Roundup: Onward and upward for Oregon
It was close for perhaps longer than many people expected, but Oregon pulled away from UCLA in the second half, beating the Bruins 42-14. As such, the Ducks move “onward and upward” after an inspired second half in which they outscored the Bru Cru 28-0. Helfrich’s boys are also moving onward and upward in the computer rankings, as Oregon passed Florida State for No. 2 in the new BCS standings (Stanford is No. 5 and UCLA is No. 20) Things were not looking so hot early (for the home team, that is) until Oregon pulled off an awesome fake punt from its own 26-yard line.
The Bruins did put up a heck of an effort in that game and had it tied at the half with the Quacks, but Jim Mora isn’t satisfied with being “close.”
If you missed College GameDay, you have to see how Stanford puts its backup center Conor McFadden to use; the guy’s got “a beautiful football mind.” As for the actual game in Corvallis, it wasn’t the prettiest of offensive performances for the Card, but Stanford gutted out a 20-12 victory over the Beavs. Check out what David Lombardi has to say on The Bootleg TV breakdown—interviews with Trent Murphy (monster night) and A.J. Tarpley (also a monster night) included.
Mike Riley played the role of riverboat gambler Saturday night, going for it on fourth down five times, but the Beavers’ gutsy calls didn’t pay off against the Cardinal. OSU was 1-5 on fourth down on the evening.
It was a bounce-back week at an emotional time for the Huskies as Washington put together a 41-17 win over Cal, leading Gregg Bell to say that “the Dawgfather” would have been proud of this effort. Keith Price did work, Bishop Sankey did work, Hau’oli Kikaha did work; pretty much everybody did work (all that was missing from the night was a Spike Lee documentary). Not only did the Huskies pay tribute to the late Don James with their play, but “the Dawgfather” was also honored by the Husky faithful in a variety of ways—click the link to see how.
The Golden Bears have dropped six straight after that 24-point loss to the Dawgs, and Cal had no answer for Bishop Sankey, who rushed for 241 yards.
True, the Utes weren’t even close to their healthiest on the offensive side of things, but that Trojan defense is something to behold, even with all the injuries it has sustained. That unit was at it again Saturday, and takeaways helped the Trojans beat the Utes 19-3. USC forced four Utah turnovers on the afternoon. It wasn’t ALL defense for the Trojans, though, because Nelson Agholor showed off his athleticism with this grab and somersault into the end zone. If that was me, I would have a) stepped out of bounds before b) breaking my neck.
Pac-12 play has not been kind to Utah since joining the conference of champions, and after a 16-point loss to USC, the Utes are desperately in need of a helping hand, writes Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune. A sprained index finger didn’t help the QB’s cause, and Travis Wilson’s struggles continued.
The Wildcats have bounced back from two straight losses with two straight wins after dispatching Colorado 44-20, and that UA quarterback was looking pretty spectacular. With 457 yards of total offense (265 passing, 192 rushing), a dangerous Denker made Colorado pay in Arizona’s victory.
Colorado was in the game for quite a while, but Brian Howell of Buffzone believes that questionable decisions buried the Buffs with Mike MacIntyre electing to go for it on fourth down (and not getting it) a couple of times in the second half.
Without having to play a game this week, Arizona State football is back in the AP top 25 at No. 25, joining Oregon (No. 2), Stanford (No. 6) and UCLA (No. 17) in the poll.
No game for the Cougs, but here are some images of Washington State’s Ol’ Crimson flag on ESPN’s College GameDay. For 141 shows in a row now it has appeared on the traveling GameDay set.