New Years Day Live-Blog: The Rose Bowl 1st Half

Tuesday, January 01, 2008



It's that time of year again. There will be Song Girls.....there will be Brent and Kirk.....and there will be Erin Andrews.....on the radio. But even though Erin Andrews will not be joining us we'll have fun anyway right? RIGHT?!? Good.

Did you know that Ron Zook's daughter Jacquelyn (left) is an actress in Chicago?! You learn something new everyday.

Who: #13 Illinois vs. #7 USC
What: The Rose Bowl
When: 5ish
Where: The Rose Bowl dummy
Why: Because we'd like to see the "hottest team in America" (according to ESPN/ABC)
How: Pete Carroll in the Ballroom with NCAA Recruiting Violations
Spread: USC -14, O/U 49
Weather: 75 Degrees, Partly Cloudy
_________________________

We are live from Pasadena, California.....The Grandaddy of Them All. Emeril does the coin flip for some reason and USC defers to the second half and we get our first look at our friends the Song Girls.

Here we go.....touchback. Illinois gets the ball at the 20. Hey look at that...UVA blew another Bowl game. Way to go Hoos!

Mendenhall up the middle for 16 yards, and that's how you start a game. Great run. Juice throws the screen to Benn and he loses yards on the screen. The hilarious Jim Belushi intros the Illini offense. How did ABC ever get him???

Mendenhall on the option gets back the lost yardage and it's 3rd and 10.....Sack! Jackson with the pressure. McKnight with the return, and that was dangerous....he hangs on to the ball. USC ball at their own 27....

Screen to McKnight gets nothing and Matt Leinart intros the USC Offense. That 5 O'clock shadow is working well for him. Booty to Davis gets USC a first down. Jim Belushi is such a great actor....he doesn't even need a cue card.

FUMBLE! And that's a touchdown.....wait no. What just happened? They say he was down and that appears to be the case. That's a first down as well. Holy Crap! Hazelton got blasted and the ball went right to McKnight for the first down!!! That ball went about 30 feet in the air. Crazy.

McKnight nets another first down......

TOUCHDOWN USC! Booty to Washington.....

7-0 Trojans.


Wow that was quick.

"Am I the only that's bothered by the fact that the Lehman family decided on "J" rather than "Jay?" Is the "J" short for something? I need answers."- Hanrahan

That's weird as hell....it appears to be just "J". Hey a new According to Jim tonight!!! And Belushi is in attendance....good for him.

Illinois ball at their 20 after another Touchback. Juice gets a nice chuck of yardage on first but there's a drop on 2nd down. 3rd and short.....First down on the Juice Williams run.

Will Ferell and Matt Leinart are hanging out and Keyshawn and Marcus Allen are with us as well. All the stars are in attendance. Jackson is hurt and that's a timeout.

"Now Keyshawn came over on a bus he might have slipped in another way. He's pretty resourceful."- Brent Musburger

"If you're a USC fan, this is exactly how you wanted the game to start out. If you're a Illini fan, this is exactly how you didn't want this game to start out." - Kirk Herbstreit (Via The Unreliable Narrator)

Great analysis there.

First and 10 and Mendenhall picks up 8....no huddle and Mendenhall gets the other 2. Another first down for the Illini. A draw gets a few......PICK! Williams is intercepted at midfield.

TOUCHDOWN USC!!!!!!!!! Lateral pass and a throw by the receiver and Desmond Reed flips into the endzone.

14-0 USC.


Brent Musburger tries to blame the Reed flip on Clinton Portis somehow. USC kicks off from their 20. Benn brings it out just past the 30. Mendenhall goes nowhere on first down and then goes backwards on second down. Illinois look terrible....this is going to get ugly. Mendenhall gets the screen and that's going nowhere. Illinois punts....

McKnight fair catches it near the 20. An incomplete pass on first is followed by a Washington run for seven yards. 3rd and short......Play action.....First down. It's just too easy for USC. Ball at midfield.

What the hell is Lisa Salters flinching for? I hate you ABC.....she doesn't even seem excited to be there. I miss you Erin.

3rd and 10........INTERCEPTION!!!!!!!! Harrison runs it all the way back to the USC 20. Now we've got a game. Mendenhall gets 4 on first down and picks up another 3 on second. 3rd and short.....Juice sneaks it. First down.

Option to Mendenhall....nothing. He lost two....2nd and Goal. Juice gets the ball knocked down and it will be 3rd and Goal from the 12.....Incomplete. No one around as Juice threw it up in the endzone. FG attempt.....

NO GOOD!!!!!!!! A 29 Yarder is missed. That's not going to help.

Wait, is ABC actually attempting to convince a college football audience to watch "Dance War" over the BCS title game?- Willmott

This writer's strike sucks. I mean Seal On Ice is on NBC right now. Come on.

"Thomas Williams, the senior, doing some barking, saying 'This is MY house! This is MY HOUSE!" - Kirk Herbstreit

uhh, Herbie, if you're going to make up conversations at least know that the Rose Bowl is UCLA's house. Dope. (Via Gibbon Jockey)

Ha....great point. USC is punting....sorry I took that possession off. Woodneck drops it!!!! He gets it off though.....Illinois ball at their 40. A 20 yard punt. Benn on the option and he picks up nine on first down. Mendenhall slips but he gets the first down into USC territory.

Nothing doing on first or second down as Mendenhall is getting the ball on just about every single play. 3rd and 13......a screen to Mendenhall again! God this is boring. Illinois punts....touchback.

Great shot of Dick Butkis eating, and USC is punting again after a three and out. Illinois ball at their 30. Another run for nothing and Locksley is trying to bore me to death. WOW! Juice Williams just got blasted!!! He fumbles but Illinois falls on it. 3rd and 18......sacked. Maualuga is everywhere. Another Illinois punt....

McKnight gets it at the 30....there he goes! Out at the Illinois 30. Booty to Davis and Harrison nails him. He's about the only person playing for the Illini. Sack! Booty goes down on 2nd down. 3rd and 20.....and McKnight back to the line of scrimmage.

"Boy is he pretty."- Kirk Herbstreit

I don't think there's a team Kirk likes more than USC outside of OSU. USC punts....Illinois ball at their own 10. I swear the camermen are teasing me with these behind shots of the USC Cheerleaders.

Pitch to Mendenhall....guess how many yards....negative 4. Please try something different. By different I don't mean a wide receiver screen. 3rd and 14....A Sneak?????? Are you f'ing kidding me?!? This is just terrible. Illinois punt....

McKnight at midfield and he gets about 10 and into Illini territory.

"John, I missed the memo. Nathan Detroit is now the tailor for you three guys."- Brent Musburger to John Saunders

Oooh a Guys and Dolls reference that made Herbstreit giggle. Why doesn't that surprise me.

USC picks up two first downs and it's first and goal.......WE GET OUR FIRST USC CHEERLEADER SPIN OF THE DAY. Underwear? Check. Dammit.

TOUCHDOWN USC!!!! Washington right up the middle for his second score of the game.

21-0.


I'm pretty sure the USC players and their coach were just doing the Soldier Boy. Hey Rick Neuheisel.....who did you bet on for this game?

Hey Illinois decide to go deep! It was incomplete of course but at least you tried it. 2nd and 10, 1:38 to go in the half. FIRST DOWN ILLINOIS! They passed it downfield again....amazing. And again!!!! Look at that....too bad you're down 21.

First down at the USC 23. Sacked....Malaluga again. JUICE GOING DEEP!!!!! Cumberland gets it. No....incomplete, but there's a flag on the field. Pass interference on the defense. First down at the 16.

Juice throws it out of the endzone on first down. Williams rolls out on second down and it'll be 3rd and 5 as he gets out of bounds. Incomplete. Zook will go with the FG......

IT'S GOOD!!! Way to not get shut out Illinois.....

21-3 Trojans.


That's going to be the half folks. I'll see you in a new thread after some halftime videos.

45 Comments:

this will be anti-climactic after the Winter Classic game.

odessasteps said...
Jan 1, 2008, 4:48:00 PM  

I saw Erin Andrews in hi-def for the first time today.

That's all.

Jan 1, 2008, 4:57:00 PM  

Did USC choose to defer or did the ref tell them to?

Hanrahan said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:10:00 PM  

Jesus Christ - what will Jim Belushi not stick his nose into - other than the talent pool?

Gibbon Jockey said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:13:00 PM  

Nothing would make me happier more than Ohio State and Illinois winning their respective games.

MAD AS BATS said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:14:00 PM  

Am I the only that's bothered by the fact that the Lehman family decided on "J" rather than "Jay?" Is the "J" short for something? I need answers.

Hanrahan said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:20:00 PM  

"If you're a USC fan, this is exactly how you wanted the game to start out. If you're a Illini fan, this is exactly how you didn't want this game to start out." - Herbie

That's why they pay him the big bucks. Spot on analysis.

Jan 1, 2008, 5:24:00 PM  

Well, this game is starting off like the snooze-fest we were expecting. What time does the Sugar Bowl start again?

Hanrahan said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:36:00 PM  

Hanrahan - Wikipedia says he's actually Jeremy Jacob Leman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J_Leman

Willmott said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:36:00 PM  

Jeremy Jacob, huh? Thanks for the info, but I still think it's goofy.

Hanrahan said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:38:00 PM  

I'm impressed by the reaction time of these refs. Two of them had the flags thrown before the USC player reached the apex of his flip.

Yep, this game looks promising. I'm already finding ways to distract myself

alienaub said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:40:00 PM  

I cannot stand USC (or the SEC), especially their coach, I hope the Illini can bounce back fast...

jon said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:40:00 PM  

Zooker looks like his Downs Syndrome is acting up again. Time to get the offense going.


He has Downs, right?

Jan 1, 2008, 5:41:00 PM  

Dammit. Pete Carrol just crossed the Coach K line when you think you hate him, you find out what he does for charity.

alienaub said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:46:00 PM  

Wait, is ABC actually attempting to convince a college football audience to watch "Dance War" over the BCS title game?

I understand the need to advertise, but wouldn't they be better suited to pushing that during Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy, or something?

Willmott said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:46:00 PM  

well willmott DH is on Sundays and GA is on Thursdays....so DW must be the only thing on Monday :)

Anonymous said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:53:00 PM  

Ouch. Dagger right there.

Willmott said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:53:00 PM  

"Thomas Williams, the senior, doing some barking, saying 'This is MY house! This is MY HOUSE!" - Kirk Herbstreit

uhh, Herbie, if you're going to make up conversations at least know that the Rose Bowl is UCLA's house. Dope.

Gibbon Jockey said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:56:00 PM  

come on AA you watch sports not television shows

jon said...
Jan 1, 2008, 5:59:00 PM  

maybe Illinois should try to throw it down the field...

Anonymous said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:03:00 PM  

True, but I do enjoy me some Wire. First episode is On Demand if you want to check it out.

Jan 1, 2008, 6:04:00 PM  

This writer's strike sucks. I mean Seal On Ice is on NBC right now. Come on.

Part of the NBC "Irrelevance on Ice" tripleheader. Don't miss the World One-On-One Curling Championships, next on NBC!

Willmott said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:06:00 PM  

Aurellious Benn, anyone?

Hanrahan said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:11:00 PM  

Maualuga just earholed Juice
Knocked the football loose


I'm starting to rhyme and I like it.

Gibbon Jockey said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:13:00 PM  

Yeah, but Shakespeare would still probably iambic pentameter all over your ass. If, you know, iambic pentameter were a verb.

Anybody else surprised by how different Illinois looks now? It took 'em a few drives, but they're really hungry right now...

...which probably means they hold out until the middle of the 3rd at best.

Willmott said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:17:00 PM  

God the Rambo commercial gets me hyped.

Jan 1, 2008, 6:18:00 PM  

Today's Rose Bowl is presented by the Brent Musberger Book Club.

What, he's already given us two reading recommendations?

alienaub said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:19:00 PM  

whoa...did you see that the cameraman was trying to get an early ass shot of a song girl?

jon said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:21:00 PM  

Rick Neuheisel /aflac

Gibbon Jockey said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:26:00 PM  

"Johnson off to the left" - Musberger

ssreporters said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:29:00 PM  

Maybe its just the production crew's crowd shot selection, but jeez I hope there aren't that many Illinois faithful dressed in buckskin and warpaint. Seen more than enough for one game. *groan*

Gibbon Jockey said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:30:00 PM  

"This is the goal, to get to the Rose Bowl" - Kirk Herbstreit

What about the national championship idiot?

ssreporters said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:31:00 PM  

oh come on ss....the rose bowl is always a big deal too...

Anonymous said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:32:00 PM  

Lisa Salters = Jim Gray

ssreporters said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:32:00 PM  

He's from Big Ten Country - the Rose Bowl IS more important than a national championship game.

That's what Jim Delany and Tom Hanson would tell you anyway

alienaub said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:33:00 PM  

Brent and Kirk have to be hitting the bottle.

ssreporters said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:34:00 PM  

I disagree with you ali...the rose bowl is NOT as important as the national championship game...

ron said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:35:00 PM  

AA, if Ohio State vs. USC ever happens and ABC broadcasts it, what would happen?

ssreporters said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:36:00 PM  

hey juice throw it a little higher next time...geez

Anonymous said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:37:00 PM  

I'm with you Ron, I'm just ridiculing the major hurdle for why we don't have a playoff system (namely, the Big10 and Pac10 comissioners).

alienaub said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:38:00 PM  

I don't think college football should have a playoff...yes the system currently used is not the best, but I think playoffs would take away the excitement from reg season games

ron said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:41:00 PM  

At Ron:

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh no.

ssreporters said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:45:00 PM  

Your walk to the locker room interviews:

Zook gets Lisa Salters
Carroll gets Erin Andrews

that sums it up right there.

Gibbon Jockey said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:45:00 PM  

There's a reason Big Ten and Pac-10 schools honor anniversaries of teams that made Rose Bowls, kids. I may not give two shits about it over a national championship, but I'm also sitting here in ACC country.

Willmott said...
Jan 1, 2008, 6:48:00 PM  

What's the "G" commercial about with Little Wayne doing the voice over?

burnt_orange said...
Jan 1, 2009, 8:27:00 PM  

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