Another big game today as Cal and USC go head to head in SF. With the Presbyterian game being little more than an AT & T exhibition warm up, this seems like the real first home game of the year. Hopefully, our adopted home for this season is rocking as Cal fans watch Cal score at least 1 non-garbage time TD this season. That would be amazing it would be the first competitive touchdown scored by Cal in a USC game since 2007.
And on top of that, I hope we win. Winning would be even better. To find out more about our hated rivals, we talked with the SBNation USC experts, Conquest Chronicles. They have all the information you need to know in advance of the big tilt.
I'm not going to sugar coat this. Cal has struggled against USC in recent years. Even though USC is down from its meteoric heights of just a few years ago, Cal cannot seem to get any traction against the Trojans. It's personally frustrating to get beat by USC year in and year out. After last week's frustrating blow out loss to Oregon, it would regain a lot of goodwill in the program with a victory over the Trojans on national TV. Another nationally humiliating loss would be disappointing. I think we can all agree on that.
So, join us after the jump to see what Conquest Chronicles had to say. Thanks to DC Trojan for his answers to these questions. Here are our answers to their questions. Good luck to the Bears tonight. GO BEARS!
1. How bad is Robert Woods going to shred Cal?
If the Oregon game is any indication, Cal will have their hands full. Woods is a lot to take for experienced secondaries, never mind [look up name of Cal freshman corner]. Frankly, the best way to stop Woods is to get to Barkley, because double teaming Woods just opens up Marquise Lee or even TE Xavier Grimble... And I think everyone knows how Cal fans feel about passing routes to tight ends up the center of the field.
2. How bad is Keenan Allen going to shred USC?
Depends. On the one hand, if Maynard's accuracy is anything like in the Oregon game, not much. But given the SC secondary's propensity for missing tackles and giving away penalties, Maynard may not need to get the ball any closer than a foot to Allen for yards aplenty.
3. Over/under on numbers of times USC band plays Fight On?
A lot. Enjoy!
4. It seems like USC had trouble putting Minnesota and Arizona away after taking seemingly commanding leads. What gives?
With Minnesota it was just bad play-calling all around. With Arizona, it was bad defense. Kiffin called a better game on offense the second time around, but the defensive scheme would be better described as a defen-seive scheme.
5. Are fans growing impatient with Monte Kiffin?
Yes. Any time the defensive coordinator argues that a unit which is getting scorched at record-setting levels (for SC anyway) isn't as bad as it looks, you can expect that even the more patient members of the fan base are going to get annoyed. If SC gets shellacked by Oregon, Stanford (sic), and Notre Dame, and / or finishes at .500 or below because of defense, look for a massive push to have Kiffin Sr encouraged to retire.
The closest thing we've had so far this season is Nick Perry, who is healthy and making tackles and sacking quarterbacks. The defensive line is bringing pressure pretty well, but they'd have to be moving at the speed of sound to be able to choke off enough plays to keep the secondary safe and cosy and warm.
7. The USC O-line was pegged as a potential concern heading into this season. How has it fared so far?
The offensive line is okay for pass blocking and buying time for Barkley to get his passes thrown. They have been very inconsistent with run blocking, which gives other teams the luxury of being able to focus on Woods.
8. Who do you want to punch in the face?
Anyone who would try and make the argument that the 5 minute time-outs pending for Ohio State and Miami are proportionately appropriate relative to the hammering that SC took. I'm not saying that SC shouldn't have any sanctions - just that there should be smoldering craters in Columbus and Miami, if we're all so serious about infractions now.