Friday, January 2, 2009

USC Beats Another Big TenTeam

Ohio State Buckeyes (overrated to begin with) met the wrath of the USC Trojans at the Coliseum. Ohio State lost 35-3. The Nittany Lions fared better against the USC than their rival, ONLY losing 38-24. However, both Big Ten teams lost and lost big.

The Rose Bowl was over by the third quarter. All of the other points scored after that quarter was pretty much done in garbage time. Mark Sanchez dominated this game with his arm and decision-making. He had an excellent stat line of 28/35 for 413 yards and four touchdowns. Sanchez didn't throw a pick either. The USC offense made the win look easy. They mixed up the play-calling with roll outs, play action passes, quarterback sneaks, runs off each tackle side, run tosses and counters. They were throwing out the entire playbook.

On defense, USC were defending like clockwork......for three quarters. During the first three quarters, the Trojans were not letting the Nittany Lions get anything started on offense. Whether the plays were run or pass, there was no production at all. When Stephfon Green broke that big run for the Nitany Lions in the second quarter, the Trojans proceeded to strip him of the football. Once Trojan offense got on the field, they marched down the field for another touchdown making the 31-7 at half time. The entire USC team was a well-oiled machine, until the fourth quarter. They took their foot off the gas and let the Nittany Lions score some touchdowns which has been a rarity this season for this great defense.

Where should I start with the Nittany Lions? Going into this game, I thought they had a really good chance to pull off the upset because of their team speed and athletic ability. Their offense is a bit limited as Daryll Clark has much development ahead of him even though he has very strong arm. The Nittany Lions offense is run oriented with Evan Royster as the featured back and Stepfon Green being the change of pace. Well, Royster got injured while blocking during Clark's touchdown run. Royster didn't return to the game either, as he sprained his left knee. The big, greasy fat lady started singing and she got louder and louder as the game went on. The Nitany Lions couldn't get anything done offense after that touchdown. Zilch. Nada. Absolutely positively nothing got done on offense after that touchdown. The offensive line forgot how to pass block, and even though they run blocked well, the USC defense eventually stopped that production too. The Trojan defense just abused them through three quarters. Eventually, the Nittany offense got a couple of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. Better luck next year, Joe Paterno!

As for the Nittany Lions defense, their philosphy is just plain terrible. Awful. Atrocious. Pathetic. Why have your corners sag off opposing receivers? That tactic gives the receivers a free release off the line of scrimmage. That strategy never works, yet many universities and colleges uses it. That was frustrating watch and pissed me off to no end. USC offense just abused them up and down the field with little resistance from the Nittany Lions. Aaron Maybin is just not that good. At best, he is a pass rushing specialist at the next level. He is too small to be an every-down defensive end at the next level.

Taylor Mays is really good free athlete. He's 6'3" 230lbs and plays safety. Kirk Herbstreit said he runs a sub 4.3 in the forty. That time is insane. If only he along with Rey Maualuga drops to the Ravens, I'd be one happy man. Patrick Turner had a nice showing in this game, too. Keyshawn Johnson thinks he'll be a 3-5 round draft pick. The Ravens could his big play ability. I like Turner's route running ability and hands. His forty time will probably solidify his position in the draft. He's another player that I think the Ravens should bring in as a late rounder, though the Ravens do have collegiate underachiever in Ernie Wheelright is a big receiver. Flacco needs playmakers and Patrick Turner could be that playmaker. For the Nittany Lions, Deon Butler seems to be the better receiver than Derrick Williams. I could be wrong and probably am wrong. Neither receiver will be or should be drafted in at least the first three rounds. Though Williams gets the publicity, I think Butler has better playmaking ability and top end speed. Its going to be an interest combine for the two players.

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