Tuesday, November 15, 2005
A Major Need
For those who still discount this Saturday's showdown of California teams as merely a tune up for the Trojans, check out the story by the AP. Both teams have a lot to gain and much to lose. Fresno State is not playing the roll of the little with everything to gain, and USC is not playing the big guy with everything to lose.
Granted a loss by USC would likely kill the Trojans chance at a third consecutive national title, but the 16th ranked Bulldogs are not exactly chopped liver.
"This is a great matchup. I don't know if the rest of the country realizes that," Pete Carroll said.
"How much more difficult can it be, playing two 9-1 teams (to finish the regular season)? We'll earn everything we get this year."
Fresno State is 8-1, but same difference. The respect is not just coming from Carroll. The Trojan players know what their up against.
"They've wanted to play us for a couple years. Now they have a chance," USC guard Fred Matua said.
"We know that they're very capable of beating us. I think they're underrated; they should be in the top 10. We feel we have everything to gain."
Fresno State head man Pat Hill will not this go to his player's head. The Bulldogs will be focused for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
"They are the best team in the country," Hill said.
"I've got a lot of respect for them as a team and as a philosophy. They've got great strengths. That's why they've won 32 in a row."