Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trojans invade Texas Stadium

The Cincinnati Bengals may be in a competition to prove they are the worst in the NFL, but seeing them play in Texas Stadium easily held my interest. The Bengals showcased 3 USC Trojans against the Dallas Cowboys, playing on what may be the brightest stage of any in the NFL.

Carson Palmer’s day began on a bad note, throwing a pass that would be tipped and intercepted on the first play of the game. The former USC Heisman Trophy winner spent the entire game appearing to be bothered by the lingering effects of an elbow injury, dropped passes and poor route running, and mostly an aggressive Dallas defensive front. He finished with 217 yards and 2 touchdowns, as his now 0-5 Bengals showed some fight before falling 31-22 to the Boys.

It was only 9 months ago that we saw Keith Rivers cracking heads and making plays in the Rose Bowl. On Sunday, we saw the first round pick of the Bengals intercept a Tony Romo pass and return it 39 yards to give his offense great field position and the opportunity to hang another trey on the board. Rivers had 3 tackles to go along with his pick ,and has clearly adapted quickly to the speed of the NFL game.

During the Trojans Championship runs of 2003 and 2004, defensive end Frostee Rucker made it a habit to chase down opposing quarterbacks. The second quarter of yesterday’s game showed Rucker chasing down Romo and causing a fumble that would be recovered by the Bengals. In all, the Trojans accounted for 3 of the 4 turnovers in the game, recorded as an interception thrown by Palmer, a fumble caused by Rucker, and an interception grabbed by Rivers. I appreciate any opportunity to see guys that I’ve followed from the lower levels perform in the NFL, regardless of the colleges they attended. But to see a group of young Trojans playing on a single field, brings back memories and hits a little closer to home.

Fight On!

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