Thursday’s With Raider: Did We Really Have A Chance


As a child of the 90s, I can’t quite purge the “Saved by the Bell” portion of my cultural knowledge from my brain.  Particularly, the episode where the most popular people of Bayside High decide to form a band, naturally called the Zack Attack.  You, of course, can now enjoy the campiest high school students on television on YouTube now, in various hip hop beats.  (Note: yeah, it’s actually a random clip of the show, but it’s kind of like mentioning who the enforcer was for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 70s.  You can basically take your pick).

But branching off from that Saved by the Bell reference, did we ever have a chance against the Trojans?

-Item: the two fumbles on USC’s first two drives.  Defense scores on the first fumble, offense gets a short field on the second one.  The funny thing about that was it really only solved about half of the equation.

-Item: Silas Redd and Marquise Lee and in turn the Trojans took control of the game in actuality sometime around the second quarter.  Did it seem to you as it did to me sitting at RES when they had a 3rd and more than 10 yards that they had the playmakers to convert the first down?

-Item: Oh, Coleman Peterson.  Missing a field goal to tie the game at the half shouldn’t have made me that angry, but come on…Louie Sakoda, Bryan Borreson, Chris Yergersen (yeah, yeah, he missed a few FGs in the first 34-31 game, I know.  Just follow me on this).  See why we can’t have nice things?

-Item: Would you describe Luke Matthews career as a disappointment?  I always assumed that Matthews would have been a lot better, but is he the new Cliff Russell in the sense that Lance Rice was throwing to them?

-Item: I made this comment on one of your entries recently, but how long before we see random sorts of socioeconomic backgrounds…okay, I won’t sugarcoat it, how long before we see a bunch of people in West Valley or Kearns magically become USC fans the same way that they became Lakers fans?  Jim Rome had a guy email him about the dreaded “949 USC Fan”.  If you thought that SC fan was bad…wait til you get a load of 801 USC Fan.  You watch.

-Item: speaking of the 949, the new girlfriend won two tickets to the game at the coaches show this past week and she enjoyed it.  Yeah, I think I’ll keep this one.

I suppose I should mention the fact that the Reds just dismantled the Giants this weekend, but I do want all of you to keep in mind a few things.  First, we played some really bad teams after Melky Cabrera got suspended.  Sure, we left the Dodgers in the dust soon after that, but when everyone else you play includes the Astros, Cubs, Rockies, Padres, etc., you better beat those teams if you’re so much as a playoff team.  The pitching this year also wasn’t quite as good, and with as historically awesome as Matt Cain’s perfect game was, his ERA hovered around 3.50 after that.  Besides, the Reds and the Nationals are the class of the National League this year and that ought to be a great NLCS.

One thing you didn’t mention in your “Everything You Needed To Know About USC” entry from last week is that Will Ferrell is a USC grad, or at the very least, a former student.  I will present that without comment.


My favorite Saved By The Bell memory is this one where the future star of Showgirls teaches us about the dangers of caffeine pills or something far less dangerous than 5 Hour Energy.

My worry about the game began about the time you said.  And my thought was, with a few exceptions that Redd and Lee seemed like men and much of our team seemed like boys.  Its similar to how the USC Song Girls seem like women and our cheerleaders look like girls.  Our players need to get boobs and their period, if you understand me.

I will say in whiny Ute fan fashion, if that crap call doesn’t bring back that touchdown at the end of the half, we just might have made a game of it.

Yeah if you’re a senior wide receiver at Utah, much like Bill Clinton, I feel your pain.

I pray that Whit has learned it might be worth some time, find out who some good kickers are in high school and go out and offer them a scholarship, I continue to find this waiting for them to come to us, emotionally unsatisfying.

My one thought on the MLB baseball playoffs so far, hey Texas… HAHA.  I don’t know why but I’ve decided I hate the Texas Rangers.  Its like they don’t deserve to win, like basketball teams in Texas, no one gives a shit so you shouldn’t get to win.  Meanwhile the Angels, with fans giving a shit since 2002 are sitting at home.

As for women, I’ve contemplated long and hard some advice I might give you from my long and bumpy years of dating, and I got nothing.  Find someone you can stand and who is willing to have sex with you and make sure their annoying stuff isn’t too annoying.  My wife is a Yankee fan and would probably have sex with Jeter in front of me.  But she’s good people otherwise, so what’s a guy to do.

But I think the final test has to be Ute Hoops.  If she deals with that, I’ll help you pick the ring.

To the games this week:

Arizona State v. Colorado

Raider Thoughts

The Sun Devils play Oregon next week, so what better way to prepare a team for hosting a theoretical national title contender than to pound Colorado?  Going into this season, I had gone under the assumption that ASU would need a few years to clean up the Dennis Erickson pigsty.  (Speaking of Erickson, did he really leave Wyoming the middle of the night to take the Wazzu job after the 1986 season?  He wasn’t exactly a highly regarded guy from my time in Wyoming).  Continuing to look ahead here, how close does ASU get to the South Division title?  They might–emphasis on might–be good enough to beat USC, but they can’t possibly win the South this year….can they?

MAC Thoughts

Here is all you need to know about Dennis Erickson as I’ve said before.  I’m 14.  I’m roughly the size I am now if I was in shape now because I didn’t grow after that.  I’m at a Cowboy Joe Club function with my parents to meet the new coach.  Dennis Erickson and his extra drunk defensive coordinator Del Wright, they buy me a beer.   Sadly my father intervened before much of the Miller Lite went into my mouth.  But that didn’t stop a Del Wright from spending most of the night explaining how I’ll be his star defensive end in four years and he guaranteed me a scholarship.  As it turns out, Erickson vanishes and turns up at what he calls his dream job in Wazzu.  Which he leaves two years later for to go to Miami.  After Paul Roach, Wright really wanted the job but it was given to Joe Tiller, who completely reneged on Wright’s drunken scholarship offer.  Tiller also once described my cut blocking style as, “you look like you’re a frog trying to eff a football.”

Now why did I tell that story?  First because I love telling it.  Second, because it shows what an ass Erickson is.  Even in Wyoming, who buys a 14 year old a beer at a University function.  Also don’t forget that all the former Miami players hate Erickson for letting the team lose to BYU.

As for this game, Graham only had to clean up Erickson.  Jon Embree has to clean up for Neuheisel/Barnett/Hawkins.  Mentioning Barnett brings up another story I just love.  When asked about allegations that his female kicker had been raped, Barnett responded, “She’s not a very good kicker anyway.”

Oregon State v. BYU

Raider Thoughts

Before you get a series of BYU trolls that will proclaim that they have more Pac-12 victories right now than we do, I’m reasonably certain that we will beat at least one of the teams in the conference that they played this year and if we don’t…well, I’m just going to snap.  Besides, isn’t this Beaver team a much better team than the one the Zoobs beat in Corvallis last year even without Sean Mannion?  I will now cede to you as as Beaver Believer to dispense your sermon.

MAC Thoughts

Two things are going on here in my mind.  First, Oregon St. can play defense and BYU with Riley Nelson can’t play offense.  I don’t honestly know how BYU scores the six points they’ll need just to cover.  Second, the Oregon St. people are claiming that Cody Vaz is something we at Utah have never seen, a quality back-up QB.  I just think even without Mannion, OSU is just better.

Stanford v. Notre Dame

Raider Thoughts

Wait, Notre Dame is 7th?  How did this happen?  I refuse to partake in this whole “Notre Dame is Back” thing.  In fact, the Irish jumped the shark in 1993 and any of your arguments to the contrary are invalid.  Let me refresh the memories of the good users of the internet for those of you who weren’t alive or very young.  It was November 20, 1993 and the Irish had outlasted Florida State the week before.  (Which was a classic game in and of itself, when 1 v. 2 games actually lived up to the hype.  I’m looking at you, LSU and Alabama.)  Only Boston College stood in their way of an undefeated season and a shot at a national championship.

One ought to realize that something isn’t quite right with your team when Glenn Foley has a huge day against you, but despite all that, the Irish came back to take the lead late in the 4th courtesy of a Lake Dawson touchdown grab.  With BC managing to get into field goal range with time winding down, kicker David Gordon administered an existential defeat that only the writers of Happy Days could dream of.

The Irish are back…Rudy Ruettiger, please!

MAC Thoughts

Now I must tread lightly here.  You see the wife is a very good Irish-Catholic girl who attended only Catholic school, including Gonzaga Prep.  She went to a Jesuit school for college as well but part of her still wonders if she should have gone to Notre Dame.  As I mentioned earlier, she’s also a Yankees fan, so you can only imagine how wonderful the rest of her must be.

That being said, I have a hard time believing in the Irish and quit waiting for it all to blow up.  But maybe it’s all because of Manti T’eo.  If Notre Dame wins the national title and Romney the presidency, maybe we should all talk to missionaries.

USC v. Washington

Raider Thoughts

The Dawgs currently stand 107th in the nation in passing yardage.  184.2 passing yard average to be exact.  They’ve also managed to average a mere 22.8 points per game thus far.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  (If you don’t manage to see where I’m going with this, I’m talking myself into a performance that’s not a complete whooping on November 10.  Thought you’d like to know).  Of course, if SC decides to turn the ball over a few times and they can’t simply walk onto the field and be the better team, then forget everything I just typed and we’ll move on.

MAC Thoughts

Ok I’m going one place with this game.  Kiffikins with a big win.  Sark has had his number and Kiffy wants payback.  BTW am I alone in really not liking Steve Sarkesian?  Maybe it’s some odd Spokane pride coming out where I hate many things Western Washington, mostly because it’s better there and they never think about Spokane.  Combine that with Sark having the double stink of BYU and USC on him and well…

Cal v. Washington State

Raider Thoughts

Just like Dorothy, just keep saying to yourself *we get both of these teams at home…we get both of these teams at home…*

MAC Thoughts

My great Cal fear… Well to explain this you have to think of Jeff Tedford as a malfunctioning robot.  Every year a sensor blows just before the season, Tedfotbot shuts down to fix itself and call looks like crap.  Then Tedfordbot fixes the sensor, realizes he has to win out to keep his job and does.  Did the Tedfordbot repair its sensor before UCLA?  Was this analogy just really nerdy?

Utah v. UCLA

Raider Thoughts

On my Twitter timeline, I have seen a tweet or two from my Niner fan followers that wish an unusual ill will toward Jim Mora, Jr.  There might not be a stranger fan base in the entire NFL than 49ers fans, but that’s neither here nor there.  I mean, there are some coordinators that deserve some wrath from specific faithful.  Chuck Bresnahan, Terry Robiskie, Tom Walsh, Greg Knapp, those kinds of coordinators.  But I can’t help but wonder.  Aside from whatever that was against Cal last week, the Bruins have the most ideal kryptonite for this year’s Utes: they have the ability to put points on the board.  Yeah, I’m probably still amazed by the fact that they lit up Rice for a bunch of scoring to start the year, but I’m a man starved for offense.  Just maybe if the defense turns in a non-ASU performance…just maybe, we’ll have a shot.  Don’t hold me to that, though.

MAC Thoughts

Ok I officially have no idea what to think of UCLA.  My sister blog GoJoeBruin is having a mental breakdown over this team.  They went from talking 11- 1 after Nebraska to thinking they’ll never winning again after the Cal debacle.  The guys at Shutdown Fullback say Jim Mora just makes you want to hate him.  As for me.  Well until we can put actually offense on the field, I just have no faith at all.  How can I?

As for Niner fans, have any of them ever admitted just how wrong they were about Alex Smith?