. Pitt is 5-5 on recoveries today.
6-6 after another fumble on this drive.
Brown gets his 4th TD pass of the day, a 37 yarder to Fran Kitchings. It appears the defense has now lost its fight. 37-9, and I can't wait for the game to end.
We fumble another kickoff, Pitt recovers (7-7) on our 1.
They score - 5th TD pass for Brown. 44-9, another 8:50 to endure.
The second half of this game has been an abortion.
Brown goes over the 100 yard mark. Might as well get a garbage score or two ...
Pitt is not calling off the dogs. They drive 58 yards on 9 plays before settling for a field goal. 47-9, 1:58 left.
On the 8th try, we recover a fumble. There are no moral victories to be had here, though.
Anderson to Jackson for 2 yard TD, 47-16 with 0:37 left.
Nothing at all good to say about that last game. This is a bad defensive team that will lose games if they do not force turnovers. The offense doesn't have enough weapons right now, but our young players should mature. We need to find a stud at the QB position, though, as our current guys are neither good enough or durable enough to count on going forward.
We need to beat USC, the #1 team in the land, to qualify for a bowl.
Everyone who is able to get on the field will play. The guys who can't include MLB McCullough and SS King.
We may have to worry about a transfer from WR Cliff Byrum, who is complaining about playing time. Of course, he has been hurt the last couple of weeks ... still, we'll move him up the depth charts a bit to try and pacify him.
USC has the #1 offense in the land, rolling up 554.9 yards per game. They are the #13 defense. I never had them undefeated this late in the year in my five years at the helm, so I have to grudgingly give some credit to the new guy.
Sharpe is an animal at QB - they are lucky to have him getting snaps instead of the other JR that our old offensive coordinator kept trying to force feed. Sharpe has matured into a terrific player, with 28 TDs and almost 3000 yards on the year to go with a 174.6 rating.
The Trojans have a pair of monsters at both RB and WR. Todd Vereb, a senior standoug at RB, has gone for 1250 yards with 16 TDs. His numbers would be even more prodigious if he wasn't splitting carries.
Defensively, the stats don't jump off the page because everyone makes plays. But DE Ben Logan has 10 sacks. They are #4 against the run, which means that we won't just be able to load up with Derrick and stay in this game.
This is the first team that dwarves our talent level. We are listed as an eight point dog, but the line really should be about 25.
good read hoops, good luck with usc :) sure youll have fun with that one..........
It's a sell-out - Trojans fans smell blood in the water.
We get the ball first, starting at our 41 after a weak kickoff. That is perhaps the ugliest wart on the Trojans - only an average kicker.
Brown runs for 7 on his first carry.
We have a 30 yard pass called back on a holding call. Brutal, as Jackson made one heck of a play on that ball.
But our guys are not deterred. Burford again hits Jackson, this time for 29 yards!
Crap, Burford goes down on his next attempt. We are again stuck with scrubs at the QB position (remember, I banished our 2nd stringer) and in dire straights.
Anderson completes back-to-back screen passes, moving us to the 13.
And Brewer run it in after a short pass! 7-0, 11:42 left in quarter.
Unreal! Their #2 QB, Ken Gurode, throws into coverage on 3rd and 12. It is picked by SS Joe Lusk, who follows blockers all the way! 81 yards, 14-0 Bruins! 9:47 left in the quarter.
The Trojans now appear to be taking us seriously. First play, 32 yards from Gurode to John Hobbs. Hobbs is a stud receiver who has been stuck as the #3 guy for four years now.
Back to back carries for Vereb - 7 and 17 yards.
Then Gurode hits Sherman with a 32 yard TD strike. 14-7, 7:34 left in quarter.
3 and out, we can't get Brown going here.
It looks like Gurode is getting the snaps today. Good break for us, but we still have a very tall order.
Vereb picked up a pair of 1st downs on the ground.
Back to Sherman, 20 yards.
We can't stop them on 3rd and short, so they plod into the red zone.
Hobbs is down at the 1 on the final play of the first quarter.
The Trojans tie the game up with another 3rd down conversion. 14-14, 13:52 left in half.
3 and out. I think it is safe to say that momentum has swung.
Defense comes up with a quick stop. Punt.
Brown has been put in lockup so far - 7 carries for 18 yards.
But he finally gets some running room, rattling off two 10 yard gains.
We pick up 13 on 3rd and 1, down to the 4.
And Brown is in, we are back in front. 21-14, 5:51 left in the half.
Derek Stewart shows off his return skills on a 90 yard runback. 21-21, 5:34 left in the half.
Derrick runs the next kickoff back to the 45.
3 and out - USC is back to stuffing the run.
Gurode keeps picking up 3rd downs and USC moves into field goal range with a minute left in the half.
But they don't need to settle for a field goal, as Gurode throws his 3rd TD pass of the day, 31 yards to Hobbs. 28-21, 1:00 left in the half.
We can't move the ball in the last minute. 28-21 at half.
I guess we are happy to only be down 7 at this point. But we are not really slowing them down and without a quality QB I don't think we can win this game. We have to have multiple turnovers in the 2nd half to have any hope of stealing this one.
We've done a good job of keeping penalties (1/10) and turnovers (0) in check so far.
USC is cutting us up on the opening drive of 2nd half - 10+ almost every play.
Vereb plows past 100 yards - 17 carries for 115.
And he runs it in from one yard out. 35-21, 11:47 left in quarter.
3 and out, Brown only gets 7 on 3rd and 10.
Gurode and Hobbs are on the same page, and Hobbs is over 100 yards. We can't stop these guys and we need a turnover - STAT! - to stay in this game.
We don't get a turnover, but DE Ronald Smith sacks Gurode on 3rd down to force a 39 yard field goal attempt. It's good, 38-21, 6:57 left in 3rd quarter.
We are being outgained 399-164.
QB Anderson hurts his leg on a handoff and is out. It is up to Moorehead.
Moorehead gets the ball to Ben Jackson, who sheds a tackler and gets into the open field before he is run down and has the ball stripped. USC recovers, they have the ball at their 48.
A USC score here would pretty much end this one.
Vereb runs for 20 and picks up 25 more on a screen pass. But we stuff him inside the ten, forcing a 22 yard field goal attempt. Money, 41-21 with 3:25 left.
We only have six completions with 18 minutes left in the game. That is a problem.
We get one more before an interception after Byrum runs a crappy route.
The defense holds, forcing a 3 and out.
Is this how comebacks begin? On 3rd and 3, Moorehead spots Brewer behind the secondary and lofts it up to him. 85 yards later, we have cut the margin to 41-27. 41-28 after the extra point, 13:31 left in the game.
Well, comebacks end on 86 yard returns. Derek Johnson is brought down at our 3 yard line. One play drive - Sherman catches a 3 yard screen. 47-28 after we stuff a 2 point conversion. 12:32 left to play.
USC has 30 first down to our 11, and a pair of long returns.
3 and out, we punt.
Three and out for USC, as Travis Wilcox rings up a sack on 3rd and 3.
Byrum fights for a ball and hauls it in for a 30 yard gain.
But we can't pick up another first down. Wayne takes the 33 yard field goal, 47-31 with 7:24 left. I think we probably needed to go for it on 4th and 7 there.
USC takes the kick back to the 44.
Vereb passes the 150 yard mark on a 17 yard run.
Gurode passes 300 yards in the air on a 15 yard completion to Sherman.
USC takes a 35 yard field goal, pushing the margin back to 19. 50-31, 4:48 left.
We are stopped near the 50. 4th and 9, Moorehead finds Stablein for 13 to keep the drive alive.
Next pass is picked.
Vereb punishes our defenders while running out the clock. He finishes with 31 carries for 187 yards. I won't miss him next year. USC is losing a lot of horses, but this might be the best of them if Sharpe doesn't go pro a year early.
So our season is over, 5-7 with a 2-6 conference record. We will be skewered for falling short of expectations, I'm sure.
Derrick finished 11th in the nation in rushing yards with 1,433. He was four yards behind Vereb from USC and 12 behind King from Pitt. I bet he would have passed those guys if he had gotten one game against our defense ...
Washinton St 7-1
Oregon St 2-6
Arizona St 2-6
Final polls, prior to conference championships:
1. Southern Cal 11-0 SOS 61
2. Texas 11-0 SOS 15
3. Miami (OH) 11-0 SOS 86
4. LSU 10-1
5. Washington St 10-1
6. Texas Tech 9-2
7. Clemson 8-2
8. Michigan 8-3
9. Minnesota 8-3
10. Penn St 9-2
Am i the only one who finds it hilarious when your dynasty is next to ours in the listings like it is right now? Ours is "BBCF- Troy Trojans", and yours is "Down with the Trojans!"
Caught that too Blade. :)
Miami (OH) falls to a sub-.500 Cincinnati team. So we are down to 2 undefeated teams, but they will have to wade through the playoffs to get the dream championship game.
Miami only falls to #4 - interesting that 3 of the top 5 teams (USC, Miami, and Washington St) did not have games against teams in the Top 25.
Texas Christian broke into the Top 10 (#8) after finishing the year 10-1.
Yep, I've nearly posted in yours a couple of times :) Bad habit this weekend ...
Hope that we both have a little more success in Season 2.
Once again, listing people we played this year on the national teams and our qualifiers on the Conference Teams.
1st Team All-Americans:
FB Joey Stackhouse (PITT) 130 yards, 3.71 ypc, 4 TDs
WR Joey Sherman (USC) 77 rec, 1261 yards, 13 TDs
WR Jerome Kulbacki (CAL) 79 rec, 1323 yards, 11 TDs
OT Sammy Linton (OSU) 22 rblk, 26 pan, 0 sa
OG Tom Tolbert (ORE) 23 rblk, 35 pan, 0 sa
OG Bill Westbrook (UCLA) 26 rblk, 21 pan, 0 sa
DT Damien Tate (ARI) 30 tackles, 9 sacks, 3 stf, 0 int
LB Glenn Murphy (WSU) 93 tackles, 9 sacks, 14 stf, 4 int
Offensive POY: Bobby Bryant, Clemson (RB) 2,092 yards, 5.99 ypc, 24 TDs
Defensive POY: Paul Boone, Michigan (DE) 27 tackles, 13 sacks, 7 stf, 1 INT
Coach of Year: Louie Sewell, Miami (OH): 11-1
2nd Team All-Americans:
3rd Team All-Americans:
QB Victor Glover (CAL) 3479 yards, 28 TDs, 10 INT, 140.3 rating
WR Derek Johnson (USC) 71 rec, 937 yards, 11 TDs
OG J.P. Gipson (USC) 19 rblk, 26 pan, 0 sa
DE Ben Logan (USC) 29 tackles, 10 sacks, 5 stf, 0 int
FS John Nottingham (ORE) 77 tackles, 2 sacks, 12 pd, 4 int
P Gary Bell (PITT) 43.6, 38.8 net, 57 lg, 28 in20
I'm shocked by Westbrook, who kept getting hurt in games this year. He was by far our best lineman, but I had no idea he was putting up All-American caliber numbers. I'm not shocked at 5 Trojans picking up honors.
OG Bill Westrbrook
Conf POY: Victor Glover
Conf FOY: Eric Williams (WSU) 3246 yards, 24 TDs, 18 INTs, 132.1 rating
ConfCOY: Steve Gilmour (WSU): 10-1
RB Derrick Brown: 1433 yards, 5.25 ypc, 14 TDs
DE Ronald Smith: 32 tackles, 3 sacks, 9 stf, 0 int
TE Pettis Larscheid: 20 receptions, 347 yards, 2 TDs
DE Joe Banducci: 20 tackles, 7 sacks, 4 stf, 0 int
DT Marcus Singletary: 5 tackles, 4 sacks, 0 stf, 0 int
Worst numbers ever for an all-conference selection for Singletary?
Westbrook is a senior, as is Larscheid. So is Singletary, but who cares?
Smith (FR) and Banducci (SO) will be back next year to bookend our D-Line. Derrick will be carrying the rock for another season. So we have some building blocks.
Also, if there is information that people reading along would like to see posted please ask and I'll by happy to oblige.
Final Top 10 heading into postseason:
3. Miami (OH)
4. LSU - lost in SEC championship game to Georgia
5. Washington St
7. Texas Tech
8. Texas Christian
#1 Texas vs #16 North Texas
#2 USC vs #15 Memphis
#3 Miami (OH) vs #14 Fresno St
#4 LSU vs #13 Pittsburgh
#5 Clemson vs #12 Georgia
#6 Washington St vs #11 Michigan
#7 Texas Tech vs #10 Virginia
#8 Texas Christian vs #9 Penn St
So we went 0-3 this year against playoff teams. I think WSU is headed for a fall against the Wolverines.
Interesting end of year stats for us:
Computer Ranking: 61st
We were -5 in turnover ratio, a stat that I felt haunted us. Definitely needs improvement, but perhaps not as bad as I thought it was.
Not to nitpick(i love that you included people you played in the award section), but you have westbrook listed as USC on awards list.
#1 Texas 63-10 over North Texas
#2 USC 44-19 over #22 Memphis
#3 Miami (OH) is hosed 40-18 by #18 Fresno St
#4 LSU 24-21 over #11 Pittsburgh
#5 Washington St goes down hard 50-20 to #10 Michigan
#6 Clemson falls 38-45 to #9 Georgia
#7 Texas Tech is punked 43-9 to #13 Virginia
#8 TCU loses big to #12 Penn State, 14-33.
No minor bowls for Pac 10 teams this week.
Blade, edited now. Thanks for the catch.
Also, I'll post his card since he is our first All-American.
Cal (7-4) is an 8 point dog against Kansas State (7-5).
Oregon (7-5) is a 2 point favorite against Wisconsin (7-4).
Washington (6-5) is a 8 point favorite against Utah (9-2).
Arizona (6-5) is an 11 point dog against Syracuse (8-3).
#1 Texas is a 6 point favorite against #12 Penn State.
#2 USC is a 16 point favorite against #13 Virginia.
#10 Michigan is a 12 point favorite against #18 Fresno St.
#4 LSU is a 2 point favorite against #9 Georgia.
Syracuse 48, Arizona 26
Washington 29, Utah 23
Oregon 36, Wisconsin 34 (nice job by Vegas)
Kansas State 48, Cal 27
Texas 25-17 over Penn State
USC 39-27 over Virginia
Fresno St 40-17 over Michigan (wow, surprised by this one)
LSU 41-13 over Georgia
#1 Texas is a five point dog to 12-2 LSU.
USC is a 17 point favorite against Fresno St.
We get the undefeated matchup in the championship:
Texas wins 30-25 against LSU
USC opens up a can, winning 64-24 against Fresno State.
#2 USC is a 10 point favorite against #1 Texas.
USC is the #1 offense and the #14 defense. Texas has the #3 offense and #21 defense. Funny how this is mirroring reality ... but our game takes place on Jan 1, not Jan 4.
USC covers the number, winning 42-28 to win their first title.
QB Sharpe goes 23-30 for 305 yards and 5 TD passes.
RB Cliff Neil (JR, splits carries with Vereb) missed a lot of the year with injuries, but was back with a vengeance in this game. 25 carries for 206 yards. I hope he goes pro as well ...
It appears the best thing to ever happen to USC was having me head across town.
Not exactly the start I was looking for in my "Down with the Trojans!" dynasty ...
Grades are hash, as they should be:
Team Performance: D
Board Expectations: F
Prestige is at 64, down one point after a subpar season.
Budget is at 2,040,000, down 20K from last year.
77K per week to spend on recruiting, with 14 scholarships to fill.
Rutgers and SMU are interested in taking us away from UCLA. Nope, we have a job to finish here.
No firings in conference - of course not, we helped everyone earn a little job security.
Here are the players considering early entry - all Pac 10 players listed.
OG James Bernard (SR) Oregon
ILB Dewey Carolan (SR) Arizona St
QB Lance Detmer (JR) Washington
CB Pat Ferguson (SR) Southern Cal
QB Victor Glover (SR) Cal
QB Lamar Horner (JR) Oregon St
DE Ryan Humphrey (JR) Stanford
WR Derek Johnson (JR) Southern Cal
WR Jerome Kulbacki (SR) Cal
ILB Glenn Murphy (JR) Washington St
QB LaShaun Sharpe (SR) Southern Cal
WR Joe Sherman (SR) Southern Cal
OG Tom Tolbert (SR) Oregon
FS Brooks Tucker (SR) Cal
RB Todd Vereb (SR) Souther Cal
None of our guys - sweet. 5 USC guys, even better.
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