What happened to this game???
The Cal vs USC game was hyped as the game of the year for the Pac 10 conference. It was easily seen as the best game of the week and was supposed to get national Saturday night coverage on ABC.
So I checked the schedule and it looks "undecided" what will be shown out here in NYC. Great, so now I might be treated to a big time match up of two ACC teams grinding out to a 10-7 finale rather than a classic Pac 10 battle of 2 ranked teams.
- Freshman tailback, Joe McKnight, has finally learned
1) how to hold onto the ball and
2) which direction to run
and it only took him half a season. This is not good news for Cal.
- USC's best running back, Stafon Johnson is also healthy now. More bad news.
- John David Booty's finger is better and he will be leading the USC offense. JDB or Mark Sanchez, neither has looked remarkable this season. If Cal can get in his face, Booty can be forced into a poor game.
- After getting only 20 sacks for the year, the USC defense got 9 against Oregon St. OSU not playing their starting tailback might have something to do with that stat, but it is still worrisome.
- USC linebackers are playing well but not up to their preseason hype where some publications had all three as first team All Americans. Injuries and two losses have faded some of the luster but they are a solid core. Keith Rivers is an excellent tackler and in always in position to make a play.
- Post-Aaron Rodgers, Pete Carroll and the USC defense have been able to stop Cal's passing attack. Jackson has been shut down in both previous games. USC has the speed on defense to cover well and has a D line that can generate pressure on the QB without help. Coach Tedford might have to get a little more creative this year.