It happened. USC lost. It seems like every year, when USC loses, “______ Shocks The Football World” is all over the headlines. So, how did Washington fill in the blank and beat the 3rd ranked team in the nation? They made USC one sided, forced turnovers, and played efficiently.
We all know that USC can run the ball. Running backs Stefon Johnson and Joe McKnight have been electric this year. The question for the Trojans is the quarterback. True freshman Matt Barkley has been okay in the first two games, but not spectacular. Saturday’s game against Washington was the breaking point for Trojan QBs.
Barkley has been pestered by a sore shoulder as of late, so Junior quarterback Aaron Corp got the start against the Huskies. There is a reason Corp was a back up. The man put up pedestrian numbers against a team that didn’t win a game last year. Any time a defense can shut down either a run game or a passing game completely, they have a good chance of winning.
The Huskies defense allowed 250 yards on the ground, but because they held Corp to 13-22 passing for 110 yards and an interception, they were the victors of the game. It wasn’t like Washington played spectacular. They just fucked up less than USC, yknow? In addition to Corp’s one interception, USC fumbled twice. The Huskies did not turn the ball over once.
The Huskies aren’t a better team, but they played the better game. That’s all that matters. Efficiency trumped talent.
The New England Patriots steal. They steal draft picks and players from teams that don’t know what they are getting themselves into. The Pats have always been known for there thriftyness in trades. However, with the recent Richard Seymour trade to the Oakland Raiders, it doesn’t feel like thriftyness as much as it does straight ripping teams off.
For the 29 year old defensive tackle, the Raiders traded a 2011 first round pick. That first round pick is likely to be a high one. In the last 5 first round picks the Raiders have had, 4 have been a top 7 pick. The Pats have ripped off the Raiders before. In 2007, the Pats traded a 4th round pick for Randy Moss.
To put the crime into perspective, consider this: The Green Bay Packers received a 3rd round pick for Brett Favre from the Jets a season ago. Brett Favre, a first ballot Hall of Famer, has started every game since Week 3 in the 1992 season. Richard Seymour has started all 16 games in a season once in his career and that was in 2002.
I cannot, however, be mad at the Patriots. I would want my team to make every trade that they have made. Hell, the other team (in this case, the Raiders) also has to agree with the trade. There is a reason why teams like the Pats are Super Bowl contenders year in and year out and teams like the Raiders are the bottom feeders of the NFL: intelligence. Some organizations have it, others don’t. Oh yeah and, if it were possible, fire Al Davis.
Even though I am a student at a Big 12 school, even I will admit that our defense is… lacking. However, after a solid week one, a few Big 12 teams impressed me with their defensive performances.
Nebraska and Kansas allowed 3 points each and forced 3 and 2 turnovers respectively. A&M held New Mexico to 6 points and forced 2 turnovers. My own school, Missouri, held a high powered (or so we thought) Illinois offense to 9 points and 2 turnovers. Oklahoma’s defense was impressive even in the loss. The Sooners held the 20th ranked BYU Cougars to 14 points and forced 4 turnovers. The most impressive performance, however, was Oklahoma State’s D that held the 13th ranked Georgia Bulldogs to only 10 points while forcing 3 turnovers.
The Cowboy’s defense stuffed the Bulldog rushing attack, allowing only 95 yards on a 30 carries. The timing of OSU’s defense was just as impressive. Normally, when a Big 12 defense plays well in the first 3 quarters, they tend to slack off during the 4th. The Cowboys allowed only 59 yards on three drives and forced 2 of their turnovers in the 4th quarter alone.
I know, I know, it is only week one. But, if the Big 12 can play at least a little defense – say, holding an opponent to under 30 points – their offenses can handle the rest. A couple more Big 12 defenses will be tested next weekend. Iowa State plays no. 22 Iowa at home, Baylor plays UConn, and Oklahoma State plays a high flyin’ Houston offense that put up 55 points in week one. Keep your eyes on Big 12 D.