Roundup: Orgeron, USC get it done
The Ed Orgeron era got off to a roaring start last night as the Trojans held on for a 38-31 triumph over Arizona. In attempt to inject some life into the team, Orgeron took a spirited approach with the team to energize play — and it worked as he high-fived and fist-bumped anyone he could find after a big Trojan play (and his players gave him a nice lil’ Gatorade bath in return). As for the last head coach in Troy, Ivan Maisel has a good read on what lessons Lane Kiffin will learn (some good quotes from our very own Yogi Roth in there as well). Kiffin will be interviewed by ESPN’s Chris Fowler this weekend on College GameDay; should be good TV.
For a while, it looked like this game was gonna be a blowout. Arizona fell behind 28-3 in the second quarter and 38-17 in the fourth before roaring back with two late scores. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Arizona’s comeback came up short.
The biggest game in the nation this weekend will be going down on Montlake with Oregon taking a trip up to Washington for a 1 p.m. start on Fox Sports 1. Marcus Mariota and the Ducks have yet to face a late-game test, but that could certainly change this weekend. The good news for the Ducks is that the Black Mamba has shed the walking boot, but De’Anthony Thomas is still questionable for Saturday’s game.
He might have been doubted last season, but Keith Price is thriving for the Huskies in 2013. Big opportunity for Teeth and Co. to make a statement, especially since ESPN’s “College GameDay” is putting Seattle on a big football stage.
With two very good quarterbacks, solid receiving corps and running games that are second and third-to-last in the nation, balls will be flying with the Beavers and Cougars (7:30 p.m., ESPNU). This next link doesn’t have much to do with the upcoming game, but you should definitely read John Canzano’s story about the major twists in the life of former Beaver walk-on Mike Remmers, who’ll be suiting up for the San Diego Chargers next Monday.
Back to a link that does pertain to this game… Sean Mannion’s improvement will test the Cougars on Saturday night. Last I heard, Mannion was putting up some pretty decent numbers this year, sort of.
No. 5 Stanford puts its unblemished slate on the line for a bout with Utah (3 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks) and special teams are showing up big for the Cardinal (two words: Ty Montgomery); could come in handy again for the Card this weekend. Speaking of the unit, here is a lil’ coach speak with Stanford special teams coach Pete Alamar.
Utah won’t be at full strength in the receiving game with starting tight ends Jake Murphy and Westlee Tonga out with injuries (Murphy is facing 12 weeks of rehab after successful surgery), but Dennis Erickson is keeping the Utes’ two tight end sets, so you can plan to see a lot of Siale Fakailoatonga, Greg Reese and Evan Moeai. Despite those injuries and losing Kenneth Scott in the season opener, the Utes have been one of the nation’s best big-play teams in 2013. And do you need to know more about the Card, Ute fan? Here are five questions with David Lombardi, courtesy of the Deseret News.
Arizona State resumes its quest for the Pac-12 South belt when it hosts the Buffaloes at 7 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks, and Tyler Lockman of Fox Sports Arizona has five key questions for the Sun Devils heading into the Colorado game.
You might not realize it since Paul Richardson is an absolute stud and Nelson Spruce is having a pretty good year as well, but the Buffs need more production at receiver. Also, defensive tackle Josh Tupou is questionable for the Arizona State game.
UCLA has two Bay Area opponents on its slate the next two Saturdays, starting with the Golden Bears down in the Rose Bowl (7:30 p.m., ESPN2). The last time the Bru Cru faced the Golden Bears, they got stomped 43-17. You don’t have to tell them twice about that 2012 meeting, for UCLA remembers the embarrassing loss at Cal last year.
On the other side of the football, Cal’s Freddie Tagaloa is preparing for Anthony Barr, one of the most imposing linebackers in the country. Also, listen to San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Hunter Hewitt’s UCLA Q&A podcast with UCLA Rivals/Yahoo publisher Edward Lewis.