USC tailbacks Ronald Jones and Aca’Cedric Ware made a bet to see who could gain 200 yards against Cal, which had the nation’s 126th-ranked run defense. Jones told me that even I “could have gotten loose on a couple runs” last night. I disagreed.
“I have faith in you,” Jones said.
One thing to remember: Oregon State rushed for 474 yards against Cal.
Does any one call make a big difference in a game like last night’s? Sam Darnold’s interception was interesting. USC had a first down, rushed for nearly 400 yards and was up 42-24. So why have Darnold throw a relatively deep pass?
Clay Helton said after the game he wanted to be aggressive for 60 minutes.
:”I don’t want to play safe football,” Helton said. “I wanted to be aggressive.”
If only that was the mindset against Stanford and Utah on fourth down.
Why can’t USC just blow a team out easily? USC had 11 penalties for 125 yards. The usual three turnovers. And remember how when USC lost to Utah, Justin Davis did not play in the fourth quarter because the backs supposedly had to rotate? But they couldn’t put Dominic Davis in at the end of this blowout? He was in on a key drive against Utah.
Washington obviously is off to a great start. But can the Huskies go undefeated? I don’t think so. It’s tough for any team in any conference to go undefeated. That leads me to believe someone ahead will really test the Huskies. The best bets are road games at Utah and Washington State and a home game with USC. One thing to consider: Washington’s six FBS wins are over teams with a combined record of 16-28.
Does it still feel weird to see it’s Game Day on a Thursday? Well, the good news is USC should not have a midweek game at the Coliseum according to Pac-12 policy. There is no tailgating allowed today on campus. On the other hand, what will someone say if you go to campus and decide to eat and relax in one of the green spaces?
Here’s a Pac-12 statement on Cal playing two straight week day games via Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News.
“Similar to last year with UCLA, this year’s final schedule approved by the ADs included two weekday night games in a row for Cal. Creating our schedule is a balancing act in which we try to account for interests from each of the 12 schools, our fans, and our television partners. We will always focus on trying to strike the right balance.”
This fails to mention USC had a bye last week, which makes the optics of this matchup so bad. Remember two years, USC played several teams coming off a bye week, which was considered odd.