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

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
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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.

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