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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

This Game Was a Kick for All the Wrong Reasons

August 26, 1996|ALLAN MALAMUD

How bad was USC on opening day? . . .

Its most effective performer against Penn State in the Kickoff Not-So Classic was a punter, Jim Wren, and its high scorer a linebacker, Chris Claiborne. . . .

This was a team defeat for Coach John Robinson, his staff, and the players. . . .

The biggest disappointments were in the defensive line and at quarterback, two places where the Trojans are supposed to be strong. . . .

You would have thought that it was the Nittany Lions who invented Student Body Left. . . .

Their inexperienced offensive line controlled the flow, clearing wide paths for tailback Curtis Enis, who ran over most of the few Trojans who got in his way. . . .

Still, it might have been a different game if Trojan quarterback Brad Otton hadn't misfired on what should have been a couple of touchdown passes in the first half. . . .

The play calling seemed too predictable in the second half: run, run, pass, punt. . . .

USC, which defeated Northwestern in the Rose Bowl, is 1-1 during a stretch of three consecutive games against Big Ten teams that ends at Illinois on Sept. 7. . . .

Radio analyst Mike Lamb after watching USC fullback Marvin Powell III help spring a ball carrier: "It's a safe axiom in football that if your name is Marvin Powell, you can block.". . .

It is also a safe axiom that if your coach is Joe Paterno, you will have a successful season. . . .

Whether this Penn State team is good enough to win the Big Ten might depend on the play of quarterback Wally Richardson, who was mediocre at best against USC. . . .

It might have helped Otton if two former Trojan wide receivers who were watching from the sidelines, ABC reporter Lynn Swann and New York Jet Keyshawn Johnson, still had eligibility left. . . .

*

I was hoping the BYU-Texas A&M game Saturday would go into overtime. It would have lasted well into the night with the two teams exchanging touchdowns after taking possession on their opponents' 25-yard line. . . .

Most NFL teams played only four games, but none finished the exhibition season unbeaten or winless. . . .

All 10 St. Louis Ram draft choices survived the final cut. . . .

It was a forgettable Sunday for the two quarterbacks, Otton and Kyle Wachholtz, who shared the starting job at USC most of last season. Wachholtz was cut by the Green Bay Packers. . . .

Tiger Woods' overtime victory over Steve Scott in the U.S. Amateur showed just how exciting match play can be and why it would bring renewed interest to the PGA Championship, which used to have that format. . . .

You've got to wonder about the texture of Dana Rosenblatt's chin after his knockout loss to Vinny Pazienza, never known as a big puncher. . . .

After Will's Way won the Travers Stakes, maybe they ought to cancel the Eclipse Award for 3-year-old colts this year. . . .

Pitch of the week was Dodger reliever Scott Radinsky's rainbow curve ball that struck out New York Met slugger Todd Hundley with the count 3-2 in the eighth inning Friday night. . . .

If the Dodgers weren't in a division title race and the Expos in the wild-card race, the pitching rotations probably would be juggled so Ramon Martinez wouldn't have to face his brother Pedro on Thursday at Montreal. . . .

San Diego Padre third baseman Ken Caminiti is having the kind of gritty, clutch-hitting season that earned Kirk Gibson the National League most valuable player award in 1988 and Caminiti's numbers are much better. . . .

Nothing like the Greg Vaughn trade to light a fire under Rickey Henderson. . . .

Not only is Mark McGwire leading the major league in home runs, he is virtually a cinch to hit more than .300 over a full season for the first time in his career. . . .

The Minnesota Twins showed their fans that they're trying when they signed Chuck Knoblauch to a huge contract. . . .

The seven winning teams in the American League on Sunday scored a total of 65 runs. . . .

Dallas Maverick guard Jason Kidd will portray Robin Givens' fiancee on tonight's episode of "Sparks" at 9:30 on Channel 13. . . .

It was shameful that so much time was devoted on television to Dennis Rodman's non-wedding. . . .

Dan Majerle won't make the Miami Heat forget Juwan Howard.

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