Hello Cougar Nation and welcome to Football Friday, Week 4 style. It hard to believe that when the clock strikes midnight this Saturday night, we will be 1/3 done with the season. Amazing.
As the starting point of today's post, we have the question from LongBall (I think) who wondered when was the last time we had a signature win?
For Brinkhater, the answer would be the Holiday Bowl Win over Texas. Feel free to give us your thoughts on that specific question if you are so inclined. One thing is for sure: it sure feels like A LONG TIME ago....
With that in mind, in the event that the unthinkable happens and we actually win this game, let me say in advance that no one would deserve a win like that as much as Dobes. Furthermore, not only would it be great for him (little Alex), but i think it would do wonders for the program to have the future record holder in all passing categories have such a monumental W to accompany his legacy. I'm rooting for #10 to lead us to the unthinkable......
Of course, the main question of this game pertains to the Defense, which, in my estimation is the worst that we've had in my near 20 years as a Coug (If you can think of a worse group, please let me know). Are we content to play bend, bend, bend, bend, bend, touchdown, or will we actually try to force the issue and try to stop someone?
Personally, I don't think that Doba can enter this game with the mindset "let's let 'em have both the pass AND the run." Against SC, you MUST try to take something away--especially since its a game that everyone thinks you are going to lose. And we all know that Doba is smart enough to know that you can't expect to have the corners play 15 off, the safeties 20 yards off, and be able to stop the run or pass against SC...
So, I think that Dobes will stack the box in this one with the hope that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, we'll either muster a pass rush OR Booty will have a bad day.
It never hurts to dream, right?
In the end, I think that this game comes down to the number of possessions. IF the number is higher than 15 per side or lower than 9 per side, then I think that favors us at least to make it interesting...
In the end, I think that the game will have 25 total possessions. We will have 12, they will run out the clock with 13.
Against a good defense (or even a great one), I think that scoring on 50% of your drives would be playing nearly out of your gourd. And, while I think that our O is tough, I just don't envision us being able to have that kind of production. Instead, I think we'll score on 1 out of every 4 times that we get the rock (which is still good). For me, that's 21 points. Unfortunately, Brinkhater also feels a TO that will result in some points for the nation of Conquest.
As for SC on O, nothing that I have seen makes me think we will stop them more than 3-4 times (max) in this game. I think they'll sit on possession #13 (we'll count that as a stop), punt twice, and turn the ball over once. That means that on 9 possessions they'll score. Which leads me to the final score:
USC 59 Washington State 21
Remember, the name of the game for us is to stay healthy and improve. Next week is our MUST WIN game. Hopefully, Doba will let those corners fail so they will be ready to rumble against the Mildcats' spread attack next week. Its all about improvement, folks, lets hope the Cougs show some throughout this contest!
Other Pac-10 Games
UW 27 UCLA 24. Hate to make this call, but Ty is a better coach than Dorrell and UCLA will look slow compared to OSU. Jake will be up this week, then VERY down the next.
CAL 41 Arizona 34. Don't forget that CAL has no D and Arizona is improving in that new spread offense. In spite of the revenge factor, this one will be close.
ASU 35 Oregon State 28. Tough early loss for Beavs, a nice feather in Denny's cap.
Oregon 55 Stanford 10. One word: OUCH!!!!
(not) Big-10 game of the Week:
Meecheegan 21 Penn State 20: Name this one the "slow" bowl.
Enjoy the games this weekend.....
(Man, do I want an upset in the worst way...)