This Week in Pac-10 Football (11/11/01)
Nov. 11, 2001
COMING UP: The Pac-10 schedule features three of the league's rivalry games plus one non-conference contest. The schedule finds CALIFORNIA at STANFORD in the Big Game, WASHINGTON STATE at WASHINGTON in the Apple Cup (ABC) and UCLA at USC (FOX SN) in their annual battle for Los Angeles. Out of conference, OREGON STATE is host to Northern Arizona.
BOWL ELIGIBLE/PAC-10 BOWL PARTNERS: Oregon, Washington State, Washington, Stanford and UCLA all have the requisite six wins needed to be bowl eligible. USC is one win away and Oregon State and Arizona State still have a shot at six. The Pac-10 has five guaranteed bowl slots with the following bowl partners:
Day/DateTime (PT) GameTVOpponent
Tue., Dec. 2512:30 Sega Sports Las Vegas BowlABCMountain West
Thu., Dec. 271:00 Seattle BowlESPNACC
Fri., Dec. 285:30 Culligan Holiday BowlESPNBig 12
Mon., Dec. 3111:00 Wells Fargo Sun BowlCBSBig 10
Tue., Jan. 12:00 Tostitos Fiesta BowlABCBig 12
PAC-10 IN THE POLLS: Five Pac-10 teams remain ranked in the polls. The Pac-10 is the only conference with five teams ranked in both polls. Following are the rankings of Pac-10 teams in the AP (media) and ESPN/USA Today (coaches) polls:
Team AP ESPNOregon (9-1) 7 7Washington State (9-1) 9 10Stanford (6-2) 13 15Washington (7-2) 16 14UCLA (6-3) 20 21
SERIES NOTES FOR THE GAMES OF NOV. 17:
CALIFORNIA (0-9) at STANFORD (6-2) - The Big Game - 12:30 PST - The Series: California and Stanford meet in the 104th Big Game, the oldest college football series on the West Coast, dating back 109 years to 1892. Stanford leads the series 53-39-11 and has won the last six and 10 of the last 12. The Cardinal has won three straight at Stanford Stadium. Of the 103 previous Big Games, 49 have been decided by a touchdown or less and five of the games have been decided on the final play. . . . Cal coach Tom Holmoe served as the secondary coach at Stanford in 1992-93. . . . Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham boasts a Big Game record of 9-0 overall and 6-0 as head coach. . . . Stanford FB Casey Moore has played a prominent role in the Big Game the last two years. Moore caught the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime last year and had a Big Game-record 94-yard touchdown run in 1999. . . . Last Year: Stanford and California met at Berkeley and the Big Game saw its first overtime with the Cardinal prevailing 36-30 in the first extra period. A low scoring game through three quarters got exciting in the fourth and the teams ended regulation tied at 30-30. Cal got the ball first in overtime and could not score. Stanford took over and QB Randy Fasani connected with FB Casey Moore for the game-winning 25-yard scoring pass. California won most of the statistical battles, but the Golden Bears were done in by four interceptions and two blocked punts. Stanford managed just 11 first downs and 48 yards rushing, but Fasani passed for 242 yards and three scores. TB Joe Igber rushed for 89 yards and two fourth-quarter TDs for the Bears.
WASHINGTON STATE (9-1) at WASHINGTON (7-2) - The Apple Cup - 12:30 PST - ABC regional telecast - The Series: Washington and Washington State have met 93 times dating to 1900 with the Huskies leading the series 60-27-6. UW has won five of the last six. The Huskies lead 34-13-5 in games played at Seattle. Four of the last six have been decided by seven or fewer point. . . . Last Year: Washington and Washington State met at a chilly Pullman and the Huskies, with a Rose Bowl berth on the line, defeated the Cougars 51-3 in the most lopsided win in the history of the series. UW rushed for 336 yards with both Rich Alexis (134) and Braxton Clemen (105) surpassing the century mark and QB Marques Tuiasosopo threw three TD passes. WSU could muster just 12 first downs and 210 yards total offense, although RB Dave Minnich was a bright spot with 113 rushing yards.
UCLA (6-3) at USC (5-5) - 3:30 PST - FOX Sports Net national cablecast - The Series: USC and UCLA have met in the battle for the Victory Bell and Los Angeles 70 times dating to 1929 and uninterrupted since 1936. The Trojans lead the series 36-27-7 after winning the last two years, which snapped an eight-game Bruin winning streak in the series. SC won the last game played at the L.A. Coliseum ending a four-game UCLA winning streak at that venue. Expect a tight game as 15 of the last 21 have been decided by seven or fewer points. . . . Last Year: USC and UCLA met in front of 80,000+ at the Rose Bowl and staged another crosstown classic. David Bell nailed a 36-yard field goal with nine seconds to play to give the Trojans a dramatic 38-35 win over UCLA in a game that featured six lead changes. The Bruins had tied the game at 1:05 when QB Cory Paus ran in a score from one yard out on a fourth-down play. SC won the statistical battle with more first downs (29-12) and total offense (557-328), but UCLA hung in behind Paus, who had two TD passes in addition to his scoring run. Trojan QB Carson Palmer had a big day in passing for a career-high 350 yards and four TDs and TB Sultan McCullough rushed for 105 yards.
NORTHERN ARIZONA (8-2) at OREGON STATE (4-5) - 1:30 PST - Series Standing: First meeting between Oregon State and Northern Arizona.
OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: The Pac-10 has posted a stellar 20-5 (.800) mark vs. non-conference foes, 19-5 (.792) vs. Division I-A opponents. Included is an excellent 4-1 mark against teams rated in the Top 25.
HOME/ROAD RECORDS: In 34 Conference games to date this year, the home team holds just a slim 18-16 advantage.
CONFERENCE: 15 of 34 Pac-10 games have been decided by seven or fewer points and eight of the 34 have been decided by three or fewer points. . . . QBs Jason Gesser of Washington State and Joey Harrington of Oregon are among the 12 semifinalists named for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback.
ARIZONA: RB Clarence Farmer has rushed for 306 yards the last two games. He ranks second in the Pac-10 at 107.1 yards per game. He scored three TDs vs. Stanford last week. . . . PK Sean Keel connected on a 52-yard field goal against Stanford last week. That's the longest field goal in the league this season. Keel also connected from 43 yards in going 3-for-3. . . . CB Michael Jolivette is second in Pac-10 in passes defensed (19).
ARIZONA STATE: C Scott Peters has started 42 consecutive games dating back to 1998. . . . Freshman FS Jason Shivers has averaged 12 tackles per game the last three weeks. . . . With 169 yards last week vs. WSU, WR Shaun McDonald has topped the century mark in receiving in four straight games. Over that four-game span, he has 24 catches for 589 yards. He is the only receiver in the Pac-10 averaging over 100 yards per game receiving. He has caught at least one TD pass in seven of nine games this year and tops the Pac-10 with 10 TD receptions. Also tops receiving leaders with an average of 23.6 yards per reception. . . . Sun Devils are outscoring opponents 84-44 in the fourth quarter. . . . DE Terrell Suggs is Pac-10 sack leader with 10 in nine games.
CALIFORNIA: Golden Bears finish up with two on the road (Stanford and Rutgers). . . . Loss to SC last week snapped a three-game winning streak vs. the Trojans. . . . True freshman RB Terrell Williams has averaged 91.7 yards rushing over the last three games. . . . Cal's schedule was rated the third toughest in the country last week in the USA Today/Sagarin ratings. . . . Cal leads the league in kickoff coverage (18.9).
OREGON: QB Joey Harrington has run his record to a stellar 23-3 record as a starter. Harrington is Pac-10 co-leader (with WSU's Jason Gesser) in TD passes with 23 and has thrown just five interceptions. . . . Oregon is 17-3 in the month of November under coach Mike Bellotti, including 10-0 at Autzen Stadium. Of course, the Ducks close out this season in December. . . . WR Keenan Howry has caught at least one pass in 33 straight games. . . . Oregon has rushed for 22 scores and averages 5.4 yards per rush. Both figures top the Pac-10 with the 5.4-yard average a full yard over any other league team. From a total offense standpoint, it's 46 TDs and 6.5 yards per play, again both Pac-10-leading figures. . . . Ducks lead the league in turnover margin at +14. . . . UO has allowed a league-low 10 QB sacks in 10 games.
OREGON STATE: Beavers have won 15 of their last 17 home games. . . . OSU got its first win vs. Washington since 1985 last week and first win at Corvallis against the Dawgs since 1973. . . . In four career games against Washington, QB Jonathan Smith passed for 1,339 yards and nine TDs. . . . TB Ken Simonton would need to average 132 yards per game over Beavs' last two contests to become the first player in Pac-10 history to rush for 1,000 yards in four seasons. He needs just one more yard to move past Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Allen of USC into second place on the Pac-10 career rushing chart. . . . Oregon State defense has allowed just 121 yards rushing the last two games, holding both USC and Washington under 90 yards. . . . LB Nick Barnett is averaging 12 tackles per game over the last three games. . . . Coach Dennis Erickson has a career mark of 43-10-1 (.806) in the month of November.
STANFORD: RB Brian Allen, averaging 99.6 yards rushing per game, is one pace to become the Cardinal's first 1,000-yard rusher since Tommy Vardell in 1991. Allen has had career highs the last two weeks with 138 yards at Washington and 143 at Arizona. . . . Stanford has won eight of its last 10 games overall and seven of its last nine in Conference play. . . . Card has rushed for more than 200 yards in five of its last eight games and ranks second in the Pac-10 at 201.8 yards per game. That's less than four yards per game behind Conference leader Oregon (205.7). Stanford has never led the league in rushing since the Conference started keeping such stats in 1954. . . . Stanford has scored more than 38 points in six of its eight games this season and leads the league at 39.4 points per game. The school record is 37.2 points per game by the 1999 Rose Bowl team. . . . Stanford leads the Pac-10 in time of possession at 34:22 per game.
UCLA: Bruin defense has not allowed a third-quarter touchdown all year. Bruins are outscoring opponents 96-10 in that third quarter. . . . In 36 quarters this season, UCLA has allowed an opponent to score more than once on just one occasion (Stanford). . . . MLB Robert Thomas has posted 28 tackles over the last two games. He leads the Pac-10 and is the only player in double digits with 11.0 stops per game. Also easily leads the league in tackles for loss with 22. . . . Bruins lead the Pac-10 in pass efficiency defense and also top league in allowing just 3.2 yards per rush. . . . P Nate Fikse tops the Pac-10 and is fifth in the nation with a 44.4-yard average. That helps Bruins to a net average of 39.6 yards.
USC: Trojans have won four straight Conference games after starting league play 0-3. Troy has won four of last five overall. . . . PK David Davis has made 10 field goals in a row and 13-15 on the the season. . . . Trojans have recovered more fumbles--13--than any team in the league. . . . WR Kareem Kelly has at least one reception in 32 straight games. . . . QB Carson Palmer's 58.5% completion percentage is best among Pac-10 regulars. . . . Trojan defense scored on an interception return (58 yards) and a fumble recovery returned for a TD (89 yards) at Cal last week.
WASHINGTON: Huskies sport the longest current home winning streak among Pac-10 teams with 13 straight victories at Husky Stadium. . . . UW is averaging 278.8 passing yards per game which would top the school record of 272.1 (1970) if it holds up. Individually, QB Cody Pickett is averaging 234.4 yards per game, just ahead of Cary Conklin's school record of 233.5. . . . Charles Frederick leads the Pac-10 and is third nationally in punt returns with a 15.6-yard average.
WASHINGTON STATE: FS Lamont Thompson picked off his eighth pass of the season at ASU last week and claimed the Pac-10 career record in the process. Thompson now has 22 career interceptions to pass Arizona's Chuck Cecil, who had 21 from 1984-87. Thompson is second in the nation in interceptions. . . . Cougar defense has held last two opponents--Arizona State and UCLA--to under 100 yards rushing. . . . WSU is only team in the league to average more than 300 yards passing per game at 308.3 yards per game, good for 10th in the country. Cougs also rank ninth nationally in scoring offense at 37.3 points per game. . . . QB Jason Gesser is Pac-10 co-leader (with Oregon's Joey Harrington) in TD passes with 23. . . . Cougs lead the Pac-10 with 34 QB sacks.