Roundup: Oregon-Michigan State, USC-Stanford highlight the weekend
Saturday is almost here, meaning it’s just about time for the biggest non-conference game of the 2014 college football season. No. 3 Oregon. No. 7 Michigan State. 3:30 p.m. PT on FOX in Eugene. It goes without saying, but Pat Forde reminds us that there is a lot on the line for Oregon Saturday afternoon.
Don’t forget that there is a game with big-time Pac-12 ramifications going down on The Farm Saturday afternoon (12:30 p.m. PT, ABC). Both No. 14 USC and No. 13 Stanford were impressive in their season openers, and Jeff Eisenberg tells us how the USC players are buying into “Steve Sarkisian’s fun-loving style.” Good feature on Sark’s upbringing included.
On the other side of the football, Jon Wilner reminds us that Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan is 10-1 against top 25 opponents. Also, David Lombardi outlines Stanford’s keys to victory against USC (really good stuff).
Oh hey, there was a football game Thursday night. It wasn’t easy, but Arizona held off a pesky UTSA team 26-23 in San Antonio. As Greg Hansen notes, the Wildcats made some big plays on an otherwise up-and-down night to nab the victory, essentially sealing it with Jared Tevis' interception late in the fourth quarter. Cayleb Jones’ touchdown reception on the opening play from scrimmage was one of those big plays.
And oh hey, there’s a football game Friday night in The Biggest Little City in the World between Washington State and Nevada (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN). Need a background storyline on this game? Well Jacob Thorpe has you covered with this gem on Washington State running backs coach Jim Mastro helping former Nevada head coach Chris Ault create the Pistol offense that made Colin Kaepernick famous. BTW Coug fans, if you’re in Reno for this game, do yourself a favor by checking out the buffet at Harrah’s; it doesn’t get better than that.
Cal will look to make it a 2-0 start to the season when it kicks off against Sacramento State at noon (Pac-12 Networks) in its home opener, and Mike Vernon over at the SF Chronicle gives us a scouting report on Sacramento State (shout-out to Ryan Gorcey of Bear Territory as well). Remember, the Hornets have beaten Oregon State and Colorado in the last few years.
Colorado will get the opportunity to right the ship against UMASS on the road (noon PT, ESPN3), and Brian Howell writes that Colorado can’t afford to lose to UMASS. An 0-2 start would really hinder the team’s chances for six wins.
Mason Kelley is no stranger to Washington football, and as the Dawgs get ready for a very dangerous Eastern Washington team (noon PT, Pac-12 Networks), he tells us how a full-time job working in a warehouse for two months this summer was a great learning experience for Washington linebacker John Timu.
As Arizona State gets ready to take on New Mexico in Albuquerque Saturday (4 p.m. PT on CBS Sports Network), Doug Haller reports that Armand Perry will be the third true freshman to start on Arizona State’s defense, with defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood and linebacker D.J. Calhoun being the others.
Great feature by Jack Wang on AJ Pasquale and his job with UCLA football as a recruiting and operations quality control intern. He is the older brother of Nick Pasquale, the former UCLA football player who was killed in a car accident last year. UCLA will look for a 2-0 start when it hosts Memphis Saturday night at 7 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks.
Connor Letourneau gives us a position-by-position breakdown of the Oregon State-Hawai’i game (7:30 p.m. PT, CBS Sports Network). As Washington fans can attest to, these Rainbow Warriors are tough dudes.