USC Shames UCLA After Timeout
The early criticism of USC's touchdown will be that it was classless while drawing comparisons to what Stanford did to USC two weeks prior in going for a two point conversion up 48-21. Whatever Pete Carroll's gripe against Stanford, UCLA's asinine timeout vindicated what followed. A football game is 60 minutes long, if one party wants to invite further play, there really shouldn't be criticism when their counterpart accepts the offer and then some.
What Stanford did to USC was just as legitimate as what USC did in the closing minute to UCLA. UCLA actually made it worse in refusing to let USC extend its mercy in running out the clock.
Said Carroll after the game, "we thought we had a shot at it so we went ahead and took it. That's all. It might have been crazy if we got sacked and fumbled the ball but Matt [Barkley] knew what he was doing so we took a shot because they were jumping on the line of scrimmage and they were calling timeouts so we said we'll see if we can score again."
Many may not like it and wring their hands about class and sportsmanship but so long as games can't be ended prematurely, teams are free to operate within the given parameters. UCLA invited USC to keep playing, and got burned for it. To the extent Carroll took umbrage with Harbaugh's decision, he deserves criticism. But just the same, criticisms of what transpired at the end of the game Saturday are as off base as his own complaints two weeks prior.