Roundup: Big Game up North, big clash down South
It’s Big Game week on The Farm, as Stanford gets set to play Cal for the 116th time (1 p.m., FOX Sports 1). Stanford is playing Cal following a loss for the third straight year, and Stanford and David Shaw are moving on from the loss to USC last weekend. Speaking of Stanford's head coach, it turns out that Shaw’s favorite Big Game memory came as a player (in a game he didn’t even play in) in 1990 when Stanford scored nine points in the final 12 seconds to beat Cal 27-25.
This will be the last game of the season for the Golden Bears after a very rough 2013 campaign, but there are reasons for optimism for next season, and Ted Miller asks if it will be a case of pain now and gain in 2014 for Cal. Off the field, Cal got encouraging news on the classroom performances of its football players, seeing a nearly 50 percent increase in Graduation Success Rate.
One of the best games nationally takes place in the Rose Bowl when Arizona State and UCLA battle for the top spot in the South (4 p.m., FOX). Who will lead his team to victory- Taylor Kelly or Brett Hundley? Jeff Metcalfe writes that the QB duel could decide the Pac-12 South for Arizona State and UCLA.
The good news for the Bruins going into this one is that UCLA will probably have Jordon James back. The running back has not played the last two games with an ankle injury he initially banged up in early October against Utah. And for some more on the starting QBs in this game, it’s notable that both Brett Hundley and Taylor Kelly have passed tests this season (both won tough games on the road at Utah).
The day starts with two North-South tussles, one of them being Oregon at Arizona (12:30 p.m. PT, ABC/ESPN2). We could potentially see some history in this one, because Ka’Deem Carey is on the verge of breaking Arizona’s career rushing record held by Trung Candidate. Also, Arizona’s Greg Byrne ranks No. 1 on Twitter among athletic directors, according to Football Scoop.
We are 10 games into the Oregon season and Marcus Mariota still hasn’t thrown a pick (in 285 attempts, mind you). Need a comparison for Mariota’s interception streak? Go long, writes Andrew Greif. And here’s a touching article about Mark Helfrich remembering his father’s death.
And another one at 12:30, this one on the Pac-12 Networks: Utah at Washington State. The Cougs can achieve bowl eligibility with a dub against the Utes, but the improved Washington State offensive line faces a tough task against Utah.
The Utes will throw a new starting quarterback out there, and you would think they would want him to be a game manager, right? Nope, the Utes want Adam Schulz to make plays.
The love for Coach O continues, this time from his former boss Lane Kiffin, who backed Ed Orgeron when asked who he thought should take over as the next USC head coach. On the field, USC has a road date with Colorado coming up (6:30 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks), and quarterback Cody Kessler’s confidence is growing (as evidenced by his performance against the Card). One basketball note from the Ripsit Blog: J.T. Terrell has been declared ineligible for the rest of the semester, which ends December 18 (the Trojans beat West Alabama 73-57 last night).
'Tis the last home game of the season for the Buffs, and Kyle Ringo tells us that the Buffalo Heart Award is a key part of senior day at Colorado. It goes to “the Buff who demonstrates grit, determination and toughness,” according to the article. Also, how about the Colorado women’s soccer team upsetting BYU to advance to the round of 16, eh?
The Huskies have a battle for third place in the North with the Beavs (7:30 p.m, ESPN2), and at last check, Keith Price’s fate is still in the air for the Oregon State game (as of late last night). A decision should be coming today with respect to who starts at QB (he or Cyler Miles). Also, the Pac-12 has reprimanded Steve Sarkisian for his public comments about officials following the loss to UCLA.
Oregon State will be hosting this one, and Ken Goe of the Oregonian writes that Oregon State’s offense needs to come back to life in order to turn things back around.