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Pete’s Arboblog: Time for the title game

by Pete Arbogast, the voice of the Trojans

It has been a simply lovely week, but it’s time to lace ‘em up and do it again tomorrow night.

There is just nothing as good as beating Ucla—again and again and again—when there’s advancement on the line for BOTH schools. And last Saturday’s game was nothing short of a beautiful thing to behold.

It shuts them up (other than crowing about becoming 5-3 in basketball by scoring a shocking win that won’t be repeated this year—as a matter of fact, it says here they’ll split with us), and no one, absolutely no one I have seen has been wearing anything remotely powder blue on it all week.

The beat us three times in a row when we were under the most ridiculous sanctions in the history of anything like it, at the very bottom of the reductions in scholarships. We aren’t even all the way, back—won’t be fully stocked for another two years—so this one is particularly sweet.

Man, that was fun. And the feeling lasts a whole year.

Now then, to the more important things. Stanford is really, really good and they’re playing like it. Most of the comparative scores say this won’t be close, but this SC team really believes in itself right now, and is a much better team that the one that lost to the Trees on Pac-12 opening day at the Coliseum. Especially better on both sides of the line.

We had better be.

Hogan is not phased by anything. McCaffrey can really go and do it in the return game too. Rector is a deep threat, and Cajuste and Hooper are big loads as pass catchers. Then they still run that huge and stacked line out there when they need a yard.

SC can pass and have big plays that way, but now must be respected on the ground, too. And the DL has come alive as the season has worn on.

It’s going to be a war, one I say is going to go longer than four quarters in front of a much less than capacity crowd. Matter of fact if you’re on the fence as to whether or not to come to the game because you’re afraid tickets are scarce or cost too much, think again. They are plentiful and the cost in the parking lot is going to be about 50$.

The flight today was 53 minutes long. I watched just enough of “Man from U.N.C.L.E” to know it wasn’t very good. The TV show was awesome, at least from the perspective of a ten-year old boy.

You gotta love this: I walked into my room and the TV (oddly) was on. Showing was a film of highlights of the 2005 USC football season. The very first thing I saw was the Bush Push play with ME calling the play by play. Obviously, at least I think, it must’ve been set up to play in all rooms for all USC players and guests when they checked in. It’s been running all night so far with out stopping.

When it got to the Texas game, I turned it off. I have not watched it or listened back to it ever. Not once. Not going to start now. Never going to do it. It’ll be the only game I have not listened back to or seen other than live and in person. I just can’t bring myself to do it.

I can see the stadium across the street from our hotel. I think I’m going to walk there tomorrow…something different.

I’ve done my last minute prep work, ordered a pizza, and watched too much TV. The team went to diner and to see “Creed” tonight.

Lots of talk, none of it from coach Helton of course, about seeing Coach O come home. It’s not really time for that, though, right now.

A lot of bowl speculation, too. If we win of course it’s Pasadena. That would be against Iowa Michigan State, or Ohio State. If Spartans win tomorrow and form holds in other conference finals, then it’ll probably be the Buckeyes. But if, say UNC upsets Clemson, then it’s probably the MSU-Iowa winner AND Ohio State in the final four, and the Hawkeyes drop to the Rose Bowl. If Iowa wins tomorrow and form holds, it’s hard to imagine Ohio getting to the final four or the Roses.

If SC loses tomorrow, I hear most often the Holiday Bowl vs. Wisconsin or Michigan. Foster Farms, back in this same stadium against the likes of Indiana a possibility as well. There’s also a remote chance of Las Vegas and a date with BYU.

I hear zero chatter about anything involving Texas based games.

**

I hear Rogers is good to go at center…..for how long is anyone’s guess. It’s all hands on deck for this one. Play as long as you can as well as you can, then you can rest up later.

**

A big well done to the women’s volleyball team, second ranked and top seeded, with two wins at home to open the NCAA’s. On to the San Diego Regional next week for a trip to the Final Four for the winner.

Men’s water polo takes on Cal Saturday for a trip to the NC game. We didn’t look too good against the Bears up in Berkeley. Rooting for Stanford against the Bruins of course, and the Bruins might root for us over Cal, seeing as they have handled us pretty easily this year……so far.

Men’s hoops got a good win at USCB, although it was disappointing to see them drop the return match to Monmouth.

Women beat Southern Utah tonight at the Lyon’s center and are off to the best start since the 84-85 National Champs…..7-0! Go Coop!

**

Okay, time to hit the sack. Big day tomorrow.

Beat the Farm. How do you do!?! And Fight On!

 



Garry Paskwietz
Author
Garry Paskwietz

A 1988 graduate of USC with a degree in Sports Information. Worked in sports marketing for LA Lakers and Miller Brewing Company. Began covering the Trojans in 1996 with the Trojan Football Fax. Founded WeAreSC in November 1998 with stints at Scout and ESPN. Emmy-winner while covering high school football at Fox Sports West.


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