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LAst Night's Action: Trojans, Bruins Kick Their Way to Victory

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USC Trojans defeat Arizona State Sun Devils 34-33. A failed extra point was the difference in this game.

Midway through the fourth quarter after having trailed the Trojans by as much as 22-7 in the third quarter, Steven Threet hooked up with Jamal Miles for a nine-yard touchdown pass to give the Sun Devils the 33-29 lead pending the extra point. The Sun Devils opted to go the safe route kicking for the extra point rather than going for the two-point conversion. How did that go?

Trojans’ offensive tackle Tyron Smith didn’t like it too much blocking the kick with his face that allowed Torin Harris to grab the ball and run it back to give the Trojans two points.

Now trailing 33-31 and not needing a touchdown, the Trojans methodically went down the field eating up just under four minutes off the clock to give Joe Houston a 29-yard chip attempt to give the Trojans the lead. Well it would have been a chip-shot had not Houston missed a 27-yarder in the first quarter that hit the right upright and a 35-yarder in the second quarter that went wide right.

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But Houston kicked the ball down the middle of the uprights giving the Trojans the 34-33 lead.

Not to be outdone Arizona State’s kicker Thomas Weber had a chance with 1:34 left in the game to win it for his team with a 42-yarder. But that went wide-right which immediately raised questions as to why field goals were so tough to kick in Southern California.

The win gives the Trojans six victories making them bowl… Oh, never mind.

UCLA Bruins defeat Oregon State Beavers 17-14. Isn’t it cute that the Bruins are still trying to make a season of it? One win down two more to go in order to be bowl eligible, and it won’t be easy having to go to Washington and Arizona State before hosting USC. But they got their first game out of the way thanks to Kai Forbath’s 51-yard field goal.

“Death, taxes and Forbath: those are the three things in life you can count on,” Bruins’ Head Coach Rick Neuheisel said.

The Bruins bookended the game with good drives, opening the game with a touchdown drive thanks to quarterback Richard Brehaut four rushes for 45 yards including the seven-yard touchdown run and ending with a drive that started with 48 seconds left in the game to set up Forbath’s winning field goal.

“I’ve always wanted one of those,” Forbath said of his winning shot. “We needed that win real bad. It is going to help our team’s momentum and give us more confidence going into the next one.”

It’s amazing to hear Forbath talk about confidence because he had previously missed two field goals of 49 yards in the second quarter and 46 yards with 1:17 left in the fourth quarter.

Also helping UCLA’s cause was them keeping the Beavers to three-and-outs in their three possessions in the fourth quarter and limiting them to 3:50 of possession in that final 15 minutes.

“I take my hat off to the defense,” Neuheisel said. “It’s as good as they’ve played since the Texas game and hopefully something we can really build on.”

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The defense limited the Beavers to 267 yards of total offense while the Bruins gained 337 yards.

Utah Jazz defeat LA Clippers 109-107 (2OT). Salt Lake City is a city of horrors for the Clippers having won there only once since before the printing press was invented. With Baron Davis and Randy Foye as far away from the hardwood as possible, the Clippers actually jumped out to a 16-point lead at the end of the first half.

But that third quarter came back to bite them as the Jazz started their furious comeback with a Deron Williams layup with 9:41 remaining in regulation giving the Jazz their first lead of the game at 77-75. However the Clippers wouldn’t give up as Eric Gordon punctuated regulation with a dunk with six seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.

Gordon had the ball in his hands to break the 97-97 tie in the first overtime. Glass, rim, nada - on to second overtime.

The Jazz had the lead as the second overtime was coming to an end, but Craig Smith had the ball in his hands with three seconds left to tie the game. That too also missed the mark giving the Jazz the hard fought win.

Blake Griffin had another double-double with 16 points and 17 rebounds while Eric Gordon led the Clips with 27 points and Chris Kaman not far behind with 23 points.

LA Kings defeat Nashville Predators 4-1. Read my recap of this game.

NOTABLE NOTES

Oh Zenyatta!. “Losing on Zenyatta hurts more than I can explain, just because it was my fault,” jockey Mike Smith wrote on his ESPN blog. “She should have won, and it hurts.”

I’m not sure how accurate of an assessment that is, but it sure as hell doesn’t dismiss Zenyatta’s accomplishments.

Yet again she stayed back at the beginning of the race falling behind by at least 18 lengths. She did everything that was expected: dancing on the track before going to the paddock to get saddled; start dead last at the start and staying there for half of the race; made her surge on the final turn.

Right as she was making her last charge on the final straightaway, she stopped for a second to allow traffic to go ahead so she could find that hole. Well just watch for yourself.

So she lost going 19-1 in her career. That surely is nothing to sneeze at and shouldn’t detract from her greatness. Also the mainstream interest she generated in a sport that has waned in popularity over the years should not go unnoticed.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

Portland Trail Blazers (5-2) at LA Lakers (6-0). 6:30 pm FSWest, AM 710 KSPN.

Seattle Sounders FC at LA Galaxy. Galaxy lead 1-0 in goals after first leg of series. 6:00 pm ESPN, ESPN Deportes, AM 1150 KTLK, AM 1220 KWKU (en español).

Nashville Predators (13 pts., 5-4-3) at Anaheim Ducks (13 pts., 6-7-1). 5:00 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 830 KLAA.

NFL Schedule

10:00 am
San Diego Chargers at Houston Texans. CBS, AM 570 KLAC.

1:00 pm
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders. CBS, AM 830 KLAA.
New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks. Fox.

5:15 pm
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers. NBC, AM 570 KLAC.