This Week in Pac-10 Football
Nov. 10, 2008
Walnut Creek, Calif. -
SERIES NOTES FOR THE GAMES OF SAT., NOV. 15:
CALIFORNIA (6-3) at OREGON STATE (6-3) - 12:30 PST - ABC regional telecast - The Series: California and Oregon State have met 60 times dating to 1905 with the Golden Bears leading the series 33-27. The teams have split the last four meetings with the visiting team winning each time. In 22 games at Corvallis, the teams are even at 11-11. . . . Last Year: Oregon State and undefeated No. 2-ranked California met in front of a sellout crowd at Berkeley and the Beavers deprived the Golden Bears of an opportunity to rise to No. 1 (top-ranked LSU had lost earlier in the day) by winning a 31-28 thriller. OSU took a 31-21 lead midway through the fourth quarters only to see Cal backup QB Kevin Riley mount a comeback. Cal scored a touchdown to draw within three points with 2:31 to play. The Bear defense forced an OSU punt and Cal took over at its own 5-yard line with 1:27 to play and no timeouts. Riley drove the Bears all the way to the OSU 12-yard line with 14 seconds left, but was forced to scramble and was tackled with no timeouts and Cal did not have enough time left to get the field goal unit on the field.
WASHINGTON STATE (1-9) at ARIZONA STATE (3-6) - 3:30 MST/2:30 PST - The Series: Arizona State and Washington State have met 34 times dating to 1960 with the Sun Devils leading the series 20-12-2. ASU has won the last four games, including the last two at Tempe. WSU's last win in the series was in 2003 (34-19) at Pullman and the Cougars last won at Sun Devil Stadium in 2001 (28-16). In the 19 games played at Tempe, ASU leads 12-5-2. Two of the last three games have been decided by three points. . . . Last Year: Arizona State and Washington State met at Pullman and the Sun Devils extended their record to 6-0 with a 23-20 win. ASU PK Thomas Weber kicked a 37-yard field goal with 50 seconds remaining to provide the winning margin. Sun Devil QB Rudy Carpenter passed for two touchdowns despite being sacked seven times, with Coug DE Andy Mattingly posting four of the sacks. WSU QB Alex Brink passed for 369 yards in a losing cause. . . . Coaching Note: ASU coach Dennis Erickson is the only coach in league history to be head coach at three different Conference schools, with Washington State being the first of those stops in 1987-88.
ARIZONA (6-3) at OREGON (7-3) - 3:30 PST/4:30 MST - FSN AZ/CSN NW/KLSR-TV - The Series: Oregon and Arizona have met 33 times dating to 1937 with the Ducks leading the series 19-14. Arizona has won the last two meetings, snapping a seven-game Oregon winning streak in the series. The Ducks are 10-5 in home games in the series. . . . Last Year: Oregon was 8-1 and ranked No. 2 in the country when it ventured to Tucson for a Thursday night ESPN game against Arizona. The Ducks saw their national championship hopes disappear as they lost both the game and star QB Dennis Dixon, gone for the year to a knee injury, and the Wildcats took a 34-24 decision. UA QB Willie Tuitama passed for 266 yards and two TDs of 34 and 46 yards to WR Mike Thomas, and All-America CB Antoine Cason lit up the crowd by returning an interception and a punt for touchdowns in a 10-minute span in the second quarter to put the Cats ahead for good. Oregon actually outgained Arizona 463-322, but the Wildcat defense forced four turnovers and posted four QB sacks.
UCLA (3-6) at WASHINGTON (0-9) - 7:15 PST - FSN national cablecast - The Series: UCLA and Washington have met 67 times dating to 1932 with the Bruins leading the series 36-29-2. UCLA has won six of the last seven in the series, although its loss in that span was in its most recent visit to Husky Stadium in 2006 (29-19). In 33 games played at Seattle, Washington leads 19-13-1. . . . Last Year: UCLA and Washington played early in the season at the Rose Bowl and a game that was tied 10-10 at halftime ended up with the teams combining for five touchdowns and 41 points in the fourth quarter in a 44-31 Bruin win. UCLA used a punishing ground game and some big plays on offense, defense and special teams to capture the victory. The Bruins rushed for 333 yards as both Chris Markey (193) and Kahlil Bell (116) topped the 100-yard mark. In the second half, UCLA scored on a 60-yard interception return, a 72-yard run from scrimmage and an 85-yard kickoff return. UW QB Jake Locker passed for four touchdowns, including three in a nine-minute span in the wild fourth quarter. . . . Coaching Note: UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel makes his first trip back to Husky Stadium, where he served as Washington head coach from 1999-2002.
USC (8-1) at STANFORD (5-5) - 4:00 PST - Versus national cablecast - The Series: USC and Stanford have met 96 times dating to 1905 and uninterrupted since 1946 with the Trojans leading the series 58-35-3. Stanford upset the Trojans last year to snap a five-game SC winning streak in the series. USC has won the last three meetings at Palo Alto, with the last Cardinal home win coming in 2000 (32-30). . . . Last Year: Stanford and USC met at Los Angeles and the Cardinal pulled off one of the biggest upsets in its history with a last-minute 24-23 victory, snapping the Trojans' record 35-game home winning streak. Cardinal QB Tavita Pritchard, making his first career start, connected with WR Mark Bradford on a 10-yard, fourth-down pass with 49 seconds remaining in the game to stun the 85,000+ in the L.A. Coliseum. USC outgained Stanford 459-235, but the Cardinal defense picked off four passes, returning one of them for a TD, and posted four QB sacks.
Longest overall winning streak: 6 games - USC
Longest Conference-game winning streak: 6 games - USC
Longest home winning streak: 8 games - USC
Longest road winning streak: 3 games - Oregon
OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: In 29 non-conference games to date, the Pac-10 stands at 13-16 against non-conference foes.
HOME/ROAD: In 61 games involving Pac-10 teams so far this season, the home team has won 42 times, the visitors 19 times (.689). In 32 Conference games, the home team stands at 21-11 (.656).
ARIZONA: Last regular season road trip of the year for the Wildcats with game at Oregon before closing with two at home. . . . With a 6-3 mark, Arizona will be looking for its first bowl berth since 1998 (Holiday Bowl vs. Nebraska) . . . Arizona rushed for 317 yards in win at Washington State last week, best rushing effort for the Cats since 1999. RB Nic Grigsby led the way with a career-high 189 yards on 27 carries (6.8). The sophomore back has 885 yards for the season with a good shot at becoming UA's first 1,000-yard rusher since Clarence Farmer in 2001. . . . Special teams standout Joe Perkins was in on the tackle on five of Arizona's nine kickoffs at WSU. . . . WR Mike Thomas is the Wildcats' career leader in receptions with 236 catches. He is four touchdowns and 305 yards from setting career records in those categories. . . . Seven of TE Rob Gronkowski's receptions this year have gone for touchdowns.
ARIZONA STATE: Sun Devils don't leave the state the rest of the season with next two at home, starting this week with Washington State, and finale at Arizona. . . . In win at Washington last week, WR Michael Jones registered career highs in receptions and receiving yards with 11 catches for 146 yards. Included were two touchdown receptions. . . . PK Thomas Weber has kicked seven field goals (out of eight attempts) in the last two games. Last year's Lou Groza award winner leads the Pac-10 with 15 field goals (20 attempts). . . . QB Rudy Carpenter has started 40 consecutive games, longest streak of any quarterback in the country. . . . FS Troy Nolan returned a fumble recovery 44 yards for a TD last week at Washington. The previous week at Oregon State, Nolan returned an interception 41 yards for a score.
CALIFORNIA: Final regular season road trip of the year for Cal with game at Oregon State this week before closing with two games at home. . . . Golden Bears lead the Pac-10 with 17 interceptions after picking off only 10 passes all of last season. Three of the interceptions have been returned for scores. And the Bears share the wealth as the 17 picks have come from 11 different players. . . . Cal defense has limited opponents to under 300 yards total offense in five of nine games this year. . . . In last six games, Cal has recorded 19 quarterback sacks among 41 tackles for loss and forced 19 turnovers (12 interceptions, seven fumbles). . . . QB Nate Longshore needs one touchdown pass to become just the fourth Golden Bear with 50 career TD passes (Kyle Boller, Pat Barnes, Troy Taylor).
OREGON: Ducks stay close to home for rest of regular season with home finale vs. Arizona this week and Civil War game at Oregon State on Nov. 29. . . . Ducks lead the Pac-10 in rushing by a large margin averaging 274.3 yards per game on the ground. Oregon has rushed for more than 300 yards in six of 10 games this season, including 307 vs. Stanford last week. . . . TB Jeremiah Johnson has posted back-to-back 100-yard rushing games the last two weeks. . . . PK Morgan Flint got his first start vs. Stanford and was a perfect 2-2 on field goals and 3-3 on PATs. . . .FS T.J. Ward has posted double-digits in tackles the last two games, including a game-high 14 vs. Stanford last week. . . . WR Jaison Williams has 166 career receptions and needs 13 more to become the Ducks' career receiving leader.
OREGON STATE: Beavers are only team in the league to control their own destiny in Rose Bowl race, but it won't be easy with California, Arizona and Oregon still to be played. . . . . Beavs have won five of their last six games. . . . The remarkable season of freshman TB Jacquizz Rodgers continues. In win at UCLA last week, Rodgers rushed 31 times for 144 yards and scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. He now has 1,089 yards rushing, surpassing the Pac-10 record for rushing yards by a freshman previously held by Darrin Nelson of Stanford (1,069 yards in 1977). Rodgers becomes just the third freshman in league history to rush for 1,000 yards (Nelson and OSU's Ken Simonton with 1,028 in 1998) and is on track to become the first freshman ever to lead the Conference in rushing. . . . For his efforts at UCLA, Rodgers was named Pac-10 offensive player of the week for the second straight week and the third time this season. . . . In two games since taking over for starting QB Lyle Moevao (shoulder injury), QB Sean Canfield has completed 35 of 50 passes (70%) for 440 yards and four TDs. . . . Beaver defense has allowed only one TD in last two games.
STANFORD: Stanford is 4-0 at home this year and has won its last five at home dating to last year. That's the longest home winning streak since 1996-97. Stanford has not gone undefeated at home for an entire season since 1977, when the Card went 6-0 under first-year head coach Bill Walsh. . . . Stanford seeking one more victory for potential bowl berth, but it will have to come against either USC or California. Cardinal has not experienced post-season play since 2001 Seattle Bowl. . . . Stanford ranks second in the Pac-10 in rushing at 207.0 yards per game. That's a huge jump from last year when the Cardinal finished ninth in the league at 111.2 yards rushing per game. . . . PK Aaron Zagory has made 12 of 14 field goal attempts this year, including all eight of his attempts within 40 yards.
UCLA: Bruins look for their first road win of the season this week at Washington. . . . P Aaron Perez averaged 47.0 yards on eight punts vs. Oregon State last week, including a 67-yard boot that tied his career long. Perez has had 20 of his 59 punts go for at least 50 yards this year and 17 of his punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line. . . . UCLA's defense has allowed opponent offenses to convert on just 18 of 64 (28.1%) third-down conversion attempts in the last five games. . . . Bruins have given up just 468 passing yards in the last four games (117 yards per game) with opponents completing less than 50% of their passes (37-76). . . . Bruins have lost just seven fumbles in 9 games this year. . . . Explosive Terrence Austin is averaging 169.0 all-purpose yards per game as he contributes as both a receiver and kickoff and punt returner.
USC: USC is 25-0 in December under coach Pete Carroll. . . . Game at Stanford this week will be Carroll's 100th as Trojan head coach. His mark of 84-15 (.848) makes him the winningest active head coach by percentage among coaches with at least five years under their belt. . . . USC continues mind-boggling defensive work. The Trojans lead the nation in both scoring defense (6.7 points per game) and total defense (206.4). SC has not allowed a touchdown in its last 10 quarters and the Trojans have held last four opponents under 200 yards total offense. Trojans have allowed only one touchdown in last five games, and that came on a 15-yard drive by Arizona following a turnover. . . . Seven of nine opponents have been held under 100 yards rushing. . . . Cal was averaging 36.4 points per game entering game vs. USC and was held to just a field goal in 17-3 loss, the lowest point total for Cal in a game since 2000 and the first time a Jeff Tedford-coached Cal team did not score a touchdown in a game. . . . The 60 points allowed through first nine games is best mark at this point in the season since 1962 National Championship squad allowed 55 points through nine contests. . . . QB Mark Sanchez has tossed at least one TD pass in all 12 of his career starts.
WASHINGTON: As is usually the case, Washington is one of the least penalized teams in the nation. Huskies are averaging just 4.4 flags per game this year and have never committed as many as 10 penalties in 45 games under coach Tyrone Willingham. . . . Huskies have been successful on third-down conversion attempts 43.6% of the time (58-133) and been good on 5-of-11 fourth-down attempts. . . . Dawgs have averaged fewer than two turnovers per game having lost the ball via the turnover 17 times in nine games. . . . Freshman TB Terrance Dailey has given the Huskies some pop in the running game since seeing his first action five games ago. He leads the team in rushing despite playing in just those five games.
WASHINGTON STATE: Freshman RB Logwone Mitz got his first career start last week vs. Arizona and acquitted himself well in rushing for 57 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries (5.2-yard average). His 42-yard run was the longest run from scrimmage by a Coug this year. Mitz is the 17th WSU offensive player to make his first career start this season. . . . WSU rushed for four TDs vs. Arizona, most touchdowns by rushing in a game for the Cougars since 2006. . . . Veteran MLB Greg Trent posted 10 tackles vs. Arizona, which gives him an even 300 career tackles. . . . Cougars had three defenders post double-digit tackles vs. Arizona. In addition to Trent (10), SS Chima Nwachukwu had 13 and CB Romeo Pellum posted 10. . . . In the UA-WSU game, last year's first-team All-Pac-10 wide receivers squared off in Brandon Gibson of WSU and Mike Thomas of Arizona. Each had receptions in the game, extending both to 33 straight games with at least one reception as they remained tied for the longest such streak in the Conference. . . . With 40 kickoff returns, Chantz Staden is just one short of the Pac-10 single-season record of 41 by Oregon State's Dwayne Owens (1990).
THREE NAMED TO ACADEMIC TEAM: OT Micah Hannam of Washington State, OLB Mike Nixon of Arizona State and DE Nick Reed of Oregon have been named to the 2008 Academic All-District Football Team selected by CoSIDA. Reed, a first-team All-Pac-10 pick last year, is a senior who carries a 3.44 GPA in History. Nixon, is a junior with a 4.00 GPA in Political Science and Hannam is a sophomore with a 3.57 GPA in Civil Engineering. All three were named to the first team of the 2007 Pac-10 All-Academic Team. The CoSIDA All-Academic Team are presented by ESPN The Magazine.
A LOOK AHEAD: The schedule for Sat., Nov. 22:
Washington at Washington State, 12:00 PST (FSN)
Stanford at California, 12:30 PST (ABC local affiliates)
Oregon State at Arizona, 5:00 MST/4:00 PST (Versus)
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