This Week in Pac-10 Football
Sept. 22, 2008
Walnut Creek, Calif. -
SERIES NOTES FOR THE GAME OF SEP. 25 & 27:
USC (2-0) at OREGON STATE (1-2) - Thu., Sep. 25 - 6:00 PDT - ESPN national telecast - The Series: USC and Oregon State have met 71 times dating to 1914 with the Trojans holding a commanding 58-9-4 series advantage. The Beavers, however, have won two of the last three games played at Corvallis, most recently a stunning 33-31 upset win over the No. 3-ranked Trojans in 2006. . . . Last Year: USC and Oregon State met at Los Angeles with the Trojans prevailing 24-3 with all the scoring coming in the first half. That victory started USC's current seven-game winning streak. The Trojan defense was dominant in limiting the Beavers to 176 yards total offense (91 rushing, 85 passing) and posting nine QB sacks. The OSU defense performed well in limiting SC to 287 yards total offense, but a 21-point barrage in less than eight minutes in the second quarter provided the difference. . . . Coaching Note: Oregon State coach Mike Riley spent four years (1993-96) as offensive coordinator at USC under John Robinson before taking the job as Oregon State head coach the first time.
FRESNO STATE (2-1) at UCLA (1-2) - Sat., Sep. 27 - 12:30 PDT - ABC regional telecast - The Series: UCLA and Fresno State have met seven times with the Bruins leading the series 6-1. UCLA won the first six meetings, all home games for the Bruins, with Fresno State taking the last game with a 17-9 win in the 2003 Silicon Valley Football Classic. . . . Last Meeting: Fresno State and UCLA met in the now-defunct Silicon Valley Football Classic in San Jose at the end of the 2003 season. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 17-0 lead and then held off the Bruins 17-9 in a largely defensive struggle. Fresno State limited UCLA 164 yards total offense (68 rushing, 96 passing). The Bruin defense was sturdy, as well, allowing the Bulldogs just 289 yards.
COLORADO STATE (2-1) at CALIFORNIA (2-1) - Sat., Sep. 27 - 3:00 PDT - CSN West local cablecast - The Series: California and Colorado State have split the two previous meetings with the road team winning both games. Colorado State won, 23-21, at Berkeley in 2003; California won, 34-28, at Fort Collins last year. . . . Last Year: Freshman TB Jahvid Best broke off a 64-yard touchdown run to give California a 34-14 lead with less than six minutes remaining in the game, but the Bears had to hang on late to get out of Fort Collins with a 34-28 win. CSU put up 301 passing yards and outgained Cal 458-391, but were hurt by three turnovers. The Bears played turnover-free ball and piled up 245 yards on the ground.
OREGON (3-1) at WASHINGTON STATE (1-3) - Sat., Sep. 27 - 3:15 PDT - FSN NW and Oregon Sports Network local cablecasts - The Series: Oregon-Washington State is an old Pacific Northwest series that includes 85 games dating to 1901. The Ducks hold a slim 40-38-7 series advantage by virtue of winning three of the last four. Oregon leads 22-19-2 in 43 games played at Pullman, although Washington State prevailed in the most recent Martin Stadium matchup, 34-23, in 2006. . . . Last Year: Oregon and Washington State met at Eugene and it wasn't pretty as the No. 9-ranked Ducks rolled 53-7. UO QB Dennis Dixon passed for three TDs and ran for another as the Ducks put up 551 yards total offense (213 rushing, 338 passing).
STANFORD (2-2) at WASHINGTON (0-3) - Sat., Sep. 27 - 7:00 PDT - FSN NW local cablecast - The Series: Washington and Stanford have met 78 times dating to 1893 with the Huskies leading the series 40-34-4. The teams have split the last four games. Stanford won the most recent meeting at Seattle, 20-3 in 2006, a victory that snapped a 12-game Husky Stadium losing streak for the Cardinal. . . . Last Year: Washington and Stanford met at Palo Alto and the Huskies snapped a six-game losing streak with a 27-9 victory. The UW lead was a slim 13-9 entering the fourth quarter before the Huskies pulled away for the win. Washington piled up 388 yards on the ground as TB Louis Rankin carried the ball 36 times for 255 yards and a TD and QB Jake Locker rushed for 97 and two scores. The Huskies outgained the Cardinal 539-254. . . . Coaching Note: Washington coach Tyrone Willingham was the head coach at Stanford for seven years (1995-2001), compiling a record of 44-36-1 and leading the Cardinal to four bowl games, including the Rose Bowl following the 1999 season.
Longest overall winning streak: 7 games - USC
Longest Conference-game winning streak: 4 games - USC
Longest home winning streak: 4 games - Arizona and USC
Longest road winning streak: 3 games - USC
OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: In 24 non-conference games to date, the Pac-10 is dead even at 12-12 against non-conference foes.
HOME/ROAD: In 29 games involving Pac-10 teams so far this season, the home team has won 20 times, the visitors nine times. In five Conference games, the home team stands at 3-2.
ARIZONA: Wildcats get first open date of the season, then begin a stretch of three of next four at home starting with Washington on Oct. 4. . . . Nickel back Corey Hall and PR/WR Mike Thomas were named Pac-10 defensive and special teams player of the week, respectively, for their role in Arizona's 31-10 win at UCLA. Hall and Thomas were teammates at DeSoto (Texas) High School. . . . Thomas, a first-team All-Pac-10 selection at wide receiver last season, had 257 all-purpose yards at UCLA, including 107 yards on six punt returns (17.8), with three of the returns setting up UA touchdown drives. He also posted his third straight 100-yard receiving game with 115 yards on just four receptions (28.8-yard average), and threw in a couple of runs for 17 yards for good measure. Thomas leads the Pac-10 in both receptions (7.5 per game) and receiving yards and is the only receiver in the league averaging better than 100 yards per game (104.2).
ARIZONA STATE: Sun Devils take the week off then hit the road for the first time this year with consecutive road games at California and USC. Four of the next five are on the road for ASU. . . . With a TD pass vs. Georgia last week, QB Rudy Carpenter upped his career total to 72, tying him for seventh place on the Pac-10 career chart with USC Heisman winner Carson Palmer (1998-2002). . . . In that game, Carpenter also increased his career total offense mark to 9,010, becoming just the 13th QB in league history to top 9,000 yards total offense. Carpenter has started 35 consecutive games and is 23-12 as a starter. He currently ranks second in the Pac-10 in both passing yards (295.8 per game) and pass efficiency (165.4) and has been picked off just two times in four games.
CALIFORNIA: Golden Bears begin a stretch of four of the next five at home with Colorado State this week. . . . QB Kevin Riley put up a school-record 58 pass attempts in loss at Maryland in Bears' last outing. He completed 33 for 423 yards, both numbers being the third-highest single-game totals in Cal history. . . . Riley has been intercepted just once in Cal's first three games. . . . Senior WR LaReyelle Cunningham tallied career bests with seven receptions for 138 yards at Maryland. . . . TB Jahvid Best, despite being limited to just 25 yards rushing at Maryland, nevertheless had his third consecutive game over 200 all-purpose yards. He had 65 yards receiving and 135 yards on kick returns for a total of 225 yards. . . . OLB Zack Follett forced his ninth career fumble in game at Maryland. . . . In Pac-10, only Cal (93.0) and USC (51.5) are allowing opponents fewer than 100 yards rushing. . . . Bears showing good balance on offense in averaging 210.7 yards rushing and 267.0 passing.
OREGON: Ducks start a stretch of four of the next five on the road beginning this week at Washington State. . . . Hard-luck Ducks have seen their starting quarterback lost due to injury in five of their last eight games dating to last year. . . . True freshman QB Darron Thomas, listed No. 5 on the depth chart as recently as August, made his debut vs. Boise State last week and became the fourth Oregon QB to throw a touchdown pass through four games this season. . . . TE Ed Dickson had seven receptions for a career-high 103 yards vs. Boise. . . . RB LeGarrette Blount has rushed for a TD in three straight games. . . . Ducks lead the Pac-10 in rushing offense by a large margin at 299.2 yards per game (Cal is next at 210.7). RBs Blount and Jeremiah Johnson rank 4-5 in the league in rushing and in four games have combined for 734 yards rushing, an average of 183.5 yards per game and 6.9 yards per carry.
OREGON STATE: Rest of the Beaver season features alternating home and away games beginning this week with a home game vs. USC. . . . Frosh RB Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 110 yards and two TDs in win vs Hawai'i in OSU's last outing. He is the first true freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game for the Beavers since Steven Jackson in 2001 at USC. . . . OSU defense limited Hawai'i to 207 yards total offense (57 rushing, 154 passing), the Warriors' lowest offensive total in a game since 1998. . . . Beavers picked off three passes vs. Hawai'i after not getting any interceptions in first two games. . . . QB Lyle Moevao (307.3) is the only quarterback in the Conference averaging better than 300 yards per game passing. Former starter Sean Canfield may be ready for action as early as this week.
STANFORD: Cardinal plays three of the next four on the road beginning this week at Washington. . . . RB Toby Gerhart rushed for a career-high 148 yards on 22 carries (6.7-yard average) vs. San Jose State last week. He stands third in the league in rushing at 101.8 yards per game and the Cardinal is averaging 149.5 yards per game rushing, up considerably from last year's 111.2. . . . PK Aaron Zagory connected on a career-long 52-yard field goal vs. San Jose. He is a much-improved 6-7 on field goal attempts this year. . . . Former starting TE Jim Dray, recovering from a knee injury suffered last year, made his first appearance of the season against San Jose. . . . Cardinal defense piled up eight QB sacks vs. San Jose State, by far the most by a Pac-10 team in a game this season (USC next with five vs. Ohio State). Stanford had only four QB sacks in first three games, but current total of 12 ranks second in the Pac-10 behind Oregon (14).
UCLA: Bruins in the middle of a three-game homestand with Fresno State coming to the Rose Bowl this week. . . . Fresno State is currently ranked No. 25, meaning all three of UCLA's non-conference opponents were ranked when they met the Bruins (BYU and Tennessee the others). . . . UCLA has won six of its last seven home games against ranked opponents. . . . Bruins hope to get back starting RB Kahlil Bell, who has missed the last two games with a high ankle sprain suffered in the opener. . . . UCLA gave up 36 QB sacks last year, but have allowed just five in first three game. . . . FL/KR Terrence Austin ranks fourth in Pac-10 in all-purpose yards at 144.3 yards per game.
USC: Trojans become the last team to enter Conference play with game at Oregon State Thursday night. After having a couple of early open dates, Trojans play the next eight weeks straight. . . . QB Mark Sanchez and MLB Rey Maualuga picked up Pac-10 offensive and defensive player of the week honors for their roles in Trojans' 35-3 win against Ohio State in USC's last outing. It is the second offensive player of the week plaque for Sanchez in as many games. . . . Sanchez has tossed seven TD passes in SC's first two games this year. He has at least two TD passes in each of his last four starts. . . . USC defense piled up 11 tackles for loss vs. Ohio State (-52 yards), including five QB sacks (-36). . . . USC defense has not allowed a touchdown in its last seven quarters and has surrendered only one in first two games. . . . USC has won its last 15 September games. . . . OLB Clay Matthews has forced a fumble in each of the first two games.
WASHINGTON: Huskies wrap up a three-game homestand vs. Stanford this week. . . . QB Jake Locker ranks ninth in the Pac-10 in rushing at 54.3 yards per game and is the only starting QB in the Pac-10 who has not thrown an interception this season. . . . With 1,149 yards career rushing, Locker, a sophomore, is just the second Husky QB in history to rush for more than 1,000 yards (Marques Tuiasosopo, 1997-2000,--1,495 yards). . . . Huskies lead the league in fewest penalty yards per game with just 11 flags for 77 yards in three games. . . . UW also leads the Conference in third-down conversions at 49.0% (24-of-49). . . . Highly-regarded freshman Johri Fogerson, who a couple of weeks ago was listed as a tailback, made his debut at safety vs. Oklahoma and posted nine solo tackles against the Sooners. . . . Sophomore WR D'Andre Goodwin, the only non-freshman in the receiving corps, is tied for second in the Pac-10 in receptions at 7.3 per game.
WASHINGTON STATE: Paul Wulff got his first victory as WSU head coach as the Cougars took care of Portland State 48-9. . . . The story of the game was redshirt freshman Marshall Lobbestael, who was thrust into the game when Kevin Lopina and Gary Rogers both went out with injuries. Lobbestael, who had thrown only two passes all year, saw his first two pass attempts go for touchdowns covering 14 and 53 yards. He ended up completing 9 of 12 passes (.750) for 149 yards and leading the Cougs to scores on the first four possessions after he entered the game. Lobbestael was named Pac-10 offensive player of the week for his performance. . . . Senior QB Gary Rogers suffered a cervical spine injury and will miss the rest of the season. . . . The Cougars tied a school single-game record with 36 first downs vs. Portland State. . . . Senior TE Devin Frischknecht recorded his first 100-yard receiving game with five catches for 110 yards (22.0), including a 53-yard TD reception in the game.
IN QUOTES: Arizona is one of four Pac-10 teams (along with California, Oregon and USC) averaging more that 40 points per game, in UA's case 42.5. Says coach Mike Stoops: 'We can score on anybody in the country. We feel we can score every time we get the ball. I like that mentality.'
A LOOK AHEAD:
Thu., Oct. 2
Oregon State at Utah, 7:00 MDT (Versus)
Sat., Oct. 4
Stanford at Notre Dame, 2:30 EDT/11:30 PDT (NBC)
Arizona State at California, 12:30 PDT (ABC)
Washington at Arizona, 4:30 MST/PDT (Versus)
Oregon at USC, 5:00 PDT (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 -- network TBA)
Washington State at UCLA, TBA