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LAst Night's Action: USC Squeaks Past Virginia

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USC Trojans defeat Virginia Cavaliers 17-14. USC got real lucky in this game. Virginia shot themselves in the foot the whole game, but particularly in the first half when a missed field goal and an endzone interception could have given them a 10-0 lead. But the Trojans hung on to their two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the first half while adding a field goal in the fourth quarter to get their second win of the game.

The Trojan defense showed some improvement against the Cavaliers. They made some tackles, so that’s an improvement. Also they didn’t allow 588 yards of offense like they did against Hawaii. This time it was only 340 yards, however it was still more than what the Trojans amassed in offense.

Now all the alarm bells are sounding off on the Trojan offense whose line was pushed around by Virginia’s undersized defensive line all night long limiting them to two touchdowns scored at the tail end of the first half. Matt Barkley was particularly out of sorts under-throwing receivers going 20-for-35 for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Not bad, but not the record tying effort seen last week in Aloha Stadium.

And the same rushing attack that went wherever they wanted to at Aloha Stadium was held to 120 yards on 32 carries at home. Marc Tyler only gained 60 yards on 17 carries while Dylan Baxter in his college debut had 49 yards on nine carries.

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USC head coach Lane Kiffin will be ecstatic in the 12 penalties for 125 yards, especially a costly holding call in the second quarter that took away a touchdown and when coupled with an unsportsmanlike conduct gave USC a 3rd-and-28 at their own 28 yard line.

After the game Kiffin told reporters that no one on the team played well. That may be an over-exaggeration, but if the Trojans don’t shore things up it’s going to be a hellish Pac-10 schedule.

Stanford Cardinal defeat UCLA Bruins 35-0. No offense. No defense. No special teams. What else can a Bruin do? Most of them are hibernating just as what these football Bruins are doing allowing Stanford to win for the first time at the Rose Bowl since 1996. Four turnovers and a missed field goal just won’t cut it. Also a 6-for-12 for 39 yard output from your starting quarterback won’t help things also. It’s going to be a long year for the Bruins and the Bruin faithful can only hope they don’t become this year’s Washington State.

LA Dodgers defeat Houston Astros 6-3. Heading into the ninth inning with a 3-3 tie, the Dodgers capitalized on two errant plays by the Houston Astros to take the lead. After a leadoff walk to Trent Oeltjen by Brandon Lyon to lead off the ninth, Reed Johnson laid down a bunt down the first baseline. Before the ball went foul, first baseman Brett Wallace touched the ball giving Johnson a single and sending Oeltjen to second base. AJ Ellis then proceeded to lay down a sacrifice bunt down the third baseline. Lyon fielded the ball and overthrew second base which brought home both Oeltjen and Johnson. By the time right fielder Hunter Pence came overthrew third base, Ellis was already at third base and Lyon was given the hook. James Loney hit a double off of Tim Byrdak to just top things off. The dreamy John Ely in his first start since July 10 went six innings and gave up three runs on six hits and a walk.

LA Angels defeat Seattle Mariners 7-4. In a season that’s been quite dreary, the Angels have something to smile about. Starter Ervin Santana matched his career-high in wins with 16 after outdueling Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez. By the seventh inning Torii Hunter drove in four of the Angels’ seven runs while Santana held the Mariners scoreless. It wasn’t until after a walk to Michael Saunders and double to Josh Wilson in the eighth inning, Santana gave up a three-run homer to Ichiro Suzuki ending his night. After Kevin Jepsen got into trouble in the ninth inning, Fernando Rodney after blowing two straight saves got Ichiro to line to third to end the game and for a save.

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LA Galaxy defeat Columbus Crew 3-1.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Dodgers (71-72) at Houston Astros (67-75). Carlos Monasterios (3-5, 4.02 ERA) vs. Nelson Figueroa (5-2, 3.03 ERA). 11:05 am FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.

Seattle Mariners (55-87) at LA Angels (69-73). Jason Vargas (9-9, 3.72 ERA) vs. Dan Haren (2-4, 3.39 ERA). 12:35 pm FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.

NFL Schedule:

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10:00 am
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans. CBS, AM 710 KSPN.
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants. FOX
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans. AM 570 KLAC.

1:00 pm
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles. FOX
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams. AM 570 KLAC.

5:00 pm
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins. NBC, AM 570 KLAC.