A Classic Loss for a Number of Reasons
Regarding the Kickoff Classic, here is my addition to Chris Dufresne’s “By the Numbers:”
0--Number of points scored by USC’s offense against Penn State.
1--The college football ranking USC will not achieve this year.
2--Number of alternating quarterbacks necessary for Brad Otton to play well.
3--Number of times Otton missed open receivers for probable touchdowns in the first half.
4--Approximate number of holding penalties not called by officials on Penn State’s offense.
7--Number of days per week the Trojans should practice tackling drills.
12--Number of days Coach John Robinson has left to turn this sorry group into a Division I-A football team (Illinois will probably stomp them too).
14--Number of consecutive years USC will have failed to defeat Notre Dame after this year.
19--Average number of missed tackles by the USC defense per half.
675,000--Number of dollars USC brain trust accepted to throw an inexperienced team to the (Nittany) Lions and sacrifice the ’96 season.
USC gets stomped once again in a big game. Excuse me while I yawn. Penn State had no passing game, ran right at the Trojans and still steamrollered them. How long does this sort of thing have to repeat itself before we declare it a new tradition?
Let’s face it. USC has become . . . Stanford!
During the fourth quarter of the Kickoff Classic, I was preparing to write a sarcastic letter suggesting that USC would have a much better chance of winning the national championship if it actually scored some points. However, seeing how it stormed back in the last two minutes to score that inspiring touchdown, I can only say congratulations. See you at the Rose Bowl in November.
West Los Angeles
Regardless of how well USC develops this season, it will be hard to overcome what the nation saw on TV last weekend.
John Robinson says, “We need more work.” I suppose he is talking about next spring practice. In the old days, people used to yell, “Get a horse” at car owners. Perhaps USC alums should holler “Get a coach!”
HARVEY J. QUITTNER
I have been a USC rooter for 65 years, but when Coach Robinson talks about a national championship and the sportswriters echo his words, I feel like a fool. That team was simply no match for Penn State. Its tackling was the worst I have ever seen and the entire team seemed demoralized throughout the game. Coach Robinson and his staff have failed to teach the team basic football. Sorry, it looks like a long season.
Now that the brain surgeons of Troy have been exposed, Joe Paterno can get on with the tough part of his schedule--Louisville, Northern Illinois and Temple.
DONALD F. REEVES
Rancho Palos Verdes
As Keyshawn Johnson would say, Penn State was just another game and has no effect on the Rose Bowl race. But what if the Trojans have to play the Nittany Lions again on New Year’s Day? If I were USC, I’d settle for the Peach Bowl. Their play is a little fuzzy.
ROBERT H. WILLIAMS
Anyone who still doubts a Times bias against USC should note that after the Penn State loss, the sports editor, a Notre Dame alumnus, came out of the woodwork to write two sarcastic columns while rubbing his hands with glee as he kicked the body.
After weeks of endless Trojan hype on your front pages, the pain was worth it after reading Bill Dwyre’s real-life commentary on the Penn State game. Oh please, “Uncle Bill,” tell us another story.
BOB ARRANAGA JR.
Saturday’s sports headline stated: “The Race Is On.” Monday’s should have said: “The Race Is Over for USC.”
MARTIN L. MORRIS