Thursday, October 1, 2009

USC - Opening Thoughts

Looking for motivation? Look no further.

Before the season started, just about everyone, from Tedford down to the black-hearted pundits, felt this was Cal's best chance to beat USC - early in the season, at home, new QB, and breaking in new players on defense and new coordinators. And if not for the Oregon loss, everyone would still be saying that. Well, I am still saying it. USC is walking dangerously close to the ledge and they are just begging to be pushed off it. They have finally had that run of bad luck that has so miraculously eluded them the last 7 years under Carroll. Welcome to the club.

In one off-season, they lost their OC, DC, QB, all conference SS, and 3 all conference LBs. Then early this season, they lost their starting CB, starting DE, starting DT, starting WR, and starting QB (Corp). Then the new QB (Barkley) and Mays got hurt. Then they lost to UW. Then they lost two starting LBs. Last week they lost another DL for the season. And Barkley, Mays, Perry, and multiple LBs are going to play banged up this weekend. And then Stafon Johnson got hurt this week ending his season - one of the major leaders on this team. If Carroll wins the conference this year with all that, he deserves coach of the year in my opinion.

But while I feel bad for the injured players, I have absolutely zero sympathy for the program. Between the years and years of lucky calls in tight games, to the total domination of west coast recruiting, to the arrogance of the fan base, as far as I am concerned, they have been long overdue for some bad luck.

Plain and simple, Cal has the chance to pull the plug on USC this weekend. USC's the Million Dollar Baby on death's doorstep, and Cal is Clint Eastwood, dabbing Baby's dry lips as he slowly slips a lethal cocktail into the IV. Goodnight Trojans, it's Cal's year, not yours.

That's how the team has to approach this game. And I am going to say it now: This week, it's on the Cal coaches to get the players into this mindset, that they are going to ruin SC's season, crush their spirits, and turn the lights out on them. Other weeks, maybe not. But with everything that's happened, and the golden opportunity this presents to the team and the program, the coaches need to dig deep and do nothing short of paint a masterpiece this week. For this reason, I think this might be one of the more defining weeks of Coach Tedford's career. He is going to need to get this team to use the Oregon loss as motivation, to play at a fever pitch with their hair on fire, and in the words of James Bethea, to play like they want to take their fucking hearts.

Offense, defense and keys to the game to come later.


Anonymous said...

Great piece of writing....I couldn't agree more. The Bears have been bloodied and knocked down. Now we find out whether they will get up and fight or go home and cry to mommy. Deep down I know they have it in them to dominate this trojan squad. And for god sake, would someone please knock Taylor Mays on his ass for me!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Well said!! Damn, we need you in the locker room this week getting them fired up! I couldn't agree with you more but my fear is Tedford will take the same pragmatic, even keeled, "execute the gameplan" approach that he always does... he never seems to have that fire / anger to shock to the world.

SDGoldenBear said...

I have been wishing for a while that someone would hit Mays with a blindside crackback block that takes him out of the game for a couple plays, just to take him down a notch.

SamoBear said...

Continuous loop of Decoud block on UCLA's Bosworth in the locker room before the Bears come out to play should do it...add in Bethea's talk and you have a fired up team ready to play!

Go Bears!

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