DG on PX - Pac 10 Things We Learned in Week 6
Casey Matthews and the Ducks are on a roll
Oregon stakes its claim as top challenger to USC, Mike Riley directs another Oregon State turnaround and the enigma of Arizona State.
10 observations from another Pac-10 Saturday
-It's a two-team race in the Pac-10
Thanks for coming, Stanford. It's been a blast, Arizona. To everyone else, don't let the door hit you on the backside. The race for the Roses, barring complete and utter insanity, is down to the Trojans and Ducks.
The conference game of the year is officially USC and Oregon's clash on Halloween night. The only questions left are will either team slip up before then and will Nike subject everyone to some absurd blackout promotion?
-LaMichael James can make some room on his mantle
He and Matt Barkley will most assuredly be named the conference's freshmen of the year.
In five games without LeGarrette Blount, James has totaled 559 yards rushing, four touchdowns and is averaging 6.2 yards per carry.
-Jahvid Best has to be licking his chops
Toby Gerhart – 134 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries.
LaMichael James – 152 yards on 20 carries.
That's what UCLA's run defense has surrendered the last two weeks. Best gets his crack Saturday.
-Akeem Ayers' touchdown was incredible
What body control by UCLA's linebacker to pluck Nate Costa's pass from his chest and then get both feet down before careening out of the end zone. That will be a part of every year-end highlight reel.
-UCLA needs to decide on its quarterback of the future today
Prince or Brehaut. One becomes the face of the program, the other has a choice of sitting on the bench or transferring.
-Score touchdowns, not field goals at Husky Stadium
USC settled for three field goals and lost by three.
Arizona's four kicks were all from inside the red zone – 18, 23, 29 and 24 yards – and lost by three.
-I come to praise Mike Stoops, not to bury him
Well, let's not go that far, but I understand his decision to let throw Nick Foles throw the ball while trying to run out the clock at Washington. Running back Nic Grigsby was still limited by a shoulder injury, backup Keola Antolin didn't play because of an ankle injury, leaving a redshirt freshman in Greg Nwoko to carry the load.
Foles hadn't yet thrown a pick and Huskies defensive coordinator Nick Holt was going to sell out against the run. A first-down throw is an aggressive call with a good chance of catching the opposition off guard.
Instead, Delashaun Dean decided to play soccer with the pass and the Wildcats lost. If it had worked, everyone would be showering Stoops with praise today.
-I have no clue what to make of Arizona State
Hang over from the Oregon State loss, Palouse-induced sleep or are the Sun Devils just not very good? Your guess is as good as mine.
-Chris Owusu sets the tenor, the wrong way
After giving Stanford huge momentum with his kick returns early this season, the sophomore wide receiver ended up on the wrong side of a big play at Oregon State.
Owusu dropped a sure 80-yard touchdown on the Cardinal's first play from scrimmage, completely changing the tone of the game. You can't win the game on that snap, but Stanford might have lost it on that one.
-Mike Riley does it again
Don't want to get into specifics here because I'll be writing about it later in the week, but Oregon State is on its way to another huge surge after a lethargic September.
Dan Greenspan blogs about the Pac-10 for CollegeFootballNews.com. Follow him at twitter.com/dangreenspan or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.