McNeal News

USC recruit Curtis McNeal, a tailback from Venice High School, informed the university that he successfully completed the required summer courses and awaits approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse before he attempts to enroll.
This does not mean he is academically qualified. McNeal needed to complete four courses and receive high-enough grades to overcome his SAT score. The clearinghouse is expected to review his transcripts later this week for a final decision.

About Those Passes

Earlier today, I mentioned it would be interesting to ask Steve Sarkisian about the decision to pass so much and not use a balanced offense. The Trojans threw 35 of their first 58 plays.
“Early in the game, we wanted to get Mark in a rhythm and get him feeling comfortable,” Sarkisian said.
He then added, “The goal is to be balanced by the end of the game.”
Of course, I said it would be interesting to ask, not that the answer would be interesting.
I don’t put much stock in that last quote, because USC was just running out the clock, so of course the runs would increase.

Regarding Redshirts

These are the true freshmen who played against Virginia: Tight end Blake Ayles, wide receiver D.J. Shoemate, linebacker Uona Kaveinga, safety Drew McAllister, nose tackle Jurrell Casey, defensive tackle Armond Armstead and defensive end Malik Jackson.
It will be interesting to see how many get meaningful playing time now that they cannot redshirt. As you know, I’m an advocate of redshirting unless a player can truly help the team.

Caesar On Game

“It’s been evident over the years that when we prepare like this, we can expect to perform at a really high level. In that case, for a long time, we were able to do that again. After all that time we spent, all the processes, if we play like we’re supposed to, and all the guys come to practice, then we’re able to do that.”
– USC coach Pete Carroll

Groh On Game

“USC was a big, fast team with superior quarterback play today. We were anything but big and fast. Our quarterback turned the ball over too many times.
“We knew what we were opening up with when we scheduled the game. We wanted to take a challenge against a team that is in a league of its own. We knew it was going to take a lot on our part to pull this off. To play as poorly as we played is not acceptable.”
– Virginia coach Al Groh

Post-Game Thoughts?

Well, the score was lopsided and there were some notable performances, but this was not a particularly insightful test for Ohio State. Virginia did not have a passing game to make this game interesting.
Also, USC did not establish a running game and seemed to want to pass first. It will be interesting to see what Steve Sarkisian says about that.
Here’s where you can post your thoughts on the game.

Pass First

Many of the Scott Stadium record crowd of 64,847 are going home with USC ahead 45-7. This would be a good time to get Aaron Corp some playing time.
I’m a little curious about how USC, which preaches balance, threw 34 passes vs. 23 runs in the first three quarters.

Halftime

Any thoughts? The offensive line was superb in the first half. Mark Sanchez was literally standing still on pass plays he had so much time.
But there’s always those nagging issues (like fumbles) that prove vital when you play a quality team. That was a problem last season with Joe McKnight. Did anyone care to address it in the offseason?