Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Barkley won’t get emotional during possible finale - OC Register
Regardless of whether Saturday’s game against UCLA is Matt Barkley’s last in a USC uniform, don’t expect the junior quarterback to get sentimental about it.

“I usually take emotion out of the game,” Barkley said Tuesday. “When I look back, that’s when the emotions will probably kick in, if I do decide to leave.”...
UCLA vs. USC: The top 10 recruits at stake - OC Register
The USC-UCLA game is the biggest day of football in Los Angeles. That goes for recruiting as well. For the Trojans, Saturday is their final game to make an impression on high school prospects. For UCLA, it's their most important one.

Both teams enter this weekend with a lot of uncertainty looming. UCLA's signing class might look dramatically different than how it's shaping up if Rick Neuheisel is fired. Lane Kiffin's job is secure, but he's working with limited scholarships as USC has been capped at 75 — 15 per signing class — for the next three seasons...
HPD investigates allegations of point shaving by UH football - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
..."UH has alerted the NCAA about the anonymous letter and its contents and, in discussions with them, has been informed it is 'doing exactly what you need to be doing' in this situation," Greenwood said...
Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley? Heisman debate is heating up - LA Times
Stanford's Andrew Luck is the apparent front-runner, but Oregon coach says USC's Matt Barkley was the best against the Ducks...
Bowl Practices Not Significant? - LA Daily News
Lane Kiffin said today that USC's bowl ban actually helped recruiting last year because it gave the coaching staff more time to recruit. He also said he didn't think the 15 bowl practices mattered much. "I think it's overrated," Kiffin said.
Barkley On UCLA - LA Daily News
"We're not trying to upset their season, we're trying to make the most of our season." -- USC quarterback Matt Barkley
Football School Again - LA Daily News
Robert Woods said when he and tight end Randall Telfer went to class Monday, students burst into applause. ``I thought it was funny,'' Woods said.
Good news, bad news on injury front - OC Register
Quick hitters from USC’s Tuesday-morning practice:
** Several players who were hurt during the Oregon game were able to practice on at least a limited basis. They included linebackers Dion Bailey and Lamar Dawson, fullbacks Rhett Ellison and Ross Cumming, and defensive tackle Christian Tupou...
** ...Kiffin wore a bright-red Mater Dei High sweatshirt during practice. “I wore a Serra sweatshirt on ESPN, and then I wore it in our team meeting room,” Kiffin said. “Then (Matt) Barkley, Khaled (Holmes), Robbie Boyer, Kennedy Polamalu and (offensive assistant) Lenny Vandermade didn’t like it very much, so I had to wear this today.”
Fun with Oregon Hate Mail - Lost Angeles
I clearly offended Oregon and in arrogant fashion, I am going to post and respond to some of the better comments I got just for your pleasure.  After all, this is the last time I have to think about the Ducks for a while, unless I eat pate or fois gras at Thanksgiving (considering it if there’s a good beer to pair it with, maybe something from Portland)...
NCAA nears revamp of sports agent oversight - Football Rumor Mill
NCAA nears revamp of sports agent oversight; eyes national registration

A Discipline Problem - The Wall Street Journal
...Joe Paterno clashed repeatedly with the university's former chief disciplinarian over how harshly to punish players who got into trouble...shedding new light on the school's effort to balance its reputation as a magnet for scholar-athletes with the demands of running a nationally dominant football program...

...Mr. Paterno believed that the school's code of conduct should not apply to any incidents that take place off campus—that those should be handled by police—and they shouldn't be allowed to affect anyone's status as a student.

"Coach Paterno would rather we NOT inform the public when a football player is found responsible for committing a serious violation of the law and/or our student code," she wrote, "despite any moral or legal obligation to do so."...
Can Kiffin coach? Maybe the answer is yes - ESPN
...The 38-35 win at Oregon on Saturday hinted that, yes, he can. That he might be growing into the job. That he's matured as a leader and motivator. At 9-2 and ranked 10th in the AP Poll as well as the ESPN.com Power Rankings, he's a win over rival UCLA away from what would unquestionably be considered a successful season: a "true" South Division championship, 10 wins, a top-10 ranking, a win over top-five team (Oregon) and wins over rivals Notre Dame and UCLA...
Dennis Erickson's ASU football program is healthy - Football Rumor Mill

Is the clock ticking on Arizona State’s Erickson? - Football Rumor Mill

USC football: Letdown for UCLA? No way - OC Register
USC coach Lane Kiffin and his players insist they’ll have no trouble recharging their batteries for UCLA despite coming off the program’s biggest victory of the past two seasons...

...Despite Kiffin’s confidence, he’ll be waging a battle all week long against human nature. No matter what he says about last week’s upset at Oregon being just “the next game on the schedule,” it felt a lot bigger than that...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top beneficiary of Oregon Public Employees Retirement System: Mike Bellotti - The Oregonian
The top beneficiary of Oregon's state pension system is former University of Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti, who retired last year to go to work as an ESPN commentator and now collects a state pension of nearly a half million dollars a year, according to data released to The Oregonian Monday by the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System...
P.S.R. 1-120: Week 13 Re-Ranking - Pre-Snap Read [NY Times]
...5. Stanford (10-1, 8-1)
A Rose Bowl trip is a fine consolation for the Cardinal.
6. U.S.C. (9-2, 6-2)
Seems as if the Trojans could beat anyone right now...
When UCLA, USC meet in football, defense (against pranks) is key - LA Times
While city rivals' teams prepare to do battle on Saturday, students guard against potential attacks on campus during the week, with particular attention paid to Tommy Trojan and Bruin Bear statues...
Robert Woods remains on pace to set USC, Pac-12 receiving records - LA Times
Sophomore has 99 receptions, three short of the school and conference mark set by Keyshawn Johnson in 1995.
Kiffin Quote Of The Day - LA Daily News
``Kinda crazy, after watching the tape, we didn't play all that well.'' -- USC coach Lane Kiffin
Neuheisel draws Barkley and Luck comparison - CBS Sportsline
Coach Rick Neuheisel believes the QB that UCLA will face Saturday, USC's Matt Barkley , is on the same level as fellow Heisman Trophy candidate, Stanford's Andrew Luck. "They're very, very comparable, the only thing Andrew has over Matt is he's a little bit more mobile," Neuheisel said. "(Barkley) is almost more dangerous.''
Arizona hires former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez - Football Rumor Mill
The final 151 seconds - ESPN
...USC didn't give up any gigantic plays to the Ducks, so they were forced to try to grind it out. Kelly ran 15 plays on the final drive -- more than the Ducks had run on any other series in all of Saturday's game.

They weren't well-equipped to succeed in that situation, and they clearly didn't expect to be kicking the field goal. But USC expected them to.

"We have confidence in our special teams and our field-goal block team," safety Jawanza Starling said. "If the game's on the line, we're gonna make a play."...
Arrogant Game Recap: Oregon Ducks - Lost Angeles
...Let me begin by remind you, Arrogant Nation, what our goal was this year.  It was to win the Pac-12 South and make Larry Scott look like a fool for lumping the conference title game in with the NCAA instead of doing what the rest of the world does, protect it’s own, especially the only relevant football team you have.  Keep hanging that hat on Stanford and Oregon, Larry.  I hear they are huge in big games...
This Week In The Pac-12 - California Golden Blogs
...USC 38, Oregon 35...Imagine what Andrew Luck would do if he had Robert Woods and Marquise Lee to throw to.  After Barkley goes pro, USC's new quarterback needs to be awful, because he'll be throwing to the best WR tandem in the nation. It's pretty amazing that Oregon even had a chance to tie this game considering what USC's defense did to the Oregon offense for three quarters...
Between the Synapses: Oregon Coach Chip Kelly - Every Day Should Be Saturday
To paraphrase Wu-Tang, the game of football is like a swordfight: you must think first, before you move.  Even the most talented athletes are useless without the most exacting and carefully-planned strategies.  Oregon's Chip Kelly knows this, but even he couldn't handle Lane Kiffin's Troll Style.  (It's immensely strong, and immune to nearly any criticism.)...
Pac-12 Players of the Week - ESPN
Receiver Marqise Lee and linebacker Hayes Pullard of USC and Utah kicker Coleman Petersen have been named Pac-12 Players of the Week.
From the official release:

Lee, a freshman from Inglewood, Calif., had 325 all-purpose yards in USC’s 38-35 win at Oregon. He had eight catches for a career-high 187 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown to open the Trojans’ scoring. Lee also had six kickoff returns for 134 yards and four rushing yards...
School hypes Matt Barkley for Heisman Trophy - LA Times
USC quarterback Matt Barkley is back in the Heisman Trophy discussion. The junior passed for four touchdowns in USC's 38-35 victory over Oregon on Saturday and has passed for 33 touchdowns, with seven interceptions, this season. On Monday, USC released this video, hyping Barkley for the Heisman, which is awarded annually to the  outstanding player in college football...
LB's Pullard and Bailey chasing history - CBS Sportsline
LB Hayes Pullard's team-high 14 tackles in the 38-35 win over Oregon gave him 72 on the season, just four behind LB Dion Bailey's team-leading 76. With one game left to go, both are attempting to become the first freshman ever to lead USC in tackles.
Oregon Report Card - LA Daily News
And here are my opponent grades for the USC-Oregon game: QB: C+ TB: B+ WR: B OL: C+ DL: C- LB: C- DB: D ST: C- Coaching: D
WR Lee closing on on 1,000 yards - CBS Sportsline
WR Marqise Lee has 919 receiving yards, putting him 81 yards short of becoming just the second freshman in school history to top the 1,000-yard receiving mark in a season. All-American Mike Williams totaled 1,265 yards as a freshman in 2002.
Weekend rewind: Pac-12 - ESPN
...Team of the week: USC ended Oregon's 21-game home winning streak as well as the Ducks' 19-game conference winning streak with a 38-35 victory, providing coach Lane Kiffin and QB Matt Barkley a signature victory.
Best game: Unlike most weeks this season, four Pac-12 games came down to the waning moments, but the Trojans' win in Autzen Stadium was thrilling and meaningful, featuring a pair of ranked teams...
USC Report Card - LA Daily News
Here are the Trojans' grades for the USC-Oregon game.
Matt Barkley saved his best game for the biggest stage of the season.
Allowed a single sack to defense that led Pac-12 in sacks.
Applied some pressure to Darron Thomas in critical situations.
Kiffin pushes QB Barkley for Heisman - CBS Sportsline
Coach Lane Kiffin hyped up QB Matt Barkley for the Heisman Trophy following his 323-yard, 4-TD performance in the 38-35 win over Oregon. "I can't imagine there's other guys out there putting up his numbers with a bunch of young guys around him," said Kiffin.
Morning Buzz - LA Daily News
USC is back in the top 10 and some players said the Oregon game was a preview of next season.
Conflicting reports on Erickson’s future - Football Rumor Mill
A one-sentence Internet report on Sunday had Dennis Erickson informing his staff that this would be his last season in Tempe. According to sources, including ASU football staffers, Erickson, at this point, has not informed his staff that he plans to step down at season’s end. In addition, ASU also has not made a decision on Erickson’s future. Despite a three-game losing streak, the Sun Devils still have a chance to reach the Pac-12 championship game. … Erickson’s contract at ASU expires Jan. 15, 2013 (or through the 2012 season.) In an Arizona Sports 620 radio interview last week, Erickson suggested that he wasn’t ready for retirement, that he wanted to continue coaching football.

Woods a Biletnikoff finalist - LA Daily News
USC wide receiver Robert Woods has been named one of three finalists for the 2011 Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation's best receiver...
USC's Matt Barkley back in Heisman talks as Trojans rise - LA Times
The Trojans move up eight spots to No. 10 in the Associated Press media poll after their upset victory at Oregon on Saturday. Coach Lane Kiffin thinks Barkley deserves to be a Heisman finalist.
Kiffin Not Happy With Top 25 - LA Daily News
Lane Kiffin was miffed the 10th-ranked Trojans were one spot behind Oregon in today's AP poll. ``I would think we would be ahead of a team we beat 24 hours ago,'' Kiffin said.
Pac-12 Rewind: Kiffin leads USC past Oregon - USA Today
...Kiffin and the Trojans proved without a doubt Saturday that they have young talent that can play hard and tough and smart and at one of the toughest places in the county to play -- cold, raucous, fans-on-top-of-you Autzen Stadium -- and win...
WSU QB Halliday hospitalized - ESPN
Washington State redshirt freshman quarterback Connor Halliday was taken to Pullman Regional Hospital following Saturday night’s game against Utah where it was found he suffered a lacerated liver. He remains in stable condition in the intensive care unit as of Sunday evening...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oregon Ducks-USC Trojans quotes - The Oregonian
...Here's a rundown of what Oregon and USC coaches and players had to say after the game:

...Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti: "Winning is like the best drug ever. Losing is like ... it just sucks. It really sucks."...
Sunday Night With Kiffin - LA Daily News
Lane Kiffin said no one on the team or coaching staff was surprised by the Oregon upset. ``We told them the night before the game about how we would shock the world but we weren't going to shock outselves,'' Kiffin said. ``No one here was surprised by what happened.''
Oregon Ducks begin picking up the pieces with Rose Bowl on the line - The Oregonian
Chip Kelly talks about bouncing back, Oregon State and the final minutes of Saturday's loss to USC.
Easy Plane Ride - LA Daily News
Lane Kiffin watched a tape of the game on the plane ride back to Los Angeles with quarterback Matt Barkley, wide receiver Robert Woods and center Khaled Holmes. ``They are very young kids that are professionals,'' Kiffin said. ``I walked by (freshman offensive guard) Marcus Martin and he was asleep.
Stanford, USC move up in polls - ESPN
USC finally got some respect in the AP poll, but don't expect too much head-to-head logic from the pecking order of Pac-12 teams...And guess who is 10th in the AP poll? USC, the team that just won at Oregon. Scoff if you want, but that's how it goes in polling. It's darn near impossible to create a ballot uncompromised by illogic.
Oregon Ducks rundown - The Oregonian
Sure, Oregon lost. But Kelly's decisions didn't cost the Ducks the game.
Dennis Erickson Must Go - Football Rumor Mill
Dennis Erickson Must Go

BCS title hopes crumble as their fourth-quarter rally falls short - The Oregonian
Alejandro Maldonado's field goal try on the last play of the game misses.
Cliff Harris is nowhere to be found when Ducks need him - The Oregonian
The Ducks' suspended cornerback could have made a big difference on a night when Trojan receivers sped by Oregon defensive backs.
John Hunt's AP ballot: Oregon Ducks drop to No. 10 after wild weekend - The Oregonian
The SEC claims the top three spots on this ballot, as the Ducks fall behind Stanford and USC.
Oregon writes itself out of championship conversation - Eugene Register-Guard
... while Nick Aliiotti will be criticized, Chip Kelly’s offense sputtered for much of the night. Turns out, Kiffin’s dad, Monte, can defend the spread after all.

“We just go out and play Trojan football,” Barkley said.

What did the Ducks do?

“We beat ourselves,”
LaMichael James said...
Our coverage of Oregon’s 38-35 loss to USC - Eugene Register-Guard
My game story detailed how USC turned the tables on Oregon, doing to the Ducks what they did at Stanford a week earlier. The defeat cost Oregon a shot at the national championship, or at least a place in the discussion, George Schroeder wrote. The Ducks started slow as usual, while…
Kelly On Barkley - LA Daily News
``I thought Matt was outstanding,'' Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. ``A couple of those deep balls were right on target. He always seemed like he had the answer. Every time we came back and scored he came back with an answer.''
Oregon shocked by home loss to USC - ESPN
This is most strange. The ball didn't go where it was supposed to go. The kick went to the left of the yellow pole, the clock ran out and the Autzen Stadium scoreboard said, "USC 38, Oregon 35."

We now know what disbelief sounds like.

This wasn't the storybook ending summoned by 59,933 with their collective knowledge that Oregon and Chip Kelly don't waste amazing comebacks. It had been 38-14 in the third quarter, and all was lost...
Hayes Pullard finds his own place in USC spotlight - LA Times
In something of a mild upset, the Trojans linebacker outshines his former Crenshaw High teammate, Ducks running back De'Anthony Thomas.
No Dark Clouds - LA Daily News
``A little bit of sun (has touched the program),'' Lane Kiffin said after the game.
Gary Klein on USC's upset victory over No. 4 Oregon [Video]
The Times' Gary Klein talks about USC's dramatic victory over No. 4 Oregon with CineSport's Brian Clark. According to Klein, there was one prevailing theme among USC players after the game -- the Trojans are back. He also calls it the biggest victory in the USC careers of quarterback Matt Barkley and Coach Lane Kiffin...
Morning Buzz - LA Daily News
It was possibly USC's biggest victory in six years as the Trojans snapped Oregon's 21-game winning streak, which Marqise Lee said was like a bowl game for him and his teammates.