Roundup: Booker, Utah ready to make a run at Pac-12 South
Some game last night, huh? It took a couple of overtimes and may or may not have kept you up past your bedtime on a weeknight, but the Utes outlasted Oregon State 29-23 in large thanks to Utah running back Devontae Booker’s 229-yard, three-touchdown performance. But let’s also give some love to that Utah defense, as the Salt Lake Tribune does here, because it stood its ground in overtime (and most of the game). Finally, Lindsay Schnell of SI.com says that Utah is ready to make a run in the Pac-12 South thanks to Devontae Booker. I’m pretty sure if you look up “boss” in the dictionary, the definition would be “Utah No. 23.”
On the other sideline, missed opportunities doomed Oregon State, writes Gina Mizell. From the turnovers the Beavers forced that didn’t result in trips to the end zone to a missed field goal in overtime (and some other stuff in between), the Beavs left some points on the board.
Looking forward to Saturday, the nightcap is a juicy one – a rematch of last year’s Pac-12 Football Championship Game between Stanford and Arizona State in Tempe (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN). On the Arizona State side of things, Doug Haller asks his readers if Jaelen Strong will be the best receiver in Arizona State history. NFL draft wizard Mel Kiper Jr. lists Strong as the No. 2 wide receiver prospect.
As the Cardinal prepares to try to make it three wins in two years against the Forks, Ivan Maisel of ESPN writes that Stanford is trying to find the right balance offensively.
The Ducks and Huskies get the primetime treatment from FOX Sports 1 (5 p.m. PT), and David Fox (no relation) of Athlon Sports believes that the Shaq Thompson-Marcus Mariota matchup has Heisman potential, so that should fun to watch.
And here’s a link that's NSFW (not safe for Washington fans) – Andrew Greif of The Oregonian describes how “The Pick” changed the Oregon football program.
A battle of 4-2 California teams will go down at 12:30 p.m. on ABC/ESPN2 when Cal welcomes UCLA to Strawberry Canyon, and Mike Vernon of the SF Chronicle discusses what Cal needs to do to “regain its edge” on offense.
There are still offensive line questions for UCLA heading into the Cal game, writes Everett Cook of the Los Angeles Times.
With Colorado on the horizon (3 p.m. PT/4 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks), USC football coach Steve Sarkisian hopes his high-profile players make smart decisions when it comes to entering the NFL draft or returning to USC (courtesy of Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times).
If the Buffs want to win their first game against the Trojans (0-8 all time), a healthy running game will be key for Colorado. Boston College rushed for 452 yards against USC, but the Trojans allowed just 2.3 yards per carry to opponents in the three games since.
No Arizona football game this weekend, so be sure to check out the Arizona basketball Red-Blue game Saturday on the Pac-12 Networks at 7:30 p.m. PT. J.B. Long (go Bells) and Don MacLean on the call (tape delayed; will air after Colorado-USC).
During the bye week, Washington State football is going back to the basics, writes Jacob Thorpe.