Did Pete Carroll’s assistants leaving for new jobs have an impact on the team?
Don James: I didn’t think so but maybe it’s true. Pete Carroll is the defensive coordinator. The offense hasn’t changed, the coaches have changed. Maybe with them coming in from Denver, they had a difficult time with it. They weren’t very dynamic. They don’t like to run the ball. They will very seldom run the ball twice in a row. They’re a great offensive team when it’s going. This is the first time the quarterback and the receivers (they lost their best receiver) didn’t get it going. They didn’t have other people to come in there. I think that probably made a difference, a combination of things. Not a good year.
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This time nobody is saying that a Stanford victory at USC is impossible. Coach Jim Harbaugh hasn’t remarked that some people think his team could lose 1,000 to zero. The Las Vegas oddsmakers haven’t ridiculed the matchup by making USC a 40-point favorite.
Nobody is laughing at Stanford anymore.
But that was the mood two years ago, on Oct. 6, 2007, when the Cardinal last ventured to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
USC had won 35 consecutive home games. Stanford, 1-11 the year before, was coming off a 38-point loss and starting a quarterback who had thrown three passes in his college career.
“They absolutely seemed to have no chance,” said Tony Sinisi, odds director for the Las Vegas Sports Consultants. “Stanford looked like a zero shot to win.”
But the “zero shot” won, shocking USC and 85,125 spectators on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tavita Pritchard to Mark Bradford with 49 seconds to play. The final score was 24-23.
Read more: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_13768108?nclick_check=1