Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sports: UCLA 13 USC 9

Woo hoo!!!

To think a few days ago, I almost sold the tickets!

Game ball to Dwayne Walker, the UCLA defensive coordinator for coming up with the plan and motivating the defense to a bend but don't break performance. If you saw a 9 on the scoreboard, you would have assumed it was UCLA. However, today, the defense allowed only 7 points (the other 2 was from a safety) and shut out USC in the second half. There were many key 3rd down and 4th down stops by the Bruins!

Game ball to Pat Cowan for using his feet to defeat USC. Cowan gained 55 yards scrambling and with rollouts bought himself time to make some completions. He showed the heart of a fierce competitor on a 3 and 15 scramble that netted only 7 yards but he took a monster hit that the fans in our section heard and gasped. Cowan bounced right up and trotted off the field.

Game ball to Eric McNeal who got his hand on the pass to deflect it and kept after it to gain the interception. It was 3rd down and 4 when he made the interception. If he had only batted it down, USC would have one more shot to get the first down and would have had one more minute left to score while in the red zone.

Game ball to Justin Medlock who got 7 points: 6 by field goal and 1 by PAT.

Game ball to Aaron Perez who punted. Not all of them were very good but good enough. On the last punt, he got 63 yards!

Other key items:

Penalties! USC with 9 for 56 yards compared to 3 by UCLA costing 21 yards. Some of the USC penalties were drive killers.

Rushing yards: USC got only 55 compared to UCLA's 121. Without Reggie Bush, the USC ground game didn't have a big play threat which allowed UCLA's defense to watch the wide-outs and pressure the quarterback.

Just like 24 years ago, I was on the north side end zone where the final moments of the drama unfolded. 24 years ago, USC got the ball at the far end of the field and marched down toward our seats. They got the TD but was sacked on the 2-point conversion preserving the 20-19 UCLA victory. Today, USC got the ball at their 20 with nearly 6 minutes left and marched down the field assuming they were going to win.

From Yahoo! Sports:

1st-10, USC29 5:52 J. Booty sacked by B. Davis
2nd-14, USC25 5:10 J. Booty incomplete pass to the right
3rd-14, USC25 4:42 J. Booty passed to S. Smith to the left for 13 yard gain
4th-1, USC38 4:31 J. Booty rushed up the middle for 1 yard gain
1st-10, USC39 4:05 J. Booty incomplete pass to the left
2nd-10, USC39 3:59 J. Booty passed to C. Gable down the middle for 7 yard gain
3rd-3, USC46 3:25 J. Booty passed to F. Davis to the right for 5 yard gain
1st-10, UCLA49 3:10 J. Booty passed to S. Smith down the middle for 7 yard gain
2nd-3, UCLA42 2:50 C. Gable rushed up the middle for no gain
3rd-3, UCLA42 2:01 J. Booty passed to S. Smith to the right for 17 yard gain
1st-10, UCLA25 1:50 J. Booty passed to C. McFoy to the left for 6 yard gain
2nd-4, UCLA18 1:50 J. Booty incomplete pass down the middle

3rd-4, UCLA18 1:15 E. McNeal intercepted J. Booty for no gain

We were on our feet the last 5 minutes screaming like crazy hoping against hope that the defense would keep them out of the end zone to seal the victory.

All fans were up hollering and jumping up and down, USC fans urging their team forward for the last minute victory and UCLA fans urging their team for a dramatic defensive stand. When the interception happened, it was like slow motion as I saw the UCLA fans continuing to jump up and down and screaming and hollering and the USC fans looking down silent in disbelief immobile.

UCLA 13 USC 9.

Unbelievable.

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