Sports wise I despise this time of the year. Tennis is boring (even when it's played on a grass court). Baseball is only good for weekend naps if you are not at the ball game. Even if you go to the ball game it's fun for few innings over beers and hot dog and then it gets pretty monotone.
Soccer is okay but all the relevant league games - especially BPL - are over. There is no World Cup this year (I did watch a little bit of the action from Brazil). We don't have any Olympics. So the only thing that I actually watched during the long 4th of July weekend was a glorious 60 minute replay of this on the Pac-12 Network (hey, it's worth to have the network just so you could watch that replay).
Anyway watching the game reminded me how thoroughly we were dominating the Trojans early on at the Rose Bowl. However, watching the game also reminded me of this - Damien Thigpen getting hurt in the first half. They didn't show the footage of him in pain. They just showed the play after which he went down.
So here is the thing. Bruins were up 17-0. Although, Bruins ended up scoring a TD in that series and went up 24-0, the tide of that game kind of changed. Trojans scored two straight TDs to close within 10 and then we experienced the roller-coaster second half until Barkely got BARRED. But he score was 21-28 in favor the bad guys after Thigpen went down.
Thigpen never returned for rest of the season and Bruins finished the season 0-3.
So how important is Thigpen to our offense? On paper Thiigpen's stats were ok, but it seems like he certainly gave us a spark and a different look to our offense. He was certainly a difference maker v. Nebraska and the pivotal road game against ASU.
Of course it wasn't just about Thigpen. Thigpen was effective because JetSki had an amazing season. But, I wonder how effective our running attack will be next year. The optimistic side of yours truly thinks we should be ok, given the core of our OL (Brendel, XSF and Goines) will be more seasoned, and we will have a more improved version of Mr. Hundley.
Still, it's kind of amazing to think about how much our offense missed Thigpen? I think we'd be playing in the Rose Bowl if we had a healthy Thigpen to supplement Hundley/Franklin combo against Stanford.