Sunday, November 07, 2010

Cardiac Trojans Finally Win a Nailbiter

Late in last night's roller coaster of a game it seemed the Trojans were destined to suffer yet another tough loss. Joe Houston kicked a field goal to give USC a 34-33 lead with three minutes to go but everyone in the Coliseum knew the Trojans had lost on last-second field goals to Washington and Stanford earlier in the year. And as fate would have it the Sun Devils, led by gutsy QB Steven Threet, promptly marched down the field. The Trojans defense held firm inside their own territory and forced a 41-yard field goal that was pulled wide left.

Earlier in the quarter Tyron Smith busted through on an extra point kick and blocked the ball with his helmet, which Torrin Harris returned the other way for two Trojan points. Also USC blocked a punt in the first half. The shaky special teams probably affected Thomas Weber as he missed the kick.

But that wasn't the only tense/crazy moment in this game. Oh no, not by a long shot. At the end of a mostly mundane first half USC QB Matt Barkley drove the Trojans down the field, hitting David Ausberry on a quick two-yard slant with three seconds left. Ausberry also snagged a two-point attempt in the third quarter. That was preceded by Malcolm Smith's 74-yard pick six. And we can't forget LeQuan Lewis' 102-yard kickoff return or Omar Bolden's 66-yard INT TD midway through the fourth.

But truly he impact of the special teams on this contest can't be understated. Let's review all the insanity.

Houston missed two chip shot field goals but makes the eventual game winner for USC. The Trojans score two two-point conversions (playing offense and defense). The teams combine for over 280 yards of punt and kick returns, including Lewis' TD run. Weber punted for the first time this season and missed the go-ahead field goal.

What a wild game.