Friday, September 28, 2007

Running With the PAC: Week 4

So, a little late with my recap of last week's games. I've had a couple of really busy days at work and it doesn't look like things will slow down anytime soon. Anyways, on to football!

We saw the real start of PAC-10 play this last Saturday as all 10 teams locked horns in conference show downs. I already discussed the UCLA game, but I also wanted to note that Matt Slater was awarded the PAC-10 special teams award of the week. This is the 3rd week that a UCLA player has won a conference award (Olson - offense, Perez - Special Teams). We'll see if a defensive player can get the nod this week as we head to Corvallis to take on Oregon State.

Speaking of the Beavers, they struggled again this week with their quarterback play. Sean Canfield ended up throwing 5 interceptions in their loss to Arizona State. They actually jumped out to a quick start but Rudy Carpenter and company stormed back and ended up winning 44 - 32. Carpenter ended up throwing for 361 yards and 4 touchdowns and the junior has regained some of the magic from his freshman season. The Beavers are becoming a one dimensional team that relies heavily on Yvenson Bernard to move the chains. Their defense, though, is pretty good against the run when their offense isn't handing the ball over every other series. The Bruins may have a hard time running this week so Olson will have to deliver.

The Trojans whipped the field with Washington State to nobody's surprise. They've extended their home winning streak to something like a million games. I don't know if anyone is going to be able to beat them at the Coliseum this season, the Bruins included. What's interesting is that they are primarily racking up yards on the ground. That is a big departure from last season when the Trojans were high flying and Booty was the focal point of the offense. Don't get me wrong, Booty is still putting together good performances, it's just that the numbers show more of a running game developing.

The Bears got their revenge on Arizona for last season's shocking loss in Tuscon. They came out and punched the Wildcats in the mouth early, scoring 4 touchdowns in the first quarter. Things settled down after that but Stoop's boys never really threatened in that game. Longshore put up some rather pedestrian numbers only throwing 1 TD with 1 INT but he moved the chains with 235 yards passing. It was the Bear running backs that took all the glory. With a combination of Forsett, Montgomery, and Best racking up 186 yards and 4 touchdowns. California continues to press for their place as the 2nd best team in the conference.

The final matchup pitted Oregon versus Stanford on the Farm. The Ducks proved once again that their offense is potent, scoring 55 points and racking up 589 yards. The flip side of that is that their defense proved to be just as bad, giving up 402 yards and allowing the team to trail hapless Stanford 31-24 at the half. I can't quite figure out if Oregon is really good. They show flashes of brilliance but also seem to have glaring weaknesses as well. Stanford, to their credit, is a scrappy team that you can't take lightly. They will shock a team, or two, this season.

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