Saturday, August 19, 2006

This week from The Pac Ten and Opponent blogs

Once again we take our weekly look at the blogs around the conference for the latest information on our coming opponents.

Arizona State

The offense seemed to pick up right where they left off last year. Guess that should be expected, though, when you have two QB's like Keller and Carpenter leading the way. At first glance, guys like Ryan McFoy, Dimitri Nance, Lance Evbuomwan and the linebacking group of Jamarr Robinson, Gerald Munns, Travis Goethel, Jeff Bereuter and Garrett Judah really grab your attention. However, it was very apparent by the end of the night that this is a strong recruiting class the Sun Devils brought in and there will be some major contributors from this group before it's all said and done.


If the UA football team won the BCS championship this season, would anyone even notice?
Humor me. The UA blog once again proves the hallucinogenics are still the rage in Tuscon.


Obviously a work in progress, Cal's first-team offense sputtered a bit during Thursday's scrimmage when it was facing what could become one of the nation's best defenses. "I thought we did real well," Cal inside linebacker Desmond Bishop said of his unit's play. "This is what we are working so hard for. "But we also have to respect that 'The Man' wasn't in the backfield." The Man at Cal these days is junior tailback Marshawn Lynch, who was deemed far too valuable by coach Jeff Tedford to put at risk during a scrimmage. "There is no need for him to play," Tedford said. "He has been practicing so well and so hard."


With the season opener two weeks away, Stanford's secondary remains a work in progress. Senior Brandon Harrison, who has started 22 consecutive games at strong safety, has played some cornerback during camp because the team wants its best four defensive backs on the field.


The weekend begins with today's 11 a.m. scrimmage at Drake Stadium, and concludes with a day of coaches' meetings and evaluations as UCLA moves toward solidifying its two-deep for the season opener in two weeks. Bruins coach Karl Dorrell has consistently described the battle between Olson and Cowan as "competitive." Although it is widely believed Olson has the edge, Dorrell will not elaborate on which player has the upper hand, and reps have been split evenly.

Southern California

The Trojans held a closed scrimmage on Thursday night at the Coliseum and we saw a solid display by a defense that was flying to the ball and an offense that was led by the ground game which relied heavily on freshman legs.

I came in to this scrimmage hoping to see a good night from John David Booty and he got things started right by leading his team to a touchdown on the opening drive. His first throw was a 17 yard completion to Patrick Turner, not a bad way to start. Allen Bradford had a short run and then Booty missed Fred Davis with a short pass. Booty came right back to Davis with a short pass and Fred rambled for 22 yards before Thomas Williams came over with a hard tackle (does Thomas make any other kind of tackle?). Booty then faked a handoff right and rolled left to hit Chris McFoy for seven yards. C.J. Gable added a 12 yard run. Booty threw an out pattern to Steve Smith that seemed to hang in the air but Taylor Mays was unable to reach the ball and Steve pulled it in to put the ball inside the five yard line. Booth overthrew Turner in the end zone, a Bradford run gained two with a tackle by Maiava and then Michael Coleman punched it in for the touchdown.

Oregon State

Look for Yvenson Bernard to continue to improve throughout this year, and for Clinton and Patrick to also earn considerable playing time. The running game is going to play an even bigger role in the offense than last year, to make up for lost yards in the passing game. Short yardage situations should be much easier, as tight end Joe Newton is back in the line-up, and Yvenson Bernard continues to improve.


The safety positions promise to be one of the team’s strengths with the return of 12-game starters J.D. Nelson at free safety and Patrick Chung at rover. Nelson serves at the heart of the defense after recordng 64 tackles in 2005 as a second-year starter. The second-team all-conference pick is deemed as one to watch for consideration for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defender.

Washington State

Doba mentioned that young Andy Mattingly continues to impress, with a 57-yd INT last night, that he said per Cougfan: "If he continues to improve, we probably won't redshirt him," Doba said of Mattingly. "We'll go ahead and put him on special teams, and get him some playing time." I'm not wild about burning his redshirt for special teams play, but in this day and age, freshman are somewhat important. Gone are the days of redshirting entire classes, especially at a place like WSU where, as we know, depth is always going to be an issue.


Oklahoma's Reggie Smith was a defensive standout last season and he's already solidified himself as the Sooners' kick returner this preseason. There's only one area left for him to conquer. This week the Sooner coaching staff is giving the cornerback a chance to go for football's hat trick, working the sophomore from Edmond Santa Fe at wide receiver.

Fresno State

The QB position is still unsettled.

I know many of you are avid Brandstater supporters and that makes complete sense since he is looked at as the next great Fresno State quarterback. Unfortunately I view Brandstater as another Pinegar. Before everyone decides to jump on my case for making this statement hear me out..... .

San Jose State

QB Sean Flynn -- A junior college transfer from Los Angeles Harbor College, he was impressive enough this spring to vault over incumbent Adam Tafralis as the starter. He's more accurate than Tafralis and even has a little mobility in the pocket. SJSU coaches believe ther offense is much faster than Washington's defense.

No comments: