Saturday, August 30, 2008

Virginia Hoo? Trojans win in 52-7 rout

Shake off the worries about the health of Mark Sanchez. End your concerns about the bad hip of C.J. Gable and busted hand of Joe McKnight. Offensive line problems? Where? The Trojans flew to Virginia and made quick work of their opponent, drubbing the Wahoos by a score of 52-7.

From the first play of scrimmage, domination was evident. Virginia was losing the war in the trenches. The secondary was slower than the receivers they covered. Inexperience at quarterback suffered the punishment of experienced USC linebackers, and only one sideline saw anything “special” from the special teams unit. As coach Al Groh put it, “they came with everything we planned for”, but the Cavaliers were helpless to stop it.

Mark Sanchez showed no signs of being slowed by injury, airing it out for 338 yards, 3 tds, and 1 interception. The lone interception came on a passed tipped by Joe McKnight and into the waiting arms of a defender. The Trojan hurler stood tall and poised behind center, sometimes rolling in the pocket to dissect the secondary. The offense struck quick and often. And after 3 possessions, the scoreboard read 21-0, with the game's outcome becoming a mere formality.

8 Trojan horses rumbled out of the backfield, combining for a total of 218 yards on 41 carries, and 4 touchdowns. C.J. Gable rushed for 73 yards and a score, with Joe McKnight chipping in 60 yards and a touchdown, averaging 10 yards per carry. McKnight also caught 4 passes for 24 yards and a touchdown. Damian Williams led all receivers with 7 receptions for 91 yards, but he never found the end zone.

Overall, the Trojans combined for 558 yards of offense to Virginia’s 187. The offensive names will make the ESPN highlight reel, but the defense in this game was beastly. Virginia was limited to just 32 yards rushing on 21 carries. Their only score was a gift, as penalties against USC marched them down field, where they scored on a 7 yard run by Mikell Simpson. The Hoos turned the ball over 4 times, with three coming on fumbles. In the end, sophomore quarterback Peter Lalich gave his assessment of the Trojans.

“Their speed was pretty unbelievable the whole game. It’s something they have across the board, at every position, and they really were able to use it to their advantage”.

The Trojans can celebrate on their flight back to the west coast, but then it's back to work, preparing for a much better Ohio State team in two weeks. That one won't come so easily.

Fight On!

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