This Week in Pac-10 Football (9/30/01)

Sept. 30, 2001

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COMING UP: A semi-light schedule this week with three Conference games, one non-league tilt and three teams with the week off. Conference matchups feature OREGON at ARIZONA (FOX SN), OREGON STATE at WASHINGTON STATE and USC at WASHINGTON (FOX SN). ARIZONA STATE plays host to Louisiana-Lafayette out of conference. CALIFORNIA, STANFORD and UCLA have open dates.

LAST WEEK:Washington State 48, Arizona 21Stanford 21, USC 16Washington 31, California 28Arizona State 53, San Jose State 15UCLA 38, Oregon State 7Oregon 38, Utah State 21

SERIES NOTES FOR THE GAMES OF OCT. 6:

USC (1-3) at WASHINGTON (3-0) - 12:30 PDT - FOX Sports Net national telecast - The Series: USC and Washington have met 71 times dating to 1923 with the Trojans leading the series 42-25-4. The teams have split 34 games at Husky Stadium (15-15-4). The teams also have split the last seven games overall (3-3-1) and the last three games at Seattle (1-1-1). . . . Last Meeting: USC and Washington have not played the last two seasons with the last meeting come at Los Angeles in 1998. USC broke open a close game with three interceptions in the fourth quarter as CB Antuan Simmons tied a Pac-10 record by running two of the picks back for TDs (29 and 90 yards). The Trojans picked off five passes in the game to offset 311 yards passing by the Huskies. Although Washington had more first downs (28-13) and a 13-minute time of possession advantage, the total offense was almost identical--427-420 in favor of UW. True freshman Carson Palmer made his first start for SC and passed for 279 yards and a TD.

OREGON STATE (1-2) at WASHINGTON STATE (4-0)- 2:00 PDT - The Series: Oregon State-Washington State is an old Pacific Northwest rivalry that dates to 1903. In 86 previous games, the Beavers lead 44-39-3. The teams have split the last six games with Oregon State taking the last two. The Beavers won the last meeting at Pullman in 1999 (27-13), snapping a nine-game unbeaten string (8-0-1) at home for the Cougs against the Beavs. . . . Last Year: Oregon State and Washington State met at Corvallis with the Beavers handing the Cougars a 38-9 setback behind the running of TB Ken Simonton. Simonton cracked the 1,000-yard barrier for the third consecutive year by rushing for 169 yards and two TDs on 20 carries (8.4-yard average). OSU QB Jonathan Smith added two TD passes and the Beaver defense limited WSU to 240 yards total offense. . . . Coaching Pals: WSU coach Mike Price and OSU counterpart Dennis Erickson are old friends who grew up in Everett, Wash., both attending and playing quarterback at Everett High School. Erickson was head coach at Washington State for two years (1987-88) and was succeeded at WSU by Price in 1989 when Erickson went to Miami.

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (1-3) at ARIZONA STATE (2-1) - 7:00 MST - Series Standing: First meeting between the Sun Devils and the Ragin' Cajuns.

OREGON (4-0) at ARIZONA (3-1) - 7:15 MST/PDT - FOX Sports Net national cablecast - Series Standing: Oregon and Arizona have met 26 times with the Ducks holding a slim 14-12 series advantage by virtue of winning the last two and six of the last seven games. The Wildcats lead 8-5 in games played at Tucson, although the teams have split the last four games at Arizona Stadium. . . . Last Year: It proved to be a critical point in the season when Oregon and Arizona met at Eugene. Both teams entered the game at 5-1 and nationally ranked and the Ducks emerged with a 14-10 win in a memorable defensive struggle. Oregon would go on to earn a Pac-10 co-championship, while Arizona never won another game in finishing the season with five consecutive losses. All the points in this one were scored in the first half as the game turned into a bruising defensive contest in the final 30 minutes. Arizona limited Oregon to a season-low 260 yards total offense, but the Duck defense was even more impressive in holding the Wildcats to 17 yards rushing, 217 yards total offense and registering eight quarterback sacks. UO got its points on two first-half TD passes by QB Joey Harrington and Duck TB Maurice Morris did the heavy lifting with 34 rushes for 114 yards.

PAC-10 IN THE POLLS: Three Pac-10 teams are ranked in the Top 10 in the polls and a total of seven Conference teams receive mention. Following are the rankings of Pac-10 teams in the AP (media) and ESPN/USA Today (coaches) polls:

USA/	Team 		AP	ESPN	Oregon (4-0)	7	8	UCLA (4-0)	9	9	Washington (3-0)11	10	Stanford (3-0)	22	24	WSU (4-0)	29	33	OSU (1-2)	t35	32	Arizona (3-1)	42	t46

PAC-10 NOTES:

OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: The Pac-10 is off to a fast start going a stellar 18-4 (.818) vs. non-conference foes. Included is a remarkable 4-1 mark against teams rated in the Top 25.

HOME/ROAD RECORDS: In seven Conference games to date this year, the home team is just 3-4 after last week's games which saw the visiting team win all four contests.

CURRENT STREAKS:
* Longest overall winning streak - 11 games - Washington
* Longest Conference-game winning streak - 8 games - Washington
* Longest home winning streak - 23 games - Oregon
* Longest road winning streak - 4 games - Washington

OVERALL WINNING STREAKS--CURRENT:
* 17 Oklahoma
* 12 Miami
* 11 Washington
* 11 Toledo

HOME WINNING STREAKS--CURRENT:
* 37 Florida State
* 23 Oregon

HOME WINNING STREAKS--ALL-TIME PAC-10:
* 26 California, 1919-23
* 23 Oregon, 1997-2001

CURRENT CONSECUTIVE WINS--DIV. I-A HEAD COACH:
* 17 Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
* 11 Rick Neuheisel, Washington

HOOP DREAMS: Washington State 6-foot-6 WR Mike Bush, who averaged 15.2 points and 5.2 rebounds on the basketball court for the Cougars last year, has stepped in as a starter for the football Cougs. He pulled in seven passes for 110 yards and a TD at Arizona last week. . . . Another hoopster making noise on the football field is 6-foot-7 forward/WR Teyo Johnson at Stanford. He has eight receptions, including two TD catches, for the Cardinal.

TD/INTS: One good gauge of a quarterbacks performance is TD-to-interception ratio and several Pac-10 QBs are tossing up some impressive numbers in that category. The tops so far--10-1 by Stanford's Randy Fasani, 12-2 by Washington State's Jason Gesser, 11-3 for Arizona State's Jeff Krohn and 8-2 by Oregon's Joey Harrington.

MORE PAC-10 NOTES:

ARIZONA: Wildcats finish up a four-game homestand this week, then hit the road for three of next four. . . . UA is looking to snap a six-game Pac-10 losing streak. . . . QB Jason Johnson is completing 61.5% of his passes. . . . Arizona lead the Pac-10 in QB sacks with 16 in four games. Cats have given up just six sacks. . . . Opponents averaging just 2.7 yards per rush against Arizona. . . . Wildcats have recovered seven opponent fumbles, top figure in the Pac-10.

ARIZONA STATE: Sun Devils have been forced to punt just 11 times in three games. . . . Offensive line yielded first QB sack of the season vs. San Jose State last week after getting through the first two games clean. ASU is 'outsacking' opponents 9-2. . . . WR Ryan Dennard scored four TDs last week, three on pass receptions and one on a fumble return. He had just one career TD coming into the game. He is the first to score four TDs in a game for ASU since 1996. The ASU record for TDs in a game is five. . . . Devils have scored 14 TDs with QB Jeff Krohn passing for 11 of them and rushing for another. Five different receivers have touchdown receptions. Krohn leads Pac-10 and is fourth in the nation in passing efficiency (172.4). He leads the Pac-10 in completing 62.8% of his passes. . . . PK Mike Barth has connected on eight straight field goal attempts and 35 consecutive PATs dating back to last year.

CALIFORNIA: Golden Bears' next two opponents--Oregon and UCLA--are ranked in the Top 10 in this week's polls. . . . To further illustrate how difficult the Bears' schedule is this season, Cal's first four opponents own an aggregate record of 12-1 on the season. The Bear's next three boast a combined mark of 10-1. . . . Cal offense is improved. Golden Bears are averaging 383.0 yards per game after managing just 317.5 yards per contest last year. Bears also lead the league in 3rd-down conversions at .452 (28-of-62) and are second in the Pac-10 in first downs.

OREGON: All-Pac-10 CB Rashad Bauman makes his 40th career start for the Ducks this week. . . . Win at Utah State last week raised UO's mark against non-conference opponents to 21-4 since Mike Bellotti took over as head coach in 1995. . . . Four interceptions make CB Steve Smith national co-leader in picks. . . . QB Joey Harrington has run his record to 18-2 as a starter. . . . After throwing two interceptions in the Ducks' opener vs. Wisconsin, Harrington has now gone three games and 92 attempts without a pick. . . . WR Keenan Howry has caught at least one pass in his last 27 games. . . . Seven of Oregon's last 12 games have been decided by seven or fewer points with the Ducks winning all seven of them.

OREGON STATE: Jonathan Smith made his 30th consecutive start at quarterback for the Beavers vs. UCLA last week. His record as a starter is 20-10. Smith has moved into 11th place on the Pac-10 career passing list with 7,850 yards. . . . TB Ken Simonton needs just one more point to become the leading non-kicker on the Pac-10 career scoring ladder. . . . Loss to UCLA last week snapped a nine-game home winning streak that dated to 1999.

STANFORD: 3-0 start is best since 1986 when the Cardinal began the season 4-0. . . . Stanford cracked the polls this week, weighing in at No. 22 in the AP and No. 24 in the coaches' poll. . . . QB Randy Fasani has 10 TD passes and just one interception this year. His 10 TD passes have gone to eight different receivers. Fasani is 8-3 as a starter and Stanford has averaged 31.6 points per game with him at the controls. . . . FL Luke Powell leads the nation in punt returning with a 25.5-yard average.

UCLA: Bruins have not allowed any opponent more than 17 points this season. Opponents are averaging just 11.8 points per game. The 47 points allowed is fewest in first four games since 1980. . . . UCLA allowed Oregon State just seven points last week after Beavers had shredded them for 99 points in last two years. Win against the No. 19-ranked Beavers lifted UCLA to 13 wins in its last 17 games against ranked opponents. That includes knocking off three ranked opponents this year. . . . Bruin defense has allowed just 151 yards passing the last two games. . . . UCLA leads the league in scoring defense (11.8), total defense (271.5) and pass defense (151.5). . . . All this after Bruins gave up a school record 347 points and more than 410 yards per game last year. . . . TB DeShaun Foster is only back in Pac-10 averaging better than 100 yards per game rushing. He leads the league at 128.0 yards per game.

USC: Trojans play three of next four on road. . . . SC held Stanford, which entered game averaging 44.5 points per game, to 21 points. . . . Tough-luck Trojans have lost last three games by a total of 11 points to three teams currently ranked in the Top 25. . . . QB Carson Palmer is completing 21.0 passes per game, top mark in the Pac-10. . . . Trojans have four interceptions in four games after having just seven picks all last year. . . . Opponents have gone for it on fourth down six times this season with the Trojans stopping them every time.

WASHINGTON: The Huskies have the longest winning streak in the Pac-10 going at 11 games overall and eight straight Conference wins. . . . 4-0 start is best since the 1992 Rose Bowl team started 8-0. . . . UW extended its winning streak against California to 19 straight games dating back to 1976. The Pac-10 record for consecutive wins over one opponent is 26 (USC over Oregon State, 1968-99). . . . Win at Cal is first game this year in which UW special teams did not score a TD, but special teams are still special. Huskies lead the nation in kickoff returns with a 34.8-yard average. Roc Alexander is the Pac-10 leader at 40.7 yards per return. Charles Frederick is third in the nation in punt returns at 21.6 yards. P Derek McLaughlin leads the Pac-10 with a 44.7-yard average.

WASHINGTON STATE: Cougars play four of next five at home. . . . 4-0 start is the best since 1997 Rose Bowl team began the season at 7-0. . . . WSU got three QB sacks at Arizona last week against a Wildcat line that had allowed just a total of three in three previous games. . . . High-octane Cougars lead the Pac-10 in scoring offense (44.0), total offense (515.0) and pass offense (369.8). Those figures all rank in the top six in the national stats. Cougars also are third in the nation in passing efficiency. . . . WSU is outscoring opponents by an average of 27 points per game (44-17). . . . QB Jason Gesser has a league-high 12 TD passes with just two interceptions. He leads the Pac-10 and is sixth in the nation in total offense at 301.5 yards per game. . . . Among all the offense, it might be missed that the Cougars have not allowed a team to rush for 100 yards this year. WSU leads the league in rushing defense at 68.8 yards per game. . . . WSU defense has posted 15 QB sacks in four games after mustering just 23 all last year.

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