This Week in Pac-10 Football
Sept. 8, 2008
Walnut Creek, Calif. - PAC-10 IN THE POLLS: USC remains atop the polls and is joined by Arizona State, Oregon and California in the top 25. UCLA lurks just outside that group and Arizona receives votes to give the Pac-10 six teams earning mention. Following are the current rankings of Pac-10 teams in the AP (media) and USA Today (coaches) polls:
AP USA TodayTeam Media CoachesUSC (1-0) 1 1Arizona State (2-0) 15 13Oregon (2-0) 16 14California (2-0) 23 25UCLA (1-0) 26 27Arizona (2-0) t38 35
Longest overall winning streak: 6 games - USC
Longest Conference-game winning streak: 4 games - USC
Longest home winning streak: 4 games - Arizona
Longest road winning streak: 3 games - USC
OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: The Pac-10 is off to an excellent 7-3 (.700) start against non-conference opponents with two of the three defeats coming to Top 20 teams.
HOME/ROAD: In 14 games involving Pac-10 teams so far this season, the home team has won 10 times, the visitors four times. In four Conference games, the home team stands at 3-1.
ARIZONA: Wildcats hit the road for the first time this season with game at New Mexico. Three of the next four games are away from Tucson. . . . In 41-16 win against Toledo, OLB Sterling Lewis stepped in when starter Xavier Kelley went down with an injury early in the game and led UA in tackles with 12 stops. . . . A fourth-quarter touchdown by Toledo stopped a stretch of seven consecutive quarters to start the season in which the Cats did not surrender a TD. . . . RB Nic Grigsby has posted back-to-back 100-yard rushing games to open the season and ranks second in the league in rushing at 152.0 yards per game. . . . Arizona has compiled 100+ points in consecutive games for the first time since 1954 and has reached 40 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 1982. . . . QB Willie Tuitama has five TDs and no INTs through first two games. . . . All-Pac-10 WR Mike Thomas has been moved to the inside receiver spot to work the middle of the field more this season.
ARIZONA STATE: MLB Gerald Munns named Pac-10 defensive player of the week in leading the Sun Devil defensive unit in 41-17 win against Stanford. He led the team in tackles and intercepted a pass, despite playing with a broken finger. . . . QB Rudy Carpenter continues to put up big numbers. Against Stanford, Carpenter completed 27 of 36 passes (.750) for 345 yards and three TDs. He has passed for 733 yards in ASU's first two games, the most yards ever for a Devils' QB in the first two games of a season. Carpenter also has upped his career total for TD passes to 69, good for ninth place on the Pac-10 career list. . . . Carpenter had a string of 10 straight completions vs. Stanford, following a school-record 13 straight against Northern Arizona the previous week. . . . Lou Groza Award-winning PK Thomas Weber has hit all five of his field goal attempts this year and has connected on 12 straight dating to last year. The sophomore is 29 of 30 on field goal attempts in his career.
CALIFORNIA: Golden Bears have won 11 of last 12 non-conference games. . . . RB Jahvid Best named Pac-10 offensive player of the week for his performance in Cal's 66-3 win at Washington State. Carrying the ball just 14 times, Best rushed for 200 yards (14.3-yard average) and three TDs. Included were scoring runs of 80 and 86 yards. It's the first time the Bears have had a player with two 80-yard runs in a season, much less a game. . . . 66-3 win was Cal's most lopsided conference win in school history. . . . Cal's 391 yards rushing at WSU is the highest rushing total in coach Jeff Tedford's tenure. . . . CB Syd'Quan Thompson picked off two passes at WSU, returning them for a Cal single-game record 108 yards. Thompson has three picks in the first two games to lead the Pac-10 in the early going. . . . Cal defense kept an opponent out of the end zone for the first time since a 21-3 win vs. WSU in 2006.
OREGON: Ducks hit the road for the first time this season with a game at Purdue. Three of the next four are road games for UO. . . . Oregon rolled up a school record 688 yards total offense in 66-24 win against Utah State. . . . In first two games, UO is averaging 55.0 points per game, 592.0 yards total offense and 332.0 yards rushing and has scored 10 rushing TDs. . . . Starting RB Jeremiah Johnson went out with an apparently minor shoulder injury early vs. Utah State. Backup RB LeGarrette Blount showcased the Ducks depth at the position by stepping in to rush for 132 yards and two TDs. . . . All-Pac-10 ROV Patrick Chung topped the 300 tackle mark for his career as five vs. Utah State gave him a total of 303.
OREGON STATE: After opening with two road games, Beavers finally get a home game with Hawai'i visiting Reser Stadium this week. . . . Seven previous games against Hawai'i have all been played in Honolulu. . . . OSU WRs Shane Morales and Sammie Stroughter rank 1-2 in the Pac-10 in receptions with 17 and 16 respectively through the first two games. . . . QB Lyle Moevao joins ASU's Rudy Carpenter and USC's Mark Sanchez as Pac-10 QBs averaging more than 300 yards per game passing in the early going. Moevao has thrown for 654 yards in first two games. . . . QB Sean Canfield, a nine-game starter last season who is recuperating from shoulder surgery, has been cleared to resume throwing.
STANFORD: Cardinal continues a stretch of four games out of five being played on the road with contest this week at TCU. . . . Game at TCU marks Jim Harbaugh's 50th game as a college head coach. His current career mark is 34-15 (.694). . . . RB Toby Gerhart has rushed for two touchdowns in each of the first two games. The Cardinal had not had a back go for two TDs in two consecutive games since 1997. He stands third in the Pac-10 in rushing at 107.0 yards per game. . . . Stanford is averaging 161.5 yards per game rushing through first two contests. That's 50 yards a game more than last year's average (111.2). . . . CB Kris Evans has an interception in each of the first two games. OLB Clinton Snyder has forced a fumble in each game.
UCLA: Game at BYU this week is the only road trip in first five games of the season for the Bruins. . . . It marks the third game between UCLA and BYU in the last 53 weeks, all taking place at different venues. UCLA defeated BYU, 27-17, Sep. 8, 2007 at the Rose Bowl, with the Cougars gaining revenge with a 17-16 win to close last season in the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl. . . . BYU's current 12-game win streak is the longest in the nation. . . . PK Kai Forbath named Pac-10 special teams player of the week after connecting on field goals of 41 and 42 yards vs. Tennessee, with the latter being the game-winner in overtime to upset the Vols. . . . TE Ryan Moya's seven receptions vs. Tennessee were the most for a Bruin tight end since 2006.
USC: Home opener for the Trojans is the much-anticipated showdown of highly-ranked teams as USC and Ohio State meet at the L.A. Coliseum this week. . . . USC has won five in a row vs. Ohio State, but teams have not met since 1990. . . . Seven of previous 21 USC-Ohio State matchups have come in the Rose Bowl. . . . Teams have both been ranked in the top 20 in their last five meetings. . . . USC has won its last 11 non-conference home games. . . . Decisive (52-7) opening win at Virginia propelled the Trojans to the top spot in the polls. . . . QB Jonathan Sanchez named Pac-10 offensive player of the week for his performance in SC's 52-7 win at Virginia. Sanchez completed 26 of 35 passes for a career-high 338 yards and three TDs.
WASHINGTON: Huskies in the middle of a three-game homestand with Oklahoma coming to town this week. . . . Washington's first three opponents--Oregon, BYU, Oklahoma--are all ranked in the top 20 in the polls. . . . Bright spot for the Huskies is just one turnover lost in first two games. . . . With little experience returning this season at wide receiver, soph WR D'Andre Goodwin has stepped up with 13 catches for 150 yards in first two games. . . . Just two games into his sophomore season, QB Jake Locker has rushed for 1,105 yards, just 390 yards short of the UW career record for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,495 by Marques Tuiasosopo, 1997-2000).
WASHINGTON STATE: MLB Greg Trent, a four-year starter with 26 consecutive starts, not surprisingly leads the Cougars and is among the Pac-10 leaders in tackles, tackles for loss and QB sacks. . . . All-Pac-10 WR Brandon Gibson has caught a pass in 25 consecutive games, second-longest current streak in the Pac-10 behind ASU's Mike Thomas (26). . . . It was only a field goal, but WSU's three-pointer in the loss to Cal extend the Cougars' streak of not being shut out to 275 games, scond-longest active streak in the country and the fourth-longest streak of all time. WSU has not suffered a shutout since 1984 (Ohio State). Cougs have not been shut out in league play since 1975 (Oregon State).