Passing the Test
Both local college teams passed their respective tests this weekend. USC looked like the No. 1 team in the country again after dominating Colorado State 49-0, while UCLA's offense showed life signs for the first time in months, beating Illinois 35-17.The Trojan win was probably the more impressive of the two, given that Colorado State might actually be a better team than Illinois. While USC's defense was unforgiving, Steve Smith gave the Cardinal and Gold some confidence about its Post-Mike Williams era receivers for the first time. The Trojans can now restart that Matt Leinert Heisman campaign.
In the meantime, UCLA proved they are not all that bad. Illinois may have gone 1-10 last year, but the Illini are still a Big 10 team and a convincing win over a major conference school is always cause to celebrate. But UCLA still needs to learn how to stop the run before Reggie Bush and LenDale White reduce Bruin defenders to bowling pins. The real key for UCLA was its running game--with Maurice Drew and Manuel White--functioned for once, while Drew Olsen continues to show signs of competence at quarterback.
UCLA now travels to a weakened Washington team with reason to believe it can its Pac-10 opener. USC travels to BYU on Saturday, feeling very good about its juggernaught team.