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LAst Night's Action: Trojans Have Another Cardiac Win

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USC Trojans defeat Utah Utes 17-14 23-14. So here’s the first Pac-12 conference game ever. Never mind that California and Colorado played a game three hours earlier, but that was a non-conference conference game. Get it? Me neither.

Against a more formidable opponent than the Golden Gophers of Minnesota, it looked to be more of the same for the Trojans: the Trojans should have had a commanding lead in the fourth quarter only to be denied by their own hubris. Against the Gophers last week it was head coach Lane Kiffin’s distaste (or distrust depending on your perspective) for his kickers. This week it was turnovers and penalties.

Leading 10-0 early in the second quarter, the Trojans were on their way for another score. Quarterback Matt Barkley made a 16-yard pass to Brandon Carswell and a 20-yard pass to Robert Woods in that drive. With the ball on Utah’s 21-yard line, Barkley threw a pass intended for tight end Rhett Ellison. Unfortunately defensive back Ryan Lacy jumped the route and picked the ball off for no gain.

After forcing Utah to punt, the Trojans made their way down the field again. On Utah’s 12-yard line D.J. Morgan coughed up the ball. So at this point instead of it being 24-0, the Trojans held on to a 10-0 lead. Utah on their next drive didn’t mess it up this time and scored a touchdown just as the half was winding down. Trojans lead 10-7.

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In the first drive of the third quarter for the Trojans, Barkley connected with Xavier Grimble for 10 yards for the touchdown. But then more miscues. Grimble fumbled the ball on the first play of their next drive leading to the second Utah touchdown. There was a 30-yard rush only to be negated by a penalty. And so on.

When Utah had the ball with a minute left in regulation, everyone held their breath. Quarterback Jordan Wynn completed two passes that got the Utes to the USC 24-yard line for the 41-yard field goal. Junior offensive tackle Matt Kalil made the block on the field goal sending everyone into a frenzy at the Coliseum as Torin Harris took the ball to the end zone. The score was initially waved off due to a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that was declined. However more than an hour after the game, the Pac-12 decided to allow the touchdown making a lot of degenerate gamblers happy.

The question needs to be asked: at what point does this bite the Trojans in the ass? They host Syracuse next week which they should breeze through. But going to Arizona State could pose a threat. And the Trojans have to go to Notre Dame, to California (at the Giants’ AT&T Park) and to Oregon. One thing that will help the Trojans is the fact that apart from Stanford and maybe Oregon, the Pac-12 is pretty awful.

But I’m sure an easy fourth quarter would be nice to see for once.

LA Dodgers defeat San Francisco Giants 3-0. The Dodgers have done it. By shutting out the Giants, the Dodgers are 72-72. They have crawled all the way back to semi-respectability. They are no longer a losing team. For one day at least.

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They got another great outing from Dana Eveland making his second start since being called up from the minors. Following up on his eight-inning one-run outing in Pittsburgh on September 1, he only made it through seven innings but pitched a shutout. Not that doing it against the Giants puts you in the running for the Cy Young Award.

The Dodgers got to Giants’ starter Ryan Vogelsong in the second inning when James Loney after hitting a triple scored on Jerry Sands’ grounder. In the fourth inning Matt Kemp had a triple of his own scoring on Juan Rivera’s single. The Dodgers would go on to load the bases, and Rivera scored on a balk by Vogelsong.

Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless eighth though uncharacteristically giving up a single. Javy Guerra recorded his 18th save of the season.

The Dodgers are now only 2 ½ games behind the Giants for second place in the NL West.

LA Angels defeat New York Yankees 6-0. It didn’t look promising with the Angels and their excuse of an offense against C.C. Sabathia. But back-to-back doubles by Jeff Mathis and Maicer Izturis in the second inning gave the Angels the opening salvo. With Dan Haren pitching a four-hit shutout not allowing a walk, that was all the Angels needed. But they jumped on the bullpen: Hector Noesi for four runs in the seventh inning that was capped off by a two-run homer by Jeff Mathis; George Kontos for a run in the eighth inning, a Torii Hunter homer.

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With the Oakland Athletics outshooting the Texas Rangers 8-7, the Angels are now 1 ½ games behind in the AL West race, the only race that matters.

UCLA Bruins defeat San Jose State Spartans 27-17.

DC United defeat Chivas USA 3-0.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

New York Yankees at LA Angels. 12:35 p.m. FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

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LA Dodgers at San Francisco Giants. 1:05 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

NFL Schedule

10:00 a.m.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens. CBS, AM 570 KLAC.
Philadelphia Eagles at St. Louis Rams. Fox.

1:00 p.m.
Minnesota Vikings at San Diego Chargers. Fox, AM 570 KLAC.

5:00 p.m.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets. NBC, AM 570 KLAC.