This Week in Pac-10 Football
Nov. 9, 2009
THIS WEEK IN PAC-10 FOOTBALL
|RANKINGS||GAMES-SAT., Nov. 14||SITE||TIME/TV||SERIES/LAST YEAR|
|Stanford (6-3) vs.
Los Angeles, Calif.
|12:30 p.m. PDT
|Washington (3-6) vs.
Oregon State (6-3)
|Reser Stadium (45,674)
|12:30 p.m. PST
Oregon State, 34-13
|UCLA (4-5) vs.
Washington State (1-8)
|Martin Stadium (35, 117
|Arizona (6-2) vs.
|Memorial Stadium (71, 799)
|Series tied, 13-13-2
|Arizona State (4-5) vs.
|Autzen Stadium (54,000)
|Arizona State, 16-13-0
Longest overall winning streak: 3 games - Arizona
Longest Conference-game winning streak: 3 games - Arizona
Longest home winning streak: 12 games - USC
Longest road winning streak: 2 games - California
The evidence is mounting that the Pac-10 is the nation's toughest conference in 2009. Some points to consider:
**No other conference has more teams ranked in either the BCS rankings or the AP Top 25 than the Pac-10.
**The Pac-10 is rated the toughest conference in the Sagarin, Anderson & Hester and Wolfe computer polls that are part of the BCS rankings. The Sagarin rankings list six Pac-10 teams in the Top 25.
**Among the six automatic-qualifying conferences, only the Pac-10 and ACC can boast three non-conference wins against opponents ranked in the Top 25 at the time of the game (Ohio State, Utah, Notre Dame for the Pac-10).
**The Pac-10 is 20-9 vs. non-conference opponents. Consider that four of the non-conference teams came against opponents currently in the Top 10 in the BCS rankings (9-0 Cincinnati, 9-0 Boise State, 9-1 Iowa and 7-2 LSU).
**The Pac-10 over the weekend became the first conference to qualify six teams for bowl eligibility.
The Pac-10 is having a stellar season against non-conference opponents with a 20-9 (.690) record against non-league foes. Only one regular-season non-conference game remains with Stanford closing out its regular season at home against Notre Dame on Nov. 28.
In 59 games involving Pac-10 teams so far this season, the home team has won 40 times, the visitors 19 times. In 30 Conference games to
date, the home team has gone 19-11.
Wildcats close out the regular season with three of last four games on the road starting this week at California. . . . Arizona and Oregon are the only Pac-10 teams with just one Conference loss to date. . . . Travis Cobb returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in last week's win against WSU. The Cats also returned a punt for a TD in the game with William 'Bug' Wright going 86 yards on the return. . . . Arizona offensive line can take a bow as Wildcats are one of three league teams (along with Oregon and Stanford) to average better than 200 yards per game rushing, plus UA is tops in the Pac-10 in fewest QB sacks allowed. UA quarterbacks have been sacked just four times in eight games and 282 pass attempts. . . . Wildcats rank second in Pac-10 in total defense at 298.6 yards per game and have held last two opponents to a total of 396 yards combined.
ARIZONA STATE (4-5)
With a sack against USC last week, DE Dexter Davis upped his career QB sack total to 30, just the third ASU player to record that many. Davis has started 47 consecutive games for the Devils. . . . Stingy Sun Devil defense limited USC to 258 yards total offense, lowest output for the Trojans this year. . . . ASU leads the Pac-10 in both rushing defense (87.4 yards per game) and total defense (291.8). . . . Sun Devils also lead in turnovers gained (22) due to picking off a league-high 14 passes. . . . P Trevor Hankins is Pac-10 punting leader with an average of 44.8 yards per boot. He is less than a yard off the ASU season record for average per punt of 45.7 yards (Stephen Baker, 1998). . . . With a field goal against USC, PK Thomas Weber became just the third Sun Devil with 50 career field goals. He needs two more to take over sole possession of second place on the all-time list behind Luis Zendejas (1981-84).
Final home game of the season for the Bears this week vs. Arizona. Cal has won 10 of its last 12 home games, but dropped most recent outing at Memorial Stadium to Oregon State. . . . Cal needs one more win to run its string of consecutive winning seasons to eight, which would equal the school record. . . . Cal has turned the ball over just nine times in nine games and leads the Pac-10 in turnover margin at +8. . . . ILB Mike Mohamed leads the Pac-10 in tackles at 9.0 stops per game. . . . All-Pac-10 TB Jahvid Best will sit out this week after suffering a concussion vs. OSU. . . . QB Kevin Riley is Pac-10 co-leader (with UW's Jake Locker) in touchdown passes with 14 scoring tosses. Nine of those TD passes have come in the last four games. Riley also has thrown just three interceptions all season.
In wild 51-42 loss at Stanford last week, QB Jeremiah Masoli accounted for a career-high 389 yards and four TDs. Masoli passed for 334 yards and three TDs and rushed 10 times for 55 yards and another score. . . . High-flying Ducks lead the league in scoring offense at 36.3 points per game and UO's 233.6 yards per game rushing is more than 20 yards per game better than runnerup Stanford (211.0). In last two games vs. USC and Stanford, Oregon has rushed for a combined 627 yards and gone for 1,183 yards total offense. While averaging 36.3 points per game overall, the Ducks have averaged 41.7 in six Conference games and been over 40 points in five of those six. . . . Frosh TB LaMichael James is second in Pac-10 rushing behind Stanford's Toby Gerhart at 115.9 yards per game. The freshman has topped the 100-yard rushing mark in six of nine game this year. . . . FS T.J. Ward missed a lot of time with an ankle injury, but has started the last two games and led or co-led the Ducks in tackles each game.
OREGON STATE (6-3)
Final home game of the season for the Beavers vs. Washington this week before finishing the regular season with two on the road. . . . OSU has lost just six turnovers in nine games this year, including just one fumble lost. . . . QB Sean Canfield leads the Pac-10 in passing at 264.6 yards per game, almost 20 yards per game more than runnerup Jake Locker of Washington (244.8). He is completing almost 70% of his passes (.696), well ahead of the OSU season record for completion percentage of .606 (Matt Moore, 2006). In addition, Canfield has thrown just one interception in his last 156 pass attempts. . . . PK Justin Kahut has kicked six field goals of 40 or more yards this year. . . . Beaver offense seems to be kicking into gear. OSU has averaged 411.7 yards total offense for the season, but 460.8 yards per game over the last four contests.
Final road game of the season at USC, before the Cardinal closes with home games against California and Notre Dame. . . . TB Toby Gerhart and PK Nate Whitaker named Pac-10 offensive and special teams players of the week following Stanford's 51-42 win against then-No. 7-ranked Oregon. Gerhart also was named National Offensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He carried the ball 38 times for a Stanford single-game record 223 yards (5.9) and three TDs against the Ducks. In the process, he upped his season rushing total to a Pac-10 leading 1,217 yards, which surpasses his own single-season Stanford record. . . . Against the Ducks, Stanford had 505 yards total offense split between 254 yards rushing, 251 passing. . . . Six victories so far this year make the Cardinal bowl eligible for the first time since 2001. . . . Stanford and Arizona are the only two teams in the league averaging more than 200 yards rushing and in single digits in QB sacks against. The numbers for Stanford are 211.0 yards rushing per game and just six QB sacks allowed.
FS Rahim Moore picked off a pass in the final minute to seal the Bruins` 24-23 win against Washington. Moore leads the nation with eight interceptions in nine games this year. He has 11 picks in 21 career games. . . . QB Kevin Craft came off the bench to lead the Bruin come-from-behind win against UW. Craft completed 13-of-17 (.765) for 212 yards and a TD. The Bruin defense shut out the Huskies for the final 26 minutes as the Bruins rallied from nine points down. . . . Soph WR Nelson Rosario has posted back-to-back 100-yard receiving games. He has pulled in 13 of his 25 receptions in last two games, good for 263 yards. . . . PK Kai Forbath continues his remarkable run. He has converted 34 of his last 36 field goal attempts, including 30 in a row from a distance of 50 yards and in over the last two seasons.
Trojans close out the regular season with three straight home games, starting this week with Stanford. . . . And the Trojans are tough at home. SC has won 12 straight home games, longest current such streak among Pac-10 teams. Included are nine straight home wins against Conference foes. Overall, Troy has won 47 of its last 48 home games over the last seven years. The lone loss? To this week's opponent--Stanford--in 2007. . . . Trojans have never lost a game in November under Coach Pete Carroll (28-0). . . . SS Will Harris named Pac-10 defensive player of the week for his game in Trojans` 14-9 road win at Arizona State. Harris picked off two passes, returning one of the picks 55 yards for a touchdown. . . . WR/PR Damian Williams leads the league in punt returns with a 16.3 yards average, including two returned for TDs.
Huskies are on the road for the final time this season at Oregon State, before closing out at home against Washington State and California. . . . QB Jake Locker, bothered by a thigh bruise, was able to go the distance last week at UCLA and passed for 235 yards and two scores and added 23 yards rushing. Locker leads the Pac-10 in total offense at 270.3 yards per game. . . . As they have all season, Huskies continue to lead the Pac-10 in third-down conversions. UW converts almost 50% of the time (.496). Plus the Dawgs have converted 50% (5-10) on fourth-down conversion attempts. . . . PK Erik Folk trails only UCLA's Kai Forbath in field goal percentage. Folk has connected on 15 of 18 attempts (.833). . . . WR James Johnson is the only freshman among the top 10 in receiving in the Conference (4.0 receptions per game).
WASHINGTON STATE (1-8)
Freshman WR Gino Simone has at least one reception in each of the seven games he has played in this year. . . . WR Jared Karstetter scored on a 64-yard touchdown reception vs. Arizona last week giving him six TD receptions on the season, the most for a Cougar receiver since Brandon Gibson had nine in 2007. Karstetter has scored six of WSU's 16 touchdowns this season. No other Coug has scored more than two TDs. . . . WSU has forced 13 fumbles this year and recovered a league-high 12. . . . The 20 turnovers overall forced by the Cougars is third in the league and significantly more than the 13 forced all of last season. . . . Of P Reid Forrest's 65 punts this year, 12 have gone for more than 50 yards, including four over 60 yards. He averages 43.6 yards per punt.