Pac-12 Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
ARIZONA: It was a shootout in the desert for Arizona in game two of the season as the Wildcats ran up a 59-38 victory over No. 18 Oklahoma State, the same team that poured on 84 points the previous weekend against Savannah State. It was the most points scored in a game by an Arizona squad since 2008, as the win put the Wildcats into the top-25. The Wildcats seemed to click with first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez's offensive scheme this week as the squad racked up 501 total yards including 320 through the air. Rodriguez has been very complimentary of quarterback Matt Scott since taking over the program and his confidence was rewarded, as Scott threw for 320 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 28-of-41 passing. However the real star of the game was running back Ka'Deem Carey. The sophomore piled up 126 yards on 26 carries and scored four touchdowns (one receiving) in a monster game. The 24 points he accounted for is tied for the third most by a single player in school history. The Wildcat defense did not shut down the prolific Oklahoma State offense, allowing 636 total yards, but was opportunistic, forcing four turnovers, including three interceptions to keep the Cowboys in check. Arizona will finish its current three-game homestand with a date against South Carolina State next weekend.
ARIZONA STATE: Like its instate rivals, Arizona State had no problem on offense, as the Sun Devils posted a 45-14 victory over Illinois in week two. The win was a bit of payback from last season when the Sun Devils lost 17-14 on the road to the Illini. The win makes Arizona State 16-14 all-time against current Big Ten teams and 13-4 at home against such competition. The win also marked the second win of the season for first-year head coach Todd Graham, who is the seventh Sun Devil coach to begin his career 2-0. Graham has placed an emphasis on discipline at Arizona State which was evident in the game as the Sun Devils were penalized just once. Tight end Chris Coyle was the offensive star of the game with 10 receptions for 131 yards and two scores. It was the second-highest receiving total by an Arizona State tight end and the most since 1999. Taylor Kelly improved on his week one performance by completing 18-of-24 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown in the game. The offense was constantly in the red zone and converted 7-of-9 attempts on the day. The defense was also impressive in creating pressure with six sacks as a team. The unit was without linebacker Brandon Magee, who was sidelined for the game due to concussion-like symptoms. Up next for the Sun Devils is a game that should feature a whole bunch of offense as Todd Graham and company travel to face Missouri.
CALIFORNIA: California's homecoming to Memorial Stadium was spoiled last week with a loss to Nevada, but the Golden Bears made up for it this past weekend with a 50-31 win over Southern Utah. It wasn't a particularly promising start for the Bears though, who were held scoreless through the first quarter before erupting for 17 points in the second period. The Golden Bears also failed to score in the third quarter and then put up 30 points in the final frame to secure the win. The scoring barrage was highlighted by a 61-yard interception return by MArc Anthony and a 69-yard punt return by Keenan Allen. Allen also caught a touchdown pass in the quarter and finished with five receptions for 69 yards in the game. The junior has now caught at least one pass in 26 straight games. Iso Sofele led a Bears rushing attack that compiled 289 yards and three scores with 104 yards and a score of his own. Zach Maynard completed 17-of-23 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown in the game to lead the team's 518-yard offensive surge. California was just 5-for-11 on third down attempts in the game but was a perfect 5-for-5 on its trips to the red zone. The Bears have quite a test scheduled for next week when they take on Ohio State at Ohio Stadium.
COLORADO: Things are just getting worse for Colorado this season as the Buffaloes were stunned by FCS opponent Sacramento State 30-28 on Saturday a week after a 22-17 loss to in-state rival Colorado State. The Buffaloes are now 1-2 all-time against FCS opponents with the last contest a loss at home to Montana State in 2006;. Colorado was out gained by a 366-341 margin in the game and had only 188 yards passing. Running back Christian Powell was called upon to carry the ball for much of the game in his first start as he racked up 147 yards on 28 carries including three scores. Powell is the first freshmen to rush for 100 or more yards since 2008 and was the most by a first- year player since 1994. Quarterback Jordan Webb had another tough outing, completing just half (12-of-24) of his pass attempts for 160 yards. Although he completed passes to nine different receivers, no pass-catcher stood out with four players tied for the team lead with a pair of receptions. Colorado will have to yet again try to shake off a difficult loss in time for next week's matchup on the road against Fresno State.
OREGON: The Oregon Ducks continued their torrid offensive pace from week one with a 42-25 victory over Fresno State in the second weekend of the season. The Ducks piled up 532 total yards and are now ranked second in the Pac-12 in yards-per-game at 568.5. That mark is also good enough for eighth nationally. After De'Anthony Thomas erupted last week, it was Kenjon Barner's turn to take the offensive spotlight. The senior running back racked up 201 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Thomas excelled as well, rushing for 102 yards and two scores on just seven carries and also led the team in receiving (four receptions, 26 yards). As a team the Ducks piled up 366 yards on the ground with the addition of 67 yards from freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota. The dual-threat signal caller also completed 19-of-27 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. The Ducks were without All-American safety John Boyett, who will miss the remainder of the season and have surgery on both knees. Next up for Chip Kelly's squad is a home game against Tennessee Tech before opening Pac-12 conference play in week four.
OREGON STATE: Other than ULM's improbable win over then No.8 Arkansas, Oregon State may have had the biggest upset of the weekend with a 10-7 victory over then No. 13 Wisconsin. It was the Beavers' first win over a ranked opponent since 2010. The defense was the key in the win as the unit held Wisconsin scoreless until just 1:31 remained in regulation. Overall the Beavers held the Badgers to just 207 total yards including a minuscule 35 yards rushing. The effort was particularly impressive considering Heisman-candidate Montee Ball leads the Badger's backfield. Three sacks of Wisconsin quarterback Danny O'Brien for -35 yards accounted to take off a huge chunk of the Badger's offensive effort.The Beavers also stopped Wisconsin consistently on third down as the BAdgers managed only 2-of-14 conversions. On offense Oregon State was lead by quarterback Sean Mannion who completed 29-for-47 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown. Markus Wheaton (87 yards) and Brandin Cooks (80, TD) each had solid games catching the ball. Oregon State begins a tough stretch in it's next two games, which are both against Pac-12 opponents. The first is a road trip to face UCLA followed by another road contest against Arizona.
STANFORD: The demise of the Stanford Cardinal was greatly exaggerated. After barely escaping with a 20-17 win over San Jose State in the first game of the season Stanford almost dropped off the top-25 rankings but after a 50-13 out of Duke the Cardinal look to be back on track. Stanford is now 25-3 at home since the beginning of the 2007 season. The Cardinal's defense was punishing against the Duke running game in the contest holding the Blue Devils to just 27 yards on 23 carries for a 1.2 yards-per-carry average. Duke did end with 358 yards passing but that was largely due to the team playing from behind most of the game. The pass defense did take advantage of Duke mistakes, collecting three interceptions, two of which were snagged by Ed Reynolds. Offensively speaking Stanford didn't do anything sensational, ending with 373 total yards. Josh Nunes had a bounce-back game after struggling in his first start last week. He threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns on 16-of-30 passing. Stepfan Taylor had only 69 yards on the ground but did score a touchdown in the game. Drew Terrell had a receiving touchdown and also returned a punt for a score. Stanford can't take too much time to celebrate this win with a huge home matchup against No. 2 USC next weekend.
UCLA: The Bruins broke into the top-25 with another big win, this time a 36-30 of then No. 17 Nebraska. The Bruins moved into the No. 22 slot in the weekly rankings that were released Sunday. In the win the Bruins piled up 653 total yards, giving them at least 500 yards for the second straight week. It is the first time the Bruins have accomplished that feat since 1998. Jim Mora's squad relied on a balanced attack with 344 yards on the ground and 309 through the air. Leading the mammoth performance in the rushing game was Johnathan Franklin, who had his third career 200-yard performance (217 yards) but it was Brett Hundley (21-for-33, 305 yards) who lit up the scoreboard the most with four touchdown passes. It was only the ninth 300-yard passing game by a first-year player in UCLA history. UCLA's defense was solid, especially on third down, holding the Cornhuskers to just 1-for-11. Datone Jones had only three tackles in the game but made the most of them with all three for loss including a safety in the fourth quarter. UCLA will try to keep its spot in the national rankings when the Bruins host Houston.
USC: Despite a strong effort from an upstart Syracuse squad and a massive rain storm, the USC Trojans stayed perfect in week two with a 42-29 win in East Rutherford. Although he threw for only 187 yards, Matt Barkley still had an impressive day as he tossed six touchdown passes. Five of those scores went to Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. The wideout tandem have clearly shown how dynamic they can be together in the first two weeks of the season. Lee scored three different times in the win and led the team with 11 receptions. Woods caught one less pass (10 receptions) but had a team-high 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Woods also got involved in the run game with a 76-yard rush. Slas Redd had a solid performance on the ground for the Trojans, rushing for 107 yards on 15 attempts. The defense struggled to stop the Orange offense in the game allowing 455 total yards but made big plays on two interceptions to keep Syracuse from making it an even tighter game. Both interceptions were made by Dion Bailey, who also tied for the team lead with eight tackles. The Pac-12 schedule gets underway for the Trojans next with a matchup against Stanford.
UTAH: Not every instate rivalry lives up to the hype but Utah's battle with Utah State certainly did. Unfortunately for the Utes the thrilling finish ended in favor of the Aggies who pulled out the 27-20 overtime victory. Utah thought it had forced a second overtime after Utah State began with a touchdown, but Jake Murphy's scoring reception was called back after the he was called for pass interference. Utah was unable to score after the penalty. Quarterback Jordan Wynn struggled in the game and then left with an injury with the Utes trailing 13-0 in the second quarter . From there backup Jon Hays took over and led the Utes' comeback charge. The senior completed 12-of-26 passes for 154 yards and a 24-yard scoring pass that sent the game to overtime. John White IV rushed for 96 yards on 27 carries and Kenneth Scott caught a pair of touchdown passes, while compiling 82 yards. Boj Filmoeatu (12 tackles 2.5 tackles for loss) was one of four Utes with at least 10 tackles in the game. Another in-state rivalry awaits Utah next week with the Utes set to clash with BYU.
WASHINGTON: LSU's Tiger Stadium is called Death Valley for a reason and Washington found out why over the weekend. The Huskies were destroyed in a 41-3 rout in Baton Rouge and were unable to get into the end zone for the first time in 21 games. Washington's offense, which was without starting running back Jesse Callier (season-ending knee injury), was stifled by the LSU defense. The Huskies managed only 183 total yards on offense which included a 26-yard effort from the running game. Quarterback Keith Price was hurried all game and managed to complete only 17-fo-36 passes for 157 yards in the game and was brought down in the backfield four times. Austin Seferian-Jenkins caught six of those passes for 51 yards to lead the Huskies. Defensively the Huskies were vulnerable to the run with the Tigers racking up 242 yards on the ground and pounding it into the end zone four times. Washington was unable to get much pressure in the game recording no sacks and only one tackle for loss. Thomas Tutogi had that tackle and also led the team with 12 total takedowns. A meeting against FCS opponent Portland State next week can't come soon enough as the Huskies will try to move on from this big loss.
WASHINGTON STATE: The first win of the Mike Leach era at Washington State came for the Cougars over the weekend as they pulled out a 24-20 win over EAstern Washington. The final score was much closer than it seemed like it would be as the Cougars were up 24-14 at halftime. However the Cougars were held scoreless in the second half and just managed to escape with the win. The Cougars seemed to be getting more comfortable in Leach's offense, after failing to do so last week. Jeff Tuel completed 20-of-26 passes for 171 yards and two scores. Both of those touchdown passes went to Isiah Myers, who caught six passes for 58 yards overall in the game. Even though the offense was more productive, it still wasn't at the level Leach is known for as the Cougars were out-gained 469-355 by the Eagles. The Cougars did force a pair of Eastern Washington turnovers, both interceptions, in the second half to keep the Eagles from taking the lead with the offensive shuffling in the second half. Washington State's next matchup will be the second road game of the season, this time at UNLV.
09/10 11:03:10 ET