Kevin Roderick has the summary. But I have a comment or two.
The Trojans dominated in a sloppy game by both sides, but what they’ll be talking about for days (at least) is this: USC throwing a touchdown bomb one play after taking a knee to signify it was playing out the clock. UCLA called a timeout after the knee, perhaps precipitating the USC pass. In any case, a demonstrative celebration followed on the USC sideline â€” then the entire Bruins team swarmed off the sideline, many going past midfield, to object. Coaches, cops and cooler minds intervened before anything felonious happened, but it looked dicey there for a few minutes.
Indeed. Very dicey.
Even the handshake between the coaches seemed a bit….tense.
But about that touchdown bomb: Pete Carroll clarified the matter immediately following the game. (Not that it should have needed clarifying.) Yes, the USC offense took a knee, at which point everything could have stopped. Game over. Run out the clock.
BUT then the fact that UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel called a time out instead signified that the Bruins intended to keep playing, likely using a couple more time outs to get the ball back.
So that is exactly what the Trojans did. They kept playing. Matt Barkley, the baby quarterback, feinted, then threw a gorgeous 48-yard bomb to Damian Williams for a touchdown.
After this fall’s battering season, it is perhaps understandable that Carroll could not control his little kid delight at the play. (There was nothing over the top. He simply looked very, very cheery.)
The touchdown plus Carroll’s and his players’ undisguised good humor set off a fury on the Bruin’s bench, and the entire team surged on to the field with intentions that looked considerably less than friendly.
Eventually, the coaches and referees managed to shoo the potential brawlers back to their respective sides.
Yet the grumbling continues.
Interestingly, I don’t remember anyone shrieking at Stanford two weeks ago when they kept running up the score in the last few minutes. Instead everyone loudly blamed USC for having a lousy defense.
Now when the Trojans throw a touchdown in the last minute of the game ….it somehow is again their fault.
Okay, the weekend is nearly over so we shall soon be back to more serious issues.
But we aren’t there yet.