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Pac-12 Bloggers Week Eleven Review
Pac 12
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 15, 2011


Each week, CFN’s Pac-12 Bloggers put the previous weekend under the microscope, looking for the Lucky 7


ED is Evan Davis Jr., TJ is Terry Johnson, JJ is Joshua Jovanelly, MS is Matthew Smith, and JT is Jacob Thorpe.


1. OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Connor Halliday; QB, WSU
ED: Connor Halliday; QB, WSU – The freshman just came in for the injured Lobbestael and put up school-record numbers: 494 yards and 4 TDs in an upset victory. Nothing much....
TJ: Connor Halliday; QB, Washington State – Halliday took over for an injured Marshall Lobbestael and threw for a WSU-freshman record 494 yards and 4 TDs in a 37-27 victory.
JJ: Connor Halliday; QB, WSU – The freshman torched the Sun Devils with a WSU-freshman record 494 yards and 4 TDs on 27-of-36 passing.
MS: Connor Halliday; QB, WSU – 494 yards, four touchdowns, and against a quality Sun Devil defense. Just an incredible performance.
JT: COMING


2. DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
ED: Travis Sandersfield; S, Colorado – Sandersfield spearheaded the Buffs defensive stand as they stiffened against an excellent Wildcat passing attack. The most all-around defensive line this week, the senior amassed 11 tackles, 3 of them for 13 yards in loss, 1 INT and 1 sack.
TJ: Anthony Pleasant; S, Oregon – Pleasant was all over the field in Oregon’s 53-30 win over Stanford. The senior safety recorded 4 tackles, and also broke up three passes.
JJ: Dewitt Stuckey; LB, Oregon – Stuckey had 7 total tackles (5 solo) and a key first-half interception that got the Ducks rolling in their 53-30 upset of Stanford.
MS: Travis Sandersfield; S, Colorado – The Buffs may be playing for pride, but they played well in this one. Against a prolific Arizona passing game, Colorado kept the Cats to a relatively low 29 point total, and Sandersfield was a big part of it. With 11 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pick, this was a very solid game for the Colorado safety.
JT: COMING


3. SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ED: Kiel Rasp; P, Washington – It seems like the senior punter was the only Huskie to put in a decent effort on Saturday. He averaged an impressive 52 yards on 8 punts with a long of 62 yards. In addition, he pinned two of these punts inside the 20.
TJ: Trevor Romaine; K, Oregon State – Romaine was the lone bright spot for the Beavers on Saturday, hitting 2 of 2 FG’s with a long of 46.
JJ: Kiel Rasp; P, Washington – The punting game was the lone bright spot for the Huskies. Rasp averaged 52.2 yards on 8 punts - including a 62-yarder -, and landed 2 punts inside the 20.
MS: Kiel Rasp; P, Washington – At least one Husky can feel good about his performance. 8 punts for a 52 yards average is a solid day’s work.
JT: COMING


4. COACH OF THE WEEK
ED: Chip Kelly; Oregon – The only thing the Ducks had to do was stop Andrew Luck. And they did. Repeatedly. Kelly’s defensive schemes really confused Luck, who was intercepted twice, including a pick-6 and sacked 3 times. He got his team confident enough to walk into a division and conference rival’s house and lay a beating.
TJ: Chip Kelly; Oregon – You do not beat the number 4 team in the country on their home field without excellent coaching. No coach in the country prepares his team better on a week-to-week basis than Chip Kelly.
JJ: Chip Kelly; Oregon – The Ducks vaulted themselves back into the national championship conversation with a 53-30 dismantling of No. 4 Stanford. As he has done consistently in his short career, Kelly prepared his troops for the big stage and they executed to near-perfection.
MS: Paul Wulff; Washington St – Give the man his due. The Cougars could have folded their tent, given up on the season and waited to see who the next guy to take the reins would be. Instead they showed up and played pretty well. Yes, a lot of that was a fantastic quarterback performance (which does beg the question of why it took so long to give the kid a shot), but they held ASU to 27 points and made the plays they needed in the fourth quarter to bring home the win.
JT: COMING


5. BEST GAME OF THE WEEK: ASU v. WSU
JT: Arizona State v. Washington State – This was a tight game until the 4th quarter. The finish was exciting as the Sun Devils drove inside the Cougars’ 10-yard line twice and ended up with a turnover on downs and a missed FG.
TJ: Arizona State v. Washington State – This game had three lead changes, with Wazzu taking over the game in the fourth quarter. Rather than “Couging it”, the Cougars shut out Arizona State in the 4th quarter.
JJ: Arizona State v. Washington State – Thanks to a breakout performance by Connor Halliday, there was a whole bunch of offense in this one. Rather than just hanging with the Sun Devils, the Cougars took control and held on in the 4th quarter.
MS: Arizona State v. Washington State – Basically, this game wins by default this week. This was a fun, back and forth contest that could have gone either way and was in doubt until late in the fourth quarter.
JT: COMING


6. BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE WEEK
ED: Arizona State not being able to stop a freshman QB – Surprising? More like deplorable, actually. Rather than bouncing back after last week’s loss to a lesser opponent, the Sun Devils got whipped by a Washington State team that had to play its backup QB.
TJ: Colorado over Arizona – The Buffaloes picked up their first ever Pac 12 win by upsetting an Arizona team that has played much better in recent weeks. Colorado ran for a season-high 284 yards, including a 181-yard performance by Rodney Stewart.
JJ: Colorado defeats Arizona – The Buffaloes finally got their first Pac-12 win over a reeling Arizona team. Colorado broke its seven-game losing streak with a dominating 48-29 win.
MS: Wazzu’s offensive explosion – You don’t expect a huge offensive performance out of a newbie freshman quarterback against a quality defense like ASU’s, but that’s what happened in Pullman this week. Connor Halliday sliced and diced the Sun Devil defense all game long, keeping Cougar bowl hopes alive for another week and quite possibly saving Wulff’s job in the process. Five wins would certainly do it if they can get one more, especially if it comes in the Apple Cup; four wins is iffier, but there’s no question that three wins would have ended the era.
JT: COMING


7. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK
ED: UCLA losing to Utah – Beating Arizona State with a solid game plan and near flawless execution was obviously a fluke as the Bruins really stunk in Utah. They were less interested in controlling first place in the Pac-12 South, and more concerned with the snow as they put forth a halfhearted and disappointing effort.
TJ: UCLA losing to Utah – After last week’s win over Arizona State, the Bruins seemingly took control over the Pac 12 South race. Rather than follow that win up with another solid performance, UCLA suffered a blowout loss to the Utes. The loss drops the Bruins to 5-5, and puts them in danger of missing a bowl.
JJ: UCLA – The Bruins seem to oscillate weekly between Biggest Surprise and Biggest Disappointment. A week after gaining control of their Pac-12 South destiny, they’re back on the disappointing end after they got romped by Utah 31-6. 31-6! Arizona State also lost, so there is still hope for a Pac-12 title game berth, but at 5-5 what kind of "title" game are we talking about?
MS: Stanford – Stanford deserves this award on both sides of the ball (and special teams wasn’t fantastic either). The offense gained yards and put points on the board, but they also coughed up FIVE turnovers. You can’t do that against a good team, much less a great one, and expect to win. Equally disappointing was the defense. Obviously they were going to struggle at times against a great offense like Oregon’s, but the game plan was simply atrocious. The textbook for containing a run-first spread-option team like Oregon (provided you don’t simply have ridiculous athletes on defense like LSU or extra time to learn the reads) is simple: crowd the box, press the receivers, have zero (sometimes one) safeties back, throw around some odd blitzes from time to time, and make shutting down the run priority #1. Force the QB to beat you through the air, which he will a few times. Accept some huge plays as the cost of a bunch of three and outs and the occasional bad throw that turns into a pick. Instead, they played a bunch of guys back, failed to crowd the box, and the result was predictable; Oregon churned out huge easy run after huge easy run, and basically ran away with the game.
JT: COMING


Please follow Matthew Smith on Twitter @cfn_ms, Joshua Jovanelly @jjovanelly , Jacob Thorpe @jacobt1991, Terry Johnson @TPJCollFootball ,and Evan Davis Jr. @edjsports.