THE GAME: USC vs Washington State
I have no idea what is going to happen with this game. Like, none.
Washington State appears to have an outstanding offense. Luke Falk is still their quarterback (which is hard to believe, as I feel like he's been there at least 8 years) and he's damn good. Meanwhile, USC's defense has not been as good as expected, and the game is in Pullman. The place will be rocking. So a WSU victory would not surprise me.
On the other hand, USC has played a much tougher schedule than WSU. And it's always a mistake to overlook an undefeated team simply because it hasn't looked as good as you expected; the obvious question becomes "If they're winning every game when they don't look dominant, what happens if they do play up to their potential?" So USC - and especially Darnold - playing their best game of the season and winning would not surprise me, either.
Either way, I expect both teams to put up a fair amount of points. I'm really looking forward to this one. (And, I've gotta admit, I love having a big game on a Friday night.)
NOTES ON THE FOOD:
- For years, KFC was my least-favorite fast food chain. I won't go into all the reasons, I'll keep it short: I thought all of their food sucked.
- Then, at the beginning of the year, they came out with Georgia Gold Chicken. I freaking love this stuff. I mean, the chicken is mostly the same below-average stuff I dislike, but the sauce is addictive. It's a honey mustard with, as far as I can tell, a lot of brown sugar and a little bit of oil.
- I've tried multiple times to clone the sauce to make a dish of my own, but I just can't get it right. So I decided to pick up an order and just use that instead.
- I pulled out a sheet of nori and topped it with sushi rice.
- Then a layer of KFC's cole slaw - I'm not a big fan, but it comes with the chicken so I figured I might as well use it.
- I placed the biggest of the chicken tenders on top.
- I rolled it up like any other sushi roll and sliced it with my sushi knife.
- And, since I love that sauce so much, I took the extra out of the plastic KFC tray and drizzled it over the "sushi."
- I was worried that this might suck. It did not. It was absolutely fantastic.
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- In the first two minutes of the broadcast, the announcers have mentioned the "PAC-12 After Dark" gimmick twice. I know it sounds kind of corny, but I like it. (I especially loved it years ago when I was on the East Coast for a couple of football seasons - it was always fun to end the evening with a late-night football game from the West.)
- I met a bunch of WSU fans in Pasadena two years ago the night before they played UCLA. They were nice people, but extremely arrogant football fans, especially considering they haven't won the Rose Bowl since 1916.
- WSU is in Pullman, WA. It's the only PAC-12 city to which I have never been, and I cannot foresee any circumstance in which that changes.
- On WSU's first possession, a receiver dropped a touchdown on third down and they had to settle for a field goal. On their second possession, a receiver dropped a first down pass and they had to punt. They can't afford to do that too many more times.
- Darnold just threw his 7th INT of the season. He only had 9 all of last year.
- Woah - the mayor of Pullman is also the PA announcer at the stadium. That makes me happy. I wonder if he's also tax collector, captain of the fire brigade, and chairman of the non-partisan Anti-Chinese League.
- The announcers just made a point about how USC is using three backup offensive lineman... and then Ronald Jones breaks off an 86-yard touchdown run.
- And then the announcer mentions McDonald's in the same sentence as Whataburger, Popeyes, and Five Guys. This is obviously the B team tonight.
- On WSU's first play from scrimmage after the SC touchdown, USC intercepted the ball at the WSU three-yard-line.
- WSU holds them to a field goal. That was huge. (17-10 USC instead of 21-10.)
- WSU scores a touchdown with 13 seconds left in the half and we're tied at 17 at the break.
- WSU's last two punts went 19 yards and 17 yards. I'm not sure I've ever seen two back-to-back punts so awful.
- USC kicks a field goal and it's tied at 20 after three quarters. This hasn't been as exciting as I'd hoped for. Both teams have made several errors and look out of sync.
- The teams traded touchdowns and it's tied again with five minutes left, which means the 4th quarter is already more exciting than the whole 3rd quarter was.
- WSU opted to take a field goal and a three-point lead rather than go for it on 4th-and-2 from the 15. Not exactly the ballsy move for a "pirate" like Mike Leach. I always knew he was an asshole; I didn't realize what a phony he is, too.
- Darnold fumbles the ball and WSU recovers. That saved Leach from having to answer why he went conservative. I was sure USC was going to drive the field and win. (Just like the Patriots did to the Texans last Sunday in a very similar scenario.)
- WSU wins 30-27.