Saturday, December 26, 2009

Trojans and Zebras: Perfect together

The combination of a lousy Dave Shinskie and an unbelievable screw job by the refs sealed a USC victory in the 2009 Emerald Bowl.  I'm just going to get right to the heart of the matter:

*BC showed heart and hung in there with the Trojans for a while.  I will be sad to see Rich Gunnell go, as he is now the program's receiving yards leader and is a real "BC Guy" (at least it seems as such to me).

*Shinskie is very much prone to mistakes, something which has not changed at any point this season.  His second half was absolutely dreadful.  In my opinion, he did not make any meaningful strides as the year went on, and that is of some concern to me.

*Claiborne's personal foul was a horrendously stupid mistake which was thankfully rendered meaningless, but that still does not change the essence of the fact that it was stupid.  That's not what I like to see at all.

*I thought the call of a USC catch in the first half was bad; the punt recovery call was one of the worst reviews I've ever seen.  It is as if the referee made a rule up on the fly in order to justify giving USC the ball.

There's really no way that I can be satisfied with this game.  I had accepted the reality that BC was the underdog in this one and that the Trojans were likely to win, but the game was there for the taking and for whatever reason or set of reasons, they didn't.  It was an ugly game overall and not one I would care to watch or speak of again.  I say this because it ultimately turned out to be frustrating and sloppy at times.  Missing extra points, coughing the ball up in the red zone, bad throws, etc.  Granted, USC was not, I repeat, not miles ahead of BC, and as I said, BC had their chances to win this thing, but they didn't.  The Eagles showed some fight but it unfortunately wasn't enough.

The combination of Luke Kuechly and the triumphantly-returning Mark Herzlich will make this defense even more fun to watch next year.  They are not, however, the problem.  We all know what the main area(s) of concern are, but will they be addressed, or can they be?  I'm not holding my breath.

Should the Chase Rettig era begin next year?  This is something I will expand upon in a future post, but for now I'd have to say that I'm undecided.  The knee-jerk fan in me says yes because Shinskie did not have a particularly good freshman year, but the conservative fan in me says no, because starting Chase Rettig means starting another true freshman and having to begin the process of developing a QB all over again.  At the same time, however, you're going to have to start that process sometime.  This is an interesting debate to have, and I'm sure we will all take part sooner or later.

To our seniors, I say bon voyage and good luck, and to those who went out there to watch BC in San Francisco, I admire you for your undertaking but am sorry that you had to see that in person.

I think this football season needs to be reviewed in-depth.  I'll see what I can cook up at a later point.  Sleep this one off; it's worth forgetting.

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