A Marathon Day for WSU

My crew starts tailgating at 6am for home games so when the Washington State game was announced for a 7:15pm start I knew it was going to be a long grueling day. If you’re counting that’s 13 hours of tailgating before kickoff.

We got to campus a few minutes before 6am and started setting our tailgate area up. We knew this was going to be one of our bigger tailgates due to the duration. And we also knew it was going to be a very hot day with tempratures around 100 degrees for much of the afternoon. So we stocked up with extra food, drinks, supplies, canopies and even TVs. Yes, we brought an extra TV for this tailgate so we could have two different football games on throughout the day. I like to say we had twice as many TVs as any other tailgate on campus! A lot of people liked the multiple TVs so we might make dual HDTV sets a standard part of our tailgates from now on.

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Our tailgate isn’t one of those super fancy affaires but we do pay attention to detail. We muted the volume on one TV and figured out a way to make the closed captioning colors cardinal & gold. Lots of people stopped by the tailgate throughout the day including several Twitter followers; all told I’d say we had about 70-100 people stop by.

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I don’t know where the WSU fans were for this game. While on campus for nearly 13 hours I only saw two WSU fans which is unusually low. And the visitors’ section at the Coliseum looked to be about 1/3 empy. That’s a really sad showing so I have to give props to the WSU fans that actually showed up to support their team.

USC won the game 27-6 but the score does not reflect how poorly USC played.

The USC offense scored a quick touchdown which, after the UW debacle, I refused to get too excited about. The previous week against Washington the Trojans quickly scored on their first possession which tricked me into thinking the game would be a blowout. However, USC lost the game to Washington, so when USC scored with ease against WSU I wasn’t so sure that there would be more to come. But to my pleasant surprise the Trojans put 20 points on the board in the first quarter… And that’s when I was tricked into thinknig the game would be a blowout.

After the first quarter the Trojans fell back into the same offensive funk that’s led to so many struggles this season. WSU is a doormat but for the final three quarters of the game USC only outscored them 7-6. That’s rediculous and unacceptable. As are the number of penalties USC made (13), their red zone conversion rate (50%), their third down conversion rate (33%), fourth down conversion rate (0-2), fumbles (2) and what seemed to be a total lack of focus and interest on offense.

We don’t have a lack of talent on offense, the widespread offensive problems indicate a coaching problem. We are winning games despite our unspectacular offense because our defense has been spectacular. Spactacular defense has been a Hallmark of Trojan football since Pete Carroll took over but if we don’t get our act together on offense the number in USC’s loss column will soon be >1.

USC fans are not without fault either. Against WSU attendance was a paltry 75,216 who seemed to be disinterested for much of the night. The fans aren’t giving the football team any kind of homefield advantage.

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By the time the game was over I was exhausted but I still stayed for the USC Band’s postgame concert. When I finally got back home 19 hours had passed since I left in the morning; I went straight to my room, collapsed onto my bed and slept for 13 hours. It was a long day that will be repeated November 28 for the ucla game which also starts at 7pm. We’ll have to make that tailgate even better!

Fight On!

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