Roundup: UCLA makes a statement
What looked like a potential classic through 29 minutes turned into a good ole’-fashioned beatdown as UCLA thumped Arizona State 62-27 Thursday night in the desert (those are the highlights). Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports writes that the Pac-12 and the rest of the nation need to take notice on UCLA with a healthy Brett Hundley. The Bruins’ QB finished the night with 355 yards passing, 72 yards rushing and five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing).
Not a whole lot went right for the Sun Devils after the second quarter, and tackling was a big issue for Arizona State, writes Andrew Joseph of The Arizona Republic.
Let’s now turn our attention to a weekend full of conference matchups. We’ll get things started with a sneaky-good bout between Colorado and Cal in Berkeley (1 p.m. PT/2 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks), and Kevin Gemmell is here to inform us that Colorado wide receiver Nelson Spruce is off to a record-setting start. Dude leads the nation with seven TD receptions; he's also third in the nation in receiving yards (518) and receptions (24). His streak of six straight games with a receiving touchdown is the longest streak in the country.
The Golden Bears will look to triple their win total from 2013 Saturday, and while Cal quarterback Jared Goff might not be putting up super-gaudy numbers like he did last year, Mike Vernon of the San Francisco Chronicle says Goff is a better quarterback this year.
Not more than 15 minutes after Colorado and Cal get started will we have a kickoff in Seattle between 16th-ranked Stanford and undefeated Washington (1:15 p.m. PT, FOX). Nice article from Kyle Bonagura on David Shaw and Chris Petersen sharing a mentoring role to current Boise State offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, who was the QBs coach for the Cardinal last year and played at Boise State under Petersen. Also, Dave Fowkes of The Bootleg writes about how communication will be key to the Stanford offensive line in a loud and hostile environment Saturday afternoon.
The Huskies will try to win their second straight at home against Stanford, and it will help if Washington punt returner Dante Pettis continues to cash in on his big-play potential. The freshman, who is also listed as a wide receiver, returned four punts for 98 yards last weekend against Georgia State and leads the Pac-12 with 149 punt return yards entering the weekend.
Really intriguing matchup in the SLC between the Cougs and Utes (5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks), so the Salt Lake Tribune gives us a Washington State-Utah game preview by breaking it down position-by-position. Brennan Smith (the author of the article) predicts a 41-35 win for Utah.
On the other side of the field, Washington State’s young defensive backs have been making an impact for the Cougars; freshman safety Sulaiman Hameed in particular.
Saturday's nightcap takes us to Troy, where USC will battle Oregon State in the Coliseum (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN). Arash Markazi of ESPN ponders whether or not the USC defense has learned its lesson from giving up 452 rushing yards to Boston College.
Hath been 54 years since Oregon State beat USC on the road, but Gina Mizell got members of the 1960 Oregon State football team to talk about beating them at the Coliseum. She also relives other Oregon State victories over the Trojans with players and coaches who were a part of those games. Get the good juices a-flowin’, Beavers fan!
Steve Rivera of FOX Sports Arizona features Arizona linebacker Tra’Mayne Bondurant, who entered fall camp out of shape due to family and personal issues but has worked his way back on to the field and made some big plays against Cal last week.
No football this weekend for the Ducks, but Oregon women’s soccer beat Washington 1-0 in extra time Thursday night, getting a goal from Kira Wagoner in the 104th minute. ‘Twas the conference opener for both teams.
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