September 02, 2007

Trojans Win Big -- Sort Of

LOS ANGELES -- A reporter asked quarterback John David Booty what it felt like to win by four touchdowns when USC was expected to win by six. That pretty much sums up the night as top-ranked USC pulled off a dominant but not quite satisfying 38-10 victory over Idaho on Saturday night.

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Booty's Done

In the official sign that this game is truly over (not that it's been in doubt), Michael McDonald has taken over for John David Booty as USC's quarterback. Booty kicked off his Heisman campaign with a solid, but not spectacular performance. Here's his final unofficial stat line:

12-of-32 for 206 yards; 3 touchdowns; 1 interception

Meanwhile, USC still leads 38-3 with about six minutes to go. With the outcome squarely in hand, I'm going to head to the field to get some interviews. But don't worry; Gametracker's not going anywhere.

McKnight Not Helping His Case

After spending much of the game on the bench behind Stafon Johnson and C.J. Gable, USC tailback Joe McKnight just fumbled inside the Trojans' 20-yard line. For a guy fighting tooth and nail for playing time, that's not going to help his case.

So Much for that Sellout Streak

USC's expected sellout season came to an end early. For the first time in 10 home games, tonight's crowd of 90,917 fell short of a sellout. Evidently enough hype doesn't exist to get Trojans' fans that excited about a matchup with Idaho. As far as the game goes, USC is on cruise control and holds a 38-3 lead. The Idaho team that looked respectable in the first half has been absent in the third quarter.

That's Not Going to Cut It

I don't know what was worse on the last set of plays -- Idaho's turnover, or USC's inability to do anything with it.

Backed up near his own end zone, Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle committed a cardinal sin. With no Trojan within three yards, he cocked his hand to throw the football, but the ball didn't cooperate. He fumbled the ball behind him, where Kyle Moore picked it up to set up USC at the Idaho nine-yard line.

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USC Looks Good, Not Great

By the time USC scored its third touchdown on its third drive and laid a couple of beatdowns on Idaho ball carriers on defense, it looked like the Trojans were ready to break the game wide open. But after watching the rest of the first half and looking at the halftime stats, this clearly isn't the performance I was expecting from the much-hyped Trojans.

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September 01, 2007

Vandals Break Through

This time Tino Amancio would not be denied. With 22 seconds left in the half, the Idaho kicker got the Vandals on board with a 30-yard field goal to cut the USC lead to 21-3. The score was set up courtesy of a 41-yard Idaho drive highlighted by a 29-yard pass from Nathan Enderle to Eddie Williams, setting Idaho up at the USC 7. They couldn't break the end zone, but did answer my question of whether or not they would even show up on the scoreboard.

Idaho Denied

With the second quarter winding down, the Vandals did manage to break into the red zone. But they came up short on third-and-nine from the 19; and to make matters worse, Clay Matthews blocked Tino Amancio's 36-yard field goal attempt to keep Idaho off the scoreboard. While the outclassed Vandals aren't going down without a fight, they find themselves in a 21-0 hole against USC with less than two minutes remaining in the first half.

Cushing in Locker Room, USC on a Roll

Categorize this under the last news that USC fans want to hear. Star linebacker Brian Cushing went to the locker room, presumably to have his ankle checked on. I'll update as soon as we hear any news.

Everything else is going the Trojans' way, though.

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Trojans Strike Quick, Vandals Moving the Ball

USC didn't take long to find the end zone, mounting a 10-play, 80-yard drive on its first possession; and it shared the wealth along the way.

C.J. Gable, the official starter at game time, got the bulk of the yardage with 44 yards on three carries, including a 33-yarder on the first play from scrimmage. But Stafon Johnson got the goal-line love with a four-yard touchdown to give the Trojans a 7-0 lead six minutes into the game.

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USC-Idaho: Let the Hype Begin... Errr, Continue

LOS ANGELES -- I showed up to the L.A.Coliseum a couple of hours early today to keep tabs on Cal-Tennessee from the press box and I've got to say; I'm shocked that Tennessee Coach Philip Fulmer let his punter kick the ball in the same time zone as DeSean Jackson. Alas, I'm not here to write about the Vols and Golden Bears, but to see if the much-hyped USC machine is all it's cracked up to be against a highly overmatched Idaho team.

My guess is yes, it is.

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