The Bearfighter got sick. It was an evening like any other. I was eating nearly raw pork with close friends after ordering charcuterie containing even more meats from other animals. There was beer. There was bourbon. There was also the feeling my skin was going to peel off and the fact ice cubes instantaneously melted on my forehead. A fever? Damnit.
What followed was a three day fever dream like the montage out of any good movie about a musician in the 60s or 70s who starts experimenting with weird substances because he meets a dangerous woman who inspires his music. I sweat a lot. I fought imaginary bears in my sleep, so I am told. I even watched the game and in doing so in such a state, I think I realized some things. I think I gained a greater clarity that I will share with you now.
The name of this game was conservative offense. I mean, from the beginning, while I was right about Kiffin breaking out the puffy white jacket, the beanie stayed at home despite moist weather. He had better bring to when we play Oregon. I don’t care if the earth has global warmed to the point that it is still fucking 100 degrees in November here in Shangri-La. The beanie returns.
When USC was riding a 24-7 lead going into halftime, I bet most of you thought we’d score two quick in the second half and then sit back on deep passing and make it a laugher. That was not the case. Sure we had our miscues and our drops and so on and so forth. Sure, Matt let one fly to Nelson that he’d like to take back. But the thing is, once we got up, Kiffin started to drain the clock. He started to drain the clock so early it was like leaving dinner three bites into the entree. Arrogant.
Think of the 3rd down draw calls. Think of the incessant pounding of the rock even when you have set up the playaction so well that the cameramen would take a minute to figure it out. Then think of the stifling defense, the forcing of four turnovers, the control of the clock.
Trojan fans and the pollsters HATED this style of control clock, own the line, don’t dazzle football. I was shocked by this reaction because we see this type of 10 point win and style of victory almost every week. In the SEC.
USC basically just played clock control and as Kiffin said “got on the plane 5-1″ through the first half. But really, let’s talk. Was Florida’s 14 point win over Vanderbilt so much more impressive? Was Kansas State’s 6 point win over unranked Iowas St. so impressive? How about Ohio State’s 3 point win over unranked Indiana?
At some point, you have to come back to Arrogant Nation and remember this whole thing doesn’t matter. We want to get in the Rose Bowl and if the voodoo football spirits want to give us a shot at the “championship”, sure we’ll go to Miami, but getting to play an SEC team would be the real joy there. We’d get the opposite effect. Instead of everyone getting up to play us, finally we’d get up to play someone.
In the end, we have Oregon and Notre Dame on the schedule and they are pollsters dreams. There’s still a good chance if we run the table we can play for the crystal candy bowl, but I don’t care. I agree with Kiff. I like being 5-1 and I like running the ball if that’s what it takes. Once the second half offense wasn’t clicking the way it needed to for a blow-out, Kiffin decided to fuck over his friend Sark and his inferior team by decreasing his margin for error. We may not get first downs, but we will bleed the clock in front of you like a steak you cut before letting it rest. Your juice is on the plate, Sark.
It was calling out that Keith Price wasn’t going to do shit and if he started to, he’d fumble. And boy did he. He fumbled one with bad ball control and fumbled the other one because Dion Bailey wanted to see if quarterbacks bounced in the rain. EXPLOSION.
With Kiff’s plan, Keith Price was going to need to beat our defense and Keith Price isn’t capable of beating you in a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. Keith Price can beat you at anything but generating awful quotes that piss off a fan base regarding not enjoying football. When the announcers are commenting on your smile and how it’s been missing, yeah, Kiffin is going to run down the clock and make you beat us.
And guess what. It worked. It was ugly. It was frustrating It was SEC, defense and run football. Be thankful we don’t see it every week. SEC football is just Big Ten football that generates actual wins. It’s not for us, but in the end, 5-1.
The win was the key. I think if punting every first down in the Stanford game would have won the game for us, we’d all go back and take it. USC has gotten through the road half of their schedule 5-1 and well in the driver’s seat to win the Pac 12 South, potentially even with the ability to lose. Oregon could win and we’d probably still get to play them again and make it happen.
I am not saying that’s what I think, I’m just saying that if SEC football for one half in Washington equaled 5-1. Pound the damn rock.
Apologies for my lateness. I’ll see you tomorrow for the AGP.
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