Heading into our final game Rattay leads all passers in yards, with 299 more than the next closest competitor. He has fallen to 2nd in TDs to Quincy Greisen of Fresno State (37 to 35). Greisen's numbers are just sick - 78.3% completions, 37-7 TD/INT ratio, and a rating of 199.4. His stats are clearly better than Rattay's. I think Quincy will get the Heisman.
Time to take a look at USC:
QB - SO Heath Phillips is one of the best in the nation. In addition to being a prolific passer he is very dangerous running the ball. Questions about his intelligence have been answered, as he has played every game this year.
HB - SR Jerry King is finally the starter and has responded with a Heisman-caliber season. 18 TDs, 165 yards per game. Looking at his career stats, it is amazing that he only started one season.
WR - SR Jay Lucas has put up big numbers in his four seasons. He has been a big-play threat this year after being more of a possession guy early in his career. 1,001 yards and 10 TDs so far this year. And he is a Bruin-killer.
OLINE - not quite as good as some previous units, but no weak links.
DLINE - Talent is three-deep at both end and DT.
LB - talent dwarves ours at the moment. JR Jesse Watts is a 3rd year starter.
DB - FS Jerry Jansen is among best in the business, has 7 interceptions and 92 tackles this year. Solid group.
We are listed as 11 point dogs heading to the Coliseum. I love us to cover that number. The key matchup is WR Jay Lucas against our #11 secondary. Yep, he has destroyed us in the past.
We come out passing, but Rattay is 0-3. Punt.
27 yards Phillips to Lucas. Not a good start.
7 yard run for Phillips, into field goal range.
King with a studly 12 yard run.
16 more for King, down to the 4.
King punches it in from 4 yards out. 7-0, 11:42 left in the quarter.
9 yard run for Morris - better start on this drive.
A Rattay interception comes off the board due to a roughing the passer call.
14 yards to Fortunato on a screen pass.
Rattay is picked, no penalty this time, and USC runs it back to their 42.
Rattay is now 2-7 for 14 yards, one pick and another that came back. U-G-L-Y.
21 more yards for King. Anyone want to tackle him?
3rd and 5 at the 13 - pass to King in the flat, who makes a nice grab and runs it in. 14-0, 5:15 left in the quarter.
So far we look like Navy ...
A holding call wipes out a 26 yard gain.
32 yard pass play to WR Martin, who was covered by a linebacker.
3rd and 3 at the 49 - Morris gets stuck by FS Jansen. Punt.
80 yard TD pass to TE Campbell. 21-0 Trojans. Wow, this is unreal. 1:58 left in the quarter. The crowd is going bananas.
Morris is again stuffed on 3rd and 3. We again punt.
20 more yards to TE Shane Campbell. A quick 100 yard day for him.
17 yard run for King - I would appreciate it if someone not in the secondary could at least touch him.
Phillips goes for 7 on a busted play, picking up the 5 needed for a first down. Tackled at the 2.
King runs it in from one yard out. 28-0, 11:55 to play in the half.
I'm calling game at this point.
Morris runs for 7 on 3rd and 7. Another solid playcall (not).
A defensive holding call moves the ball up to the UCLA 40. So far that has been our best offensive weapon.
Martin wins a jump ball on a deep pass. 34 yard gain.
3rd and 10 at the USC 26 - Rattay runs a keeper? Worst .... call .... ever.
Ellis kicks a 44 yard field goal to get us on the board. 28-3, 7:34 left in the half.
USC is a little more merciful this drive, getting yards in smaller chunks.
37 yard strike to TE Alyn Johnson. Down at the 11.
King is tackled at the 1. First and goal.
Phillips runs it in. 35-3, 4:12 left in the half. I think this is the biggest ass-kicking we have sustained at UCLA.
Phillips is 11-12 for 230 yards. 2 passing TDs and one rushing.
We can't pick up a 2nd and 1 and have to punt.
Rattay is now 6-18 for 87 yards and a pick. This is like a bad game from his freshman year.
26 yard gain to Lucas, who has been the least of our worries today.
USC is calling timeouts now, they are in field goal range.
We force a 4th and 2 from the 26. Must feel weird for them.
Their kicker is good from 44 yards out. 38-3, 0:29 left in the half.
- we suck.
One play drive for USC - 75 yards from Phillips to Lucas. 45-3, 29:34 left before we can slink out of the Coliseum.
Morris fumbles on a pass play, USC recovers at our 19.
14 yard pass to King.
Screen pass to the fullback for one yard - TD. 51-3, 12:32 left in the 3rd. USC missed the extra point and their coach is not happy. The USC coach isn't happy? Are you kidding me???
37 yard run for Morris. He has 81 yards on 12 carries.
10 yard run for Toomer - crappy way for him to go out.
Rattay throws two incompletions from 2nd and 2 and we call in the field goal unit.
Ellis misses it.
King has 19 carries for 104 yards. The way we are playing, he should get 200 by the end of the day. He may win the Heisman today.
50 yard pass, down to the 5.
Phillips is 19-21 for 406 yards and 4 TDs.
King runs it in from short yardage. 57-3, 7:32 left in the 3rd.
Morris hits 100 yards on his 15th carry.
Rattay is again picked off. I wish we would pull him. Maybe this abortion of a game will nudge him into returning for his senior year.
The defense does not surrender a first down (amazing). But the 42 yard field goal ensures that USC still gets points. 60-3, 4:23 left in the 3rd.
J.R. Jackson has a monster return, to the USC 14.
But the offense does squat. Ellis kicks a field goal. 60-6, 2:49 left in the 3rd.
Phillips continues to hit Trojans. 11 to the fullback, 13 to King.
USC is called for unnecessary roughness. Insert punchline here ...
Phillips can't pick up 3rd and 15. Punt.
25 yard pass play to Martin. Somehow he and Morris are still getting their numbers despite the QB.
Another interception, returned 36 yards to the UCLA 26. Is Rattay playing while high?
18 yards on a screen pass. Phillips is over 450 yards on the day.
King runs for 11 on 3rd and 2.
USC is called for tripping while running the option.
Another Jack Farmer spotting - he stuffed King for no gain.
USC is stopped at the 5 and calls on their kicker again. 63-6, 10:48 to play.
37 yard pass to Martin - almost our signature one play drive. Martin now has 6 catches for 128 yards. Everyone else has 34 yards combined.
23 yards to Thelwell - his first catch of the day.
Roughing the passer - another first down.
10 yard TD pass to Thelwell. 63-13, as we aren't dumb enough to go for 2. 8:26 left to play.
I don't think we have enough time left to cover the 11.
30 yard pass to Lucas.
We pick off Phillips, momentarily preventing him from passing 500 yards on the day.
44 yard pass play to Voight. Tackled at the 24.
8 yard pass play on 3rd and 7 from Fazande to Olsen.
Fazande throws a ball that literally quacks as it hovers in the air. And we hold on the play as well. Interception, Trojans.
We commit our signature penalty - 15 yard facemask.
16 yard run for King, who is over 160 now.
51 yard TD run for backup HB Murrell. 70-13, 4:22 left in the massacre.
Their kicker is a touchback machine.
4th and 1 at our 44. Rattay throws his 20th incompletion. To go with 14 completions to our team and 3 to the other guys.
USC goes three and out. Why am I still watching this?
QB Derrick Fazande is killed on a blitz. I'm actually rooting for him to stay down.
USC gets a safety. 72-13.
I'm really proud of the heart our seniors showed out there today.
I have no desire to dwell on the stats from this one, but ...
72 points allowed
750 yards allowed
It was a bitch deciding which USC player deserved star of the game. They eventually gave it to King for 30-161 and 4 TDs.
QB Quincy Greisen won the Heisman. And another Fresno State guy won the Defensive Player of the Year. Hmm, does strength of schedule or school prestige factor into these awards at all?
Here are the national and conference awards.
1st Team All-Americans:
RB: Jerry King (USC) - 1,815 yards, 5.57 ypc, 25 TDs
WR: Jay Lucas (USC) - 59 receptions, 1,168 yards, 11 TDs
OG: Norm Hester (ORE) - 19 rblk, 31 pancakes, 0 sacks allowed
K: Eric Ellis (UCLA) - 31-36 FG, 45-45 XP, 51 long
DT: Jake Johnson (ORE) - 54 tackles, 10 sacks, 6 stuffs, 0 INT
CB: Howard Steussie (CAL) - 74 tackles, 0 sacks, 14 passes defended, 6 INT
2nd Team All-Americans:
WR: Woodley Martin (UCLA) - 62 receptions, 1,060 yards, 12 TDs
K: Michael Anderson (USC) - 26-36 FG, 55-58 XP, 53 long
3rd Team All-Americans:
QB: John Rattay (UCLA) - 4,096 yards, 36-11 TD/INT, 169.6 rating
FB: Willie Angsman (USC) - 87 yards, 4.83 ypc, 4 TDs
TE: Gene Fortunato (UCLA) - 14 receptions, 294 yards, 5 TDs
DE: Mark Dickerson (UCLA) - 29 tackles, 11 sacks, 3 stuffs, 0 INT
CB: Joe Wade (ARI) - 46 tackles, 0 sacks, 14 passes defended, 5 INT
All Pac-10 1st Team:
DT: Roger Parsons: 25 tackles, 10 sacks, 2 stuffs, 1 INT
All Pac-10 2nd Team:
OG: James McAddley: 12 rblk, 33 pancakes, 1 sack allowed
CB: J.R. Jackson: 30 tackles, 0 sacks, 8 passes defended, 5 INT
All Pac-10 3rd Team:
HB: Nicolas Morris: 1,489 yards, 4.57 ypc, 12 TDs
OG: John Perryman: 14 rblk, 7 pancakes, 2 sacks allowed
DE: Doug Grant: 22 tackles, 8 sacks, 3 stuffs, 0 INT
CB: Elijah McCallister: 35 tackles, 0 sacks, 13 passes defended, 3 INT
All in all, I feel that Martin got jobbed by Lucas for 1st Team All-American honors. If he plays even one of the games where he was hurt it is a no-brainer.
Final Top 10 heading into the playoffs:
1. Texas Tech (11-1)
2. Minnesota (10-1)
3. Georgia (9-2)
4. Mississippi (9-2)
5. Tennessee (10-2)
6. Oklahoma (9-2)
7. Michigan State (10-1)
8. USC (10-2)
9. Michigan (8-3)
10. Virginia Tech (10-1)
Others of Note:
12. Syracuse (10-1) - probably would like to be ahead of 3 loss teams. But SOS of 117 is pitiful.
18. UCLA (9-3) - not sure how we are ranked after the last debacle.
And we will be playing #12 Syracuse in the Phoenix Bowl.
1 v 16 Texas Tech (-21)/Louisiana-Monroe
2 v 15 Mississippi (-15)/Northern Illinois
3 v 14 Minnesota (-12)/Marshall
4 v 13 USC (-15)/TCU
5 v 12 MSU (+12)/Pittsburgh (won head-to-head against higher ranked Syracuse)
6 v 11 VT (-3)/Boston
7 v 10 Georgia (-2)/Fresno St
8 v 9 Tennesse (-3)/Oklahoma
Interesting spread for MSU and Georgia. I'll take the higher seeds to cover in each of those games.
Texas Tech 45-10 (cover)
Mississippi 23-13 (no cover)
Minnesota 51-19 (cover)
USC 31-10 (cover)
Pittsburgh 26-22 (no cover)
Virginia Tech 52-30 (cover)
Georgia 44-6 (cover)
Oklahoma 30-7 (cover)
We are 8 point favorites against Syracuse. The key matchup is their front seven (#2 against the run) against Morris.
Syracuse also has an offense that has put up big numbers all year. QB Studstill (26-5 TD/INT ratio, 168.3 rating) and WR WR Wright (71 catches, 1,213 yards) have stats that jump off the page.
1 v 9 Texas Tech (-6)/Oklahoma
2 v 7 Mississippi (+10)/Georgia
3 v 6 Minnesota (-4)/Virginia Tech
4 v 12 USC (-6)/Pittsburgh
15 yard run for HB Ron Neal.
Studstill to Wright connect for 8 yards on their first attempt of the day.
Neal gets 5 on a draw on 3rd and 3. But Wright leaves the game with an undisclosed injury.
18 yards on a screen to Neal on 3rd and 14. Shoddy tackling by the Bruins.
13 yards on 3rd and 12 for Neal, after he was nearly brought down at the line.
15 yards for RB Aaron Heckard, down at the 4. They are running all over us.
Defensive holding is called, first and goal at the 2.
RB Gus Hodel (3rd RB so far today) takes it in from the 1. 7-0, 8:33 left in the quarter.
16 play drive for the Orangemen.
An ineligible receiver (Perryman) takes away a 17 yard pass play.
Rattay finds Martin for 15.
Then delivers a strike to Thelwell for 25 yards.
Next is a 42 yard pass to Palmer, with a ton of yards after the catch.
Morris takes it in from the 2. 7-7, 6:21 left in the quarter.
This looks like the offense that was MIA against USC.
Sack for Dickerson, and he forces a fumble. But Syracuse dives on it.
They get 19 on 3rd and 18. This is getting ridiculous. WR McGee made the reception against our zone defense.
We got a stop on 3rd and 10 when Dickerson forced a fumble after a completion and recovered it at the Syracuse 46.
4th and 1 at the 37 - pass to Palmer for 7.
10 more to Palmer, down to the 13.
Morris runs for 10 on a draw, down to the 3.
Martin catches a screen pass and runs it in for a 5 yard TD pass. 14-7, 0:24 left in the quarter.
Syracuse runs the kick back to the 49.
We force a 3 and out. The defense seems to be picking it up after a bad first drive. Punt. And a good one, as it is downed on the 3.
Rattay is sacked for a loss of 1.
23 yard pass to Fortunato, who has really come on in the 2nd half of this year.
75 yard strike to Palmer, who just runs away from the coverage. 21-7, 13:02 left in the half.
Another 3 and out for the Syracuse offense. Punt.
Morris is drilled and fumbles, but OT English dives on it.
Rattay is sacked, but Syracuse is called for defensive holding.
10 yard screen to Morris, into field goal range.
9 yards to Thelwell, who gets one foot in bounds, on 3rd and 5.
Morris runs for daylight on a draw, but gets popped and fumbles. Syracuse recovers on the 7.
Neal runs for 9 yards, then 11, to get out of the shadow of the goal line.
3rd and 1 at the 47 - Syracuse has been running down our throats again. But they pass here and gain 6 despite terrific coverage.
The defense gets tough once Syracuse is in our territory and forces a punt from the 45. Again, a great punt. Down at the 3.
Morris fumbles again, this time inside our 10. Syracuse ball at our 5 yard line.
The defense is very clutch. Patten forces a fumble on 3rd down and we get the ball back without surrendering points. On the 2, but we have the ball.
9 yards to Olsen on 3rd and 8. Good play, guys.
Rattay gets hit hard on a sack, but holds onto the ball.
Morris runs for 12, but we are out of time in the half.
- The defense was very good after that opening drive.
- Morris is just killing us with the fumbles. We should be up 3 scores right now.
- Syracuse is 6-9 on 3rd down conversions. We need to tighten up in that area.
- Their QB is only 9-16 for 68 yards. I expect him to get his in the 2nd half.
Morris runs for 12 to start the 2nd half.
Thelwell gets 8 on a reverse and we are in the red zone.
11 yard TD pass to Martin. 28-7, 12:40 left in the 3rd.
Sack by DE Phil Patten.
Gain of 29 to McGee on 3rd and 11. Um, lets try to stop them on 3rd every other time, perhaps?
And we do, forcing an incompletion on 3rd and 12. Punt.
Rattay is sacked while setting up a screen - their DE was really fast.
Morris gains 7 on 3rd and 4, moving into field goal range.
11 to Thelwell on 3rd and 6.
Dawson runs for 11, down to the 1.
Morris takes it in for another 6. 35-7, 5:24 left in the 3rd.
We aren't quite mauling them in the way USC did us, but this still feels pretty good.
A defensive holding call gives Syracuse the ball near midfield.
DT Parsons forced a fumble, but the Orange recover.
16 to the tight end on 3rd and 7, first down at our 14.
13 more yards on 3rd and 12. They are converting some very long 3rd downs.
A holding call brings back a touchdown.
4th and goal at the 5 - in comes the kicker. Good from 23 yards out. 35-10, end of 3 quarters.
Jackson takes the kick back to the 49 and tack on 15 more yards for tripping.
5 yards to Palmer on 3rd and 4.
19 yards to Thelwell, who taps one foot in at the 6.
Morris is in for the 3rd time, from 2 yards out. 42-10, 12:50 left to play.
Another defensive holding penalty against us. At least it isn't a 15 yard facemask ...
J.R. Jackson gets an interception and runs it back 36 yards for the score. 49-10, 11:59 left to play.
A roughing the passer call on Patten moves Syracuse inside our 40.
DE Dickerson gets credit for a sack after stopping a QB keeper.
21 yard completion on 3rd and 12. This is pretty insane; glad we are up a bunch.
An offensive pass interference call wipes out a TD.
But they get 23 yards on 3rd and 21. We just have to get better at this next year.
Syracuse is now 12-17 on 3rd down conversions.
A handoff to a WR goes for 5 yards and a TD. 49-17, 7:18 left to play.
Dawson runs for 15.
Dawson for another 8, as he is getting the bulk of the carries to finish off his career.
We are stopped at the 42 and punt.
Nice final game for the seniors, much better than their last SC game.
Oklahoma 34, Texas Tech 16
Mississippi 33, Georgia 10
Virginia Tech 37, Minnesota 30
USC 34, Pittsburgh 20
Rattay was 20-29 for 332 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs.
Palmer was the receiving star with 6 catches for 142 yards and a TD.
Morris had 23 carries for 85 yards, but punched it in 3 times.
Patten had 7 tackles (6 solo), 2 sacks, and a stuff in his final game.
Dickerson had 6 tackles, a pair of sacks, and forced 3 fumbles.
USC (-16) vs Oklahoma - I'll be the Sooners here.
Mississippi (+1) vs Virginia Tech - not touching this one.
USC 69-17 - wow, how did these guys lose two games?
Va Tech 46-38 (OT)
USC (-7) vs Virginia Tech - bet USC, I've been wrong on them every time.
Virginia Tech 21, USC 18 - sweet, glad to be wrong on them one last time.
That is the 2nd national championship for Virginia Tech, tying them with Oklahoma.
OT Roell English - three year starter. 7 krbs, 8 pancakes, 20 sacks allowed, 32 missed blocks. We won't miss him taking up space on our depth chart. Beat it, Roell.
OLB Fred Mitchell - started as a senior after getting almost zero PT his first three years. Played up to his abilities, happy to have guys like this on the roster but would prefer not to start them.
QB Derrick Fazande - it pains me that he got as much time as an underclassman as he did. Once Rattay came along this guy got pushed to the bench.
WR Mike Voight - one of the best I've coached in terms of production relative to talent. Finished with 3,736 yards and 30 TDs despite not starting at all as a senior.
OG Phil Dach - got some action as a freshman, never after that. His teammates enjoyed making fun of his heavy girlfriend.
CB Jon Steed - smartest guy on the team, actually appeared in a couple of games as an upperclassman. Wish he had done a better job tutoring McCallister ...
FB LeShon Toomer - 3 year starter, wish we did a better job of giving carries to the FB.
TE Gene Fortunato - 4 year starter, was a 3rd team AA as a senior. A rock in the clubhouse. We'll miss this guy.
OG James McAddley - 3 year starter, was a stud as a senior. We think he will have a future at the next level.
C Greg Knight - always thought he was a decent backup until he had to start this year. Then went back to being a backup. 9 sacks allowed in 4 games during his senior year. Yikes.
DE Phil Patten - injuries and grades kept him from ever playing a full season. Light switch seemed to go on in 2nd half of senior year. Liked him a great deal in 3rd DE role.
DT Jack Farmer - just a stud his first three seasons, he went AWOL as a senior. 7 tackles in 13 starts? What happened? Thought he was pro material until this year. Hope he can show something at the Senior Bowl ...
CB Elijah McCallister - it was because of dumbasses like him that I shied away from QB Phillips (the USC guy who destroyed us). Led our team in academic suspensions and defensive holding penalties. But when he wasn't being a bonehead he was a damn good CB. When he was available he started for four straight years. #9 ranked guy coming out of high school.
CB Rulon Bowens - part of a deep CB class, continued to get better and started a number of games over his last 3 seasons. Decent special teams player, would love to have a roster full of guys like Rulon Bowens.
FS Keith Thomas - two year starter, had some injury issues. Looks like an Arena player to us.
HB Gannon Dawson - main man at HB his sophomore year and blew the opportunity by nursing minor injuries. Was a solid backup his other 3 years. We would like him better if he wasn't always whining about his playing time.
CB J.R. Jackson - special teams monster and decent CB to boot. Started his first three seasons before falling victim to a numbers game as a senior. Came in as #11 in the nation, so we hoped for a little more in coverage. But 16 interceptions and 9 TDs (between defensive and special teams) is nothing to scoff at.
FS Jerry Brock - backup who played all four seasons. Another great role player.
And guys who might leave early:
QB John Rattay - posted big numbers before laying a monster egg at USC. We desperately want him back because we will probably have the best offense in the country if he calling the plays.
DE Mark Dickerson - 21 sacks and 24 hurries over last two seasons. Forced 9 fumbles last year. Just a playmaking fool.
K Eric Ellis - if you are a first team All-American, what do you have to prove as a senior?
The grades come back from the UCLA administration and they are all good:
Team Performance: A
Board Expectations: A
SCHOOL FUNDRAISING: GOOD
SCHOOL ACADEMICS: BELOW AVERAGE
ALUMNI FUNDRAISING: AVERAGE (get in gear, guys!)
Expectations continue to nudge upwards - top 12 finish.
Our prestige is at 74. Haven't done this in a couple of seasons, so here are the updated prestige values for the Pac 10 teams:
USC - 89 (+3 since start of dynasty - not exactly crushing them, am I?)
UCLA - 74 (+9 since start of dynasty)
Washington State - 66 (+9)
Oregon - 65 (+3)
Cal - 59 (+1)
Oregon State - 58 (-3)
Washington - 55 (0)
Stanford - 54 (0)
Arizona State - 54 (-3)
Arizona - 51 (0)
Other Top Teams:
Virginia Tech - 75
Oklahoma - 86
Minnesota - 74
Michigan - 81
Miami (FL) - 87
LSU - 85
Georgia - 83
Florida - 76
Auburn - 77
Mississippi - 71
Pittsburgh - 77
Notre Dame - 76
Texas - 85
Syracuse - 73
The budget numbers come in at 2,245,000, down 40k from last year. Is this because we were in a bowl game instead of having 3 playoff games?
Washington has hired an Oregon assistant to run their program. Hmm, interesting.
Florida brought in a USC assistant to run their team.
And Fresno State also brought in an Oregon assistant. Glad that our guys were not hired away.
There isn't a single job offer that is remotely interesting compared to the current gig. Nothing in the conference, nothing with a good program.
So, time to see who is looking to go pro early:
FB Willie Angsman (USC)
FS Doug Bradshaw (OrSt)
QB Quincy Greisen (FrSt)
FS Jerry Jensen (USC) - I'll help you pack, dude.
QB John Rattay (UCLA) - bummer, but expected
ILB Jesse Watts (USC)
FB Mike Wiley (USC)
So we are getting Dickerson back for sure, which is great news. And I'm happy Ellis will be around. I would love to keep Rattay for his senior year - but we haven't talked a guy into coming back yet ...
I'm happy with my coaches and none of them are looking to walk. So this stage is easy.
By the way, former defensive coordinator Ben Liddiard went 8-4 and won the San Francisco Bowl in his 2nd year with Utah. And he is drawing a bigger salary than I am - what is wrong with this picture? Of course, the USC coach is getting peanuts (1,175,000) so that makes me feel good.
Transfers - we are going to lose WR Lonzell Peters. No great loss. He heads off to Colorado State. And we lose another WR, Virgil Stonesifer. Must have missed him on the report. But he will be at San Diego State.
We have no one remotely interested in playing for a winning team in Los Angeles. Sure, makes sense ...
But we will have 24 scholarships - hope we can do some damage with them.
QB - 6 guys listed, none has any business starting if/when Rattay leaves. Need: 7
HB - 3 on the roster, no good backups behind Morris. Need: 6
FB - 3 on the roster, 2 decent ones are upperclassmen. Need: 4
WR - 5 on roster, 4 starters are locked in and none are seniors. Need: 2
TE - 2 on roster, neither is any good. Need: 8
OT - 5 on roster, but we can't depend on Glover to stay healthy. Need one more good one. Need: 7
OG - 4 on roster, decent 3 man rotation. 2 seniors, so we need depth. Need: 7
C - 2 on roster, backup stinks. Need: 7
DE - 4 on the roster, including a pair of decent sophs. Need: 5
DT - 5 on the roster, but the guys behind the two decent SOs are junk. Need: 8
ILB - 4 on roster, 3 are pretty good. No seniors. Need: 2
OLB - 4 on roster, 2 adequate sophs. Need: 6
CB - 1 on roster. Need: 10
FS - 2 on roster, both JRs. Need: 7
SS - 2 on roster, one is decent. Need: 7
K - 2 on roster, both seniors. Need: 5
P - 2 on roster, one a senior and the other is complete trash. Need: 5
So, we are hunting for CBs (2-3), a TE, a DT, QB, OG, C, FS, and SS. Everything else is just best available athlete.
You playing the games yourself hoops or are you simming them?
Also have u got a transfer yet? After i did my thing with Colorado, i actually took USC for 2 seasons and then I wanted to come back close to home Being a TEAM around PA... and ended up taking WVU..... Prest was around 50.... I get transfers every year, but when i got my prest up around 70 in the past no one wanted to transfer my way. Just curious cause i dont think you have yet.
Is Fresnp state brining in better classes than you are? I always wondered that, and when I was USC for those 2 seasons they didnt have better than I did, but they were close.
We sign a pair of targeted Top 100 players:
#50 OG Dana Hyatt - already squatting 600, comes in with 82 durability and 94 blocking. And 4.7 speed for a guard is pretty sick. We signed him out of Washington and beat out USC, Fresno State, and WSU for his services.
#53 RB Ken Epstein - local kid who realizes he will have to fight for time next year. He is listed as an outside runner and we think he can do great things in our screen-heavy passing attack. Ken was also considering Fresno, USC, and Oregon.
However, we lost out on our two of our highest rated targets - WR Bake Johnson (#17 to USC - darn it) and #21 DT Vince Skoronski (Va Tech).
We pick up another QB, hopefully one who could be good enough to start as a freshman if Rattay bails.
#167 Trung Shy - hails from Utah, ran a West Coast system but also got decent yardage on the ground. Durable (84) with decent passing marks (72). We expect him to be an accurate passer at the college level.
We lost out on another top target, OLB David Barno. He signed with Cal - Cal? We also lost out on our 2nd center target in as many weeks.
As expected, John Rattay is gone. Full list of early departures to follow:
We ink SS Lon Hector out of Flagstaff, AZ. He is the #46 recruit in the nation. We think he can do it all - cover, blitz, and tackle. He grades out in the 70-72 range for catching, tackling, and coverage. We beat out a number of Pac 10 teams for his services.
We watched five CBs that we were targeting sign with other programs, including our top target, Bobby Green (#14, signed with state school, Ohio State). Might have to start going after athletes to find someone who can play this position.
1.) Simming the games, watching them run at "Above Average" speed and pausing when I have a lot to type.
2.) Not a single transfer, but our prestige is up to 74 now so we have crossed the barrier if it is in fact 70.
3.) I see Fresno doing very well record-wise, but we are out-recruiting them. They don't seem to get Top 100 players very often, but they do hit their share in the 100-250 range when we compete.
Guys going pro:
FB Willie Angsman (USC)
QB Quincy Greisen (FrSt)
FS Jerry Jansen (USC)
SS Gary Joe (UTAH) - looks like our old D-Coordinator is still working his magic
QB John Rattay (UCLA) - and I sob uncontrollably
ILB Jesse Watts (USC)
FB Mike Wiley (USC)
TE Joe Reynolds was the best available at that position that had interest. And "best available" doesn't mean a ton this time. He is the #555 recruit in the land. He has good grades (3.5) and is a strong blocker (80) for a player who has a rep for his receiving skills.
We see a number of other players come off the board, but not any of our significant targets. The best of the bunch was OT Nick Isenbarger (#77, to Cal, who is bringing in a very good class).
Two more signings.
#60 OLB Larry Sullivan: monster pass rush (98) and tackling (97) numbers. We think the Tuscon native can play like former LB Hank Swilling.
#161 CB Jeff Dwyer is a rare JUCO for us, but we need bodies. And we think this guy has coverage skills that can help (85). He wanted the opportunity to play right away and we were in position to offer that chance.
We lost OT Ron McKenzie from Kansas to Clemson (#47). Annoying.
Lots of signings this round:
#263 FS Raymond Franks - fast and strong, durable with good grades. At worst he provides depth. Hopefully we can coach him up into a strong player.
#253 OLB Bill Cogdill - should be able to compete at a relatively weak position. Balanced linebacker with good athleticism. Had 4 defensive TDs last year. Possible CB convert? Has 4.44 speed at 215 pounds.
#324 FS Damien Lynn - good speed, good hitter (75 tackling). Don't see him as a starter, but gives us some depth after losing two guys there last year.
#290 DT Mike McCord - strong run stopper already (95), we hope he keeps his grades (2.1 GPA) in line so he can be the 3rd tackle next year.
#308 DE Pete Harris - good speed (4.58) for a tall guy. Should fill out around 300 pounds. Had 12 sacks last year and we think those skills can translate to the college level.
#361 CB Chad Pegram - smart but fragile; too much time with the needle? Decent tackler and coverage guy right now (71 and 72).
#340 WR Mickey Nix - durability and grades both issues for this guy. We brought him in because of his athleticism (4.31 40) but we don't think he has the coverage skills to move to the other side of the ball.
Given the signings here, it is pretty clear that the best guys we are chasing have moved on.
We sign 6 more players, including a center (finally). But there are no studs left at this point. We have 20 commits now, so there really isn't any reason to make offers to remaining guys if they are not quality - and there is no quality left at this stage.
2 more signees.
No additional guys.
3 5 star recruits (top rated SS Lon Hector, #46)
8 4 star recruits
13 3 star recruits
Quick look at rosters while doing training:
QB - FR Trung Shy has the best potential of the guys on the roster, but no one is ready right now to lead this team. Guess we'll find out in spring practice who gets the job.
HB - FR Ken Epstein will be the backup and a decent guy for the job if/when Morris leaves after his junior year.
WR - we added some decent depth with the incoming freshmen, but there are no jobs to be had.
TE - FR Joe Reynolds has a good chance of taking the starting job.
OT - FR Jonathan Roaches is really raw, but should give us some insurance against injury here.
OG - FR Dana Hyatt has as much potential as anyone on the team. But he is clueless right now.
DLINE - FR DE Pete Harris will contribute this year. The other guys signed here add depth but there are no expectations now.
LB - FR OLB Larry Sullivan has a very high ceiling. And very low grades (1.76).
We are ranked #6 in the preseason poll. USC is, of course, #1. WSU is #20 and Cal is #23.
Our recruits came in at #8 overall. Which wasn't very good in the Pac 10.
2. Washington State
Reviewing the team strengths/weaknesses, SS Lon Hector is cited. Time to take a look at our guys ...
5 blue (3 WRs, Morris, and Glover)
So our talent is a lot less top-heavy than some previous years. We only have 10 seniors and without a QB we are unlikely to live up to the preseason ranking.
Grades look very scary as well - many of our top players are below 2.0 with others just above that barrier.
New inductees to the UCLA Hall of Fame:
CB J.R. Jackson
OG James McAddley
SS Taz Simms
WR Mike Voight
1.) We cut our spending in the Atlantic East and Southeast by 30K.
2.) We spend that 30K on Academics - I'm very worried about grades with this group.
3.) We stick with the middle tier recruiting service, despite only a 25K price difference between the two. I'm not expecting to have a huge class so I'll take my chances on the local guys.
I'm going to get a jump start on redshirts/cuts:
QB - Six players, all rated between 6-7 for current ability. Yuck. We cut one but can't redshirt anyone except freshman Trung Shy - who we plan to start.
HB - We cut Brett Smith, who was terrible (2/4).
FB - No changes.
WR - Orlando Sharpe, the #394 recruit in the land, comes in at 9/15. I hope he is willing to accept limited PT this year. We redshirt the other two guys: Mickey Nix (7/14) and Mike Wesley (6/13). Based on grades, I think Sharpe will get some chances.
TE - Bad group, we keep a stiff as the #3 option.
OT - We cut Michael Masters, whose name is cooler than his game (JR, 4/5).
OG - Grades are a huge issue here, so we keep 6. Even though I'm dying to cut one stiff.
C - The two incoming freshmen mean that I can cut bustout JR Doug Smith (2/6).
DE - Yo Hampton (3/6), you are cut!
DT - 3 new freshmen = cuts. JR Wayne Martin (1/3) and his 3.60 GPA are gone. SR Todd Stradford (2/6) is gone. Since grades are bad we keep 6 guys around.
ILB - no moves
OLB - We don't need 7 players here. But the talent is pretty even right now (all between 7-8 current). We dump SR Ben Greisen (7/9), who was a pretty solid walkon.
CB - Only 3 guys here. Pretty scary. And two have grade issues. I'm going to have to move someone here ...
FS - Cut Reyna Craig (4/7).
SS - None
We move WR Mickey Nix (7/14) to CB to help out. He is projected POOR/GOOD. But that didn't work out that well, as he comes in at 2/7. Looks like he is lined up for a future cut although he will get some time this year. Bummer.
Our coordinator is recommending Smashmouth, but our line is better suited for pass blocking. I'm going with Balanced instead.
Defensively, our guy wants to go 3-4. Since I want to limit our CB play, I'm going with 4-4. Hopefully I'm not inviting disaster overruling the coordinators.
We'll request a game at Fresno State, in an effort to slow their recruits (not really, they were #51 last year).
We ask Tennessee to come to LA.
And we request a home-and-home with Virginia.
Not a lot of people want to play us this year, so hopefully we get these games.
Mission accomplished on all counts - tough schedule this year, hope that we grow up quickly.
We are listed as five point dogs heading into Fresno State. Not much info to work on for opening game, but their roster definitely has enough talent to make this interesting even after losing their stud QB.
ILB David Davis records a sack on 2nd down.
3 and out for the Bulldogs offense. Punt.
We start at the 49.
We come out running, getting 9 on the first two carries by Morris.
Morris gets 3 on 3rd and 1.
Morris again, for 8 yards.
OT J.W. Hunter leaves with an ankle injury.
5 straight runs for Morris, before handing off to Epstein.
Epstein gets swamped on back-to-back carries.
Ellis comes in to kick a 43 yard field goal. 3-0, 9:37 left in the half.
8 play drive, 7 runs. The freshman QB is on a short leash.
Fresno takes the kick up to the 41.
A pass interference call sets them up on our side of the field.
RB Jim Boso runs for 15 yards on two carries, into field goal range.
Sack for Dickerson, picking up where he left off last year.
Defensive holding on 3rd and 12, but Fresno already had 13 on the play.
9 more yards to Boso, 1st and goal at the 3.
The defense comes up with a stand here and forces a 26 yard field goal attempt - which is wide by inches!
We get a first down on defensive holding on 3rd and 3.
Drive ends at the 41. Punt.
One play drive - 70 yard run for Jim Boso. He has 6 carries for 99 yards. 7-3, 2:02 left in the quarter.
Morris gets 3 on 3rd and 5. We punt from our 44 and force a fumble, recovering it, and run it down to the 1 yard line.
One play drive - 1 yard run for Morris. 10-7, 14:24 left in the half.
I think we are going to need some plays from the D and special teams to win games this year.
30 yard pass play to WR LaGrand.
10 yard run for Boso, into field goal range.
3rd and 4 at the 21 - incomplete pass to Boso.
Fresno gets a 39 yard field goal. 10-10, 11:56 left in the half.
Shy throws his first pick, right into double coverage.
Fresno ball at our 28.
The defense had a 3 and out, but an offsides call gives the Bulldogs a first.
18 yard TD pass to Summerall. 17-10, 9:47 left in the half.
13 yard pass to Kai Olsen, despite a big hit on the QB.
12 yard run for Morris, up to the 45.
But Shy can't sustain the drive. Punt.
It's a beauty, downed at the 4.
Boso breaks off an 11 yard gain.
The backup halfback goes for 27 - we aren't very good so far.
27 yard pass from QB McCareins to LaGrand.
Boso is knocked out of the game with an injury. He finishes with 12 carries for 127 yards.
4th and goal at the 3 - they kick a 21 yard field goal. 20-10, 1:50 left in the half.
Shy is sacked on first down.
And again on 3rd down. Punt.
Fresno gets the ball at the 49 with a little less than a minute left.
14 yard screen pass, up to the 32.
10 yard pass to Floyd Summerall. They burn their last timeout.
4th and 9 at the 21, here comes the kicker. 39 yarder is good. 23-10, 0:13 left in the half.
- I don't think we can score 13 points to tie the game. Our QB is making our stud receivers just worthless.
- The defense has a chance now that their HB Boso is out.
- We are going to need great field position and turnovers to win this game.
We take the kick up to the 44.
OT Paul Glover leaves with an injury - that is familiar.
Shy is sacked again. Punt. Horrible start to the half.
Fresno is called for unnecessary roughness.
3 and out for Fresno.
9 yards to Olsen for a 1st down.
7 yards to Palmer, bringing the completion % up to 50.
A 15 yard facemask penalty moves us to the Fresno 31.
Morris runs down to the 9.
3rd and 3 from the 10 - 2 yards to Martin.
Ellis kicks a 26 yard field goal. 23-13, 8:08 left in the 3rd quarter.
3 and out. McCareins missed his wide open man on 3rd down. Punt.
Shy is sacked on 3rd down. 3 and out. Punt.
9 yard run for Burchfield.
26 yards to Summerall, down at our 41.
24 more yards on a screen to Burchfield, as they are just slicing through the defense.
Burchfield leaves with an injury, as they are down to the 3rd string RB.
3rd and 13 at the 20 - incomplete pass.
The 38 yard field goal is good. 26-13, 2:25 left in the 3rd.
16 yard pass to Morris and Shy is now over 100 yards passing.
He misses an open Woodley Martin.
3rd and 3 at the 45 - best throw of the day, 18 yards to Palmer.
A draw by FB Fred VanWagner gets 9, down to the 17.
Morris runs for 11, down at the 6.
5 yard TD pass to Martin. 26-20, 13:47 to play.
Good drive for Shy, who is now 17-24 for 152 yards.
14 yard completion to Summerall - why can't we lock these guys up?
Incomplete pass on 3rd and 2. Punt.
Shy is sacked on 2nd down.
Morris runs for 8 on 3rd down, but needed 11. Punt.
24 yards to Travis Nomellini, down at our 38.
23 yard run for HB Gary Barkum, after a blown tackle by Anderson.
McCareins finds Summerall for a TD pass. Game, set, match. 34-20 after a 2 point conversion. 8:43 to play.
A holding call wipes out a 14 yard gain.
Morris runs for 10 on 3rd and 8.
3rd and 10, Shy finds Palmer, who gets extra yards. 20 yard play.
Palmer drops a pass on 2nd and 2.
We can't pick up 3rd down and punt from their 44. Horrible decision, bad playcalling.
23 yard run for Gary Barkum. Nice to see 3rd string RBs just working us over.
25 more yards for Barkum. I'm just beside myself right now. This isn't USC doing this, it is freaking Fresno State!
They throw on 4th and 1, keeping this drive alive.
Gary Barkum is over 100 yards. 2nd guy to do this today, and the other guy had 75 yards. This is disgusting.
34 yard field goal. 37-20, 0:16 left in the game.
We are going to make sure to schedule these classless pricks again soon.
Time to look at the ugly stats - just fired up pandora.com after seeing the thread MizzouRah started last month and liking it so far. It's good to have something calming after a game that left me agitated.
We gave up 37 points despite holding Fresno to 2-13 on 3rd downs - which meant they were killing us on 1st/2nd down.
542 yards of total offense allowed.
296 rushing yards allowed.
Shy was 20-31 for 222 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Not horrible numbers, but our big-play ability on offense was really limited. He was good enough to get another start, but I'm not afraid to change up this position until we find something that works.
Our new starting TE, Reynolds, allowed a pair of sacks.
ILB David Davis had a big game statistically. 12 tackles (9 solo), 1 sack, 1 stuff, 1 hurry, and a pass defended.
Fresno FS Jackie Butler came back for his senior year after winning Defensive POY last season. Based on his stats, it looks like he transferred to Fresno after not getting any playing time his freshman year. He had 9 tackles, a sack, and 3 hurries to take home player of the game honors.
We were the only Pac 10 team to lose on opening week. Three other teams threw shutouts.
21 players are under 2.0 so we are going to have some major issues with eligibility.
In Week #2 Washington State went to Columbus and won 44-20.
Cal beat Oklahoma State 34-17.
Washington lost 29-32 at Minnesota.
Conference is going to be much tougher this year.
We are 3 point dogs at home against #22 Tennessee. Looks like Vegas once again disagrees with the pollsters on our skill level. Our offense is #97 in yards, which is better than our defensive ranking (111).
The key matchup is Morris (93 yards, 4.43 ypc, 1 TD, 1 big run) against the Tennesee front 7, which is #21 against the run.
The Rose Bowl is filled to capacity on a hot afternoon - 87 degrees. Hope that the visitors are not accustomed to smog.
30 yards to Palmer on first down, great throw and catch.
12 more to Palmer, who is becoming Shy's favorite target.
Morris spins away from a tackle and gains 10.
We go to FB Fred VanWagner on back-to-back carries and get another first down.
Shy finds Martin in the back of the end zone, 17 yards out. 7-0, 12:15 left in the quarter.
Big sack by DE Torry Rivers on 3rd and 10. Punt.
Morris runs for 9 on a draw play.
3rd and 5, we run option. And get the 1st down, but FB VanWagner is called for unnecessary roughness. Punt.
12 yard pass to WR Gene Bates on 3rd and 5.
3rd and 8 from the 39 - Doug Grant comes up with a sack.
49 yard bomb from Shy to Woodley Martin.
Then he finds Morris for the last 23 yards. Shy is en fuego! 14-0, 5:15 left in the quarter.
Shy is 7-7 for 136 yards and 2 TDs.
21 yard run by HB Brock Childs.
They go back to him on the next three carries and then punt on 4th and 4.
We again run option on 3rd down and Morris has 7 yards. He is brought down by his facemask.
Shy's completion streak ends at 7.
Morris runs for 11, tackled at the 30.
WR Martin leaves the game with an elbow injury after a 10 yard reception. He finishes the day with 3 catches for 76 yards and a TD.
Morris runs up the gut for 4 on 3rd and 2, down at the 8.
We can't finisht the drive and have to attempt a 27 yard field goal. Ellis nudges it wide left.
19 yard run for Childs.
15 more for Childs - we need our line to start making some plays.
RB Kemp Cunningham runs for 13 - this is pretty weak, guys.
3rd and 5 at the 24. Big gain to the TE, who is hauled down after a gain of 19.
Tennessee runs it in from the 2. 14-7, 7:29 left in the half.
Huge pickup on 3rd and 3 to Palmer, who takes off for 49 yards.
Morris runs for 13, down at the 11.
Morris takes it to the 1.
False start, then a botched handoff.
Morris gets 3, 3rd and goal from the 5. Morris for one, and we blew first and goal at the one. Ellis misses another short field goal - 27 yards this time.
Hard to believe this guy was a first team All-American last year.
16 yard run for Childs after a blown tackle.
He has 12 carries for 90 yards.
3rd and 9 from the 48 - intercepted by CB Jeff Dwyer. We start at our 49.
9 yards to Olsen on 3rd and 7.
11 more to Palmer.
Ellis kicks a 46 yarder as time winds down on the half. 17-7, 0:11 left in the half.
- Great first half by the offense up until they hit the 10 yard line. 329-135 advantage in yards.
- Ellis should be shot for missing two chip shots.
- 5 penalties is hurting the cause.
- We have to get better against the run.
Sack by DT Roger Parsons.
Childs runs for 23 yards on 3rd and 12.
Another 3rd and 12, from the 43 - David Davis crushes Childs. Punt.
40 yard gain on 3rd and 10 as Palmer makes a one-handed grab. He has 5 catches for 142 yards on the day.
Morris gains 7 on 3rd and 4.
Morris is over 100 yards on his 19th carry of the day.
3rd and 1 - short yardage QB Nathan Short completes a pass to Olsen. Down at the 2.
Morris runs it in on 3rd down. 24-7, 6:43 left in the 3rd.
14 more yards for Childs, who has 124 on 18 carries now.
27 yard pass play to WR Johnson.
Another 20 yards to Pat Johnson, down at the 18.
3rd and 7 at the 15 - and the pass is dropped.
33 yard field goal is good. 24-10, 3:05 left in the 3rd.
15 yards to Thelwell for his first catch of the day.
14 yard run by Morris on an option play. Nice way to pick up 3rd and 12.
OT Paul Glover injures his finger and leaves the game. Again.
Morris is stopped on 3rd and 1.
21 yard screen to TE Joe Reynolds on 4th down, tackled at the 23.
22 yard TD pass to FB VanWagner. 31-10, 13:40 to play.
Shy is now 18-25 for 311 yards and 3 TDs. Great 2nd game for him.
The Volunteers return the kick out to the 45.
19 yards to WR Bob Morgado.
Childs with another 10 yards, down at the 5.
And Childs scores on a screen pass. Quick drive by UT. 31-17, 11:09 left in the game.
Morris runs for 19 on 2nd and 16. He is pretty shifty today.
Shy misses Thelwell on 3rd and 5 and we have to punt.
Another 19 yard run for Childs - he is now over 150 on the day.
3rd and 7 from the 27, big play - dropped by Morgado.
Tennessee nets a 47 yard field goal. 31-20, 6:01 left in the game.
We come out passing - 61 yarder to Kai Olsen, who jumps over the safety and runs it in. There is a flag down, but it is against the D. 38-20, 5:28 left to play.
3 straight incompletions and Tennessee is punting from their 9.
26 yards to Palmer on a perfect route and pass. Looks like we want to run out the clock with a string of completions ...
Morris runs it in from 37 yards out, bumping his yardage up to 175. 45-20, 2:33 left in the game.
DE Torry Rivers has his 2nd sack of the afternoon.
But Tennessee gets those yards back with a 47 yard pass to Jackson.
Offensive pass interference moves them back to their side of the field.
18 yards to Brock Childs on 3rd and 21.
But the 4th down pass to Morgado is incomplete.
Great win. Our offense was excellent and the defense did a good job of not breaking despite bending against the run big-time.
USC snakes out a 30-27 home win against Illinois. They always play an ambitious non-conference schedule ...
We are bumped up to #5 with our win, which is a bad joke.
29 first downs, 9-15 on 3rd down conversions, 631 yards - looks like one of our better games from last year. No turnovers - is Fresno that good, Tennessee that bad, or are we this erratic?
Shy was 21-30 for 401 yards with 4 TDs and 0 INTs. Monster game.
Morris had 33 carries for 175 yards and 2 TDs.
Palmer had 7 catches for 170 yards, but no TD passes.
Congrats to the offensive line for no sacks allowed, as well as no holding calls. 2 false starts are manageable.
Davis had 8 tackles (7 solo) and 3 stuffs.
DE Torry Rivers had 3 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 hurries.
WR Martin has an elbow fracture and will miss time. I don't think it is going to cost him an All-America spot this year.
We are listed as 19 point favorites when 0-2 Virginia comes to the Rose Bowl. I'm still not buying this offense, but I expect a winning effort in this one.
Featured matchup is our QB Trung Shy (67.2% completions, 5TDs, 1 INT, rating 176.8, 1 exceptional pass and TD every 12.2 attempts) against their secondary, which is 16th against the pass.
Overall, their defense has only allowed 32 points, but the offense has struggled; only 21 points against BYU and Mississippi State.
Full house for the game today.
Their HB Y.A. Kowalczyk runs for 11 on each of his first two carries. Then 15 more on the 3rd carry. It is pretty clear teams are going to run at us all year long.
3rd and 5 at the 37 - tough catch is good for 10 yards.
Kowalczyk takes it in from 18 yards out. 7-0, 10:42 left in the quarter.
10 play drive, and their RB had 4 runs of 10+ yards. Unacceptable.
Morris runs for 11.
Then 8 more, past midfield.
Shy appears to be varying his snap counts, getting back-to-back offsides calls against the D.
3rd and 3 at the 29 - gain of 6 to Olsen on tight coverage. They pop the ball loose, but an offensive lineman (Fiss) is there to dive on it.
We can't advance the ball past the 20. Ellis comes in and kicks a 38 yard field goal. 7-3, 4:58 left in the quarter.
3 straight incomplete passes lead to a punt for the Cavaliers.
18 yard run for Morris, who already has 54 yards.
50 yard TD pass to Olsen, who spun the CB around and was wide open when he caught the ball. 10-7, 1:50 left in the quarter.
32 yard pass to TE Brad Wesley.
SS Lon Hector crushes the RB, forcing a fumble and CB Dwyer dives on it. Our ball at the Virginia 44.
We are immediately hit with unnecessary roughness, knocking us back to our side of the field.
Shy picks up a first down on a pass to TE Reynolds on 3rd and 7. We then get 15 more for roughing the QB.
Shy hits Thelwell for a 9 yard TD pass. 17-7, 13:43 left in the half.
Back to the run for UVA - 15 yards for Kowalczyk.
We hold him to 10 yards on 3rd and 15 - punt.
Screen to Morris for 10.
13 yards to Olsen, who already has 4 catches for 81 yards and a TD.
10 yards pass to the FB.
But VanWagner (the FB) loses the ball on a fumble and Virginia will take over at the 48.
Ugh - back to the TE Wesley for 25 on 3rd and 10. Into scoring range now.
Huge play by the D - ILB Davis clobbers the QB and the ball is on the ground. Anderson picks it up and runs it back 73 yards for a score! 24-7, 7:46 left in the half.
UVA gets 6 on 3rd and 10 and punts. 3 and out.
We get 12 on 3rd and 10, thanks to the running of Nicolas Morris.
10 yard run for VanWagner - I like what I've seen from the FB this year (outside of the fumble).
Morris gives the ball away on a fumble - he was just lit up. They take over at their 33.
We take it right back. CB Dwyer hammers Kowalczyk and Davis recovers the ball at the Virginia 37.
3 and out, no yards. We have to punt from their 37. Boo.
34 yards to Wesley on a screen pass. The TE has 4 catches for 94 yards.
3rd and 8 at the 48, less than a minute to play - incomplete pass on a screen. Punt.
- pretty happy with the score but not necessarily with our play in all phases. 2 fumbles could have cost us a lot more
- we responded pretty well after UVA took our manhood on the opening drive. Their HB has 96 yards, but 60+ were on that first possession
- Morris has 14 carries for 84 yards. Good half, minus the fumble
- We should put this one away if we score first in the 2nd half and don't give them any more turnovers
We start at the 48 after an unnecessary roughness call on the kick return.
17 yard pass to Palmer on the sideline, his first catch of the day.
Virginia forces another fumble, but we recover this one.
3rd and 4 at the 19 - 3 yards on a WR reverse by Olsen.
Ellis kicks a 34 yard field goal. 27-7, 11:29 left in the 3rd.
Wow, huge downfield pass to the HB Kowalczyk - 41 yards!
DE Rivers leaves the game with a forearm injury.
3rd and 1 at the 17 - TD pass to WR Nate Scott.
And FS Barron Starr has a kidney injury that will end his day.
27-14, 9:05 left in the 3rd.
15 yards to Palmer to start the drive.
Shy is picked off on 3rd and 15 - at least it was a bomb, just as good as a punt as we leave them on their 11.
12 yard run for Kowalczyk.
I don't like the groove that their QB Courtland Allen is getting into the last two drives.
3rd and 10 at the 49 - we stop the run for 2 but are called for a facemask.
Only a 5 yarder this time - they punt.
Morris is over 100 yards on his 20th carry of the afternoon.
22 yard pass to Olsen, who takes a big hit at the end but holds on. Into Virginia territory.
Glover leaves the game with an injury - at least he lasted 3 quarters this time.
3rd and 7 at the 13 - and Morris is stuffed for no gain.
Ellis has his field goal blocked.
We stop an option play for 2 on 3rd and 4. Punt.
A quick 3 and out. We punt.
UVA is whistled for offensive pass interference, setting up 2nd and 24.
DT Roger Parsons intercepts a swing pass and runs for 16 yards before being tackled at the Virginia 12.
8 yard TD pass to Palmer. 33-14, as our 2 point attempt fails. 10:45 left to play.
Huge play, 47 yard pass to WR Poole; he escaped an ankle tackle to collect extra yardage.
3rd and 7 at the 23 - incomplete pass, he went back to Poole.
41 yard field goal attempt is good. 33-17, 8:44 left to play.
The kick is nasty - out of bounds, our ball at the 40.
We come out running Morris, who has 20 yards on his first two touches.
3rd and 5 at the 35 - Morris goes nowhere on a sweep. Punt.
Nice downfield coverage, good punt, and Virginia is starting from their 4.
The Cavaliers only pick up one first down before punting.
Shy goes down on a sack, setting up 3rd and 11.
14 yards to Thelwell, and we continue to eat up clock.
9 yard run for Morris, who is down at the 41.
Morris now has 149 yards on 31 carries and we get 15 more yards on a cheap facemask.
4th and goal at the 2 - Ellis knocks home a 20 yarder. 36-17, 0:44 left to play.
4 straight incompletions for Virginia. We take a knee.
Conference play was underway for the rest of the Pac 10. Here are the results:
Washington State 41, Oregon 20: strong road win for #13 WSU (3-0).
Oregon State 31, Arizona State 20: another road win, the Beavers move up to #24 in the rankings with this win (3-1). First loss on the year for ASU. 3 TD passes for Reese, a good returning QB.
Cal 27, Washington 19: 4-0 start for #18 Cal.
USC 37, Stanford 34: #1 USC escapes, outscoring the Cardinal 14-6 in the 4th. First loss of the year for Stanford.
As far as the Virginia game, it was good to see the defense force turnovers. I strongly believe we will have to do that this season, particularly since we seem inept against the run. Perhaps Jack Farmer was actually doing something last year when he wasn't making tackles?
The pass defense was good, holding the UVA QB to 13-34 passing for 259 yards.
Shy went 22-35 for 262 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT. I'm very pleased with the last two games.
Nicolas Morris ended with 34 carries for 165 yards.
OT Paul Glover had his first dominant game. 2 key run blocks and 3 pancakes. We just need him to find some way to stay healthy.
Brian Anderson had 8 tackles (6 solo) along with the fumble recovery and TD.
Davis had 10 tackles (5 solo), a sack and a forced fumble.
CB Dwyer had 4 tackles (2 solo), 2 stuffs, and a pair of passes defended.
Lots of strong performances. Now we have to find a way to shore up our run defense ...
Time to post the team information - keep missing this step before starting the new year.
And here is an early Top 10 rankings:
1. USC (3-0)
2. Mississippi (4-0)
3. Texas (3-1)
4. UCLA (2-1) - we have no business being ranked here
5. Notre Dame (4-0)
6. Michigan (1-2) - but we should be ahead of these guys
7. LSU (3-1)
8. Oklahoma (3-0) - team is always great, how are they behind two loss UM team?
9. Wisconsin (3-1)
10. Georgia (3-0)
Others of Note:
13. Washington State (3-0)
18. California (4-0)
20. Miami (FL) (2-2)
21. Michigan State (2-2)
24. Oregon State (3-1)
Is it really that hard to find team who haven't lost 2 games already for the rankings?
#1 USC held off Notre Dame in South Bend to win 48-38. Looks like that offense isn't taking any prisoners this year either. 4 TD passes for Phillips.
Arizona moved to 4-0 with a 50-27 win at Washington.
#22 Arizona State won at home against Oregon, 31-16.
Both the Arizona and Arizona State QBs threw for over 400 yards and 3 TDs.
We are pretty healthy heading to Arizona. Only OT J.W. Hunter is going to miss the action.
Academically, we have weathered the storm and guys have bumped up their grades. The worst casualty is OLB David Sullivan, a promising freshman who was starting before the grades yanked him from the lineup.
We are listed as two point dogs. Arizona has the #7 offense and #33 defense based on yards allowed. The key matchup looks to by Trung Shy against their #36 pass defense. Personally, I'm worried about slowing down their RB Morgan who is averaging 5.41 ypc. But they are more of a passing team; hopefully that works in our favor.
Morris runs the kick out to the 46.
A pair of runs by Morris set up 3rd and 7. Then Shy drops back and finds his main man Derrick Palmer for a 21 yard catch/run.
A roughing the passer penalty on the next play leaves us at the 13.
And Arizona is whistled again for grabbing the facemask - 1st and goal at the 3.
RB Ken Epstein runs it in from the 3. 7-0, 11:57 left in the 1st quarter.
Nice to see Epstein do something, as he has been brutal in non-conference play.
Huge kick return for Arizona, all the way to our 4 yard line.
2 runs and they are in. 7-7, 10:48 left in the quarter.
We are stopped near our 40 and punt.
We force a fumble on the punt return and recover at the Wildcats 33.
A 15 yard facemask on the D puts the ball at the 14.
3rd and 2 at the 6 - Martin drops the ball, but Arizona is called for holding.
3rd and goal at the 2 - Martin catches this one. 14-7, 5:43 left in the quarter.
3 and out for Arizona - we smoked a pair of runs. Punt.
Wow, Arizona got a pick and ran it back but no score as they are called for roughing the passer. It feels like the fix is in - in our favor.
Morris runs for 10 yards.
3rd and 6 at the 31 - Morris is tripped up but stumbles for 10 yards and the first down.
Morris does it again on 3rd and 6, going for 11 before being tackled at the 6.
Screen pass to TE Joe Reynolds for a TD. Flag is down, but of course it is against Arizona. 21-7, 14:11 left in the half.
Gain of 12 to TE Tuttle - up to that point Arizona had 3 yards of total offense.
We had a 3rd down stop, but are whistled for pass interference.
4th and 1 at the 48 - they punt it and down it on our 8.
Shy isn't having a great game, but Palmer gave him a huge lift by going high for a pass on 3rd and 11. He landed and had room to run, so he took it for 35 yards.
An offensive pass interference call took back 15 of those yards.
We punt on 4th and 25 - nasty.
Offensive pass interference on Arizona - 6th call against them on the day.
Good effort, but they only make up 22 of the 25 yards for the 1st down. Punt.
It's a beauty, and we are back at our 5.
Here is a big play for the offense - pass is right in stride to Martin, who rambles for 52 yards before being hauled in by the safety.
15 yards to Palmer on 3rd and 12; they really should try to lock him up on long-yardage plays as Shy gravitates towards him.
Morris runs for 5 yards, 1st and goal at the 2.
2 more yards for Morris and we are up 28-7, 4:13 left in the half.
We have a 19-3 advantage on 1st downs.
Another 3 and out for Arizona, whose offense is lost so far this game. Punt.
Olsen returns the punt 30 yards, to the Wildcat 45.
14 yard run for Morris, who is closing on 100 yards.
Morris fumbles on a screen pass, but Woodley Martin falls on it.
15 yard run for Epstein - longest of his short career.
Ugh - offensive pass interference - 1st and goal from the 29.
11 yards on a screen to Reynolds, but we face a 4th and 18.
Ellis knocks home a 36 yarder. 31-7, 0:20 left in the half.
- we are just locking up the run: 13 carries for 19 yards by Arizona.
- yardage is 307 to 50.
- Shy isn't very accurate today (12-22) but he is hitting some big gainers.
- If we avoid turnovers this game should be over.
- although the penalties have been harsh against Arizona, both teams have 6 penalties total against them
10 yard run for Bobby Dubuc on a 3rd and 7 draw play.
Sack for DE Mark Dickerson.
Screen on 3rd and 17, but we play it well. CB Dwyer brings the lumber, forcing a fumble, but Arizona recovers. Punt.
3rd and 1 at the Wildcat 43 - Morris goes for 6, going over 100 on the day (23-102).
Then 16 more on the next touch.
6 more on a screen to Morris, who owns this drive so far. Down at the 15.
Another screen on 3rd and goal from the 7 - Morris grabs it and weaves into the end zone. 38-7, 8:06 left in the 3rd.
3rd and 5 from the Wildcat 41 - incomplete pass, batted away by the DB. Punt.
Morris is having a lot of luck this year following the fullback - runs of 8 and 7 following that pattern.
He then busts one outside and is off to the races! No, he is hauled down at the 16 after a 47 yard gain. He has 185 on the day so far.
C Adam Slaughter leaves the game with an injury. Buzzkill. Looks like an elbow.
14 more for Morris, down at the 2. What a game for the junior!
And he takes it in from the 2, moving his numbers to 30 carries and 201 yards. 45-7, 2:49 left in the 3rd.
Offensive pass interference wipes out a 17 yard pass play.
They run the ball with Dubuc on 3rd and 17 - he gets 11. Punt.
Shy is sacked. Good coverage downfield.
Another huge pass play to Martin - 54 yards on a perfect pass. Down at the 12.
14 yard TD pass to Palmer. 52-7, 13:24 left in the game.
Yardage is 504-92 up to this point.
Man, a holding call wipes out a 55 yard TD pass. We are killing them anyways, but Arizona is getting raped by the refs.
Anderson intercepts the next pass and returns it 16 yards to the Arizona 32.
We net -2 yards on 3 plays. Ellis tries the 52 yarder, but it is wide left.
54 yard TD pass to Tarver. 52-14, 9:01 left in the game.
FB Lee Satterwhite sustains a head injury.
Our short yardage QB - Nathan Short - throws a pair of incompletions after we get to 2nd and 1. We punt.
New QB in - 3rd stringer David Spanno.
Morris is drilled, fumbles, and gives Arizona the ball on our 24.
We need him to cut down on the fumbles - already a few too many this year.
A defensive holding call gives Arizona the ball inside the 10.
Roughing the passer - half the distance, to the 2.
1 yard TD pass on 3rd down. 52-21, 3:29 left in the game.
Wow, kicking team recovers an onside! First time I have ever seen that in about 15 seasons.
Holding wipes out a 24 yard gain.
After they get the first down they are again called for holding. 10 penalties for 98 yards now.
4th and 15 from the 36 - Dickerson lowers the boom with his 2nd sack of the day.
Epstein runs out of bounds with under a minute to play. Get your head in the game, kid!
Morris has actually been knocked down to 199 yards - boo.
Conference play appears to be sifting through the pretenders and contenders early.
#9 Washington State 37, #18 California 3 - Putzier ran for 180 yards as the Cougars rolled at home.
Oregon State 20, Stanford 9 - a hard-hitting game saw the Beavers come up with a home victory.
- Great defensive effort today - we outgained them 513-209.
- 246 yards rushing and 267 yards passing; I believe that is a formula to win just about every time out.
- We were 10-16 on 3rd down conversions and held Arizona to 3-13. That is one area where we are doing a better job than last season.
Shy was 17-29 for 253 yards with 2 TDs and 0 INTs.
Morris had 36 carries for 199 yards with 3 TDs (2 rushing, 1 receiving).
Martin had the big receiving day with 5 catches for 114 yards and a TD.
OG Perryman had 4 key run blocks.
We are a staggering 19 point favorites at home against 4-1 (#23) Arizona State. Their QB Rick Bruce has been a load so far this year. He has completed 64.1% of his passes for 1,499 yards. 12 TDs and only 4 interceptions. 7 exceptional passes and a TD once every 13.0 attempts. Our pass defense is listed as #23 but it will be tested today.
Doh! Ran this game without watching the play-by-play.
Score - UCLA 23, Arizona State 3.
- We scored 10 points in the first quarter and put the game away with 13 in the 3rd.
- ASU only had 201 yards of total offense.
- Their hotshot QB didn't play and the backup was 9-27 for 90 yards with 2 picks.
- SS Lon Hector had 8 tackles (2 solo) and defended a pair of passes.
- ILB David Davis had 9 tackels (4 solo), a stuff, and a pick.
Other Pac Ten action:
#18 Cal 24, Arizona 6: Cal won on the road, moving their record to 5-1.
#1 USC 25, Oregon 16: Another road win. USC keeps getting the job done.
#20 Oregon State 24, #10 Washington State 21: The Beavers won on the road, jumping out to a 2 TD lead early and holding on.
Stanford 34, Washington 7: Washington looks bad, even with their great class of freshmen.
Updated Top 10:
1. USC (5-0)
2. Auburn (6-0)
3. UCLA (4-1)
4. Georgia (3-1)
5. Texas (5-2)
6. Mississippi (5-2)
7. Michigan (3-3)
8. Notre Dame (6-1) - only loss to #1 team, beat #7 Michigan. Just horrible that they are ranked behind them
9. Missouri (7-0) - Cinderella story of the year so far.
10. Washington State (4-1)
Others of Note:
18. California (5-1)
20. Oregon State (5-1)
21. Florida (3-3) - avoided 0-4 start in conference play by beating #4 Georgia
24. Arizona State (4-2) - #5 SOS
25. Miami (FL) (3-4) - a bad joke
We are hosting a surly Washington State team next - our guys should be fired up for this one after losing to them last year.
We are listed as four point dogs at home. WSU has the #1 defense in the nation based on yardage; only 270.6 per game.
The key matchup is listed as Shy against their top rated secondary. Trung is now completing 63% of his passes with a 11-2 TD/INT ratio and a 160.3 rating. Awfully impressive for a freshman, especially one that wasn't terribly heralded. Truth be told, I think he is playing a little over his head. But we should get a good read on that today against a top-flight defense and a strong overall program.
People are jammed into the Rose Bowl for this game. It is a hot day - 87 and sunny. Hopefully that is not pleasing for the visitors from up north ...
Great start - WSU fumbles the kickoff and Derrick Palmer falls on it at the 15.
Morris gets back-to-back carries and advances the ball to the 3.
QB Nathan Short throws a 1 yard TD pass to Woodley Martin. 7-0, 13:11 left in the 1st quarter.
We are getting Vern Beals this time - he missed our meeting last year.
3 straight runs for WSU and a punt.
35 yards on a pass to Martin - he sold the D with the play fake.
We had a 3rd and 10 conversion on a pass to Morris, but that comes off with an offensive pass interference call.
We are forced to punt from the WSU 42.
Very nice pass play from Beals to Ned, 30 yards as he drags one foot in bounds.
3rd and 5 at the UCLA 41 - and WR Luke Childs turns our CB around. Not a good thing. 41 yards on a TD pass. 7-7, 8:07 left in the quarter.
12 yard run by FB Fred VanWagner.
The give is to Morris on 3rd and 5, and he rambles for 23.
Shy is 1-5 after missing a wide open Derrick Palmer.
3rd and 5 at the 35 - Shy hits Palmer for 14.
OT Paul Glover leaves with a knee injury - I believe that breaks his string of injury-free football at 8 quarters.
Our drive is stopped at the 19 - Ellis nails a 37 yard field goal. 10-7, 2:55 left in the quarter.
27 yard run by John Putzier, who had been contained for most of the first quarter.
And a 56 yard TD strike to Ned. Our defense is giving up way too many big plays so far. 14-10, 1:34 left in the 1st quarter.
QB Beals is 3-3 for 127 yards and 2 TDs.
19 yards to Palmer, as the offense goes to work again.
3rd and 5 at our 44 - Morris is stopped for no gain. Punt.
Ugh, another 48 yard pass to Childs as Beals bought time with his scrambling.
3rd and 8 from our 30 - 20 yard pick up by WR Marcus Mitchell.
And a 10 yard TD pass to WR Bill Perry. Everyone is getting in the act against our defense. 21-10, 12:29 left in the half.
The defense appears to now be keying on Morris after his fast start.
We fail to pick up 3rd and 8 and punt from our 41.
Meanwhile, we are doing a decent job against the run but aren't covering anyone.
Anderson rushed in to sack Beals.
Dickerson left with a jaw injury.
On 3rd and 10 WSU picks up 12 on a screen pass to move into field goal range.
Beals scrambles for 15 yards - we are just screwed on defense this game.
We are whistled for a facemask inside the ten.
3rd and goal from the 2 - and the Cougars are called for a pass beyond the line of scrimmage. Not much room for that ...
25 yard field goal is good. 24-10, 6:18 left in the half.
Morris takes the kick up to the 42.
3 and out, we punt again. The offense just can't get going and the defense can't get stops. We are lucky to be as close as we are.
Holding against the Cougars.
We finally get a 3rd down stop. Punt.
Reynolds fumbles after a catch and WSU takes over at their 46.
3rd and 3 at our 47 - a 25 yard pass to Putzier is called back for an ineligible receiver.
We stop the 3rd and 8 - punt.
And we are stuck on our 4.
24 yards to Martin - do we have enough time to get in FG range?
We get 9 on 3rd and 10 and punt it away.
SS Lon Hector stops a pair of runs to end the half.
- that was bloody.
- Shy is 10-21 for 146 yards. He hasn't thrown any picks, but his inability to string together completions is slowing down the offense. And we aren't even a speed bump for their attack.
- We probably need to force a pair of turnovers in the 2nd half to steal this one.
WSU is called for defensive holding to start the 2nd half.
Morris runs for 13 yards and is tackled near midfield.
Argh - Shy made a very good play on 3rd and 12, getting the ball to Palmer for a first but he fumbled and WSU recovered.
Putzier runs for 15, he is up to 66 yards on the day now.
A defensive holding call wipes out a sack for Parsons.
Putzier picks up another 1st, into field goal range.
22 yard TD pass to WR Jason Ned, his 2nd of the day. 31-10, 9:09 left in the 3rd. And I think that is probably game. I haven't seen anything so far that makes me think we are stopping their offense.
Morris runs the kick out to the 45.
12 yard pass to TE Reynolds.
A holding call sets up a 2nd and 22 for us.
We then run the ball twice. We just can't get out of our own way with penalties and fumbles. Punt.
20 more yards to Ned, down at the Cougars 47.
Beals now is 14-16 for 300 yards and 4 TDs. Pretty damn efficient.
The offense is whistled for holding.
59 yards on a bomb to WR Childs, who is just toying with our secondary.
The defense makes a goal line stand, so WSU has to settle for a 21 yard field goal. 34-10, 2:31 left in the 3rd.
Our short yardage QB is whistled for intentional grounding on 2nd and 1. That experiment is over, Shy is getting all the snaps from now on.
Another 3rd down conversion for Beals, up to our 38.
13 more yards for Putzier, who is now over 100 on the day.
ILB David Davis finally forces a turnover with an interception.
Shy is sacked on 3rd down as we let any momentum just slip away. Punt.
30 yard pass to Ned, who made one heck of a grab. 5 for 158 and 2 TDs. Our DBs are collectively his bitches.
We knock Beals out of the game with a hip injury. About 45 minutes too late to matter ...
ILB Davis has his 2nd interception of the day inside the 10.
And we give it right back on a fumble. I guess we gained 20 yards in the deal.
The WSU offense just isn't the same without Beals. 3 plays, 7 yards, and a 41 yard field goal. 37-10, 6:36 left in this debacle.
17 yard run for Morris, as he is hoping to get his 100 for the day (82 now).
We punt from their 48 - not sure why at this point.
Sack for DT Johnny Rackers. They punt after 3 plays.
We run the punt back to the WSU 28.
28 yard TD pass to Palmer on 3rd down. Great route, good pass. 37-17, 2:32 left in the game.
We don't get the onside. Game over.
Putzier runs for 8 on 3rd and 3.
Well that game was men against boys. I'm very afraid of what USC is going to do to us. And I'm disturbed about a two game losing streak to WSU.
I'm having a little difficulty seeing who won each game at the end. Sometimes I breeze through the play-by-play. Would you mind adding at the bottom the final score and who won? Like: 28-10 UCLA beats USC would work great. Excellent dynasty. Keep up the good work.
Not a problem at all - will start doing that from here on out. Glad that you are enjoying it.
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