...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

January 04, 2006

4th Quarter Comment

As Butch Cassidy once remarked, "who are these guys?"

Update: 38 to 33 with 3:08 left. I hope you all took the over.

Update 2: :19 left. Oh.My.God.

Update 3: That game was as good as the ABC announcers were biased.

Posted by annika, Jan. 4, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Sports


Hook 'em, Horns!!

Posted by: JohnL on Jan. 4, 2006

Holy shit! Awesome! Just awesome! Best football game I've seen in years. Fan-freakin'-tastic! And I couldn't be happier with the outcome. USC deserved that, if for no other reason than what they did to my beloved Irish.

Posted by: Matt on Jan. 4, 2006

I got my undergrad degree at Notre Dame and my master's at Texas. I am now officially in Happycamperland!

And it was one of the best games I've ever seen to boot.

Posted by: Go 4 TLI on Jan. 4, 2006


Posted by: d-rod on Jan. 4, 2006

I shall restrain myself as I glory in my vindication. I've been right all year.

I truly do feel bad for Shelly, however in six months, we'll reload and shoot it out again!

Posted by: Casca on Jan. 4, 2006

HAH, Screw Shelly, All that talk about USC threepeating. In reality they have 1 & 1/2 championships. Besides ESPN had all these scorecards of how USC could have beaten the Roman Empire, Sauron's Orc army, and the entire Jedi Council.
Screw them too. YEEEHAAWW.

Posted by: kyle N on Jan. 5, 2006

Butch Cassidy? That dude the Caps fired a few years ago?

Posted by: Victor on Jan. 5, 2006

Good point Kyle. The only time to kick a man is when he's down. Pete "go for it" Carrol, really IS a dumbass. He believed his own press clippings, and launched his invincibles against a defense that didn't even get any respect in the awards ceremony. Did you hear John Saunders handing the Defensive Player of the Game trophy to that kid from Texas? "It wasn't much of a defensive game", or words to that effect. What an ass.

Tressel teaches coaching camps, maybe Carrol should go? He'd tell him, "Up by five with under two minutes left, ball at midfield, 4th and 2, let your kicking game and defense earn their keep. Whatever you do, don't pull an idiot John Cooper move and go head-to-head on the line."

I believe that my opinion of Keith Jackson is already a matter of record.

For the record, there were two great coaches in the BCS this year, and their teams both played Monday in Tempe. The rest are also rans.

For Procain Amy, we'll be down to Austin come September in what will surely be the battle of preseason number 1 & 2. Even if you still have Vince, it's gonna be ugly, so put the kids to bed early.

Posted by: Casca on Jan. 5, 2006

What an awesome game!! Much better than watching the Cowboys this past season. :)

Posted by: Amy Bo Bamy on Jan. 5, 2006

Biased? Haha. Hook 'em Horns!!! Yee-haw!!!!

Posted by: Jason H. on Jan. 5, 2006

Casca - USC had averaged 5 1/2 yds per rush and White had over 6+ yds per attempt. I think PC made the right move to go for it - he played to win instead of not to lose.

Having said that, I agree he certainly could use some coaching refreshers.

(1) If you are trying to run out the clock and force the other team to burn their time outs, you don't try a pass on second down.

(2) You don't keep your star player - and the Heisman Trophy winner - on the sidelines on the fourth down play. Even if you intend to run it inside, at least force the defense to consider that you have multiple options.

(3) If the same guy has beaten you multiple times with essentially the same tactic (VY runs to his right), you may want to use a defensive scheme that specificaly assigns one or two players to stay there. If you get beaten by the pass, so be it.

(4) Someone on his defensive/special teams staff should have known that if UT scores, they'll obviously go for two points (heck, I would have Vince Young start sprinting back to his goal and burn off the 20 seconds). Unbelievable USC had to burn a timeout.

(5) Ditto on the kickoff. Why he didn't have WR and RB along the 20-30 yard line (folks who could have run with the ball) and dared UT to kick it normally is beyond me.

Watch the game with TV announcers on mute and radio broadcast on.

Posted by: Col Steve on Jan. 5, 2006

Between Carrol's ridiculous 4th down decision and two specific USC players' inability to stay home on defense(#90, #55) nearly the entire game, USC gave away a game that they should have won---- despite the entire defense forgetting how to tackle.

I've literally seen high school games this year with better tackling and harder hitting. How many USC guys are gonna look at film and see themselves with their heads down and arms out, wondering how in the hell they missed a tackle. Jeeezzzz that's frustrating to watch.

p.s. I don't even know where to begin with Bush's "lateral."

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 5, 2006

We lost, they won. They deserved to win, we didn't.

We made bonehead plays (the lateral by Bush was just plain hot-dogging).

We had several opportunies and couldn't convert.

No one laid a finger on Vince Young; they couldn't stop him.

Watch for this kid Sanchez to beat out Booty next year, but the defense will mature and we'll beat Tressel in the Fiesta or whereever at the end of the season.

Shit, it was a great game and I am observing mourning today so don't pile on.

(We should have sold our six seats on the 50 in the 22nd row for $60,000 and gone to Vegas, but we would have bet it on USC anyway and lost.)

Posted by: shelly on Jan. 5, 2006

4th and 2 with SC's offense and the championship on the line? I would have gone for it too.

Posted by: annika on Jan. 5, 2006

Yep, all us SC folks felt that was the right decision.

But Reggie only touched the ball THREE (3) times in the last quarter.

You just don't keep your Heisman runner under wraps, so you have to give him a chance, whether they we spying on him or not. Me, I felt they were laying for LenDale on 4th and 2, and I would have called a play action pass/run by Leinart, which is always good with a swing to the fullback.

But Pete Carroll is a great coach, and like he says, "I prefer College to Pro's because I get 23 first round picks instead of one." I hear the recruiting has been awesome again, and this kid Sanchez is outplaying Booty in practice.

We'll be back strong again next year.

Time to get ready for March Madness.

Posted by: shelly on Jan. 5, 2006

Of course you would have. That's why you're not coaching in the big leagues. Despite all the good reasons to do it. It's a fundamentally dumb move, and indicitive of USC's loose and undisciplined style of play. USC is certainly the most talented offense in the nation, their problem is that they were playing the best defense that they had faced all year, and as JT would tell him at camp, "defense wins championships." Carrol should have used his.

Posted by: Casca on Jan. 5, 2006

15 yards for piling on.

Posted by: shelly on Jan. 5, 2006

It's OK Shelly, all is for the best. You'd have been insufferable in victory.

Posted by: Casca on Jan. 5, 2006

The way White and the Trojans' O line had been making a mockery of UT's defensive line in the second half, I'd have gone for it, too.

Posted by: Matt on Jan. 5, 2006

I'd be right with you guys if it had been 4th and 2 on the 25. But, it wasn't. The ball was basically at mid-field.

I was in a room full of ex-players and many of us have coached. To a man, we were all yelling "Punt!"

It is easy to get caught up in one play, though. SC made a whole lot of dumb plays prior to that 4th and 2 call.

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 5, 2006


Where'd you play, and where do/did your friends coach?

Look: You can voluntarily give the ball back to UT with 2:13 on the clock, and accept the small risk of a runback. But think about this.

In 11 possessions last night (I'm excluding the one that started 2 seconds before halftime), prior to the final one, UT scored 6 times. Two of those were 80 yard drives that consumed seven plays and ended in touchdowns. One of those 80-yard drives took 1:53; another took 2:02. In the second half, UT scored three touchdowns and a field goal in six possessions and should've scored another field goal. All the second-half drives but the one for the missed field goal took less than three minutes, and all their touchdown scoring drives in the second half took less than 2:40.

Let me put that another way: UT scored touchdowns on 4 of 11 possessions last night, prior to the final drive. None of those touchdown drives took more than 2:39. The shortest was 51 yards.

Rational conclusion if I'm Pete Carroll: If I let Vince Young touch that ball right now there's a goddamned good chance that he'll win this football game.

On the other hand, I've got this kid, White. He's touched the ball nineteen times this game, so far. The result of each possession up to this point? 4, 4, 9, 5, 9, 7, 3, 2, 14, 3, 12, 8, 6, 15, 1, 9, 4, 3 and 5 yards. One of the four-yarders and one of the three-yarders are touchdowns, from the 4 and 3 yard lines, respectively. And during the third quarter I gave White the ball on fourth and 1 on the UT 12, and he gave me a touchdown. If I need two yards, only one of these runs clearly doesn't cut it, and only one is even questionable. So I'm looking at 17 out of 19 chances that White gets me two yards and we win the game. My alternative is to give Vince Young the ball with 2:13 left, and bank on him not being able to do again what he's already done twice tonight (counting only the 80-yard, sub-2:13 drives).

No way, man. No way. Carroll believed in his offense more than his defense. I would have, too.

Posted by: Matt on Jan. 5, 2006

Good points all, Matt. But, the bottom line is that Texas won that game with (I can't quite remember)about 15 seconds. The extra 20 - 30 yards made the difference.

But, hey, anybody who reads your email above can obviously make a very strong case for Carroll. I just wouldn't have done it. (And if I did, I would not have run the play that everybody knew was coming and that Texas was defending against. 2 yards is a very long ways in that situation---USC should have learned from the sneak attempt earlier. I would have rolled Leinart out and ran a similar play to the one they ran successfully earlier.)

Regardless, Young was fucking amazing. And Pete Carrol, to that point, had won 2 consecutive championships. I, on the other hand, have won none.

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 5, 2006

The only truly inexcusable coaching mistake/decision was the timeout on the 2-point conversion. If Carroll didn't know that UT was going to go for two, then he didn't deserve to win that game. I'd also question the decision not to put a spy on Young on every play, but he was so fast that there probably were times they had someone on him but he was left out of frame.

As for the 4th and 2 call, to quote Joe Gibbs: "Ya gotta dance with who brung ya."

Posted by: Trevor on Jan. 5, 2006

Whoa Nellie we've got an old fashioned barn burner here tonight!

Posted by: Pursuit on Jan. 5, 2006

Good points Blu, but two Championships AND a very close second would be more accurate.

Carroll is a class act. He is not complaining about the knee down lateral by Young or the stripped catch that was ruled incomplete.

He rolled the dice to win and he lost and he takes it like a man. That's why these kids play their heart out for him.

My grandson will attend his camp this summer for the third time. The first day ever, he came home and complained that no one walks, ever. They run up the Coliseum steps and down to the locker room, run to meals and back to practice. But he looks forward to doing it again this coming summer; can't wait.

I was privy to one of his pep talks to these youg kids, and he is truly inspirational.

As long as Pete is at USC, they will be contenders, and he isn't going anywhere. Think Howard Jones, John Robinson, John McKay.

Posted by: shelly on Jan. 5, 2006

No, no Shelly, this is where you eat crow, dynasty boy. At least Carrol had the presence of mind to be publicly gracious. I'll never forget Larry Coker's official move to "Loser" status. After losing in triple OT to the Buckeyes, he refused to talk to the press. It's been a long downhill slide ever since.

Good players make good coaches. Great coaches have teams that come through in the clutch. Great coaches have disciplined players/teams who demonstrate mental toughness. What's the difference between Notre Dame under Willingham, and the domers under Weis? That's my knock on Carrol. He's got a talented but undisciplined team, that was carried through some close games by PAC-12 officials to feed the media created myth of Trojan invincibility. I'm still trying to erase the mental image of the halftime Michael Jackson tribute by the USC marching band, BLECH!

Don't get me wrong, I want Pete at USC when the Buckeyes show up. Tressel will beat him nine times out of ten. There's a reason why Buckeyes spell LLLLoyd with four L's.

Posted by: Casca on Jan. 6, 2006

OK, Annie, it's time to move on here. Let's post about something else.

My week is already ruined here, and to boot I have to go watch my 11 year old super athlete grandson go play point guard for (ugh) Notre Dame in the basketball league on Sunday.

I'm not sure if Ohio State will ever get to USC, but as former Chair of the Coliseum Commission, I still have a few priviliges; one will be to host Casca and watch him squirm while OUR refs show him why OSU will never beat a Pete Carroll team.


Posted by: shelly on Jan. 6, 2006

That's what I get for knowing next to nothing about football. Nothing in this comment thread even remotely resembles English to me. A bunch of random numbers... a few names thrown about as if they were figures from Bible stories... terms like "passing" and "conversion," which lead me to believe this game is some sort of Buddhist-Christian allegory...

The only thing I know about football is that the players don't dribble... but they do drool.


Posted by: Kevin Kim on Jan. 6, 2006


Did you get your ass kicked a lot growing up? Or are you just really gay?

Regardless, after you get done giving your Dungeons and Dragons buddy his daily reach around, go play with your Malibu Barbie.

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 6, 2006

"The extra 20 - 30 yards made the difference."

Umm, no. There's no way to know that. You're assuming that the rest of the game would've been the same in the event of a punt, but that's obviously not true. It's kind of a sensitive dependence on initial conditions thing.

Posted by: Matt on Jan. 6, 2006

Hey, what happened to poetry Wednesday?

A football game t'other night?
I've never seen such a sight!
'Cause on the east coast
From pillar to post
The game ends well past mid-nite.

Posted by: Victor on Jan. 6, 2006

I love it that the homophobic rhetoric is coming from a guy named Blu. That's funny on so many levels.


Posted by: Kevin Kim on Jan. 6, 2006

Do you know how I know your gay? You actually wrote "homophobic rhetoric."

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 6, 2006


How can I possibly debate you when you start bustin' out the fancy diagrams?'

I officially surrender. You and Pete are right!!!

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 6, 2006

My apologies, Kevin, for the spelling error. I, of course, meant "you're."

I like my insults to be grammatically correct.

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 6, 2006

All has now been revealed. Matt is a tricky lawyer, and Kevin stays in Seoul to blend in with the meat-gazers in the public baths.

Posted by: Casca on Jan. 6, 2006