This Week in Pac-10 Football (10/14/01)

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Oct. 14, 2001

COMING UP: Four Conference games, a storied intersectional and a Thursday night special are all on the docket this week. WASHINGTON STATE plays host to Montana State on Thursday in a matchup that comes as a result of schedule shuffling following the postponement and cancellation of games following the events of Sept. 11. In Pac-10 play, ARIZONA is at WASHINGTON (FOX Syndication), OREGON STATE at ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA at UCLA (FOX SN) and STANFORD at OREGON (ABC). USC heads to South Bend for its annual clash with Notre Dame (NBC).

LAST WEEK:
Oregon State 38, Arizona 3
USC 48, Arizona State 17
Oregon 48, California 7
Washington State 45, Stanford 39
UCLA 35, Washington 13

PAC-10 IN THE POLLS: Four Pac-10 teams are ranked in the Top 20 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:


Team		AP	USA/ESPNUCLA (5-0)		4	6Oregon (6-0)		5	5Washington (4-1)		15	12Washington St. (6-0)	19	18Stanford (3-1)		29	29Arizona State (3-2)	37	--Oregon State (2-3)	--	t32

SERIES NOTES FOR THE GAMES OF OCT. 18 AND OCT. 20:

MONTANA STATE (4-2) at WASHINGTON STATE (6-0) - Thu., Oct. 18 - 7:00 PDT - The Series: Washington State and Montana State have met five times with the Cougars winning all five. All of the games have been WSU home games at either Pullman or Spokane. . . . Last Meeting: Washington State and Montana State last met early in the 1993 season with the Cougars picking up a 54-14 victory. The stats were as lopsided as the score as WSU had a total offense advantage of 545-137, including a rushing disparity of 318 to minus-35. The Coug defense picked off four passes and recorded eight QB sacks.

USC (2-4) at NOTRE DAME (2-3) - 1:30 CDT/11:30 PDT - NBC national telecast - The Series: The most storied intersectional rivalry of them all dates back to the days of Knute Rockne and Howard Jones. USC and Notre Dame have met 72 times dating to 1926 and uninterrupted except for the war years of 1943-45. In what has often been a series of streaks, Notre Dame has won the last two games. The Irish prevailed 38-21 at L.A. last year and won 25-24 in the rain at South Bend in 1999. . . . Last Year: USC and Notre Dame closed out the regular season at the L.A. Coliseum with the No. 11-ranked Irish winning 38-21. The win assured Notre Dame a BCS berth in the Fiesta Bowl. Notre Dame controlled the game for nearly 36 minutes with an offense that ground out 246 rushing yards and did not turn the ball over. USC could manage just 78 yards rushing and was plagued by costly turnovers and blocked punts. Trojan QB Carson Palmer passed for 251 yards and two TDs and rushed for another score.

STANFORD (3-1) at OREGON (6-0) - 12:30 PDT - ABC regional telecast - Series Standing: Stanford and Oregon have met 64 times dating to 1900 with the Cardinal leading the series 42-21-1. Stanford leads 27-10-1 in games played at Palo Alto. Stanford has won six of the last eight overall and six of the last eight at Palo Alto. . . . Last Meeting: Oregon and Stanford last met in 1998 with the Ducks pounding the Cardinal 63-28 at Eugene to snap a three-game Stanford winning streak against UO. Oregon scored its most points ever in a Conference clash as the Duck offense exploded for 664 yards total offense, getting more than 300 yards rushing and passing (307 rushing, 357 passing). UO QB Akili Smith passed for 357 yards and four TDs and TB Reuben Droughns rushed for 214 yards and three scores. Stanford QB Randy Fasani threw his first collegiate passes in the game, completing 2-of-4 throws off the bench in a lost cause.

ARIZONA (3-3) at WASHINGTON (4-1) - 3:30 PDT/MST - FOX Sports Net syndication (18 stations in California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Hawaii, check local listings) - Series Standing: Washington and Arizona have met just 17 times, all since the Wildcats joined the Pac-10 in 1978, and the Huskies hold the upper hand by a 12-4-1 margin. In nine games at Seattle, UW leads 7-2. . . . Last Year: Washington and Arizona met at Seattle with the Wildcats giving the No. 8-ranked Huskies all they could handle until UW pulled off some of its usual fourth-quarter magic to post a 35-32 win. Arizona led 25-13 after three quarters, but Washington TB Willie Hurst electrified the crowd with TD runs of 65 and 23 yards and QB Marques Tuiasosopo scored the game-winner on a short run with 1:10 left in the game. The Wildcats had one last shot with PK Sean Keel attempting a 51-yard field goal as time ran out, but it was blocked by Husky DT Larry Tripplett. Hurst ran for 116 yards and the two TDs on just eight carries for UW.

OREGON STATE (2-3) at ARIZONA STATE (3-2) - 7:00 MST/PDT - The Series: Arizona State and Oregon State have met 27 times with the Sun Devils leading the series 19-7-1. ASU leads 14-3 in games at Tempe and has won 13 straight at Sun Devil Stadium. The last OSU win at Tempe in 1969 (30-7), well before ASU joined the Pac-10. Overall, the Devils have won five straight and eight of the last nine, with the last Beav victory coming at Corvallis in 1993 (30-14). . . . Last Meeting: Arizona State and Oregon State met at Tempe in 1998 with the Sun Devils using a suffocating defense to knock off the Beavers 24-3. ASU allowed the Beavs just 232 yards total offense, including just nine yards rushing. The Sun Devils held OSU's star freshman tailback Ken Simonton, who entered the game as the leading rusher in the Pac-10, to just 33 yards on 16 rushes.

CALIFORNIA (0-5) at UCLA (5-0) - 7:15 PDT - FOX Sports Net national cablecast - The Series: UC system rivals UCLA and California have met at least once a year since 1933 with the Bruins leading the 71-game series 45-25-1. UCLA holds a 23-11-1 lead in home games, including a 6-3 advantage at the Rose Bowl. Cal has won the last two games in a series that has seen plenty of streaks. . . . Last Year: California and UCLA met in a thriller at Berkeley with the Golden Bears snapping a four-game losing streak with a 46-38 triple overtime upset of 13th-ranked UCLA. The Bruins rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to tie the game in regulation. The teams matched TDs and field goals in the first two extra periods. In the third OT, Cal TB Joe Igber tallied a TD on a short run and the game ended when Bear CB Jemeel Powell made an end zone interception. The stats were as even as the score as California held a slim 359-354 total offense advantage. Most of the damage came through the air as both quarterbacks had big days. Cal's Kyle Boller passed for 252 yards and three TDs, two of them going to Igber. UCLA counterpart Cory Paus threw for 309 yards and four scores, two to TE Bryan Fletcher, and ran for a TD in overtime. With star TB DeShaun Foster out with an injury, UCLA gained just 45 yards on 45 rushes against the Cal defense.

PAC-10 NOTES:

OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: The Pac-10 has posted a stellar 19-4 (.826) mark vs. non-conference foes. Included is an excellent 4-1 mark against teams rated in the Top 25.

HOME/ROAD RECORDS: In 15 Conference games to date this year, the home team holds a very slim 8-7 advantage.

CURRENT STREAKS:
Longest overall winning streak - 8 games - Oregon
Longest Conference-game winning streak - 4 games - Washington State
Longest home winning streak - 23 games - Oregon (longest in nation)
Longest road winning streak - 4 games - Washington State

HOME WINNING STREAKS--ALL-TIME PAC-10:26 California, 1919-2323 Oregon, 1997-2001

CONFERENCE NOTES AND QUOTES: UCLA TB DeShaun Foster's 301-yard rushing performance against Washington is not only a Bruin record, but also the third-best rushing day in Conference history. It trails only 357 by Washington State's Rueben Mayes vs. Oregon in 1984 and 347 by USC's Ricky Bell vs. Washington State in 1976. Foster's four rushing TDs is just one shy of the Pac-10 single game record. . . . All five teams with winning records in Pac-10 play have gained more turnovers than they have lost. Oregon is the league leader at +14. 'Most coaches would say that turnover ration correlates to winning or losing more than any other statistic.' says Duck coach Mike Bellotti. Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham agrees. 'If you're looking for just one statistic that is important to the Pac-10 race, I'd point to turnover margin,' says Willingham. 'Who down the stretch is maintaining possession of the ball and not creating easy scores for their opponent? That could reflect who comes out of this thing as the champion.' . . . Washington State WR Mike Bush, who led the Cougar basketball team in scoring last year and currently ranks second in the Pac-10 in receiving yardage, says blocking 'is like playing defense in basketball--you stay in front of the guy but in football you can foul.'

ARIZONA: Tough assignment to snap current eight-game Conference losing streak with road trip to Washington. . . . Wildcats have allowed just nine QB sacks in six games. . . . DE Alex Luna returned from knee surgery two weeks ago and last week at Oregon State led the Cats in tackles with nine. . . . LB Lance Briggs ranks second in the Pac-10 in tackles with 9.8 per game.

ARIZONA STATE: Next two and four of remaining six are home games for the Sun Devils. . . . ASU has its Conference home opener vs. Oregon State this week after playing first two league game on the road. The Devils have won their last seven Pac-10 home openers dating to 1994. . . . PK Mike Barth has connected on 10 consecutive field goal attempts dating back to last year. . . . Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (157.6). . . . ASU has allowed only five QB sacks in five games. . . . WR Shaun McDonald is leading scorer among non-kickers in Pac-10 with 50 points (10.0 per game).

CALIFORNIA: Four of remaining six games are on the road. . . . Game at UCLA is Tom Holmoe's 50th game as Cal head coach. . . . Cal's first six opponents--the five already played plus UCLA this week--have a combined record of 32-2. Five of the six are ranked in the polls and the sixth, Illinois, is 26th in each poll. . . . Cal leads the Pac-10 in 3rd-down conversions at 42.3% (33-78).

OREGON: With Florida State falling at home to Miami, Oregon inherits the nation's longest home winning streak at 23 straight. The Ducks also have the longest current overall winning streak among Pac-10 teams with eight straight wins. . . . Oregon's 6-0 start is its best since 1964. Ducks have not started a season 7-0 since the 1933 squad started 8-0. . . . QB Joey Harrington has run his record to 20-2 as a starter. . . . UO leads Pac-10 and is tied for second nationally in turnover margin at +14. . . . WR Keenan Howry and USC WR Kareem Kelly have longest current consecutive game receiving streaks in the Pac-10 at 28 games. . . . CB Steve Smith leads the Pac-10 in interceptions with three picks. . . . Oregon's 4.8 yards per rush and 16 rushing TDs both lead the Pac-10.

OREGON STATE: With a TD run against Arizona last week, TB Ken Simonton became the leading non-kicker on the Pac-10 career scoring ladder. He stands in fifth place on the list 54 points behind leader John Lee of UCLA (1982-85). . . . QB Jonathan Smith has made 32 consecutive starts. He has a 21-11 mark over that span. . . . OSU leads the league in kickoff coverage (15.1).STANFORD: After playing three of first four at home, Stanford reverses that with three of next four on the road. . . . Stanford's next three opponents--Oregon, UCLA and Washington--are a combined 15-1. All are ranked in the top 15 in this week's polls. . . . With 1,607 yards, RB Brian Allen has cracked the Cardinal career rushing list at No. 10. Allen's 6.5 yards per rush is tops among Conference rushing leaders. . . . Luke Powell leads the nation in punt returns with a 22.0-yard average. . . . Stanford defense has allowed just two rushing TDs in four games.

UCLA: Win against the No. 10-ranked Washington lifted UCLA to 14 wins in its last 18 games against ranked opponents. That includes knocking off four ranked opponents this year. . . . TB DeShaun Foster rushed for a school-record 301 yards vs. Washington. It is third-best single-game rushing performance in Pac-10 history. Foster leads the nation in rushing at 162.6 yards per game. . . . QB Cory Paus has not thrown an interception in 175 straight passes dating back to last year. The Pac-10 record is 216 straight by USC's Brad Otten (1994-95). . . . Bruin defense held Washington to just 16 yards rushing. . . . UCLA has lost 11 turnovers this year--all fumbles--but opponents have converted just one into a score. . . . Bruins have not allowed a point in the third quarter this year, outscoring opponents 51-0.

USC: Trojans take to the road for three of next four games. . . . WR Kareem Kelly and Oregon WR Keenan Howry have longest current consecutive game receiving streaks in the Pac-10 at 28 games. . . . QB Carson Palmer leads the Pac-10 in total offense at 265.5 yards per game. . . . Opponents have gone for it on fourth down seven times this season and have yet to be successful.

WASHINGTON: UW had 12-game winning streak snapped last week at UCLA. . . . Husky running backs have yet to lose a fumble this season. . . . Four rushing TDs by UCLA TB DeShaun Foster last week were the first rushing scores allowed by UW this season. . . . Huskies are outscoring opponents 60-27 in the fourth quarter. . . . Washington has successfully converted 7-of-8 fourth-down conversion attempts.

WASHINGTON STATE: Cougars start a three-game homestand this week. . . . WSU has the league's longest current Conference-game winning streak at four straight. . . . 6-0 start is best since 1997 Rose Bowl team started 7-0. And the 6-0 mark makes WSU, along with Oregon, the first Pac-10 teams to earn necessary wins to become bowl eligible. . . . In last three games, WSU has scored 66 first-quarter points and 101 in the first half. . . . Cougs have scored at least 34 points in every game this year. They lead Pac-10 and are fourth in nation in scoring offense at 42.5 points per game. WSU is outscoring opponents by 20.2 points per game (42.5-22.3). . . . WRs Nakoa McElrath and Mike Bush rank 1-2 in the Pac-10 in receiving yards at 105.5 and 89.7 yards per game, respectively.

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