Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thoughts on the Rose Bowl 

It's debatable whether or not the "better team" won last night, as a bitter Matt Leinart will tell you. What is clear, however, is that Texas' 41-38 victory seemed to be less a product of UT's dominance and more a result of USC's defensive futility. Suffice it to say, I've already exhausted myself shredding USC's judgement and defensive incompetence last night. Let's run through the laundry list of how USC literally gave this game away:

- Pete Carroll just kicks a damn field goal to take a 10-0 lead in the first quarter instead of dicking around, trying to draw an offsides. It's an easy kick in the first quarter! Take the points!

- Reggie Bush's bonehead-retarded-I-can't-believe-the-best-player-in-college-football-attempted-that-stupid-lateral after picking up 30+ yards and putting SC in scoring position. By all rights, it could've been 17-0 at that point. This is also where the game turned in Texas' favor.

- Horrible management of time outs. They enter the 4th quarter with only one left and when do they use it? With 19 seconds left when Texas is going for a 2-point conversion (which they got easily, surprising no one by giving it to Vince Young up the middle).

- In spite of their defensive charade, the Trojan offense had them up 38-26 with six minutes left. Two scores, people. At that very moment, USC quit.

- All the credit in the world to Vince Young. He certainly deserves all the accolades he is receiving for last night. But remember how every single one of his completions was to a wide open receiver? 'Cause they were. I hate to take anything away from Young, but when Texas had the ball, it seemed like they were the only team on the field, whereas when USC had possession, they had to go out of their way to make big plays and were never permitted one - let alone TWO - waltzes into the end zone. I've never seen such horrible tackling from a championship-caliber team. What's pass coverage? USC doesn't know.

- The worst offense of all: Reggie Bush -- Heisman Trophy Winner, best player in the country -- wasn't even on the field when USC failed to convert the game-deciding 4th and 2 with two minutes to play. Everyone knew LenDale White was getting the ball. Texas packed all eleven men inside in anticipation. And to everyone's surprise, USC was predictable and essentially gave the Longhorns the ball game right there.

This game was over when: Texas got the ball back with 2 minutes left.

In spite of my criticisms, it was a really entertaining game to be sure. I still don't think it tops the USC/Notre Dame clash from earlier this season if only for one reason: both teams in the USC/ND game played their best.
I would hardly call USC's effort last night their "best."

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