Another close game with Stanford marked by some scoreboard controversy! When I got home from the game, I watched the recording on my TiVo. Interesting that the same ref who said “I wasn’t part of any time out discussion” could clearly be seen talking to Kiffin about a time out before the replay.
I’m going to go on record as saying we should have went for two at the end of the 1st OT. Put the ball in the hands of our offense and let them win or lose the game in one play. That’s how it should be done. THAT’s Trojan swagger – the same swagger that has us keeping an empty Heisman case along with those of Mike Garrett, OJ Simpson, Charles White, Marcus Allen, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart:
The empty Heisman Trophy case next to all the others. We all remember who won this one – and in which year. So all you haters deal with it!
In reading the news summaries of the game, I was a bit surprised to see all the credit going to Andrew Luck. I think it was Stanford’s defense that won this game for them – whenever we needed an extra 7 to put the game away; their D came up with the key stops. You wouldn’t know that from reading any of Luck’s interviews, though. A bunch of stuff like “I knew that I had to get back in there and win the game for us.” Classy!
There were plenty of positives in this game:
- Heidari kicked a 50 yard field goal with his sprained ankle. It’s a shame that we didn’t just try one from the 40 with 9 seconds left…
- Our punter, Kyle Negrete, proved that he’s worth his scholarship by putting 4 punts behind the 20 yard line. He’s more accurate with his foot than Cal’s quarterback is with his arm.
- Curtis McNeal had those two great TD runs; and showed that he is likely our next Reggie Bush. Remember – Reggie had some fumbling problems early in his career, too.
- Randall Telfer emerged in this game as another go-to receiver. 3 wide receivers with TD’s in a game isn’t too bad!
- Our kickoff coverage team was kicking ass all game; striking fear into the hearts of those hapless Farm return men.
- Redshirt Freshman Kyle Prater made an appearance in the game and hauled in a reception. Congrats! See – we’re already grooming our next star wide receivers.
- Kiffin has coached us to two close games against the Farm in his first two years – a sharp contrast to the 2007 debacle, (when we failed to cover the point spread by about 50,) and the 2009 ass-kicking we received under Pete Carroll – both at home.
There were some things to improve on:
- Was that Xavier Grimble who fumbled twice in about 10 yards on a kickoff return? Fortunately he didn’t lose it – but twice? Just about gave me a heart attack!
- Making the “Big Balls Pete” play calls. The call to pass and try to get a few more yards with 9 seconds left was one of those. Unfortunately; when you make those plays – you have to deal with the consequences sometimes. I think we needed to make another “big balls” call at the end of 1 OT to win or lose. I had more faith in Barkley and our offense than in Stanford’s defense.
And that last part is the best positive that I took from this game. Barkley and crew were making it happen. I hope the Trojans pack their coats for the Colorado game on Friday – I can’t wait to see it.