By ANDREW GARDA - PAC-10 INSIDER
#15 Utah vs Oregon State
The Beavers came into the game giant killers and nearly left with another notch on their belt as Utah needed an 11-point surge in the last minute and a half to avoid USC’s fate. But despite Beaver quarterback Lyle Moevao’s 313 yards and two touchdowns, the Utes sent the Beavers home with a 31-28 loss. Still, it took a late field goal by Utah to win and it is clear that the Beavers are a dangerous team, especially with Jacquizz Rodgers running wild. The Quizz Show dashed for 101 yards and a touchdown against the Utes. Rodgers also added 76 yards receiving, proving that he is much more than just a scintillating runner. The Oregon State defense also came up big with a pair of turnovers and stifled the Utah offense in the third quarter. In the end though, Utah quarterback Brian Johnson was able to lead his team down the field and get kicker Louie Sakoda in position to win the game.
Stanford @ Notre Dame
Stanford offensive tackle Chris Marinelli may want to stop giving press quotes, especially those boasting that his team will "mash" the opposition. The “opposition” sent his Cardinal packing 28-21. Fighting Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen took a big step forward in his development this week with a huge game against the visiting Cardinal, totaling 347 yards and a trio of touchdowns. After building a 28-7 lead in the first three quarters, the Irish had to hold off a late Stanford surge as junior quarterback Tavita Pritchard led the Cardinal offense on two fourth quarter scoring drives, but couldn’t quite overcome the huge deficit. With just eight seconds remaining in the game, Stanford fumbled the ball away, sealing the win for the Irish.
Arizona State @ California
It was bad enough that Arizona State continued its losing streak in California’s Memorial Stadium, losing 24-14. It was bad enough that the run game was once again non-existent, totaling a meager 71 yards. But the worst thing was the once-again-ineffective offensive line finally got quarterback Rudy Carpenter hurt. The very tough Carpenter was seen leaving the stadium on crutches and said he had hurt his left ankle, although he did not disclose when it happened. Carpenter absorbed many hard hits and was limping at the end of the game. For a team about to face USC, losing its only real weapon would be devastating. Nearly as devastating was the loss to the Golden Bears which just about killed the Sun Devils’ chances for a repeat Pac-10 title (ASU shared the title with USC last season). California wasn’t exactly dynamic on offense either, but senior quarterback Nate Longshore threw three touchdowns and freshman Shane Vereen filled in admirably for the injured Jahvid Best, totaling 93 yards on the ground. Defensively, Cal not only stifled the run and kept the pressure on Carpenter and his receivers, but also intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble. The Golden Bears head off to a pretty tough test of their own, facing Arizona in a battle of two teams with perfect conference records.
Washington @ Arizona
At some point, do the woeful Huskies get a Mulligan on the season? Embattled coach Tyrone Willingham could sure use one as Washington got trounced by the Wildcats 48-14. Really, it wasn’t even that close as Arizona running back Nic Grigsby ran for 113 yards and a touchdown and tight end Rob Gronkowski tied a school tight end with three touchdown receptions of his own. Arizona did whatever it wanted on both sides of the ball as it improved to 2-0 in conference play.
#9 USC vs #23 Oregon
For a while, it seemed like USC was about to relive the meltdown in Corvallis all over again. But at 7:47 in the second quarter, Trojan quarterback Mark Sanchez completed a pass to Damian Williams for the first of his three touchdowns and USC rolled to a 44-10 victory. Sanchez, who totaled 341 yards, left briefly after he twisted his knee while being sacked, but returned to the game after backup Mitch Mustain came in for a brief period and looked OK. In post game interviews, Sanchez sounded optimistic that his injury would not hold him out of next week’s game against Arizona State. The Trojans also looked back in terms of defense, limiting the tough running Duck duo of Jeremiah Johnson and LaGarrette Blount to 45 total yards (Blount had 9 carries for 0 yards), and the entire Ducks offense to just 239 yards. The USC defense kept the pressure on Duck quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, keeping the sophomore signal caller and his receivers on their toes.
Washington State @ UCLA
Coach Rick Neuheisel’s Bruins were efficient on both offense and defense and quarterback Kevin Craft continued taking good care of the ball as UCLA took advantage of a staggering Washington State, 28-3. The Cougars were unable to slow the Bruins down, allowing them 325 total yards. Not only did Washington State turn the ball over, they were flagged for 8 penalties totaling 69 yards and could not get anything going on offense at all, achieving only 11 first downs and 177 total yards in the loss.
Photo Credit: Collegiate Images
Monday, October 6, 2008
By ANDREW GARDA - PAC-10 INSIDER