This Week In Pac-10 Football
Dec. 2, 2002
ROSES ON THE LINE: One final regular season game remains and a Rose Bowl berth is riding on it. WASHINGTON STATE travels to the Rose Bowl to meet UCLA in a nationally televised game. A win for WSU gives the Cougars a Pac-10 co-championship with USC and the Conference Rose Bowl berth by virtue of defeating the Trojans head-to-head. A UCLA win over Washington State gives the Pac-10 title and the Rose Bowl berth to the Trojans.
WASHINGTON STATE (9-2) at UCLA (7-4) - Sat., Dec. 7, 1:30 PST - ABC national telecast - The Series: UCLA and Washington State have met 48 times dating to 1928 with the Bruins leading the series 34-13-1. The series has been very close of late as the Cougars have won four of the last six and the teams have split the last 12. UCLA leads 20-6 in home games and 6-2 in games played at the Rose Bowl, including the last two. . . . Last Year: Two Top 20 teams met at Pullman as UCLA entered the game 6-1 with Washington State at 7-1. The game turned into a mighty defensive struggle with the Cougars prevailing 20-14. The two teams combined for just 25 first downs and 501 yards total offense and managed just one offensive touchdown each. WSU CB Lamont Thompson intercepted a Pac-10-record four passes, including three in the fourth quarter to shut the door on any UCLA comeback hopes. The Cougar defense contributed what proved to be the winning score when DE Fred Shavies forced a fumble that LB Al Genatone returned 73 yards for a TD. The UCLA defense had its moments, as well, intercepting three passes themselves, including one returned for a score by S Ben Emanuel.
THE RACE: The Pac-10 representative to the Rose Bowl will be determined Sat., Dec. 7, when Washington State heads to Pasadena to play UCLA in a game the Cougars hope will be a dress rehearsal for Jan. 1. A win for Washington State would give the Cougs a tie and Pac-10 co-championship with USC, with WSU getting the Rose Bowl berth by virtue of an overtime win against the Trojans earlier this year. USC will be in the unfamiliar position of rooting for UCLA, as a Washington State loss to the Bruins would give the Trojans the Pac-10 title outright and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Should Washington State gain the Rose Bowl berth, USC would still be eligible for at-large selection to another BCS berth.
PAC-10 BOWL ARRANGEMENTS: The Pac-10 has contractual agreements with six post-season bowl games. Following are the Pac-10 bowl partners:
Rose Champion Big 10 Champion Wed., Jan. 1 Pasadena ABCPacific Life Holiday Pac-10 #2 Big 12 Fri., Dec. 27 San Diego ESPNWells Fargo Sun Pac-10 #3 Big Ten Tue., Dec. 31 El Paso CBSInsight Pac-10 #4 Big East Thu., Dec. 26 Phoenix ESPNSega Las Vegas Pac-10 #5 Mountain West Wed., Dec. 25 Las Vegas ESPNSilicon Valley Pac-10 #6 WAC Tue., Dec. 31 San Jose ESPN2
OTHER BOWL SELECTION PROCEDURES: Contractual arrangements with the Pac-10's bowl partners after the Rose Bowl call for the bowls to receive teams in the order of their finish in the final Pac-10 Conference standings. Where there is a tie in the standings, the bowl may select from among the tied teams.
2002 PAC-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Aug. 31 Carson Palmer, QB, USC Will Derting, OLB, WSU Michael Jollivette, CB, ARIZSep. 7 Reggie Williams, WR, WASH Brandon Chillar, OLB, UCLA Hakim Hill, RS, ASUSep. 14 Kyle Boller, QB, CAL Troy Polamalu, SS, USC Jemeel Powell, PR, CALSep. 21 Steven Jackson, TB, OSU Marquis Cooper, ILB, WASH Mark Jensen, PK, CALSep. 28 Jason Gesser, QB, WSU Omar Nazel, DE, USC Ryan Killeen, PK, USCOct. 5 Kyle Boller, QB, CAL Marcus Reese, MLB, UCLA Drew Dunning, PK, WSUOct. 12 Sultan McCullough, TB, USC Josh Amobi, LB, ASU Keenan Howry, RS, OREOct. 19 Andrew Walter, QB, ASU Tom Canada, DE, CAL Mike Barth, PK, ASUOct. 26 Carson Palmer, QB, USC Terrell Suggs, DE, ASU Nate Fikse, PK/P, UCLANov. 2 Jerome Riley, WR, WSU Dave Ball, DE, UCLA Jared Siegel, PK, ORENov. 9 Kyle Boller, QB, CAL Derrick Johnson, CB, WASH Kyle Basler, P, WSUNov. 17 Jason Johnson, QB, ARIZ Derrick Johnson, CB, WASH Kirk Yliniemi, PK, OSUNov. 23 Carson Palmer, QB, USC Kai Ellis, DE, WASH John Anderson, PK, WASH
OUT OF OUR LEAGUE: The Pac-10 concluded the regular season at 30-10 (.750) against non-conference foes, including a 25-10 (.714) against Division I-A opponents. Of the 10 losses Pac-10 teams suffered, six were on the road to teams that were ranked in the Top 25. The 30 non-conference wins is the most since the league went 38-4-2 in 1933.
CURRENT STREAKS: Longest overall winning streak - 7 games - USC Longest Conference-game winning streak - 6 games - USC Longest home winning streak - 9 games - USC Longest road winning streak - 3 games - USC and Washington State
THE WINNERS: Teams with the best records over the last two seasons (2001-02):
23-0 Miami 21-4 Oklahoma 21-4 Texas 19-4 Washington State
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE??: Through 39 Conference games this season, the home team holds a slim 20-19 advantage.
THE PASSERS: There have been a total of 36 300-yard passing days in the Pac-10 this season, including 13 400-yard days and one 500-yard performance.
THE RECEIVERS: Three impressive streaks are in progress as a trio of Pac-10 receivers have long runs of consecutive games catching a pass going. Keenan Howry of Oregon and Kareem Kelly of USC are the current national leaders with a Pac-10 record 47 straight games and Bobby Wade of Arizona is concluded his career with 43 straight. Here is the updated list:
47 Keenan Howry, Oregon - Pac-10 record 47 Kareem Kelly, USC - Pac-10 record 43 Bobby Wade, Arizona
UCLA: True freshmen Drew Olson and Matt Moore continue to handle the bulk of UCLA's quarterbacking chores. In the last four games, the pair has only been picked off one time in 94 pass attempts. . . . P/PK Nate Fikse has made 10 consecutive field goals while still maintaining a splendid 41.3-yard average on punts. He also handles kickoffs for the Bruins. . . .49 receptions by WR Craig Bragg is most ever for a Bruin sophomore in a season. . . . Bruins had a league-low 14 turnovers through first 10 games, but were victimized by five, including four lost fumbles, in loss to SC. . . . TB Tyler Ebell needs 56 yards to become just the third freshman in Pac-10 history to rush for 1,000 yards (Stanford's Darrin Nelson and OSU's Ken Simonton are the others).
WASHINGTON STATE: Cougars need a win at the Rose Bowl to get to the Rose Bowl. . . . WSU has 23 QB sacks in its last four games and leads the Pac-10 with 48. Cougs have more than doubled up their opponents by allowing just 23 sacks. . . . Coug defense has allowed just 99 yards rushing the last four games. . . . With 10 touchdown receptions, WR Devard Darling is just one short of the WSU single-season record. . . . With 99 points, PK Drew Dunning needs just six points to break Steve Broussard's WSU scoring record of 104 set in 1989. Dunning was 4-of-5 on field goal attempts in triple OT loss to UW last week. . . . With 20 tackles for loss, DT Rien Long is two shy of the WSU season mark of 22 by DeWayne Patterson in 1993.