Wednesday, September 3

Week 1 Pac 10 recap

Arizona - So it was Idaho. Willie Tuitama looked great as did Nic Grigsby. The defense gave up just 112 yards and it was a 70-0 blowout. If nothing else, that says good execution.

Arizona State - This was not a very impressive outing as the Sun Devils' running game was held in check by a weak FCS school.

Cal - A win is a win, but they allowed a weak/overrated Michigan State team to hang around too long. On the bright side, Nate Longshore threw two interceptions in just five passing attempts, which means Kevin Riley will be the sure starter now and taking 100% of the meaningful snaps. Indeed, without Longshore mucking up the offense and giving MSU free points, this game would not have been so close. Jahvid Best had a strong all-around game and it looks like the offense will be balanced.

Stanford - Stanford showed dedication to the ground game and controlled key parts of the second and third quarters against Oregon State. However, they got shredded through the air as well as not being able to move the ball with their own passing game, and that doesn't bode well as we get deeper into the Pac 10 season.

Oregon - Other than USC, Oregon is the Pac 10 team who impressed me the most in week 1. Washington just got run out of Autzen in a very thorough effort that included a strong rushing performance by Jeremiah Johnson. Jeremiah Masoli came in unexpectedly at QB because of Roper's concussion, and I think if he is asked to play again he will give a stronger performance with better preparation. Definsively this looked like the Ducks of 2007, although obviously the offense will fall a little short of last season's Dixon-led juggernaught.

Oregon State - You have to feel for Darrell Catchings whose goalline stretch and subsequent fumble cost the Beavers an opportunity to tie the game. Of course, it still would have come down to needing a two-point conversion, so the tie was far from a certainty. Lyle Moevao was inconsistent and everything else was crap - how do you let Stanford run for 210 yards on you? Oregon State gets a shot at redemption next week when they face Penn State.

UCLA - You have to credit Kevin Craft for playing a strong second half after getting intercepted four times in the first half. That's all the credit we're giving here, though, as Tennessee would have won this game if a) they'd run the ball a little more often with two backs averaging over 6 ypc between them or b) they hadn't missed 3 FGs and gotten a punt blocked by going to a screwy formation. Mental toughness and determination are awesome, but we'll want to see the real Kevin Craft please step up.

USC - In summary, they made Virginia look like Youngstown State. Not that the Cavs are that much better than the Penguins, but... um, fuck it, yeah I can't give credit for beating UVA when I rant about how lucky they were last season, how much the ACC sucks, etc. However, I can give credit for thoroughly annihilating UVA in literally every aspect of the game, which is pretty much what happened. The Trojans gave the strongest performance of any team in week 1.

Washington - Give props to Oregon as a better team, but WOW. Jake Locker really needs to step up and be the leader of this team. He played a good second quarter, but the Huskies will need four of those, per game, to win.

Washington State - I had picked Oklahoma State to win this, so it isn't a big surprise - except, I thought it'd be close. Instead we watched Zac Robinson & co walk all over this defense while the Cougars looked content to go 3 and out. Five minutes into the third quarter, WSU's offense had moved the ball a net total of 24 yards! The Cowboys are not an elite defensive team or even a good defensive team; WSU needs to find a quarterback and an offensive identity.