Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Blogjammin': The Boi From Troy

While it somewhat flies in the face of the spirit of Hate Week, I did keep up with my tradition of reaching out and chatting with an enemy blogger about the upcoming throwdown. Decked out in leather helmets and protective cups, the Boi From Troy and I had a civil chat about the game and used the opportunity to answer some burning questions about our rivals.

And then to fulfill our obligations as enemy fans during Hate Week, we both dressed up like pirates and had a heated slap fight.

I do it for the fans.

Anyway, you can read the other half here (link pending), and here's my interview with BFT:

  • Okay, take a step back and pretend that Pete Carroll is the coach of another team... perhaps even your rival team. Would you hate his guts? I mean, have you seen the man's website?

    If Carroll were able to do for UCLA, Cal or anyone else, I would hate him as much as Irish fans hate Ty Willingham or Bob Davie.  I also hate USC's websites, which, I promise, will have some kind of flash animation before the season is done touting the unprecedented, history-making 2006 football team.  That said, as a person, I really like Pete Carroll.  His optimism is so uplifting, I think I'd like him to run for Governor when Arnold is termed out.

    Think big, man... President Pete Carroll.

  • This clearly isn't the same juggernaut Trojan team from the previous few years, and yet here they are with a Pac 10 title in hand and two wins away from a national championship game. How has this team managed to sustain their level of success despite undergoing a major face lift?

    Whereas Notre Dame front-loaded its schedule, this Trojan team has a back-loaded schedule.  That has allowed them to improve over the course of the season to the point that they've been able to beat teams that would have grossly out-matched them in September. The other major factor is the defense.  Because the offense has been more methodical in years past, the defense has a chance to rest, make adjustments and game-plan--thus holding two of the most productive offenses in the nation--Oregon and Cal--to ten points or less.

  • Which part of this Trojan team scares you the most? That is to say, what weakness or vulnerability keeps you up at night worrying?

    Two things scare me, especially as this Trojan team matches up against Notre Dame.  Despite improvements to the Special Teams, our punt coverage leaves alot to be desired.  Had they not given up a return for a touchdown against Oregon State, we would not be talking about a Michigan-Ohio State rematch right now.  Likewise, the offense's inability to finish drives this year is frustrating.  While Booty's numbers are comparable to Leinart and Palmer--if not better--we're just not punching the ball in for points.  Against a team like Notre Dame, that could spell trouble. 

    This man is very, very disappointed in you.

  • How do you see this game going down? A "last one to score wins" shootout like last year? A surprisingly low-scoring grindout? As a follow-up, which type of game do you think would give Southern Cal the best shot at winning?

    I'd like to say that I think it will play out alot like last week's Cal game--a defensive battle opened up late by the Trojans--but I know better.  I think Notre Dame will put Quinn in the shotgun to avoid him getting pressured and making mistakes like he did against Michigan.  USC will try to take Samardzija out like they did with Cal's DeSean Jackson, by having Cushing jam him at the line--especially now that Carlson is out of the equation--which will lead to lots of screen passes to Darius Walker...which will allow Notre Dame to get some long drives, but not necessarily score touchdowns in the red zone.

    Meanwhile, on the offensive side of the ball, USC is going to try to run C.J. Gable for a hundred yards or more--regardless of whether they succeed--which means the game will come down to John David Booty's ability to find Steve Smith or Dwayne Jarrett on third or fourth down.

    I also expect Charlie Weis to do an onside kick after halftime.

  • Do you think that this game should be a play-in for the BCS title game? More to the point, if Notre Dame should somehow find a way to win this game, who would you put in the second spot against OSU?

    Sorry, but that loss against Michigan gives the Wolverines an advantage head-to-head.  However, I'd put Florida or Arkansas in the title game before wanting to see a rematch.  Imagine what would happen if Michigan were to win the BCS game--the winner of a Notre Dame-SEC Champion Sugar Bowl could lay a fair claim to a national title as well.

    Stupid us, not losing to an unranked team.

  • You have lots of connections in the USC athletic department, so do you know who killed Nicole and Ron?

    By "connections" you must mean "cancelled checks"...  While I know the BoiFromTroy is read at Heritage Hall, I do not think the Boi is all too welcome.  As far as Ron and Nicole are concerned, I have to plead the fifth...just like O.J.

Solid answers from BFT. You may now resume your regularly-scheduled hate.

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