This Week in Pac-10 Football
Sept. 28, 2009
Longest overall winning streak: 3 games - Oregon and UCLA
Longest Conference-game winning streak: 4 games - Oregon
Longest home winning streak: 11 games - USC
Longest road winning streak: 4 games - Oregon State
OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: The Pac-10 is having a stellar season against non-conference opponents with a 19-7 (.731) record against non-league foes. Only four regular-season non-conference games remain, all of them against Notre Dame beginning this week with Washington.
HOME/ROAD: In 32 games involving Pac-10 teams so far this season, the home team has won 23 times, the visitors nine times. There have been six Conference games to date, with the home team going 4-2.
PAC-10 RECORD FOR OWUSU: Just four games into the season, Stanford kick returner Chris Owusu has returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, a number that ties the Pac-10 single-season record. Owusu now shares the record for most kickoff returns for a TD in a season with Anthony Davis of USC (1974) and Matthew Slater of UCLA (2007). Owusu has returned the opening game kickoff for a TD in each of the last two games. He currently leads the nation in kickoff returns with a flashy 59.2-yard average.
CHAMPIONSHIP FACT: There have only been seven seasons in league history in which a team has won the Conference championship with two Conference losses. It happened as recently as 2007 when USC and Arizona State shared the league crown with 7-2 Conference marks. It is also a fact that no team has ever won the Conference championship after starting out 0-2 in Conference play.
ARIZONA: Wildcats have an open date before finishing up a three-game road trip at Washington on Oct. 10. . . . Soph Nick Foles made his first career start at quarterback for Arizona at Oregon State and played a big role in the Wildcats upset win at Corvallis. . . . Foles completed 25 of 34 (.735) for 254 yards and three TDs with no interceptions, plus he ran for a score. It was his first start anywhere since the state championship game in Texas in December 2006. Foles played for Westlake High School of Austin, Texas, where he broke some of Drew Brees` passing records. . . . CB Devin Ross named Pac-10 defensive player of the week for his role in Wildcats` road win at Oregon State. Ross racked up a game-high 12 tackles and picked off a pass late in the game to seal the win. . . . Another key in win at Corvallis was the punting of P Keenyn Crier. He averaged 45.0 yards on five punts and in the fourth quarter had three separate punts downed at the OSU 3-yard line.
ARIZONA STATE: After completing the non-conference slate, Sun Devils face nine straight weeks of Conference games. . . . P Trevor Hankins booted a career-long 69-yard punt at Georgia last week. It is the longest punt in the Pac-10 this year. . . . FS Jarrell Holman was a one-man turnover machine at Georgia. He intercepted two Bulldog passes, returning one for a TD, and recovered a fumble that led to a Sun Devil touchdown. . . . ASU has committed just one turnover this year and leads the Pac-10 in turnover margin at +10. . . . Star PK Thomas Weber, the 2007 Groza Award winner, has a groin injury suffered in practice that is expected to keep him out of the next four or five games. . . . Sun Devils are outscoring opponents 55-16 in the second half.
CALIFORNIA: Golden Bears have won nine straight home games with their last home loss a 24-17 defeat against USC in 2007. . . . QB Kevin Riley and WR Verran Tucker have hooked up on a pass play of 50 yards or more each of the past two weeks. . . . Riley has yet to throw an interception in Bears` first four game this year and has a string of 115 straight passes without a pick dating back to last year. . . . After not committing a turnover in first three games, Bears coughed up three fumbles at Oregon last week. . . . TB Jahvid Best leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 13.5 points per game, with nine TDs (8 rushing, 1 receiving).
OREGON: Ducks finish off a four-game homestand against Washington State this week. After that, it's three of the next four on the road for Oregon. . . . Ducks have won seven straight home games overall and six straight Conference home games. . . . TE Ed Dickson named Pac-10 offensive player of the week and Walter Camp Football Foundation national offensive player of the week after he pulled in a career-high 11 receptions for 148 yards and three TDs in Ducks` win against No. 6 California. The 11 receptions tied the school record for receptions in a game by a tight end. . . . Three of Ducks` first four opponents have been ranked (Boise State, Utah, California). Ducks have held last two opponents--high-powered Utah (297) and California (207)--under 300 yards total offense. . . . Redshirt freshman TB LaMichael James has asserted himself at tailback with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games the last two weeks.
OREGON STATE: First-quarter touchdown scored by Arizona last week is the first, and only, first-quarter points scored against the Beavers this year. . . . TB Jacquizz Rodgers has rushed for seven touchdowns and has at least one rushing TD in every game this year. The sophomore needs just eight more rushing yards to break into the OSU career top 10 (he sits at 1,680 currently). Jacquizz also leads the Pac-10 in receiving at 8.0 catches per game, while WR brother James Rodgers leads the league in receiving yards at 88.0 per game. . . . Oregon State has yet to lose a fumble through first four games. The Beavers have had a total of only three turnovers. . . . With 303 passing yards vs. Arizona, QB Sean Canfield jumped over current backup Lyle Moevao and Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker into fifth place on the OSU career passing list. Canfield currently has thrown for 3,598 yards.
STANFORD: Stanford winds up a three-game homestand against UCLA this week, then follows up with two straight Conference road games. . . . The Cardinal stands 6-1 at home over the last two seasons. . . . KR Chris Owusu named Pac-10 special teams player of the week for returning the opening kickoff vs. Washington 91 yards for a TD. It marked the second straight
week Owusu returned the opening kickoff for a score. . . . Those two kickoff returns are part of the reason Stanford has scored on its opening possession in every game this year. . . . Of Stanford's 13 touchdowns this season, three have come on kickoff returns, one on a punt return and one on an interception return. . . . Stanford rushed for a season-high 321 yards against Washington with RB Toby Gerhart going for a career-high 200 yards. The Cardinal leads the Pac-10 in rushing offense at 233.8 yards per game with Gerhart the individual Pac-10 leader at 129.0 yards per game (third in nation). . . . Stanford has trailed for just 0:02 seconds in its four games this season (Wake Forest scored the winning TD with :02 seconds to play).
UCLA: After an open date, Bruins jump into nine straight weeks of Conference play. . . . Bruins are the last remaining undefeated Pac-10 team. . . . In last outing, CB Alterraun Verner had two interceptions in 23-9 win vs. Kansas State to give him 11 for his career. Bruins have picked off a Pac-10-co-leading eight passes through three games. . . . PK Kai Forbath has connected on 9-of-10 field goal attempts this year, with his only miss coming from 51 yards, and has made 22 of his last 23 dating to last year. He leads the Pac-10 in kick scoring (11.0), field goals (3.0) and field goal percentage (.900). . . . Bruins have held each of first three opponents to under 300 yards total offense. . . . UCLA is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2005 team started 8-0. . . . Despite having the youngest offensive line in the league, Bruins have allowed just five QB sacks in three games.
USC: USC has won 89 of its last 100 games. . . . Trojans currently lead the Pac-10 and rank second in the nation in quarterback sacks (4.5 per game) and tackles for loss (11.0). Individually, DE Nick Perry leads the Pac-10 in sacks (1.5 per game) and OLB Michael Morgan leads in tackles for loss (2.12). . . . Trojans also pace the Pac-10 in scoring defense, allowing just 10.0 points per game and have held each of last two opponents (UW and WSU) to under 300 yards total offense. Trojans are particularly stout against the run, holding every opponent so far this season under 90 yards rushing and allowing just 59.5 yards per game to lead the Pac-10 in that category. . . . Both starting QB Matt Barkley and All-America FS Taylor Mays were back in the lineup vs. Washington State after missing previous game at Washington with injuries.
WASHINGTON: Huskies travel to Notre Dame this week as the first of four teams to take on the Irish this year (along with USC, Washington State and Stanford). . . . ILB Donald Butler has posted back-to-back 12-tackle games and ranks second in the Pac-10 in stops at 9.5 per game. . . . QB Jake Locker leads the league in passing (250.5 yards per game) and total offense (269.0). Locker also leads the league in touchdown passes with six. . . . Huskies continue to be the only Pac-10 team converting better than 50% of their third-down opportunities. UW has made it 36 of 62 times (.58.1%). . . . UW is second in the league in net punting (38.0 yards per punt) and first in punt returns (18.5 per return). P Will Mahan averages 42.7 yards per punt and is second in the league with five kicks of 50+ yards.
WASHINGTON STATE: P Forrest Reid leads the Pac-10 in punting average at 45.3 yards per kick, as well as 50+ yard boots (6) and punts downed inside the 20-yard line (8). . . . True freshman Jeff Tuel saw his first action at quarterback at USC and completed 14 of 22 passes for 130 yards and added 34 yards rushing. . . . Cougars are Pac-10 co-leaders (with ASU) in turnovers forced with 11. WSU forced only 13 turnovers all of last season. Seven of the forced turnovers are fumble recoveries and the Cougs recovered only three last year. . . . WSU ranks second in Pac-10 in fewest penalty yards. The Cougs have been flagged for an average of only 40.8 yards per game. . . . Freshman WR Gino Simone had eight of WSU's 16 receptions at USC last week. . . . Cougars have made 4-of-5 fourth-down conversion attempts this year.
A LOOK AHEAD: The schedule for Sat., Oct. 10:
Arizona at Washington
Arizona State at Washington State
Oregon at UCLA
Stanford at Oregon State
California and USC - open dates