Thursday, January 05, 2006The Day After...
-- The Trojans carelessness on offense left 9-21 points on the board. The first mistake was a coaching error: Up 7-0 and facing a 4th and 1 inside the Texas 25 yard line, Carroll called a QB sneak that Leinart completely botched and slipped on; The second mistake was Reggie Bush's lateral after breaking a middle screen for over 30 yards. This was just incomprehensible and he affected Bush's mentality for much of the game because the Trojans were still up 7-0 and driving towards another score; Of course the third mistake was Leinart's interception at the Texas goal line, this was a great play by the defensive back, but an unnecessary change taken by Leinart when Dominique Byrd was open in the flat at the 15 and could've at least taken the ball inside the 10.
My feeling is that the Trojans wanted to end this quickly and given their opportunities, they could've had a 24-3 lead midway through the second quarter. Unfortunately they tried to end it too quickly and instead found themselves trailing 9-7 at the same point. For a team with so much experience and composure, they showed none of it during that span.
-- Young was just ridiculous. There's no way to defend a player like that without a five-man front that can smother him and USC didn't have the pass rush. One of the people I was watching the game with, my old high school football coach, said a 5-2-4 alignment could work against Young as long as you have Jonathan Vilma and Ray Lewis as the linebackers.
Still no pass rush against Vince Young is career suicide. He's a much better passer than you think and he runs like a great running back.
-- Mack Brown didn't outcoach Pete Carroll, hell Mack Brown didn't try to coach at all. He let his playmaker do what he was supposed to do and offered words of encourage. Carroll got a little too LenDale White happy, normally that's a good thing but not when Reggie Bush and his Heisman trophy are standing on the sidelines during the biggest play of the game. You think he'll regret that move sooner than later?
Was going for it on 4th and 2 the right call? Absolutely. Was giving the ball to White the right call? Most Definitely. Was leaving Bush on the sidelines a smart move? Uhhhh no (Duh!). Especially when Texas went into a rare 11-0-0 formation.
Bush should've been on the field and Leinart should've done playaction to White and hit Byrd on that rollout that had been working all game. Would've fooled everyone.
-- Speaking of Leinart, lost in the Young hoopla was the fact that he was beyond phenominal in the second half, something like 17-of-20 for 240 and a touchdown. He showed why he is who he is.
-- Should Young go pro? Ummm yeah, but I still would pick Leinart over him. Leinart is such a refined prospect, he's already Joe Montana in my mind and in the NFL game with all the speed at the skill positions, a strong, technically sound quarterback is what the doctor ordered.
For a team like New Orleans, which has Duece McAllister, Joe Horn, Donte Stallworth and Devery Henderson, Leinart is a perfect compliment to them.
For a team like the New York Jets which needs to rebuild their running game and offensive line, a dual-threat phenom like Young can make life a little easier.
Otherwise congrats to Texas, they are the undisputed National Champions of the 2005 season.