Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halftime thoughts

Well, at least the weather’s cooperating. The rain only fell a few minutes, and now it’s sunny on the north horizon.

Those of us who wrote “possible trap game” on Monday and by the end of the week were convinced it wouldn’t be are now wishing we’d stuck to our original theory.

What’s missing for USC? Well, the defense isn’t getting much pressure - no sacks, and Kentucky QB Mike Hartline is 9-for-13 for 139 yards.

Does the secondary miss Akeem Auguste? Kentucky is 6-for-11 on third downs.

Eric Norwood has a team-high seven tackles, but his name hasn’t been called for any extras - sacks, picks, big hits, etc. And we haven’t called Cliff Matthews’ number at all.

Offensively, USC’s running game isn’t a factor. The three-headed tailback combo has just 24 yards on eight carries, with the long being a 7-yard dash by Kenny Miles. Contrast that with previous weeks when Miles and Jarvis Giles were uncorking all those long runs.

The offensive line hasn’t been great, with Eric Wolford already making some in-game changes - and that was before starting left guard Heath Batchelor was beat for a sack late in the half.

Finally, Stephen Garcia hasn’t been at his best. There was the interception, but also a silly underhanded throw on the run to Brian Maddox that had Steve Spurrier livid.

If it weren’t for Alshon Jeffery and Chris Culliver, Kentucky would be running away with this right now.

Luckily for USC, it’s only a three-point game, and it’s still anybody’s to grab.

Seth Emerson, The State