Scott of Boi From Troy was gracious enough to answer some questions about tomorrow night’s game. He is making his way to Nebraska and will hopefully be greeted by friendly fans but a Husker ambush at Memorial Stadium. My answers to Scott’s questions should be up on Boi From Troy later this morning.
1. What kind of challenge do USC fans truly expect from Nebraska on Saturday?
I think that USC expects the same kind of challenge we expected from Nebraska last year–an aggressive passing attack that could exploit the weaknesses of our secondary, potentially leading to a shoot-out ballgame. These expectations are perhaps tempered by what actually happened last year, but I cannot believe Callahan would make the same mistake twice…or would he?
2. When compared to USC teams of the past five years where would you put this year’s Trojan team in terms of talent and ability?
Of USC teams in the last five years, an optimist will tell you that this team feels alot like the 2003 squad that won the National Championship. Leinart struggled early then came into form, we were breaking in some promising but young running backs and the defense was the most highly-touted component of the team. Now a pessimist will tell you that this team is looking more like the 1995 Trojans who were supposed to compete for a championship but ended up losing two big games to UCLA and Notre Dame and playing Northwestern in the Rose Bowl. Luckily, Notre Dame is making all of us feel like optimists this year.
3. USC looked rather pedestrian against Idaho what did/do you attribute this to?
In case you haven’t gotten the memo, USC has this bad tendency of playing to their competition. I think there was good degree of “It’s just Idaho” complacency. There certainly was amongst the fans who had to ask whether it was appropriate to “make noise” on third down against such a lowly opponent.
I also think that the coaches treated it like an NFL exhibition game, cycling in players who otherwise would have been reserved for junk-time play. I mean, John David Booty actually THREW the ball to Brad Walker–and unlike when Reggie Bush did that against Texas in the Rose Bowl it was not ruled a fumble!
4. Nationally USC fans are often critiqued for their “bandwagon-esque” nature. Come clean, how long have you have been seriously invested in the Trojans? Are we talking Rodney Peete/Mark Carrier, Rob Johnson/Curtis Conway, Carson Palmer/Troy Polamalu or Leinert/Bush?
Yeah, you’re right. I had been going regularly to USC games since I
was a grad student there but only when others could get me free
tickets. So I suffered through the Otton/Johnson and Van Raaphoorst
When I first bought season tickets in 2002–good timing, eh?—I couldn’t find a soul to go to the Oregon State game because it was drizzling. Now, I have a waiting list of people to use my fourth season ticket–even for games against Stanford or Arizona. It took three years of winning before USC sold out a game not involving Notre Dame or UCLA, let alone an entire season.
However, if it were truly a bandwagon school, demand would have dropped off in the post Leinart/Bush era as expectations for the team waned. Instead, it has only grown to the point that they are no longer guaranteeing new major donors that they’ll get season tickets. And wait until 2008 when our home schedule includes California, Oregon, Arizona State, Washington, Notre Dame and Ohio State!
5. LA Times writer T.J. Simers has been rough on the state of Nebraska and its fans over the past two seasons. As you prepare for your trip to “the Good Life,” what are your honest expectations for your time in Lincoln?
We’re hoping not to get beat up and tied to a fence somewhere because we were wearing the wrong shade of red.
Honestly, we’re staying in Omaha where I hear there is some of the best nightlife in “the five-state area” so we’re expecting it to be better than a trip to, say, Lawrence, Kansas.
This is probably our only chance to visit Lincoln, which I am told has one of the best game-day experiences in the Country, and people tell me that Nebraskans are actually friendly–unlike our hosts at Hawaii a few years ago, so we’re looking forward to it. I may just have to wear my Bush jersey, however, since it is a Red State in more ways than one.