I've learned to live with the FT misses but it still pisses me off. I couldn't watch the game cuz I was working. Somehow we have satellite and have NFL Network but we don't have any of the ESPN channels. But I was checking the live updates on my phone but it seemed very competitive. And we were down 7 late I believe but we came back w/ some three's and I believe Pruitt maybe had an And1 when we were down 4 but he couldn't get the FT and that eventually killed us, him and Randle. It killed us last season in the tourney game against Va. Tech and it beat us tonight again.
But Pruitt, for a big man, to shoot that bad, something must've been wrong. At least we're playing competitive on the road. Last night in a hostile environment in Maryland and last week in a neutral site against a team that has fans everywhere, against Duke. Hopefully, we play well and can really built a tourney resume with a win against ARIZ next week.
It certainly was a game that could have gone either way, but good thing it went Maryland's way. I'm not sure how your team gave the game away, though. Vasquez was bricking up shots early in the shot clock late in the game, Hayes had a stupid, unforced turnover late in the game, Boom missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and our 3-point defense wasn't exactly stellar towards the end giving your team nice looks from behind the arc.
No one had control in the game, but we've yet to learn how to win close games. Too many times we check out when we need players the most. I was very disappointed in Chester Frazier playing at home. He's not the type to break down like that. His only attempts were 3s? That's definitely something wrong.
IMO its gonna be a blowout. USC is healthy and Illinois is not a top 10 team.
We haven't been blown out once this year. Even at 2-10 last year, only one team blew us out.
We lost to Top 10 Mizzou team in a game that went to the last minute, with our backup QB turning the ball over four times. We beat the No. 1 team in the nation on the road.
Even though healthy this isn't a dominant USC team. We're not lacking in the team speed to compete with USC like Michigan was, and this USC team isn't as good as last year anyway.
Offensively, Fred Davis is about the only thing that really scares me. Their WRs are only decent and I-formation running games get stuffed against our front seven. We held both P.J. Hill and Beanie Wells under 4 yards a carry this year.
These guys scored 24 against UCLA, Oregon State and Oregon, 23 against Stanford. You can rattle Booty and we have the pass rush to do it. We could force the same turnovers that we forced Todd Boeckman into making; USC is last in the Pac-10 in turnover margin.
I don't think we'll win, but those thinking this is going to be some enormous blowout didn't pay attention to Illinois this year. Blowing out a team that runs the ball as well as we do, and can do it in so many different ways, is a hard, hard thing to do.
If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but a blowout would be surprising. But like always, the two weeks of extra layoff the Big Ten has before bowls could very well hurt us. I'll lobby for the Big Ten season to be extended past Thanksgiving until the day I die, if I have to.
The Big 10 should just add a 12th team so we can have a damn Conference Championship game like the Big 12, SEC, and ACC. Hell, even the Pac-10 gave their teams an extra conference game. I doubt ND in Football but they could join for BBall.
Anyways, I think we're very capable of upsetting USC. We do have an athletic team with an athletic QB and IMHO, a more explosive back in Mendenhall. I just believe if he sees a hole he'll hit it harder then Mike Hart and can take it to the house. We also run some of the same spread formations that Oregon used and they beat USC. Granted they are healthy (although McKnight did leave Saturday's game, no?) and have an infinity-headed monster at RB but we can apply pressure and can sustain drives with our run game. We've just got to get Benn the ball more though, he's so explosive but I saw less and less of him getting targets against OSU and NW.