Conference Play In Full Swing
Around the Pac-12
Pac-12 league play gets into full swing this Saturday with four league contests, two being divisional action featuring California at Washington in the North Division, and USC at Arizona State in the South Division.
STANFORD has the nation's longest winning streak at 11 games, which is safe for another week as the Cardinal are idle this weekend.
While Pac-12 quarterbacks have shared the spotlight for big performances, the league's running backs are certainly not hiding in the shadows. OREGON's LaMichael James rolled for 204 yards on just 12 carries (17.0 per carry) vs. Missouri State; UTAH's John White rushed for 174 yards on 22 carries (7.9 per carry) in the Utes' win at BYU; STANFORD's Stepfan Taylor collected 153 yards on 22 carries (7.0 per carry) in a Conference win at Arizona; WASHINGTON's Chris Polk posted his fifth consecutive 100-yard game with 130 yards on 22 carries (5.9 per carry) at Nebraska; and CALIFORNIA's Isi Sofele posted 110 yards on 18 carries (6.1 per carry ) in the win over Presbyterian.
This Week's Matchups
Saturday, Sept. 24
t42/32 CALIFORNIA (3-0) at -/t42 WASHINGTON (2-1)
Seattle, Wash. • Husky Stadium (72,500)
12:30 pm PT • FSN/(Sirius 128/XM 195)
Series: Washington, 49-38-4. Last: Washington, 16-13 (2010)
Golden Bear Notes: Coach Jeff Tedford became Cal's winningest football coach with 75 victories, passing former Bears coach Andy Smith (74 wins, 1916-25). . . Cal's starting offensive line has now combined for 100 career starts - LT Mitchell Schwartz (41), RG Justin Cheadle (25), LG Brian Schwenke (15), RT Matt Summers-Gavin (15) and C Dominic Galas (4). . . Senior S Sean Cattouse is Cal's active career leader with six career interceptions. . . Junior TB Isi Sofele tied a career high with two TD runs (also vs. Fresno State 9/3/11) and posted a career high with 110 yards rushing in the win over Presbyterian. . . Senior WR Marvin Jones had his sixth career 100-yard receiving game and his second of the 2011 season with 123 yards vs. Presbyterian. Jones (100.3 yards) and sophomore WR Keenan Allen (98.7 yards) combine to average 199.0 receiving yards.
Husky Notes: Sophomore QB Keith Price tossed four TD passes in the 51-38 setback at Nebraska. He has now thrown for 11 TDs over the first three games of the season - the most ever by a Huskies quarterback in any three-game span. . . Junior RB Chris Polk led the Huskies with 130 yards rushing in the loss. It was his third 100-yard day in as many games. Dating back to last season, he's posted 100 or more yards rushing in five straight games, piling up 823 yards in that span. . . Junior WR James Johnson became one of 16 different Pac-12 receivers to register 100 or more receiving yards in a game when he caught six passes for 108 yards and a pair of TDs in the loss at Nebraska.
COLORADO (1-2) at 32/26 Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio • Ohio Stadium (102,329)
3:30 p.m. ET • ABC, ESPN2 reverse mirror/(Sirius 117/XM 196)
Series: Ohio State, 3-1-0. Last: Ohio State, 13-10 (1986)
Buffalo Notes: Senior RB Rodney Stewart moved into fourth place on CU's all-time rushing yards list, closing the game with 2,967 yards; he passed Charlie Davis ('71-73; 2,958). With 191 yards from scrimmage today, he moved from fourth into second with 3,642, passing Bobby Purify (2000-04; 3,524) and Rashaan Salaam (1992-94; 3,469). He jumped from seventh into third in career all-purpose yards with 3,651, trailing only Eric Bieniemy (1987-90; 4,320) and Hugh Charles (2004-07; 3,622). On the year, he still has more receiving yards (18-277) than rushing yards (61-223). . . Senior QB Tyler Hansen threw for 215 yards and picked up 26 yards rushing as he surpassed the 4,000-yard mark in total offense, finishing with 4,114; he passed Eric Bieniemy (4,003) into ninth place as he became the 10th player to hit the mark.
UCLA (1-2) at OREGON STATE (0-2)
Corvallis, Ore. • Reser Stadium (45,674)
12:30 p.m. • Prime Ticket, FCS/(Sirius 94)
Series: UCLA, 40-15-4. Last: UCLA, 17-14 (2010)
Bruin Notes: In addition to his punting and kickoff chores, junior Jeff Locke has added place kicking duties. In his first career attempt, he successfully responded with 51-yard field goal as time expired in the first half against Texas. He added a 49-yard field goal in the second half. While not shirking his normal responsibilities, Locke averaged 48.8 yards on four punts, with a long of 70 yards. . . At 7.1 yards per carry, senior TB Derrick Coleman is one of three Pac-12 running backs averaging better than 7.0 yards per carry. . . The Bruins have won six of the last eight meetings with Oregon State, and 12 of the last 15 times the two teams have met in Los Angeles.
Beaver Notes: Oregon State is coming off an open weekend and will be looking for its first win of the season. . . In their last outing, the Beavers fell to No. 8 Wisconsin, 35-0. Freshman QB Sean Mannion completed 25 of 38 passes for 244 yards. Junior WR Markus Wheaton caught eight of those passes for 83 yards, while junior WR Jordan Bishop had five catches for 98 yards. Wheaton is averaging 7.0 receptions per game and 95.5 yards receiving per game
10/13 OREGON (2-1) at ARIZONA (1-2)
Tucson, Ariz. • Arizona Stadium (57,400)
7:15 p.m. PT • ESPN2/(Sirius 112/XM 193)
Series: Oregon, 22-14-0. Last: Oregon, 48-29 (2010)
Duck Notes: Junior RB LaMichael James led the conference in scoring last season and has continued doing so this season at 14.0 points per game. James picked up three TDs in the 56-7 win over Missouri State as he gained 204 yards on only 12 carries (17.0 averaged). . . James and freshman RB De'Anthony Thomas are each averaging 7.7 yards per carry. . . Thanks to a balanced 681-yard performance in the win over Missouri State, Oregon sits atop the Pac-12 in total offense with Washington State, averaging 539.7 yards per game. . . Over the last two games, junior QB Darron Thomas has completed 24-of-34 for 501 yards and nine TDs.
Wildcat Notes: The Wildcats will take on their third consecutive Top 10 ranked opponent when No. 10 Oregon visits Tucson. . . Senior QB Nick Foles completed his first 17 pass attempts on the way to a 24-of-33 effort for 239 yards and one TD in the loss to Stanford. Foles has not thrown an interception in 126 attempts this season. . . The Wildcats have just one turnover in three games this season, joining Colorado as the only Pac-12 teams with less than two turnovers for the year. . . Senior WR Juron Criner bounced back from his Sept. 5 appendectomy and responded with six catches for 48 yards and one TD. . . Junior P Kyle Dugandzic has turned the Arizona punting game around. A year ago, the Wildcats were ninth in the league, averaging 34.1 net yards per punt, and last in average yards per punt at 39.2 yards per punt. This season, Dugandzic has the 'Cats atop the Pac-12 in yards per punt (49.4 yards) and net yards per punt (43.3 yards).
23/nr USC at 36/35 ARIZONA STATE
Tempe, Ariz. • Sun Devil Stadium (71,705)
7:15 p.m. PT • ESPN/(Sirius 139)
Series: USC, 18-9-0. Last: USC, 34-33 (2010)
Trojan Notes: The Trojans have won their last 11 over the Sun Devils, including the past 5 trips to Tempe. . . Junior QB Matt Barkley threw a USC record-tying 5 touchdowns for the third time in his career to lead the Trojans to a 38-17 win over Syracuse. He connected with five different receivers for each of his TD throws. . . Sophomore WR Robert Woods has hauled in 33 receptions for 361 yards. He currently is first nationally in receptions (11.0, first in Pac-12) and is tied for ninth in receiving yards (120.3, second in Pac-12). . . USC defense limited Syracuse to 75 yards rushing, the second consecutive game the opponent has been held under 100 yards rushing. Allowing 88.0 yards rushing per game, USC is one of four Pac-12 teams allowing under 100 yards.
Sun Devil Notes: Junior QB Brock Osweiler was 25-of-45 for 256 yards and a TD has he connected with eight different receivers in the 17-14 loss at Illinois. Senior WR Gerell Robinson was the recipient of eight catches for 88 yards, while senior WR Aaron Pflugrad had seven catches for 75 yards. . . In the three games this season, Pflugrad has totaled 18 receptions for 305 yards and four TDs. Entering the 2011 season, he had 576 yards and three touchdowns in his career. . . Arizona State will play its first ever Pac-12 Conference game against the USC Trojans. It is fitting that USC is the first Pac-12 opponent for the Sun Devils, as they faced USC in the first ever Pac-10 game played in Tempe. After leaving the WAC to join the Pac-10 in 1978, the Sun Devils shocked the #2 USC Trojans 20-7 at Sun Devil Stadium to earn the program's first ever Pac-10 win.