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Stream of Consciousness Notes - Rose Bowl
Posted Jan 1, 2007

Stream of Consciousness Notes ... 2007 Rose Bowl: USC vs. Michigan


By Pete Fiutak
Welcome again to my pretentious, goofy and self-serving stream-of-consciousness thoughts and notes on the big games, the broadcasts, the ads and the teams for the attention deficit disordered. E-mail me with your own thoughts and notes and what you'd like to see. 


- This is the BCS game we've all been waiting for. While it isn't for the national title, and it doesn't even have the Big Ten's best team in it, it's still as good as sexy a matchup as it gets. If you want the game that'll shape the final thoughts on the season, this might be it. If Michigan wins convincingly, and if Ohio State beats Florida, there will be no questioning the final 1-2 in the final polls. If USC wins, it might be the springboard for what should be a tremendous 2007 with as much young talent as anyone in college football.

- Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it, STOP IT. I don't care if Michigan wins 94-3 and Florida beats Ohio State 3-0; the winner of the BCS Championship Game is the national champion. Period. End of story. Let's go take a steam. AP national title? It means jack squat. If you're not the BCS champion, you're not the national champion. Too bad, so sad, enjoy the Rose Bowl for what it is.

- Gerald Ford the "most athletic of all our presidents?" Give me William Taft as a defensive tackle. Teddy Roosevelt, asthma and all, has to be in the running.

- If Michigan loses this game, while anyone blame Ford's passing for the distraction, like some wondered if the death of Bo Schembechler had something to do with the Ohio State loss?

First Quarter
- Steve Breaston in a bowl game. This game might start off with a bang.
- He's smothered at the 16.
Michigan on its own 16
- Michigan needs to establish Mike Hart right away. The quicker the Wolverines can prove their more physical and start pushing around the the USC defensive front, the more things will open up for Mario Manningham and the receivers.
- Two plays, two good Hart runs. One pass, one sack of Chad Henne.
- The Henne sack appears to have gotten the clock moving in Henne's had. He had time, he had an open Manningham, and he sailed his throw. USC is going to bring the house to get Henne to hurry.

USC on its own 35
- Here we go. If Michigan gets to John David Booty like UCLA did, this could be a long day for the Trojan offense.
- The Rose Bowl just doesn't feel like the Rose Bowl when you're not nursing a hangover. Marriage has its perks. Occasionally.
- Two USC runs, two Michigan stuffs. USC appears to want nothing to do with Alan Branch in the middle.
- Interesting. Booty rolls out to complete his first half to try to neutralize the pass rush.
- I seem to be the only person in America who believes LaMarr Woodley was ridiculously overrated by the end of the year. He needs to at least hit Booty once in a while.
- According to the ABC ticker, Alabama can expect an answer from Nick Saban by "Tusday."
- Woodley was overrated, LB David Harris was underrated. He'll make a big impact at the next level.
- USC doesn't go vertical at all with out patterns on its throws. Each team looks shaky to start.

Michigan on its own 20
- Michigan needs to try airing it out just to force USC to hang back a little bit. It's bringing everyone but the Song Girls to get into the backfield.
- And that's what the offense does. Manningham trips, but Henne bombs deep.
- Ooooh. For the second straight punt, USC almost gets the block.
- On TV three, with Fox still on after the Cotton Bowl, you'll all be relieved to know Mona won the $5,000 in her case over Monique in the latest Judge Alex.

USC on its own 39
- It seems like USC is doing what it can to get the ball out of Booty's hands as quickly as possible. Michigan hasn't come close to him.
- Oooooh. Booty had Steve Smith after he burned Morgan Trent on a double move deep, but Booty sailed his pass.
- And there's Alan Branch. Most of the Wolverines are saying they're coming back, but he has to go early. He's top five, maybe top ten.
- Booty once again gets time and he delivers to Dwayne Jarrett. USC is picking on Trent early.
- How well coached is USC? The time off has obviously given Carroll and his staff a chance to correct the issues of the UCLA game. Booty is able to do what he wants to.
- For the first time, Michigan got a little bit of pressure and he threw it out of bounds.
- What a shock; Woodley got erased on the play.
- These Wolverine tackles are fantastic.
- Michigan makes a nice adjustment on third down and sends an all-out blitz. Booty hit Jarrett, but not for enough.
- Easy field goal for Mario Danelo.
USC 3 ... Michigan 0

Michigan on its own 20
- Interesting. Michigan spreads it out a little bit. Going wide on USC, like Michigan appears to want to do, isn't going to work.
- You can't give Henne time. When he gets a chance to hang back, pat the ball and fire, he's always on target.
- To quote Kirk Herbstreit, Mike Hart has "the courage to go down on the USC defensive ends." Insert joke here.
- Third and five. Has Michigan changed things up to account for the coming blitz? ...
- ... USC didn't bring it. Henne had an easy throw to, as Herbstreit would call him, the "worthless" Steve Breaston. (I know, Kirk meant that Breaston isn't being used properly in the offense, not that he's actually worthless. Save your e-mails.)
First Quarter Score: USC 3 ... Michigan 0

Second Quarter
-  I have such a thing for Henne. USC brought the rush, Henne felt it, moved up into the pocket and delivered a big first down strike to Manningham.
- No Michigan has to go back to Hart.
- Or Brandon Minor. Interesting seeing him get key work early on.
- Hart's back.
- Ooooh. Henne had Adrian Arrington open in the end zone, but the ball hit Mozique McCurtis in the back. Both teams got a little lucky on that one.
- Garrett Rivas is automatic ... good.
USC 3 ... Michigan 3

USC on its own 31
- USC isn't afraid to go after Leon Hall. The NFL scouts are going to watch this game over and over again to see how Dwayne Jarrett does against Hall.
- Nice play action fake by Booty. He was dead on with a perfect strike to Chris McFoy. Once again, Morgan Trent is getting picked on.
- USC is mixing it up extremely well. The linebackers have been nullified.
- That sound of silence you hear is LaMarr Woodley not doing anything.
- Booty is getting the ball of 1-2-3 bam. He's not hanging on to the ball and making reads; he's getting rid of the ball.
- What a perfectly timed blitz. Shawn Crable and David Harris performed the Malachi Crunch on Booty forcing a fumble, Branch gets it, Michigan snuffs out the drive. Defensive coordinator Ron English had to do something funky since the front four wasn't generating any pressure.

Michigan on its own 21
- Michigan needs to stick with the running game and keep on pounding. The USC line hasn't been hit for a full sixty minutes by a physical offensive line all year (and that includes the Arkansas game).
- Thank you, ABC, for the gratuitous butt shot of the Song Girls. That's just good TV.
- Henne delivers another strike on third down. He's got time, took three hops, and threw a perfect pass. However ...
- ... he's not sniffing out the blitz. Terrell Thomas blew into the backfield untouched even though Henne had to have seen him coming right off the bat.
- Why? Second and long and a handoff? Why not get in a better position? Now it's third and 15.
- You want to talk about great defensive tackle play, there's Branch on Michigan and Sedrick Ellis for USC. He crushed Henne for the fifth USC sack of the game.

USC on its own 31
- Oh goody. I was getting a little bit antsy after going five minutes without hearing the mass produced patriotic schlock of John Mellencamp in a truck ad.
- AFLAC Trivia Question: Who was the last Michigan Wolverine to have his jersey retired? Ford? No. 48?
- USC is moving the ball far better than Michigan, while the Trojan defense is playing better. There's more of a rhythm and more of a bounce, but it's only 3-3.
- Alan Branch is absolutely dominating. He's obliterating everything the USC running game wants to do. USC guard Chilo Rachal is getting a rude lesson.- Oh goody. I was getting a little bit antsy after going 84 seconds without hearing the mass produced patriotic schlock of John Mellencamp in a truck ad.
- AFLAC Answer: Ford
- Booty has time, but USC's receivers weren't close to open. Michigan lucked out; it got a misfire without a pass rush.

Michigan on its own 26
- Where's Hart? Michigan has abandoned the run.
- Of course, when Hart is used, it's on third and two, the Wolverines run wide, and it's stuffed.
- USC's defense is absolutely dominating.
- If nothing else, will this first half shut up the "Michigan for national champion" crowd?

USC on its own 14
- Just get to the locker room. With :39 to play and so deep, nothing good can happen here.
- Why even hand the ball off? Just take a knee and get off the field.
- It's only 3-3, but that was a good first half. Very entertaining.
First Half Score: Michigan 3 .... USC 3

Third Quarter
USC on its own 20
- Has USC made any adjustments to its running game? It'll have to start going wide; going up the middle isn't working.
- Nice nine yard throw to Steve Smith. Maybe Booty is coming out firing.
- C.J. Gable run ... nothing.
- C.J. Gable run ... stuffed. There's just nothing there.

Michigan on its own 31
- Right back at you. What has Michigan done to change things to protect Henne?
- Screw that. Hart twice on the right side trying to get away from Sedrick Ellis, and two good carries.
- The Michigan O line must have been challenged in the locker room. They're firing off the ball.
- Aw Chad ...
- USC gets pressure as Michigan tries to set up the screen, and Henne throws it right in Lawrence Jackson's 9 and 6.

USC on the Michigan 39
- Booty stays in a rhythm. Quick drop, get the ball out, success.
- Same result, different play. Booty rolls out to get away from the rush and he get the first down.
- This game is all on Booty. It's obvious the ground game isn't going to be there.
- Not to be Mr. Obvious, but a touchdown is a must on this drive with this field position.
- Once again, Morgan Trent is abused, but did Jarrett catch it? I thought Willis Barringer provided the pop to put knock it loose.
- It's being reviewed.
- That ball was coming out, but the play stands. It could've gone either way.
- If you're playing the "This could be Dwayne Jarrett's last game" drinking game, I hope you're taping this because you're passed out by now.
- Nice misdirection. Booty rolls out hits a wide-open McFoy, touchdown.
- Is LaMarr Woodley still in the locker room? Did he even make the trip to Pasadena?
USC 10 ... Michigan 3

Michigan on its own 20

- Get Henne throwing right away. He has to get back up on that horse.
- Running Hart is a must, but it's not working on the left side. USC's speed is jumping all over the longer plays. The defensive back seven is dialed in.
- Once again, USC gets to Henne and throw a bad throw.
- Here's a tip, Michigan: maybe you might want to think about putting someone in the backfield to help a wee bit on the blitz. It's obvious your line can't handle it.
- The Michigan coaching staff is getting flat-out pantsed. 

USC on its own 30
- This is the first big test for my new used couch. It's certainly comfortable, but the integrity of the butt groove is starting to buckle.
- Michigan desperately needs a USC mistake. A missed block, a bad throw, something.
- Six minutes to play, and Michigan doesn't have a sack.
- ABC gives us a shot of Woodley to prove he's actually playing.
- Brent, Bob and Kirk have been flawless. This has been a great call by Brent.
- Where's the Michigan blitz? Where's something to turn up the heat?
- That was almost the ball game. Booty connects with Steve Smith, Michigan misses the tackles, and it was almost a score.
- Booty checks into a perfect play, another missed Michigan tackle from a corner, this time it's Morgan Trent, touchdown Dwayne Jarrett.
- Danelo misses the extra point wide. Do you have any idea how hard that is to do?
USC 16 ... Michigan 3

Michigan on its own 21

- Why does Michigan keep running Hart to the left side when there was so much success to the right at the beginning of the half?
- USC seems a bit too happy on the sideline. The two shots ABC just showed have to be a bit concerning to Trojan fans.
- USC doesn't blitz, Henne has time, first down.
- Why does Michigan keep running things wide? It's not working? The USC defensive back seven is swarming.
- OOOOOOOH. USC didn't blitz, but got an amazing push from Brian Cushing, who blew past Hart to hit Henne and force a fumble. Henne has to get rid of the ball faster. USC ball.
- Henne's lack of mobility has become a major liability.

USC on the Michigan 36
- Booty had Jarrett for the dagger, but didn't put enough air under the ball. Jarrett landed on his wrist and appears hurt.
- No, no, no. Don't get cute, USC. The Trojans have completely ignored the running game but they're still trying to get their backs involved.
- Really?! A tackle from a Michigan defensive back? The heck you say. Nice stop by Brandon Harrison.
- USC goes for it on fourth and one and ...
- .... Booty runs and juuuust gets it. It wasn't pretty.
- Why isn't Michigan blitzing? There's simply no pressure on Booty.
- USC tackle Kyle Williams is putting on a clinic. Woodley just can't get free.
- Another first down. Booty is stepping into the moment.
- Ooooh. Booty just missed a wide open Garrett in the end zone.
- Third and goal. With less than a minute to play, a 23-3 lead might be too much to overcome.
- As Brent put, touchdowwwwwwwno. Jarrett had it, got flipped over, and dropped it. There were some big missed opportunities on the drive.
- Danelo hits the field goal.
USC 19 ... Michigan 3

Michigan on its own 20

- Henne rolls out. What a novel idea.
- Steve Breaston can get first downs. He's not electrifying on offense, but he'll get the chains moving.
- Michigan's almost better when it plays with a sense of urgency. This gets Henne into a rhythm.
- Damn it. Kirk said the same thing just as I wrote it. Beautiful people all think alike.
- This could be a wild fourth if Michigan scores on this drive. Otherwise, let the coronation begin.
Third Quarter Score: USC 19 ... Michigan 3

Fouth Quarter
- Finally, Michigan is getting Tyler Ecker involved just to get the ball out of Henne's hands.
- USC is going to need more points.
- Henne had time, Ecker found the opening, and it was a perfect strike.
- What stones. Henne has time again, takes a step up, and hits Adrian Arrington with a perfect strike for a touchdown. It's almost like the USC defense, after flying around all game long, is sucking win. It's just a half-step off where it was always making the plays earlier.
- Going for two ...
- Is there a tougher pound-for-pound runner than Hart? He should've been stopped dead, but he plowed his way for the conversion.
- Credit the announcers for not saying it at the time, but I'll say it now; the Danelo missed extra point is huge.
USC 19 ... Michigan 11

USC on its own 26
- USC has to keep throwing. It's not good enough running on the Michigan D to grind out the clock.
- Booty is looking more mobile than he has all year long.
- Great call by Kirk, talking about USC, considering the running game, being one mistake away from being in big trouble.
- USC needs a long drive to give the D a bit of a break.
- Can David Harris move? Gable got the ball in the open and Harris flew to the ball, wrapped up, and ended the play.
- 3rd and 10. I'm saying Steve Smith come up big here. I'll make the call. Smith touchdown.
- Uh, close, but not quite. 62 yard score to Jarrett, thank you very much college football, good night, So, what does the 18th pick in the NFL draft make?
- Michigan got a little screwed. Jarrett taunted, but Willis Barringer got flagged for the unnecessary roughness.
- Joining Woodley on the All-Overrated team is Leon Hall. He got torched by Ohio State and just got his doors blown off by Jarrett.
- Did Danelo miss another extra point?
- Yup.
USC 25 ... Michigan 11

- I will never, ever, ever buy Ron Livingston pitching a product. He's Peter Gibbons, and in a suit, he's just faking it before he, Michael Bolton, and Samir Nasa, Nasa, Nasawhatever his name is works out their scheme.
- Danelo was closer to the uprights on the kickoff than he was on the extra point.

Michigan on its own 20
- It's all Tyler Ecker all the time now. There's nothing happening down the field.
- Can we all finally admit it? The Michigan defense became "the great Michigan defense" because it didn't play an offense with a pulse.
- USC might want to think about covering Ecker. He just came up with a 36-yard play.
- This isn't over. With the two missed extra points, if Michigan scores here with less than seven minutes to play, it's only a seven-point game. USC can't run out the clock with its running game.
- Sedrick Ellis has been phenomenal.
- This is a funny Fox pregame bit with Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer.
- Henne had Manningham open and missed him on third and 11. 8:11 to play, you have to go for it on fourth down.
- Henne slips, throws the ball 43 yards to the west, Breaston catches it, and doesn't get the first down.
- Henne has to ditch that pat-the-ball thing. It almost cost him the play.

USC on it own 35

- Hart's hurt with a shoulder injury.
- Oh sweet jeebers. Booty is still bombing. Jarrett went up with two defensive backs and made a great grab.
- There's no need for that. We all know Jarrett is off the NFL, but there's no need to start acting like it. He's taunting a bit too much.
- This is a show. Booty throw up a perfect throw and Fred Davis makes a one-handed catch.
- Booty hits Steve Smith with a perfect strike, and this has no become a laugher.
- Danelo hits the extra point.
USC 32 ... Michigan 11

- It's Michigan. It's the Rose Bowl. We all should've known.

Michigan on its own 18
- USC preseason number one? How can it not be?
- Henne and Michigan has to put some more points on the board for its own confidence going into the off-season.
- Nope. Lots of passing, lots of big throws, no results.

USC on its own 40
- Now the USC running game is working.
- A LaMarr Woodley sighting! A LaMarr Woodley sighting! He makes a play! Oh joy!
- Mark Sanchez is in for Booty.

Michigan on its own 30
- A basket of mini-muffins to Breaston for staying in bounds to keep the clock moving.
- Henne's still firing. The overall yards will be better than the actual game results.
- Breaston touchdown. That 41-yard touchdown probably bumped him up a round and made him some money. He's likely a late first day guy, but someone will want him for his speed and return skills.
- How sad is the Michigan fight song when it's being playing in garbage time?
USC 32 ... Michigan 18

USC on the Michigan 43
- The universal signal for a blowout ... analyzing the Gatorade bath.

Final Score: USC 32 ... Michigan 18