Friday, November 25, 2005

One Last Turkey Sandwich | by Jay

The last of the leftovers. So we've come to the end of the season, and there's just enough left for one more turkey sandwich, one final helping of cranberry sauce, one last slice of pumpkin pie. We're off to Stanford to trim the Trees and ice a BCS bowl, and there's not much more to say about this game other than we should win it, and handily.

The Walt Harris Experience is off to a shaky start (although it's probably faring better than the Wannstache Bash): problems at quarterback (Edwards banged up), problems at running back (16 yards rushing last week), problems on the offensive line (Cal sacked them nine times). Stanford's best game against a quality opponent was probably taking UCLA to overtime (yet losing) on October 29th; their worst, an ignominious early-season loss to UC-Davis.

Still, most Saturdays against APU (Aspirational Peer U.) there'd be a chance for a letdown, and maybe even a 'trap' game for us. Stanford's got some movable parts on offense and a heady coach that ordinarily might give us fits, and there's that little tradition of Stanford de-pantsing a good Notre Dame team from time to time.

Tomorrow won't be one of those games. Unfortunately for the Trees, they're catching us after we just played our worst game of the season. Against Syracuse, our focus was anywhere but on the field, and for most of that bright, windy game last Saturday, I didn't even recognize the boys in blue -- and neither did Charlie, if you read the postgame presser. (For some good Weis witticisms, check out the pre-Stanford presser -- it's one of his best all year). Unlike last week, we should be zeroed-in and laser-locked.

The difference tomorrow? We're actually playing for something. "Win this one, and we're BCS-bound" -- you can bet that's been the message this week in practice. I wouldn't be surprised to see a thorough domination, the first complete game we play all year. The last time we played at Stanford Stadium it was a 57-7 rout; except for Charlie's disinclination to run it up, expect a similar outcome.

By the way, after the on-field demolition comes another destruction: the wrecking ball swings on Stanford Stadium (an ironically-named venue whose greatest moments had nothing to do with Stanford football) immediately after the final gun. Don't tarry too long in the stadium, or you'll be a permanent resident.

Finally, Pat Morita passed away last night. I've always tried to live my life according to the wisdom of Mr. Miyagi, and it's led me out of some nasty scrapes with skeleton-suited bullies over the years. Miyagi once said, "Man who catch fly with chopstick can accomplish anything," and I think that's really important to remember as we kick off against the Cardinal tomorrow night. Wax on, wax off.