USC 35, Stanford 37

     On Saturday, we lost another game by a last-second field goal.  This one comes with a bit of controversy over the game clock.  Remember the “booth review” of our last first down?  The game clock was stopped during that, and was not started again until after the ball was snapped.  The game clock should have started again after the review was finished.  Of course, various conspiracy theories can be found all over the web; so I have been reading up a bit.  Two more clock anomalies appear at the end of the game; the obvious “automatic time-out” that Stanford received with 7 seconds left and the fact that the Stanford receiver fielded the kick-off at the 5 yard line – and the clock didn’t start until he reached the 15.  Accusations of Stanford exploiting their “employee timekeeper” are rampant.

     I don’t pay attention to any of that, though.  This is the Pac-10 – the refs are awful; and they always have been.  Everybody’s got their own stumbling block to overcome.  The refs are bad, and are always biased against the Trojans.  After suffering through multiple viewings of the Stanford cheerleaders, it’s pretty obvious what the Cardinals’ stumbling block is.  I’ll stick with ours, thank you.

     While I’m on the topic of those cheerleaders – how about the one with the “British” smile?  It reminded me more of the “Swamp People” series from the History channel, and prompted me to ask – “It’s cool that Traveler made the trip, but why is he over on the Stanford side?

     As for the football part of my review; the positive thing is that we’ve got a great offense.  Our defense, however, appears to be non-existent.  We started out the game by forcing Stanford to take a 3 and out, but that was the last time they would punt in the whole game.  I’m not blaming Monte Kiffin for this, though.  If you remember, our defense has been on a downward slide for the last few years; most notably last year when “Mr. Defense” Pete Carroll appeared to be phoning it in.  Monte’s a great coach, but he’s not a damn miracle worker!  Give the coaching staff some time to recruit defenders, and we’ll be in good shape.

      The ESPN coverage was slightly better in that they appeared to be biased towards USC.  That’s what I want to see.  Their commentators didn’t appear to be watching the same game, however.  Their descriptions of the “under-review” plays usually didn’t match what I was seeing and at least once they said “Baxter lines up in the wildcat” when I could clearly see Barkley under center.

     I thought that the difference in advertisers from the Washington game was striking.  Banks, investment companies, etc. were pushing hard towards the SC and Cardinal fans.  A big difference from the check-cashing and payday loan ads during the Washington game.

      In conclusion, our offense is great.  If our defense wasn’t quite so bad, we would be 6-0.  I’ve got faith in Kiffin, though; he’ll turn it around.  I’m an old school Trojan fan; we could go 2-11 and I would be happy as long as those 2 wins involved us handing lopsided, humiliating defeats to Notre Dame and ucla.  Think about that bomb into the end zone last year against the bruins.  I just hope that we can revive our defense before those two games.  I plan to do a LOT of trash-talking to fans of those two teams, and I need the Trojans to back me up.  Also, I’m taking my Notre-Dame fan brother in law to the game this year; so we need to humiliate them.

     This Saturday, I will be attending my first home game of the season to watch us crush the hopes of those hippies from Cal.  Cal fans know how to “bring it” with the trash talk, which is pretty arrogant since they’re usually headed for their cars before the 4th quarter starts.  I’m supposed to give a talk to some industry colleagues on Sunday morning in Las Vegas; but I’m blowing it off to go to the game.  There are more important things in life.

     Keep up the swagger!

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