Tuesday, September 18, 2007

[Murphy] Ground Rule - CNNSI
...The end result: sportswriters scrambling to find synonyms for gaping hole .

Wide gulfs. Yawning breaches. Vast chasms. The Trojans hogs -- including true freshman center Kris O'Dowd -- created some of each. "I've been around here awhile," senior left tackle Sam Baker said on the field after the game. "It's not too often [that Carroll] puts the game on our shoulders. It gets you fired up."...

Also, [Mandel] Contender, pretender - CNNSI
Seeking solutions for Tailback U. - Tacoma News-Tribune
...“I don’t have all the names of the running backs … but I saw four different numbers (from Saturday’s 49-31 USC win at Nebraska),” said Doba, who coordinates the defense. “They’re all capable.”...

...Doba admitted he had not studied each one thoroughly, but added he did see fullback Stanley Havili’s 50-yard run on Southern Cal’s first play from scrimmage against the Cornhuskers.

“He runs like a tailback,” Doba said...

...The Trojans rushed for 313 yards and five touchdowns against the 14th-ranked Cornhuskers...

Also, Cougars to tackle No. 1 assignment - Seattle P-I
WSU builds steam to push on to USC - Seattle Times
Cougs, last in Pac-10 defense, to test USC - Seattle Times
[Dienhart] Could this be Carroll's best USC team? - Sporting News
...Better than the 2003 team that was crowned national champion by the Associated Press?

Better than the 2004 team that squashed Oklahoma...

...Better than the 2005 team that lost a heartbreaker to Texas in the BCS title game?

Could be...it'll be fun watching USC continue to improve. Unless you're on its schedule. Then it'll be scary...

Carroll's team lacks megastar power at the top, but this group -- his seventh at USC -- has more talent from player 1 through 85 than any of the previous six...

Also, Booty makes mark quietly - Daily Breeze
Can anyone stop No. 1 USC after its 49-31 beatdown of Nebraska? - Daily Californian
USC's movement scares Nebraska defense - LA Daily News
Did Nebraska's defense get psyched out by USC to create those gaping holes...?...

...Nebraska chose to keep its defensive players in place against USC...perhaps confident it could physically match up with the Trojans.

It turned out to be a momentous decision.

USC's offense also put enough players in motion that the Huskers might have been scared to stunt their defense, because it might create big holes.

"If you move guys around, it might give (Nebraska) a reason to keep people in place because they don't want to get caught out of position,"...Pat Ruel said...

Also, NU defense 'inexcusable' - Omaha World herald
Even passing teams need an effective running game - Lincoln Journal-Star
USC's Good, But Not Unstoppable - Nebraska State Paper
Trojans run wild versus Nebraska Cornhuskers - Tufts Daily

Monday, September 17, 2007

USC running game delivers KO - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
..."When you throw the ball over somebody's head, it's like you're getting jabs in on them," said Pat Ruel..."But when you run against another team, you knock them out."...

..."Nebraska made some mistakes and misread some things," Coach Pete Carroll said..."It wasn't all us knocking them off the ball. But some of the action on our runs left them off guard."

The basic play, Ruel said, involved misdirection...Ruel described it as "a different inside zone (blocking) play, like a reverse."...

Also, Trojans prove worthy of No. 1 rank - LA Times
Joseph shaken up after scary hit - Daily Trojan
Trojans' Johnson Now a Front-Runner - Washington Post
[Sipple] Rewind unkind for NU fans - Lincoln Journal-Star
...I regret if it sounds like I’m piling on Nebraska, but this was painful stuff for Big Red fans.

Three especially eyebrow-raising developments from an eventful evening on Stadium Drive:

Development I: Nebraska’s best defenders...at times were in position to make tackles and simply missed...

...Development II: Nebraska continues to struggle running the ball effectively against the top teams on its schedule...

...Development III: It’s difficult not to notice irony in the way USC bludgeoned Nebraska on the ground...

Also, Husker running attack struggles again - Lincoln Journal-Star
Ground game struggles to pave path - Omaha World Herald
Ruud believes Huskers will rebound from loss - Omaha World Herald

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Linebackers making noise for top-ranked Trojans - USA Today
...Much has been made about the nine former prep All-Americans USC boasts at running back. But coach Pete Carroll says this about the linebackers: "No doubt, this is the best position on the team. It's the biggest, fastest, most aggressive linebacking group we've had."

Norton calls USC "Linebacker U." with good reason. Starters Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga and Rivers are on various watch lists...and are considered the nation's best unit.

Then there are the backups...
An Elite Class of Teams Emerges to Dominate the Championship Chase - NY Times
...these six teams are so far ahead of the pack that any notion that the championship race is wide open is laughable.
Here is what they are facing on the road to the national title:

Southern California
WHY THEY CAN WIN IT ALL In thrashing Nebraska, 49-31, in Lincoln on Saturday night, the Trojans played their most dominant offensive game since Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart left campus.

WHY THEY CAN’T WIN IT ALL The symbol of the Trojans this year is: @. U.S.C. plays @ Washington, @ Notre Dame, @ Oregon, @ California and @ a rejuvenated Arizona State.

At Cal on Nov. 10. It will be the West Coast’s biggest game of the year...
[Oberjurge] Big Red Nation gets lesson on who's No. 1 - San Bernardino Sun
USC's Trojans did their Caesar-in-Gaul thing again.

They came. They saw. They kicked serious butt.

Veni, vidi, victim.

For the fourth time in five seasons, the Trojans made an early-season incursion into a traditional power's territory ... and tore out their hearts. On national TV.

This time, it was Nebraska. A proud, history-suffused program with a roaring, capacity crowd to boost the 14th-ranked Cornhuskers.

Put to the sword by the top-ranked Trojans...

Also, USC rushes to victory over Nebraska - LA Daily News
USC CB Joseph OK after bruising his larynx - LA Daily News
USC delivers a haymaker - LA Times
Johnson crosses 100-yard barrier for first time - LA Times
[Whicker] Trojans find open road - OC Register
A USC run-away - OC Register
Trojans Leave No Doubts by Taking It to Cornhuskers - NY Times
...Ostensibly still in the game, the Huskers came unhinged early in the second half as Sam Keller threw back-to-back interceptions...

...By the time Nebraska scored again with 12:09 left, U.S.C. was leading 42-10 and a long line of taillights could be seen driving away...

...Just what impact the overwhelming victory will have on the polls is unclear. But it seems likely that U.S.C. reasserted its grip on some of the No. 1 votes it lost from the preseason polls, particularly in the Associated Press poll — in which 62 of 65 voters had deemed U.S.C. No. 1 and some 22 had changed allegiances since.

“Everybody wanted to make a big deal out of L.S.U.,” U.S.C. defensive end Sam Baker said, adding, “We’re going to continue to be No. 1 and to play like a No. 1 team.”

Also, Trojans get major rush - San Diego Union-Tribune
A lopsided loss to No. 1 USC has Huskers fans seeing red - Ft Worth Star-Telegram
Lincoln log: USC makes style statement in running past Huskers - ESPN
[Mandel] Ground greatness - CNNSI
Top-Ranked Trojans Rip Nebraska - Washington Post
...Nebraska, the team that dominated much of the 1990s, was no match for the team that has owned this decade. USC's offensive line...created gaping holes for a plethora of talented running backs who scampered all over the field from the game's start to finish. USC outgained Nebraska on the ground, 313-31.

"I have not seen holes that big since I have been here," said USC sophomore Stafon Johnson, who rushed for 144 yards. "My eyes got real big when I saw them. Our line is great."

Nebraska never found a way to contain one of USC's running backs...

...Nebraska also never found a way to contend with a highly touted USC defense, which returned 10 starters from last season...

Also, USC runs all over Huskers - Lincoln Journal-Star
Post-game quotes - Lincoln Journal-Star
[McKeever] Don't put this on Keller; USC's that good - Lincoln Journal-Star
...labeling Nebraska’s 49-31 defeat a Keller nightmare revisited would be a slap in the face to both Nebraska’s quarterback and a club responsible for the most oohs and aahs ever heard on one night in Memorial Stadium.

It’s hard to imagine Nebraska will see a team anywhere close as talented as the Men of Troy the rest of this season.

Consider that USC’s first offensive play from scrimmage was a 50-yard run — by a fullback.

It took the Trojans all of four plays and a minute, 38 seconds to go 96 yards for their first touchdown...

Also, [Sipple] Huskers stumble on big stage - Lincoln Journal-Star
Southern Cal makes Blackshirts pay for mistakes - Lincoln Journal-Star
Trojans prevail with superior talent - Lincoln Journal-Star
Huskers decide they're not ready for prime time - North Platte Bulletin