Pac 10 Weekend Recap

Basketball Editor
Posted Sep 25, 2007


The Pac-10 returned to its wild-wild west days as all five winning teams scored at least 44 points. What made things wild is excluding WSU’s 17 points against the Trojans, the other four teams averaged 30.1 points per game in losing efforts. So far, outside of USC, strong defense has been non-existent but that is primarily due to so many Pac-10 senior QBs running sophisticated offenses.

 

CALIFORNIA  45

ARIZONA 27

 

The ‘Cats stopped the Bears on their first drive of the game and then didn’t stop them again until they trailed 28-3.  Cal played the part of the #6 team in the country in controlling the ‘Cats for the better part of the game.  Despite some bright spots here and there for UA, Cal dominated in by jumping out to the huge 1st Quarter lead, and then adding enough points late to leave no doubt who the better team was Saturday.  Arizona QB Tuitama set school records for pass attempts (61) and completions (42), but threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball while being sacked that resulted in a touchdown for Cal.  The real difference in the game though was on the ground where Arizona rushed for only 21 yards on 20 carries as Cal rushed for 186 yards on 38 carries.  Arizona used a short passing game to win the time of possession battle (33:10 to 26:50) but their four turnovers, poor efficiency on third down conversions, and early 25-point deficit proved too much to overcome against a great opponent away from Tucson.  Arizona’s defense struggled for the second straight game as Cal picked apart the ‘Cats down the middle of the field.  Cal QB Longshore connected on several passes over the middle that left Arizona defenders scrambling to make tackles down the field.  For the season, Arizona defenders Nelson (27), Cason (25) and Patrick (24) are third, fourth and fifth on the team in tackles, respectively.  When a team’s secondary is making so many tackles, it’s rarely a good sign. 

 

California Memorial Stadium – 72,516

Field Turf 

 

 

USC  47

WASHINGTON STATE  17

 

USC steamrolled their way to their 35th consecutive home victory in pouncing on the Cougars Saturday night in front of a live national audience.  The Trojans passed for 302 yards and rushed for another 207 again proving that this might be the most balanced USC offense since Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush graduated to the NFL.  QB Booty was impressive, connecting on 28 of 35 pass attempts for 279 yards and 4 TDS.  Back up QB Sanchez picked up where the senior QB left off in completing 2 of 3 for 23 yards.  While certainly impressive, what was most impressive about the Trojans was their defense.  WSU’s prolific passing attack was rendered meaningless by USC’s front seven who constantly pressured Wazzu QB Brink into having to make quick decisions in the passing game.  The result was Brink only throwing for 165 yards while completing 17 of 31 passes.  To make matters worse, USC was equally stifling in the running game where they limited Wazzu’s rushing attack to just 64 carries on 27 attempts.  Like Cal, USC played the role of the better team to perfection and controlled this one from start to finish.

 

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – 92,000

Natural Grass 

 

 

ARIZONA STATE  44

OREGON STATE  32

 

This game seems to be indicative of what Pac-10 fans can expect for the remainder of the season when two evenly matched conference teams go head-to-head.  The Beavers jumped out to a 19-0 lead before the Sun Devils rallied for three scores to close the first half to trail 19-13.  With momentum against them, the Beavers managed to score first in the third quarter to extend their lead back to 26-13.  ASU then exploded offensively in mounting four consecutive TD drives that gave them an insurmountable 41-26 lead.  Sun Devils QB Carpenter threw for 361 yards and 4 TDS while RB Torain provided ASU with a balanced attack by rushing for 91 yards on 26 carries.  Torain rushed for 1 TD and caught two others while compiling another 55 yards in the air.  He, along with Carpenter, proved to be too much of a one-two punch that eventually knocked the Beavers out.  Despite the final score, this was a very winnable game for OSU.  The Beavers threw for 324 yards and rushed for another 190.  The problem was they committed a whopping 6 turnovers, which included 5 INTs by QB Canfield.  Eliminate the turnovers and the Beavers probably eliminate the loss.  All the credit for the turnovers goes to ASU though as their more aggressive, hard hitting defense under Erickson has already forced opponents into committing a total of 11 turnovers this season.

 

Sun Devil Stadium – 71,706

Natural Grass 

 

 

OREGON  55

STANFORD  31

 

Oregon scored the first 14 points of the game and then the last 31 points of the game to actually rally from behind to beat Stanford.  If there was ever a game made for television this one was it.  Leading 21-3 at the end of the 1st Quarter, Oregon saw Stanford rattle off 28 unanswered points to take a 31-21 lead.  The Ducks responded late in the first half by mounting a 6-play, 24-yard drive to kick a field goal with :04 to go to regain some momentum heading into the locker room.  That little bit of momentum proved to be enough of a wake up call for Bellotti’s team as they would go on to outscore Stanford 31-0 in the second half for the runaway victory.  Oregon QB Dixon, who just might be the most unheralded Heisman Trophy candidate in the nation right now, had another stellar game.  The senior QB threw for 367 yards on 27 of 36 passing.  His 4 TDS through the air and 1 TD on the ground raised his season TD total to 15.  Despite now being 0-2 in conference play, Stanford looks much improved under head coach Harbaugh.  The Cardinal competed well against UCLA in their season opener and gave Oregon a serious scare in the second quarter when they outscored them 28-3.  Senior QB Ostrander is having a fine season and unlike last year, the Stanford passing attack is being supported by a strong running game.  On Saturday, Stanford RB Kimble rushed for 119 yards on only 16 carries.  Stanford clearly is not the pushover team they were last year and will most likely find a way to have an impact on who wins the conference title even though it won’t be them in 2007. 

 

Stanford Stadium – 50,000

  Natural Grass

 

 

UCLA  44

WASHINGTON 31

 

What began as a rough and tumble game between two good teams quickly turned into a good old fashioned 4th quarter shootout that saw the teams combine for 41 points in the final 15 minutes.  The difference in the game was during the 3rd quarter when UCLA outscored UW 14-0, coming out of the locker room.  Led by QB Cowan, the Bruins mounted a 13-play, 71-yard TD drive to open the quarter.  The drive took 4:06 off the clock and gave UCLA a 17-10 lead that they would never relinquish.  UW QB Locker suffered some growing pains on Saturday, but still played well and proved again that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in this conference for the next three years.  His main setback came on a well-timed interception by UCLA’s CB Keyes when he raced 60 yards the other way for a score that gave the Bruins a 24-10 edge.  For the game though, Locker threw for 4 TDS and 216 yards in the air.  He added another 92 yards on the ground on 15 carries.  Giving up the big play plagued UW all night.  In the second half, the Bruins scored on Keyes’ 60-yard INT, RB Markey’s 72-yard run, and Slater’s 85-yard kickoff return. 

Rose Bowl – 91,500

  Natural Grass

 

 



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