Having run across some tickets for Saturday's game, Ashley and I joined our cousins Scott (USC '06) & Heidi for USC homecoming on Saturday, November 11th at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The game of course was the USC Trojans vs. Oregon Ducks game and until a few weeks ago, the game was being built up as a major showdown with BCS implications. Since then, Oregon had lost two games and USC lost to Oregon State which I lamented about here. Still, USC was playing minimally for a Rose Bowl berth.
We arrived to the USC campus around 2:00pm for the 7:30pm game because of all the festivities and tailgate parties that go along with homecoming events. As anyone living in Los Angeles knows, traffic getting to downtown through the San Fernando Valley on an afternoon is an absolute bear. My cousins have a great parking location right near the stadium that is close, cost-effective, and secure -- that made the end of the trip fun. Upon arriving, we engaged in the usual fair, going through the tailgate and other parties as night time approached. Our seats, which were buried in the Oregon section "1CL" was the farthest away from the action, but still fun seats to have.
The game itself was the typical USC game that we have come to know over the past few years. A fairly intense first half exchange, but by halftime it was a 14-0 affair. The second half also had its share of excitement after two plays where a Dwayne Jarrett interception was followed by an Oregon fumble to really set the teams apart. Perhaps the most intense moment of the game what the referees ruling on the late game "touchdown" by the Ducks. In all, it took about 25 minutes for the refs to get to the decision. First they reversed the touchdown, then they reversed the reversal. In the end, everyone in the stands just wanted there to be a resolution to the play -- points or not. John David (JD) Booty, Chauncey Washinton, Dwayne Jarrett, & Steve Smith all had great games and it looks like the USC passing game is finally back!
Perhaps the biggest development during the afternoon was the string on top BCS teams that were upset during the day. First a highly-overrated Auburn team lost to Georgia, then Texas lost to Kansas State, in fact Florida almost lost to South Carolina. All of those were enough to boost USC to #3 in the BCS standings, perfect positioning for another championship run! At this point, if USC wins out -- against Cal 11/18, Notre Dame on 11/25, and finally at UCLA on 12/2, USC will go to the BCS Championship game this year. With simply a win next week, they will clinch a Rose Bowl berth. The end of the season is sure to be exciting, so stay tuned!
On a side note: Let me take a minute to get on my soap box about the fact that the Oregon Ducks have the ugliest uniforms in the PAC-10 and perhaps the entire NCAA. I know that they pride themselves on the fact they have about 30 different "kits" and the players choose before each game. However, it was a bad idea put together one that has what is supposed to be corrugate metail on the knees and shoulders. Because, when they play teams like USC, they look more like tire treads as they get runover. The good news is that this option is available for both away and home games, so they are equal opportunity when it comes to getting run over.