If you missed last week's posts, you missed our discussion of the #5 moment (linked above), a look at some changes to Memorial Stadium thanks to Erin of Erin's Cal Gooodies, an in depth discussion of the Pac10's Round Robin Scheduling, and an interview with a former Daily Cal Sports Editor (!). All great stuff that you should check out!
We continue our trip through the Top 10 moments of the 2008 California Football season. We've had some great discussion in the previous posts and hope you guys enjoy this one, too.
4. Rudy Carpenter takes a ride on the Pain Train.
TwistNHook: This is currently listed on our internal list as "4. Pain Train Hit." I guess, because when you say those words, people know EXACTLY what you are talking about. Although we did have something of a naming contest, sort of.
That phrase can't even come close to expressing the unimaginable and EPIC awesomeness that was this take down of Rudy Carpenter. Enraged at Carpenter's trash talking and some mistreatment of his parents in Arizona State the year before, the Pain Train was choo-choo-choosing to get at Carpenter by any means necessary. And on one play, he finally brought it all together.
Avinash: What happened to Pain Train's parents?
TwistNHook: If I recall correctly, ASU fans talked a lot of trash. There might have been spitting involved, I don't remember.
Carpenter is known to talk trash. He's universally hated across the Pac10.
Yellow Fever: I think I liked Pain Train's hit on Erik Ainge better. He folded the guy like an accordion! Which isn't to take anything anything away from him eating Rudy Carpenter alive either.
HydroTech: One thing I noticed about Pain Train is his tendency to not play through the whistle on big hits. Instead, he'll take extra time to celebrate the big play he just made. We saw that when he killed Rudy and also sacked the Miami QB in the Emerald Bowl. Both times, the play resulted in a fumble, but instead of pursuing the loose ball, he took a moment to have some words with Rudy (against ASU) and sit on the Miami QB for a moment longer.
Both times it didn't matter what Follett since the ball wasn't advanced by the offense, but in those situations you'd like to see him put himself back in the play in case the offense recovers the ball and starts to re-advance it or the defense recovers the ball and blockers are needed to advance the football for a defensive touchdown.
TwistNHook: HOW DARE YOU SPEAK ILL OF THE PAIN TRAIN!! HERETIC! BURN HIM AT THE STAKE!
Avinash: Seems perfectly in character, since we're not quite certain he's totally sane. Speaking of not totally sane, here's the video of the hit. It starts at about 1:17:
TwistNHook: My new thought is we should burn him at the steak. Not only would we get rid of the heretic, BUT we'd get a delicious HydroTech flavored steak!
CBKWit: SAD TROMBONE!
HydroTech: This was the hit of the season.
Follett delivered the hit of the season in 2007 against Ainge of Tennessee, and the hit of the season in 2008 against Rudy of ASU.
TwistNHook: I wonder what the hit of the season in 2009 will be for Pain Train?
Avinash: A wood carving of Matthew Stafford?
Ragnarok: What I loved about this play was that it was Rudy Carpenter who got pummeled. I mean, that hit on Ainge was nasty, but as a fan, you really really love to watch some guy get creamed who absolutely deserved it. From his whiny coup as a sophomore in ousting Sam Keller to his moronic, ill-advised trash talking, this was a guy whom Pac-10 fans everywhere loved to see taken down a peg or three. I can't think of any returning Pac-10 football player I'd like to see get hit as much as I liked seeing Rudy go down. Maybe if we could somehow take out Jim Harbaugh in a sideline accident, á la Joe Paterno or Charlie Weis.
TwistNHook: I wish I could say that this play was a game-changer. I wish I could say that it came at a key point in the game. But, for all its theatrics, it was just the norm for the D in the second half. Check the play by play, which happens to list it like this, btw:
3rd and 6 at CAL 44Rudy Carpenter sacked by Zack Follett for a loss of 15 yards, fumbled, recovered by ArzSt at the ArzSt 41.
In that second half, with Best out, Vereen tiring, and Longshore his usual second half self, our offense was sputtering big. Our D made play after play after play after play. Picking off Rudy. Stuffing the run. And making huge sacks like this. ASU scored its final points at the tail end of the 3rd quarter and then nothing in the fourth. So, while this was a VERY memorable play, it wasnt necessarily a turning point in the game. Then again, given the pressure put on the D by the O faltering at that time, every D play was a key play, really.