Results tagged “Rose Bowl” from kwc blog

Rose Bowl 2008

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Sun sets on the Rose Bowl as USC score another touchdown

Over the New Years break d and I went down to visit my aunt and uncle and watch the Rose Bowl. They were kind enough to offer up their seats to me and I happily accepted.

I pretty much got what I wanted with respect to the game. USC had to blow out Illinois in order to get any respect, which they did. The conventional wisdom was that USC was a much better team and that Illinois shouldn't have been selected for the Rose Bowl; this was validated by the 49-17 final score. One of the things I enjoy about watching USC play is that they use all their weapons: Davis, Ausberry, Dennis, Reed, Washington, and McKnight all had touchdowns. McKnight gave a performance that has people thinking Reggie Bush in future years.

Rose Bowl 2007: USC clobbers Michigan

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IMG_4154We planned to go down to SoCal for the Rose Parade regardless, but once USC surprisingly lost to UCLA, the weekend re-oriented itself around USC football. There was the trip to the USC campus so we could pick up additional USC paraphernalia and visit Heritage Hall, where national championship trophies and Heisman trophy after Heisman trophy were lined up in abundance. Then there was the Rose Parade, which also seemed like a USC event given that alumni George Lucas was Grand Marshal -- he had recently given ~$160M to the school. Lucas also did the coin toss at the start of the Rose Bowl with Darth Vader at his side -- USC won the toss.

Then, of course, the game. Our seats were at the USC endzone side of the stadium, which gave us a good view of the yellow/red divide on the opposite side:

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It seemed that USC fans outnumbered Michigan 2:1 and we were loud. Actually, for the first half, we were only kinda loud. USC only managed 3 points and squandered at least one other scoring opportunity when QB Booty fumbled. 3-3 is not the most exciting score, though it did keep our nervous tension high. The entire USC offense seemed to consist of 1-yard running plays followed by lucky 3rd down passing conversions. My dad and I chatted during half time and it seemed to us that the USC defense was awesome, but the much vaunted USC offense was asleep.

The USC game plan changed for the second half to one simple rule: pass. Jarrett caught passes and darted away from defenders for 2 TDs. Steve Smith made long games. Fred Davis and Chris McFoy caught a couple. One TD drive consisted entirely of four passes: boom, boom, boom, TD. All the while the USC defense kept making excellent plays: interception by LoJack, sacks and a forced fumble by Cushing, anticipating the running plays before they developed, etc...

Everything went exactly how you want a game for your team to go: a close score early on to keep your attention, then a complete dismantling to leave no doubt. USC fans even got to see a glimpse of their future starting QB Mark Sanchez long before time ran out. Jarrett got offensive MVP honors and chants of "One More Year," Cushing got defensive MVP honors, and Booty reprised Leinhart's role by directing the marching band at the end of the game.

You can get the whole game on iTunes for $1.99. In fact, for $4.99 you can get the 2007 Rose Bowl plus USC's clobbering of Michigan in the 2004 Rose Bowl and the more disappointing 1989 Rose Bowl (for USC fans at least).

Stormtroopers on Parade

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Rose Parade - Stormtroopers

When you wake up at 4:30am to go to a parade, your mind is bound to go a bit crazy. When the mind struggles to put together a thought, it often grabs the first it can find and holds it in an iron vise. In d's case, this thought was the Star Wars opening theme song, which she blurted out repeatedly while sitting in the stands, waiting for the sun to rise. I joked with her that the first band to walk through would play that song, further cementing it in my mind.

We didn't know that George Lucas was the Grand Marshal...

501st Stormtrooper Legion. Ewok float. Grambling State Marching Band, aka "The Best Band in the Galaxy" in Imperial and Twilek garb. Naboo Palace float with multiple Amidalas. Anakin. Maul. And more -- I did my best to document it all.

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There was much more to the parade than just Star Wars, but it was a fun touch, as was the weirdness of seeing George Lucas and Darth Vader stroll out to mid-field to do the coin toss for the Rose Bowl.

Rose Parade - Star Wars-04 Rose Parade - Star Wars-20 Rose Parade - Star Wars-28 Rose Parade - Star Wars-05 Rose Parade - Star Wars-07 Rose Parade - Star Wars-48

Rose Parade - Star Wars-17 Rose Parade - Star Wars-31 Rose Parade - Star Wars-26 Rose Parade - Star Wars-30 Rose Parade - Star Wars-01 Rose Parade - Star Wars-18 Rose Parade - Star Wars-37 Rose Parade - Star Wars-51 Rose Parade - Star Wars-52

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USC wins Rose Bowl

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Final 1st2nd3rd4thT 
 Michigan (4)007714 
 USC (1)7714028

There were two things I found funny about this game. One was a postgame quote from DE Kenechi Udeze: "People thought we were a 'finesse' line. Half of us on the defensive line can't even spell finesse. We were offended." The other was that this game was billed by ABC as embodiment of man versus machine, polls versus the BCS computer-generated standings. College football seems to be the last place where our fear of obsolescence by computer would turn up, but it has, and it's amusing, partly in a pedantic sense, as the role of a computer in this is mostly irrelevant. The BCS standings are a bunch of mathematical equations thought up by pseudo-statistician humans who are too lazy to work out their solutions on paper. The computer serves the role of the accomplice, accelerating the application of our own hubris, our desire to be able to perfectly categorize, rank, and file all that's under the sun (and stadium lights).

Watching USC play proves the adage that the really good teams create their own luck. Whenever an opportunity presented itself, the USC players were in the position to take advantage of it, from an errant Navarre pass bounced off of Edwards' foot into the hands of two waiting USC backs to the constant pressure from the corners that resulted in a USC player kicking the ball out of Navarre's hand as he dove past and other drops.

Nearly every aspect of USC's game was on fire. They lit up Michigan for nine sacks, tipped passes, knocked the ball out of Navarre's hands multiple times, blocked the field goal attempt on Michigan's first drive, punished Michigan's punt returner on his only return attempt, and even managed to complete a TD pass to their own QB.

Norm Chow seemed to have the pulse of the game -- USC went deep multiple times, and nearly every single time they pulled it off perfectly. The time of possession clock was heavily in Michigan's favor as a result of USC's efficient drives downfield. Matt Leinart hardly seemed a freshman as he was ranking up Carson Palmer numbers, and Mike Williams looked like an NFL player playing with kids.
ESPN.com - NCF - College Football Recap

USC and Redskins

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USC going to Sugar Bowl
- After Georgia and Washington State win, Rose Bowl ruled out
- Notre Dame not picked as at-large

Redskins fumble game to Giants, 27-21
- Comeback ruined by Bailey fumble on punt return and McCants fumble after catch in 4th quarter
- Ramsey came in for injured Wuerrfel, led comeback
- 5 turnovers