This Week in Pac-10 Football

Dec. 1, 2008

Walnut Creek, Calif. -

Pac-10 Weekly Football Release--12/1

 

SERIES NOTES FOR THE GAMES OF DEC 6:

WASHINGTON (0-11) at CALIFORNIA (7-4) - 12:00 PST - FSN national cablecast - The Series:  Washington and California have met 87 times dating to 1904 with the Huskies leading the series 46-37-4. Washington won at Seattle last year to snap a five-game Cal winning streak in the series.  Prior to that five-game Golden Bear winning streak, which coincided with the arrival of coach Jeff Tedford at Cal, the Huskies had run off a 19-game winning streak against Cal from 1977-2001. Cal has won the last two at home with the most recent UW victory at Berkeley coming in 2001 (31-28). . . . Last Year:  Washington and California met on a cold day late in the year at Seattle and the Huskies used a punishing ground game to pound out a 37-23 victory.  Washington rushed 334 yards with TB Louis Rankin leading the way with 224 yards.  Cal QB Nate Longshore passed for three touchdowns, but it was not enough to catch the Huskies.  That victory marks Washington’s last win, as the Dawgs have dropped 13 straight games since then.     

 

USC (10-1) at UCLA (4-7) - 1:00 PST - ABC national telecast - The Series:  USC and UCLA battle for the Victory Bell in a series that has been played 77 times dating to 1929 and uninterrupted since 1936.  USC leads the series 42-28-7. All of the games were played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until UCLA moved its home games to the Rose Bowl in 1982.  In the 13 games contested at the Rose Bowl since then, the Bruins lead 8-5.  Included in that total is UCLA’s 13-9 upset of No. 2-ranked USC in the last Rose Bowl meeting in 2006. USC has won seven of the last eight meetings, with that 2006 upset the exception. . . . Last Year:  USC and UCLA concluded the regular season at a sold-out L.A. Coliseum and the No. 8-ranked Trojans used a dominant defensive performance and powerful ground game to take a 24-7 win.  The victory gave USC an unprecedented sixth consecutive Pac-10 title and third straight trip to the Rose Bowl.  USC rushed for 231 yards and the Trojan defense limited UCLA to 10 first downs and 168 yards total offense, including just 12 yards rushing, and forced four turnovers.  It marked Pete Carroll’s 75th victory as head coach of the Trojans.   

 

ARIZONA STATE (5-6) at ARIZONA (6-5) - 6:00 MST/5:00 PST - ESPN national cablecast and FSN Arizona local cablecast - The Series:  Arizona and Arizona State have met in the “Duel in the Desert” 81 times dating to 1899 and uninterrupted since 1946.  The Wildcats lead the series 44-36-1, with the Sun Devils narrowing the gap by winning the last three and five of the last six.  In 45 games played at Tucson, Arizona leads 28-17, although ASU has taken three of the last four at Arizona Stadium.  The teams play for Territorial Cup. . . . Last Year:  Arizona and Arizona State concluded the regular season at Sun Devil Stadium with the Sun Devils taking a 20-17 decision in an evenly matched game that was tilted by three Wildcat turnovers.  QBs Willie Tuitama of Arizona and Rudy Carpenter of Arizona State each passed for two TDs to account for all of the touchdowns scored in the game. 

 

PAC-10 NOTES:

ARIZONA:  A win against rival Arizona State in the season finale would give the Wildcats their first seven-win season since 1998.  And win or lose, Arizona has earned its first bowl berth since the 1998 Holiday Bowl. . . . Arizona scored only seven rushing touchdowns in 2007, but has 30 this year, second only to Oregon in the Pac-10.  The Wildcats have rushed for at least one score in every game. . . . Arizona is averaging 37.6 points per game, just off the school record of 38.5. . . . WR Mike Thomas has extended his UA career reception record to 246 catches.  He has caught a pass in 35 straight games. . . . RB Nic Grigsby, with 952 yards, needs 48 more to become Arizona’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2001 (Clarence Farmer). . . . Wildcats are least intercepted team in the league as QB Willie Tuitama has been picked off just seven times this year.                   

ARIZONA STATE:  Sun Devils need a win at rival Arizona this week to earn a bowl berth. . . . ASU kept bowl hopes alive with 34-9 win against UCLA last week that saw a record-setting performance by the Devil defense.  The ASU defenders tied the NCAA record and set a Pac-10 standard by scoring four touchdowns on defense--three on interception returns and one on a fumble return.  FS Troy Nolan was named Pac-10 defensive player of the week for his role, which included a 100-yard interception return for a TD, but any number of Devil defenders could have been selected. . . . The ASU defense has not allowed a touchdown in 10 straight quarters and the Sun Devil defense has scored at least one touchdown in four straight games. . . . ASU defense also has forced 18 turnovers in the last six games.                 

CALIFORNIA:  TB Jahvid Best named Pac-10 offensive player of the week following his career-best 201 yard rushing game in Big Game win against Stanford.  Best averaged 10.6 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one on a reception.  Best ranks second behind Oregon State’s Jacquizz Rodgers in Pac-10 rushing at 108.3 yards per game  Best and Rodgers are the only backs in the league averaging more than 100 yards rushing per game. . . . Best gives Cal a 1,000-yard rusher for the seventh consecutive season. . . . OLB Zack Follett had five tackles for loss (-19), including 2.5 quarterback sacks (-17), among his 10 stops in the Big Game. . . . Also in the Big Game, Cal freshman P Bryan Anger set a school single-game record by averaging 60.2 yards on four punts.  Included were punts of 76 and 75 yards.      

OREGON:  Concluded regular season 9-3, 7-2 in Pac-10.    

OREGON STATE:  Concluded regular season 8-4, 7-2 in Pac-10.       

STANFORD:  Concluded season 5-7, 4-5 in Pac-10.             

UCLA:  Despite loss to Arizona State last week, Bruin defense threw up some stellar numbers in limiting the Sun Devils to no offensive touchdowns and just 10 first downs and 122 yards total offense, including just 21 yards rushing.  The 122 yards total offense was UCLA’s best defensive effort since holding Arkansas to 42 net yards in 1989 Cotton Bowl. . . . PK Kai Forbath has made 19 of 22 field goal attempts this season and has connected on his last 13 attempts.  He leads the Pac-10 in field goals. . . .Also in the kicking game, P Aaron Perez leads the Pac-10 in punting at 44.5 yards per boot.  Of his 70 punts, 24 have been for 50+ yards and 20 have been downed inside the 20-yard line.  He has set a school career record with his 11,762 yards punting. . . . With 1,802 all-purpose yards, WR Terrence Austin is closing in on the UCLA season record of 1,863 by Maurice Jones-Drew in 2005.                   

USC:  Trojans have extended record string of Pac-10 championships to seven.  Victory at UCLA this week also would propel SC to a record-tying fourth straight Rose Bowl appearance. . . . Trojans continue to lead the Pac-10 in every major defensive category, including scoring defense (7.8 points per game) and total defense (210.5 yards per game). . . . In win vs. Notre Dame last week, Trojan defense did not give up a TD and allowed the Irish just four first downs and 91 yards total offense.  ND did not get its initial first down until the final play of the third quarter, did not penetrate USC territory until the fourth quarter and never got to the red zone. . . . Somewhat overlooked due to the defensive numbers is the fact the Trojans also are up in scoring offense at 38.4 points per game, compared to 32.6 last year. . . . QB Mark Sanchez has league-leading 28 TD passes, vs. only nine INTs.     

WASHINGTON:  Husky defense showing improvement in holding last two opponents under 350 yards total offense. . . . UW gained a season-high 224 yards rushing in last outing vs. WSU.  Freshman Willie Griffin, the fifth player to start at tailback for the Huskies this season, accounted for half of that with 112 yards rushing. . . . Soph OLB Mason Foster ranks second in tackles in the Pac-10 with 8.4 stops per game. . . . Despite struggles in some areas, Huskies have been at or near the top of the Pac-10 all year in fewest penalties incurred, an average of just 4.5 for 38.5 yards per game, and third-down conversions, 42.6% (69-of-162). . . . Although Huskies have posted a modest total of 14 QB sacks this year, DE Daniel Teo’Nesheim has half of them (7).  That’s good for a tie for seventh in the Pac-10 in that category.                       

WASHINGTON STATE:  Concluded season 2-11, 1-8 in Pac-10. 

 

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