1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Monday “College Football-USD-Can’t Believe What I Saw”

Posted by on November 12th, 2018  •  0 Comments  • 

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“USD Football-Could Not Believe What I Did See”

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I’ve broadcast a Super Bowl….did NFL football for 17-years….did 17-year of Pac 10-and Mountain West and WAC football, but what I saw on Saturday was a once in a lifetime experience.

The sunshine on Zaible Field on the picturesque school on the hill, the University of San Diego was special. The game that started on a sun-splashed field ended as sunset arrived.

Between start and finish, it was a day of record setting plays, that would take your breath away.

I know it’s not like watching top ranked Alabama or Clemson. I know it’s not a rivalry game like USC-vs-UCLA.

But what USD and Davidson did on Saturday was one for the ages.

I laughed watching coach Dale Lindsey double over at the end of the game, not sure if he was trying to catch his breath after a track meet of a game, or whether he had a stomach ache watching his team put its name in the record book for all the yards they allowed to the visiting Cats from North Carolina.

I wanted to see the final home game of the brilliant small college quarterback Anthony Lawrence, and his pass catching best buddy Michael Bandy.

I wanted to see Davidson, who had beaten Guilford (91-61) in an early season game, and leads the planet in running the football.

I wanted to relink with the Wildcats new coach, whom I had met at Washington & Lee a couple of years back.

I’ve seen lots of deficits in games, and big comebacks, but never this. Davidson leads (31-7) in the first quarter and USD comes back to win (56-52), and in the process re-writes the NCAA record book in a bunch of categories.

Davidson, running the triple option, finished with runs of 45-55-64-80-90-93, enroute to an NCAA record (789Y) rushing in a single game. You think of all the great days, and great running offenses in college football, no one, not Oklahoma, not Ohio State, not Texas, had ever put that kind of offensive display on any given Saturday.

The Wildcats ran up (852Y) in total offense, and it would have been more if they had not dropped 3-likely touchdown passes along the way..

Not to be outdone, USD put on its own fireworks show, a 98-yard kickoff return for a TD, then a 99-yard touchdown pass, Lawrence to Bandy.

When they were done, exhausted as they were, Lawrence threw for a career best (556Y-7TD). Bandy had 10-catches for 324Y. And now you know why they put erasers on your Dixon pencils.

Even the punter, Tanner Kulian averaged 50-yards a boot, including a 68-and-70-yarder along the way.

The final tabulation set an time 1-AA record for combined yards in a game,(1,477Y), eradicating the (1,413Y) record set by Howard University.

USD is such a special place. A great academic institution. A beautiful campus overlooking the Pacific. A non scholarship football program that has beaten the schools in post season games that give out 65-grants.

Lindsey, a football lifer out of Western Kentucky, carved himself a nice career as a Cleveland Browns linebacker, where I first met him. From that to become a longtime NFL assistant, including a stint with the Chargers, when I did those games. And now continuing a tradition of success, first authored by Jim Harbaugh, and then Ron Caracker.

Athletic Director Bill McGillis has brought leadership and style to the Athletic Department, though his vision and hard work has yet to see the planted seeds grow into success in the marketplace.

Both coach and AD may be ‘old school’, and that’s not bad, for that means lots of experience.

On a day where crosstown San Diego State lost to lowly UNLV. A Saturday where UCLA fell to (2-8) in Chip Kelly’s first season. A weekend where USC’s Clay Helton saw his team lost at home again, USD was a fun way to spend a Saturday.

Up next for them, will be another appearance in the FCS-1-AA playoffs

I really wish USD could find away to actually be a true Division III team in football, and compete for a true championship against other powers like Mt-Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater. Maybe actually winning a true trophy in those playoffs, would ignite interest in this town. .

I was stunned at kickoff, when I took time to count just 109 people sitting on the far sidelines behind the Toreros bench, and just 56-sitting in the end zone seats. They said the announced crowd was some 3100, finding that total hard to believe. Guess it was USD’s version of a late arriving ‘Dodgers’ crowd.

But for that afternoon, it turned out be a real feel good story. Success on the field in record setting fashion. Come Monday, they’re back in chemistry-science-english and religion classes too seeking success there..

You see playing at USD is a fun thing. But for the kids wearing Blue, getting the degree from a great school, is the most important thing.

And there’s nothing wrong with either one.

Record setting day at a special place…University of San Diego.

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