Last week, I mentioned that all ten teams in the Pac-10 would be playing, and against each other. The action did not disappoint. Offensive and defensive struggles were fought on the gridiron a few days after Election Day. Some contests were close, as Oregon eked out a victory over Stanford by a touchdown and California only held USC to 17 points (but lost by the score of 17-3). Others were not as close. Oregon State defeated UCLA by a score of 34-6. Arizona State upended Washington 39-19. And Washington State was able to put up 28 points opposite Arizona’s 59.
In week eleven, all ten Pac-10 teams will be playing again. And, as an added bonus, all ten teams will play against each other for the second week in a row. What more could a football fan, especially a Pac-10 fan, ask for? At least one game will be played in California, Arizona and Washington. Two games will be played in Beaver State of Oregon. If you live near Corvallis or Eugene, why not take in a game?
Let’s lead off with the contest in Corvallis. The Oregon State Beavers will host the California Golden Bears at 12:30 PT. Oregon State looks to add to its four game winning streak while California hopes to regroup after its loss to USC. Once again, Beaver tailback Jacquizz Rodgers looks to make it three weeks in a row as the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week. His 144 yard, two touchdown performance will be hard to top. Golden Bear quarterback Nate Longshore only needs one more touchdown pass to reach 50 career touchdown passes. Once that happens, he’ll join the ranks of such luminaries as Kyle Boller and Troy Taylor to reach that half-century mark. And if last year’s game is still in these player’s minds, a 31-28 squeaker by OSU, then we can expect a very exciting game. Look for the game to be played on ABC.
A little later in the day, the Washington State Huskies travel to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe to take on Arizona State. Arizona State is fresh off their victory over Washington while Washington State is still seeking that first Pac-10 win. Sun Devil place kicker Thomas Weber has made seven of his last eight field goals, earning him the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week award. Cougar middle linebacker Greg Trent saw a strong performance against Arizona with ten tackles. That makes his college career total at an even 300 tackles. And believe me when I say that last year’s game is still fresh in everyone’s mind, especially when ASU won by a mere three points (23-20). The gridiron heats up at 3:30 MT (TV still TBD).
The second contest held in Oregon features the Oregon Ducks hosting the Arizona Wildcats in Eugene. Both teams seek to add a second game to their one game win streaks. Wildcat running back Nic Grigsby rushed last week for a career high 189 yards on 27 carries. Duck tailback Jeremiah Johnson has ran back-to-back 100 yard rushing games and seeks to add his third in a row. And Oregon certainly hasn’t forgotten their last meeting, where Arizona removed any hope of a national title in a 34-24 defeat on the Thursday national TV game. Look for the fur and the feathers to start flying at 3:30 PT with coverage provided by FSN Arizona and Comcast NW.
Our lone California hosted game will have the visiting Unviersity of Southern California Trojans traveling to Stanford to face the Cardinals. USC will bring their impressive six game win streak to a Stanford team seeking to bounce back from a one touchdown loss last week. Trojan head coach Pete Carroll will be coaching his 100th game for the Trojans. Stanford, though, has not lost at home yet this season. But USC wants to end that streak after losing to Stanford at home by the thinnest of margins (24-23). 50,003 spectators will see the game start at 4 PT and many more will see it at home on Versus.
Finally, the Washington Huskies will play host to the UCLA Bruins in the confines of Husky Stadium. UCLA hopes to end their two game losing streak while Washington is still seeking their first victory of 2008. Husky tailback Terrance Dailey leads the team in rushing despite only playing five games this season. Bruin Special Team standout Terrence Austin averages 169 all-purpose yards per game on kickoff and punt returns. Their last contest was evenly matched at halftime, but became explosive as UCLA won 44-31. Look for the action to start at 7:15 PT with national coverage provided by FSN.
Also, as college athletics also seeks to honor those who do well in the classroom, we at WFG are happy to report that three Pac-10 players have been named to the 2008 Academic All-District Football Team! Washington State sophomore offensive tackle Micah Hannam has a 3.57 GPA with a major in civil engineering. Arizona State junior outside linebacker Mike Nixon has a 4.0 GPA in political science and Oregon senior defensive end Nick Reed carries a 3.44 GPA in History. Congratulations to these fine young men.