Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pac Ten Alley

It was a fantastic weekend for college football out West. The USC/Washington, and Oregon/Cal games incredible if your team happened to be on the right side of the scoreboard at games end. This week Washington, and California have bye's while the rest of the conference will be buckling up their chin straps.

It's time again to take a walk down the coast to see what our neighbors are up to.

Arizona State gets ready to play WSU as Bill Doba makes some strange comments.

“Arizona, I said … is the second- or third-best team in the conference. I still hold true to that,” Doba said. “They are talented – I think more than the team we’re facing this week [ASU]. ”That's right, we're playing them this week. Bulletin board, anyone? In case you've been hiding in a deep hole, Arizona State is 5-0 and ranked 18th nationally. UA beat Washington State last week, and proud we are of all of them, but it was their first victory over a D1 opponent this season. This isn't just a pot shot at ASU either, Doba's insinuating that Arizona is better than Cal and/or Oregon as well.

My sympathy to Michael Wines...the best team lost in Eugene on Saturday.

It was a fantastic day at Autzen yesterday, at least until the last few seconds of the 4th quarter. A fumble through the Cal end zone by Colvin ended Oregon's undefeated streak. We had our chances but turnovers cost us this game. We spent the entire day at the stadium. First was the Gameday show with thousands of fans turning out. Corso didn't let us down either as he put on the Duck head. Next came the tailgater with lots of friends showing up.

Air Zona? How about just calling them a very poor team that beat another very poor team.

Enough already about the name “Air Zona.” The University of Arizona’s offense is deserving of praise, and is worthy of serious consideration for the most improved unit in the country award, if there was such a thing. Deserving of a name? That is crazy. How many offenses across the country have nicknames? Very few. How many defenses across the country have nicknames? Very few.

Stanford has played with a lot of heart this year, now they get to play USC without their QB which saves Sneaky Pete Carroll the trouble of calling a cheap shot to put him out of the game.

Stanford was a 38-point underdog this week at USC before quarterback T.C. Ostrander was declared out because of a seizure. Now the 1-3 Cardinal — and its epically bad defense (47 ppg allowed in league play) — must head to the Coliseum to face No. 2 USC with sophomore Tavita Pritchard at quarterback. He has thrown three collegiate passes.

Oregon State is struggling despite showing some good things here and there.

The secondary did a great job shutting down the Bruins for most of the game, with the exception a screen pass Brandon Breazell broke for 69 yards and a Bruin touchdown in the fourth quarter. From there, the team disintegrated in every way possible. But how can you point your finger at the defense. The offense couldn't put a drive together after the first quarter. During the second half, I felt we had a better chance to intercept a pass and run it for a touchdown than we did to score one on offense. Which is really sad, if you ask me. The defense brought their A game today, and the offense did not. When you ask a defense to win a game with little help from the offense, you are not going to be successful. I've always thought that in order to have a shot to win a game, you have to win two thirds. We won on defense, but then lost the game on offense and special teams. The goal is obviously to win all three thirds, the whole game, but we can't continue to rely on our defense.

California's DeSean Jackson had a great game against Oregon.

“DeSean Jackson is one of four nominees for the AT&T All-America Player of the Week award, and now it’s up to the fans to determine the winner. Jackson joins University of Illinois wide receiver Arrelious Benn, University of Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson and University of Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill on the ballot list, which was selected by ESPN based on the players’ outstanding performances during the week. Fans can determine the winner by text messaging VOTE to 87654 on their wireless phone.”

Note to Brinkhater, it isn't Brink, it is your defense.

Ready or not, Alex Brink is going to break Jason Gesser's passing record, and there's a real chance he'll do it this weekend. He's now a mere 276 yards away from Gesser. Talk about a surreal scene if, say, sometime in the 4th quarter when we're down 42-16, an announcement comes over the PA that Alex Brink has now passed the Cougar legend. What do you think the crowd will do when that happens?

Hawaii has faith in their defense.

Contrary to popular belief, Jones said the 16th-ranked Warriors (5-0, 2-0 Western Athletic Conference) was the best defensive team in his nine seasons at Hawaii.“I have believed forever, that if you can take the ball away on defense and run our offense, you're going to win a lot of games,” he said.

The Syracuse Blog thinks the Orange may win another game or two.

All is not lost. They certainly look like a better offense than what we saw in that Washington game at least. While much still remains to be desired, at least I do think we can win another game.

Boise faces New Mexico State this week.

Two pretty different teams will meet up Sunday at Bronco Stadium in the conference-opener for both Boise State and New Mexico State. The Broncos have put together two straight wins and have been backed by a very good defense. The offense came around in the Southern Miss victory with more than 500 yards. The Aggies, on the other hand, gave up 55 points to Auburn two weeks ago, and needed a last-second field goal to beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday.

Ohio State has a tough game coming up with Purdue this week.

No. 23 Purdue is 5-0 and ranked for the first time in two years. The Buckeyes are the highest-ranked team to visit Ross-Ade Stadium since they came in No. 3 in 2002 and escaped with a 10-6 win thanks to Craig Krenzel's 37-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins with 1:36 left.

UCLA is starting to get some players back.

UCLA's offensive line is on the verge of getting a little stronger, as guard Shannon Tevaga will probably be available for Saturday's game against Notre Dame.Tevaga, considered the Bruins' best offensive lineman, suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee against Utah on Sept. 15. He went through practice, including contact drills, on Tuesday and seemed itching to return. "I feel good, I feel strong," Tevaga said. "The rehab was a tougher one and it made me stronger. The things they laid out for me were real hard because I told them I wanted to come back as soon as possible. Physically, I should be ready to go. It's up to the coaches."

Jake Locker wasn't the only player who came out of the USC/Washington game a little sore. Washington may have lost on the scoreboard, but they physically put the hurt on USC.

Freshman center Kris O’Dowd (dislocated kneecap) will be out several weeks. Good thing for the Trojans that starter Matt Spanos, who tore his triceps in training camp, is back. *Guard Chilo Rachal (sprained knee) could miss several weeks; he was hurt on the same play as O’Dowd. Rachal’s replacement, Alatini Malu, is also hurt (hamstring). Good thing for the Trojans that former four-star recruit Zack Heberer is available. * Tailback Stafon Johnson (bruised foot) might not play this week, joining C.J. Gable (strained groin) on the injured tailback list. Good thing for the Trojans that they have 27 Parade All-Americans waiting in the wings. Chauncey Washington will start against Stanford, with Joe McKnight – the No. 1 recruiting in the country last year — available in relief. * Cornerback Shareece Wright (hamstring) might be out this week. Good thing for the Trojans that Opening Day starter Cary Harris (shoulder) could return.
* Linebacker Brian Cushing (ankle) might not play, either. Good thing for the Trojans that Thomas Williams (college choices: USC, Miami and Nebraska) is available.


prrbrr said...

1.Furd starting QB out, rookie QB in, Harbaughs earlier comments on Pete, USC smarting after the close UW game. I am having a difficult time on this one, margin of rout not winner.
2. OreSt, Stroughter questionable, Canfield not good, even the wrong Stoops cant blow this one.
3. The return of DE with a bunch of believers. Possible team dissension at WSU. Much sweeter when we knock off an undefeated ASU at their house.
4. Light Blue versus Navy blue both with gold helmets. The winner is which UCLA team shows up. I think it will be the one that played UW.
5. Ryan Bush's departure is no loss, would probably not gotten his 5th year. Warning signs earlier when he was running steps after Cuse. That just about completes Gilby's grade as a recruiter with this class: Ashby, Bankhead, Flowers, Henry, Sanders, all quit/flunked out. Add in Okoebor, Tuiasosopo, Goodrum 1 hurt, 2 no shows and what a class. No question in my mind why TWs hill to climb was very steep.

Health Insurance Expert said...

1. Stanford will fight, but it won't be close at all. An injured USC can still pound Stanford. If they were playing Cal, or Oregon this week they might be in trouble.

2. OSU is due for a win. OSU has a good defense believe it or not.

3. This team scares me, meaning ASU. They also have had nothing but cupcakes so far.

4. UCLA will kill Notre Dame.

5. Bush probably wouldn't have gotten the 5th year. Gilby's two years were a complete disaster in every way possible. His first class, and Ty's first which was the result of Gilby is what is holding this program back, it is also why I think we are two recruiting classes away from full strength. I always said it would take five years regardless of who the coach was.

hairofthedawg said...

5. Both of you make good points about the effect of Gilbertson's classes on the current state of the team. The positive about it is that we're seeing early what kind of player the current coach(es) like to recruit. I like what a lot of the young guys are doing.

Health Insurance Expert said...

This is what is left of Gilby's first, and only class. Only 10 left, out of 23 who originally signed.

TE Kirton Jr, OT Bulyca Jr, FB Kravitz Jr, DT Lobos Sr, OG White-Frisbee Jr, DE Rayford Sr, DE Gunheim Sr, TE Winter Jr, LB Tuiasosopo Jr, LB Howell Sr, S Harris Jr, S Forrester Jr.

You have back to back classes like this one, and the one that came immediately after, and it will break the back of your program.

TB Hasty So, OL Rosborough So, OT Ossai So, De Teo-Nesheim So, DE Jones So, LB Savannah So, LB Stevens Jr, K Perkins So.

This is a very young program, and with two more Ty recruiting classes we have the chance to be pretty good again. Right now they are playing with one arm tied behind their back.