Pac-10 Morning: Final scrimmages mean depth chart decisions
August, 22, 2008
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
My assumption is your tailgate blueprints have been finalized as well as all the pie charts, spreadsheets and PowerPoint demonstrations. If not: For shame.
- At Arizona, it was recognition day -- starting to work against Idaho's offense and defense. Greg Hansen: If you win it they will come. Nic Grigsby is the starter at TB, but there's more quality depth than in the past.
- Arizona State's first offense looked pretty good in its final scrimmage Thursday. Said QB Rudy Carpenter to the Arizona Republic of the suspect OL: "The offensive line did an awesome job tonight. They've been doing a great job all camp. If they continue to do that, I think we can be pretty good." Bad news is the WR Chris McGaha is still sitting out with a toe injury. The defense benefits from the return of DT Saia Falahola, who appears to have won a starting job. East Valley Tribune list of freshmen who likely will play: wide receiver Gerell Robinson, running back Ryan Bass, guard Zach Schlink, defensive end Lawrence Guy, linebackers Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee, cornerback Josh Jordan, safety Clint Floyd. Oh, and the Sun Devils expect to eclipse 50,000 season ticket sales, the most in at least two decades.
- California coach Jeff Tedford picked sophomore Kevin Riley as the Bears starting QB over senior Nate Longshore. Riley started slowly but surged late. Also, note at the bottom says that "walk-on freshman David Seawright had won the kicking job over senior Jordan Kay." Some perspective on the QB decision from Jon Wilner and Jonathan Okanes. List of other freshmen and newcomers who could play from SF Chronicle: receivers Verran Tucker and Marvin Jones, defensive tackle Kendrick Payne, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, tight end Anthony Miller and safety Bryant Nnabuife and likely DBs Marc Anthony and Josh Hill.
- The extent of Oregon QB Nate Costa's new knee injury is unknown and it will likely not be until late Sunday or Monday before everything clears up because the team orthopedic surgeon -- who repaired the same knee last fall -- is out of town.
- My guess is this will fire up Oregon State fans: Hit this link and click the bottom left image for the Beavers intro video (thanks to Building the Dam).
- The Bootleg has set up a nice Game Day site for the Stanford-Oregon State game that gets things rolling next Thursday.
- The UCLA defense will not have to carry the offense. Hmm. We shall see. It appears OLB John Hale has held off a challenge from touted freshman Akeem Ayers. More info on UCLA frosh who will not redshirt. One of those is safety Rahim Moore. And attention now turns to a mysterious Tennessee team.
- USC's final scrimmage was "efficient" -- neither QB Aaron Corp nor Mitch Mustain committed a turnover and no one got hurt. It also appears that Corp and Mustain were competing for the backup role and that Mark Sanchez, two weeks after dislocating his knee cap, will be full-go for Virginia preparations on Monday. Corp may have an edge as the backup. More than a few folks have wondered: What about unheralded QB Garrett Green, who's played consistently well. More scrimmage standouts -- note that Mustain played well, so this whole backup QB decision is going to be close. An injury update -- and get this -- it's good news. And a big-picture look as the Trojans turn their attention to game prep.
- Interesting story on Sanchez and his embrace of his Mexican heritage and how that seems to bother some folks.
- Whatever happened to Washington's Jordan White-Frisbee? He may end up being a key piece on the Huskies O-line. Lots of depth-chart questions remain for the Huskies, but that's probably by design. Molly Yanity is guessing that freshman Chris Polk might prevail at TB. More on All-Pac-10 center Juan Garcia, who's recovery from a severe foot injury.
- No question who Washington State's best player is: WR Brandon Gibson. But the Cougars breakout player may be DE Kevin Kooyman.