NCF Nation: Kai Forbath

Pac-12 all-BCS-era team

January, 13, 2014
Jan 13
10:00
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We're looking back at the BCS era, which lasted from 1998 to 2013, so it made sense to make an all-Pac-12 BCS-era team.

Here's our shot at it. You surely will be outraged over the player from your team who got left out.

With our evaluation, NFL careers came into play with only the offensive linemen because they are so difficult to compare.

Offense

[+] EnlargeMatt Leinart
Jeff Lewis/USA TODAY SportsFormer USC QB Matt Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, threw 99 career TD passes.
QB Matt Leinart, USC: Nearly won three national titles. Won 2004 Heisman Trophy and placed third in 2005. Threw 99 career TD passes.

RB Reggie Bush, USC: The 2005 Heisman Trophy winner was one of the most dynamic players in college football history. (Bush returned the Heisman in 2012.)

RB LaMichael James, Oregon: Two-time first-team All-Pac-12, 2010 Doak Walker Award winner and unanimous All-American finished his career ranked second in Pac-12 history in rushing yards (5,082) and TDs (53). Nips other stellar RBs such as Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, Stanford's Toby Gerhart and USC's LenDale White.

WR Mike Hass, Oregon State: Two-time first-team All-Pac-12 and 2005 Biletnikoff Award winner was the first Pac-12 player to record three consecutive seasons over 1,000 yards receiving. His 3,924 receiving yards ranks third all time in the conference. This, of course, could have been fellow Beaver Brandin Cooks or USC's Marqise Lee, who both also won the Biletnikoff Award.

WR Dwayne Jarrett, USC: A two-time consensus All-American, he set the Pac-12 standard with 41 touchdown receptions.

TE Marcedes Lewis, UCLA: A 2005 consensus All-American and John Mackey Award winner as the nation's best tight end. Caught 21 career TD passes.

OL David Yankey, Stanford: A unanimous All-American in 2013, he was a consensus All-American and Morris Trophy winner as the Pac-12's best offensive lineman in 2012.

OL Sam Baker, USC: A 2006 consensus All-American and three-time first-team All-Pac-12 performer.

OL Ryan Kalil, USC: Won the 2006 Morris Trophy. Two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

OL David DeCastro, Stanford: A unanimous All-American in 2011 and two-time first-team All-Pac-12 performer.

OL Alex Mack, California: A two-time winner of the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12's best offensive lineman (2007 & 2008).

K Kai Forbath, UCLA: Consensus All-American and Lou Groza Award winner in 2009. Made 84.16 percent of his field goals, which is nearly 5 percent better than any other kicker in conference history.

Defense

LB Rey Maualuga, USC: Was a consensus All-American and won the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player in 2008. Three-time first-team All-Pac-12.

LB Trent Murphy, Stanford: 2013 consensus All-American and two-time first-team All-Pac-12 performer.

LB Anthony Barr, UCLA: Consensus All-American 2013 and two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

DL Will Sutton, Arizona State: Two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and Morris Trophy winner in 2012 and 2013. Consensus All-American in 2012.

DL Haloti Ngata, Oregon: A consensus All-American and Morris Trophy winner in 2005.

DL Rien Long, Washington State: Won the Outland Trophy and was a consensus All-American in 2002.

DL Terrell Suggs, Arizona State: A unanimous All-American in 2002 after setting NCAA single-season record with 24 sacks. Won the Lombardi Trophy. Two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

CB Chris McAlister, Arizona: Unanimous All-American in 1998. Three-time first-team All-Pac-12.

CB Antoine Cason, Arizona: Won the Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back in 2007. Two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

S Troy Polamalu, USC: Two-time All-Pac-10 and consensus All-American in 2002.

S Taylor Mays, USC: A three-time All-American, he was a consensus All-American in 2008. Two-time first-team All-Pac-12.

P Bryan Anger, California: A three-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection and two-time Ray Guy semifinalist.

Pac-10 rewind and look ahead

November, 8, 2010
11/08/10
4:15
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A look back on the week that was.

Team of the week: Stanford rolled up 510 yards of offense against one of the nation's best defenses in a 42-17 win against Arizona. The Cardinal defense wasn't too shabby either while holding the Wildcats to 15.6 points less than their season scoring average. A Facebook page has been set up to promote the Cardinal's potential availability for an at-large BCS bowl berth.

[+] EnlargeKiffin
AP Photo/Mark J. TerrillLane Kiffin and USC emerged from a wild game against Arizona State with a 34-33 win.
Best game: USC's entertaining 34-33 win against Arizona State included: 1. Two long interception returns for TDs; 2. A 100-yard kickoff return for a score; 3. A blocked PAT returned for a critical 2-points for USC; 4. 46 second-half points after a rather slow first half; 5. A missed potential game-winning field goal by slumping Arizona State kicker Thomas Weber, a former Groza Award winner; and, 6. A personal foul penalty from linebacker Vontaze Burfict (again) that helped set up the Trojans game-winning field goal.

Biggest play: Call this the biggest "replay." With four seconds left in the UCLA-Oregon State game, Bruins quarterback Richard Brehaut completed a 12-yard pass to Randall Carroll to put the Bruins in position for a 51-yard field goal. But it appeared the play clock had expired, as the field officials ruled. But the Bruins challenged the call and won, getting 1 more second to play, and kicker Kai Forbath connected for a 17-14 win.

Offensive standout: Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck dominated a good Arizona defense, completing 23 of 32 for 293 yards with two TDs in the Cardinal's 42-17 win. He also ran for 25 yards on three carries and avoided getting sacked even once by a defense that led the Pac-10 in taking down quarterbacks.

Defensive standout: USC linebacker Malcolm Smith, who's missed two games with a knee injury, recorded seven tackles and a sack against Arizona State and he also returned an interception 74 yards for a TD in the Trojans' victory.

Special teams standout: Arizona State's LeQuan Lewis had a 100-yard kickoff return against USC. The return cut the Sun Devils deficit at USC to 29-21 and seemed to ignite a comeback that ultimately fell short.

Smiley face: California, UCLA and USC each have had their heart questioned this year. All three showed heart this weekend while winning games many thought they'd lose.

Frowny face: Arizona State and Oregon State. The Sun Devils mounted a nice comeback but (again) let a game slip away. Lots of what ifs (again). And we are as baffled as coach Mike Riley about the Beavers' spiritless performance at UCLA.

Thought of the week: If Stanford and Oregon keep winning, it seems likely that both Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck and Ducks running back LaMichael James will get invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony. The Pac-10 sent two to New York in 2005 (USC's Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush), but the last time two different conference schools produced finalists was 1988 (USC's Rodney Peete finished second to Barry Sanders; UCLA's Troy Aikman was third).

Questions for the week: Is the Pac-1o going to end up top-heavy? It seems like there's a solid chance that Oregon and Stanford will win the rest of their games. But what about everyone else? Arizona is the only other ranked team, and it's got some tough games ahead (USC, at Oregon, Arizona State). It's possible the final rankings will feature two top-five Pac-10 teams and no one else. And could there really be five teams with losing records?

Final: UCLA 17, Oregon State 14

November, 6, 2010
11/06/10
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UCLA has risen from the dead. Again.

Kick Kai Forbath, the nation's best kicker, made a 51-yard field goal on the final play of the game to give the Bruins the 17-14 win.

Forbath had previously missed two field goals, which is nearly as shocking as the Bruins beating the previously surging Beavers.

UCLA improves to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the Pac-10 and greatly improves its chances to earn bowl eligibility. It needs to win two of its final three games: at Washington on Thursday, at Arizona State on Nov. 26 and home against USC on Dec. 4.

The Bruins defense, dominated last weekend by Arizona, held Oregon State to just 267 total yards. Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for on 64 yards on 14 carries. He didn't score a rushing TD, which ended a streak of 12 consecutive games with one.

Entering the game, the Beavers, now 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the Pac-10, controlled their own Rose Bowl destiny. That's no longer the case.

If Arizona loses to Stanford, Oregon then could lose any of its final three games and still win the Pac-10.

The Beavers play host to Washington State next weekend.
AUSTIN, Texas -- Garrett Gilbert has thrown the ball well through the first quarter, but once again, Texas' defense is spurring a sputtering offense early in its scoreless tie with UCLA.

Gilbert has completed his first seven passes, but UCLA forced a sack and fumble on Texas' second drive, returning it to the 20.

The Longhorns showed off one of college football's best pass rushes a week ago at Texas Tech, and UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince got an early taste with his team looking to go up.

Freshman defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat swallowed him up for an 11-yard sack that forced the Bruins into a 49-yard field goal attempt that produced a rare miss from reigning Groza Award winner Kai Forbath.

Outside of a 13-yard run on a 2nd-and-20 draw play from D.J. Monroe, the running game has been bottled up once again. Texas' running backs have eight yards on their first three carries, excluding Monroe's play.

Pac-10 Week 2: Did you know?

September, 10, 2010
9/10/10
11:57
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Some quick notes to get you through the hours until Saturday.
  • Five Pac-10 players accounted for at least three TDs last weekend: California's Shane Vereen, Oregon's Kenjon Barner (5 TDs), USC Ronald Johnson (4 TDs), Arizona State's Deantre Lewis and Arizona State's Cameron Marshall.
  • Three Pac-10 QBs rank among the nation's top seven in passing efficiency: Stanford's Andrew Luck at No. 3, USC's Matt Barkley at No. 4 and California's Kevin Riley at No. 7.
  • Seven different Arizona receivers caught at least three passes last week at Toledo.
  • Arizona State kicker Thomas Weber is 3 for 3 from beyond 50 yards in his career after booting a 52-yard field goal vs. Portland State. He was one of three conference kickers to connect from beyond 50 yards (Washington's Erik Folk, 54 yards, and Washington State's Nico Grasu, 56 yards).
  • Cal is 2-2 all-time with Colorado, but this is its first meeting since 1982.
  • Oregon is one of eight teams nationally that produced shutouts last weekend.
  • Ducks CB Cliff Harris returned two punts for TDs -- for 61 and 64 yards -- in the win over New Mexico. Two punt returns for TDs has only been accomplished twice before by Pac-10 players: USC's Mike Garrett in 1965 vs. Cal; UCLA's Sam Brown in 1954 vs.Stanford.
  • Oregon State safety Lance Mitchell leads the conference in tackles after recording 18 vs. TCU. Fellow safety Suaesi Tuimaunei is tied for third with 14.
  • UCLA leads its series with Stanford 45-32-3.
  • UCLA kicker Kai Forbath tied two NCAA records after going 3 for 3 vs. Kansas State. His 27 games with at least two field goals ties Georgia's Kevin Butler and his 13 with at least three ties Arizona State's Luis Zendejas. Forbath has made 40 consecutive field goals inside of 50 yards. His 75 career field goals are just 12 short of the NCAA record of 87.
  • USC has won 31 consecutive night games (USC-Oregon kicked off at 5 p.m. last year).
  • Washington QB Jake Locker made his college debut as a redshirt freshman at Syracuse in 2007. The Huskies won 42-12.
  • Dating back to the last part of the 1975 season, the Huskies have gone 35-14 when playing at home the game after a loss on the road.
  • Washington State is trying to snap a 10-game losing streak Saturday vs. Montana State. The Cougars are 6-0 all-time vs. the Bobcats.

Pac-10 rewind and look ahead

September, 6, 2010
9/06/10
1:58
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One week is in the books, and it wasn't a good one. The Pac-10 went 6-4 and ended up frowning in each of its major tests.

Team of the week: Other than a brief first-half lull, Arizona looked like a good team in midseason form, despite losing both of its coordinators and rebuilding its defense. The 41-2 blitzing of a solid Toledo team featured dominance in all three phases. Goodbye bad taste from the Holiday Bowl. The Wildcats outgained the Rockets 518 to 183. Nuff said.

Best game: It's very possible that Oregon State lost to a TCU team that will play for the national title. I came away more impressed with the top-to-bottom quality of TCU than believing the Beavers got exposed. As it was, it was a competitive, well-played, entertaining game. And if Beavers fans need to vent for the sake of venting -- as we all sometimes do -- I'd suggest wondering how might the Beavers' defense have looked if end Matt LaGrone and middle linebacker David Pa'aluhi, returning starters from 2009, hadn't decided to quit the team.

Biggest play(s): Washington twice had fourth-down plays in the fourth quarter inside BYU's 30-yard line. Both times QB Jake Locker threw an incompletion. The Huskies lost 23-17. Great QBs need to make those plays.

[+] EnlargeBarner
AP Photo/Rick BowmerKenjon Barner rushed 17 times for 147 yards and four touchdowns Saturday.
Offensive standout(s): Wow. Lots to choose from. USC QB Matt Barkley completed 78 percent of his passes at Hawaii with five TDs. Arizona's Nick Foles and Stanford's Andrew Luck also were outstanding. But the top notice has to go to Oregon's "backup" running back Kenjon Barner, who was a force of nature against New Mexico, rushing for 147 yards on 17 carries -- 8.6 yards per tote -- with four TDs. Oh, he also caught a short pass he turned into a 60-yard TD.

Defensive standout: Wow. Not a lot to choose from. While it's hard to laud a player from UCLA's defense after it got pushed around by Kansas State, OLB Akeem Ayers showed why so many NFL scouts are salivating over him. He piled up 11 tackles with a sack and a pass breakup. But what really stands out is his ability to get his hands on the football -- he recovered two fumbles. He might want to refrain in the future, however, from pushing a running back when he's out of bounds.

Special teams star: USC receiver Ronald Johnson not only caught three TD passes against Hawaii, but he also went 89 yards for a TD on a punt return. It's notable that UCLA kicker Kai Forbath ignored a preseason injury that was supposed to keep him on the bench and went 3-for-3 on field goals at Kansas State, with a long of 44.

Smiley face: The QBs lived up to the preseason hype. The known guys -- Barkley, Foles, Locker and Luck -- each played well. The new guys -- Arizona State's Steven Threet, Oregon's Darron Thomas and Oregon State's Ryan Katz -- were solid. California's Kevin Riley played well, and Washington State's Jeff Tuel was hardly the reason the Cougars went down hard at Oklahoma State. The only QB who played poorly was UCLA's Kevin Prince, and he probably looked rusty because he sat out most of fall camp with a back injury.

Frowny face: Defense. The top two rushers in the nation at present -- and three of the top 14 -- played against Pac-10 defenses this past weekend. And look who ranks 106th in the nation in total defense, two slots below Washington State.

Thought of the week: This is a quiet week with few marquee games, other than the start of the Pac-10 slate with Stanford's visit to UCLA. But next week will define how the Pac-10 is perceived nationally this season. Consider the slate:

Iowa at Arizona
ASU at Wisconsin
Nebraska at Washington
Cal at Nevada
Wake Forest at Stanford
Houston at UCLA
USC at Minnesota
Washington State at SMU
Louisville at Oregon State

Five at home, four on the road. Three ranked teams. No patsies. The Pac-10 needs to get at least six wins or you'll start to hear how it's a "down year" instead of folks lauding the conference's depth.

Questions for the week: Can California (vs. Colorado), USC (vs. Virginia) and Washington (vs. Syracuse) take care of business against inferior BCS conference foes at home? Same for Oregon: Will the Ducks be able to handle the atmosphere at Neyland Stadium against a Tennessee team the Ducks shouldn't have too many problems against? How will the Trojans' defense react after a terrible effort at Hawaii? Who's got the advantage between UCLA's new pistol offense and Stanford's new 3-4 (which the Cardinal didn't use vs. Sacramento State)? How do the Huskies react to a disappointing loss at BYU?
1. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) again has championed a college football playoff, which may be good news for the BCS. Barton became persona non grata on Capitol Hill last week for speaking out in defense of BP after it agreed to put $20 billion in escrow for victims of its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. To paraphrase syndicated columnist Mark Shields, these days Barton couldn’t get a resolution passed in favor of Mother’s Day.

2. In the 3-Point Stance last Thursday, I wrote that the Mountain West Conference lost a step in trading Utah for Boise State. Broncos fans excoriated me in part because, they said, I underreported Boise State’s athletic budget. They are right. I was wrong. I didn’t realize my database dated back to 2005. As the Idaho Statesman reported this month, Utah’s athletic budget is $27.8 million; Boise State’s is $25.8 million. The MWC came out a lot closer to whole than I wrote.

3. Special teams play often is a source of angst in early-season games. That won’t be the case at UCLA. Kicker Kai Forbath is a machine inside of 50 yards. Thanks to punter Jeff Locke, the Bruins led the Pac-10 in net punting. Senior Christian Yount will be a four-year starter at long-snapper. And Josh Smith, expected to be ready after an April knee injury, set return records at Colorado in 2008 before transferring to Westwood. Don’t underestimate the Bruins’ early edge.
At what position is the Pac-10 deep? At what position in the Pac-10 thin? Here's the third of three parts taking a look at just that.

Deep: Specialists

[+] EnlargeKai Forbath
Jim Brown/US Presswire Kai Forbath of UCLA is one of two Lou Groza Award winning kickers returning to the Pac-10 this season.
Why is it deep? Eight teams welcome back both their punter and kicker, and many of them are quite happy about that. Three conference kickers ranked among the top-20 in field goals per game, while three punters ranked in the top 21. No team is replacing both specialists. Oregon is replacing kicker Morgan Flint and USC is replacing kicker Jordan Congdon, who ranked fifth and seventh, respectively, in field goals per game in 2009.

The big names: Start with two Lou Groza Award winning kickers: UCLA's Kai Forbath (2009) and Arizona State's Thomas Weber (2007). Then there's Oregon State's Justin Kahut, who made 22 of 27 field goals with a long of 50, and Washington's Erik Folk, who was 18 for 21 with a long of 48. As for the punters, Arizona State's Trevor Hankins ranked No. 1 in the Pac-10 and 10th in the nation in punting (44.2 yards per punt), while UCLA's Jeff Locke (43.6) was 16th in the nation and Washington State's Reid Forrest (43.2) was 21st. Oh, and California's Bryan Anger might have the biggest foot of everyone; he dropped a conference-high 24 punts inside the 20 last year.

Thin: Linebacker

Why is it thin? Four of the six linebackers who made up the first and second All-Pac-10 teams are gone as are five of the 11 LBs who earned honorable mention. Only two teams -- USC and Oregon -- welcome back all of their starting LBs from 2009, and a big story this spring was the Trojans lack of depth at the position, while the Ducks moved Eddie Pleasant to safety (in large part because of depth at the position). Arizona is replacing all three starting linebackers, while Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA only have one returning starter at the position (though the Beavers outside linebacker platoon of Dwight Roberson and Keith Pankey probably should count as more than one starter).

Fill the void? This is not a "strength" position, but the cupboard is hardly empty: UCLA's Akeem Ayers, California's Mike Mohamed and Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict are All-American candidates, while Oregon's Casey Matthews earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2009 and Washington's Mason Foster is a likely breakout player. The Ducks, in particular, are fast and deep at linebacker, while the Sun Devils aren't far behind in terms of young talent.

Pac-10 All-Decade team

January, 21, 2010
1/21/10
6:49
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We've already ranked our top-10 Pac-10 players of the decade, but what follows is our All-Decade team.

As usual, feel free to disagree.

Offense

QB Matt Leinart, USC

RB Toby Gerhart, Stanford

RB Reggie Bush, USC

WR DeWayne Jarrett, USC

WR Mike Hass, Oregon State

TE Marcedes Lewis, UCLA

C Ryan Kalil, USC

OT Levi Jones, Arizona State

OT Sam Baker, USC

OG Adam Snyder, Oregon

OG Max Unger, Oregon

K Kai Forbath, UCLA

Defense

DE Terrell Suggs, Arizona State

DT Haloti Ngata, Oregon

DT Sedrick Ellis, USC

DE Kenechi Udeze, USC

LB Lance Briggs, Arizona

LB Rey Maualuga, USC

LB Keith Rivers, USC

CB Antoine Cason, Arizona

CB Marcus Trufant, Washington State

S Troy Polamalu, USC

S Taylor Mays, USC

P Tom Malone, USC

Pac-10 all-bowl team

January, 12, 2010
1/12/10
11:45
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The Pac-10 bowl season didn't go well, but that doesn't mean you don't make an all-bowl team.

You may notice a lot of USC and UCLA players. You might remember that the LA schools posted the conference's only two wins.

OFFENSE

QB Matt Barkley, USC: Barkley completed 27 of 37 throws for 350 yards with two touchdowns against Boston College in the Emerald Bowl. He also had two interceptions.

RB Toby Gerhart, Stanford: Against an Oklahoma defense ganging up on him, he rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries in a Sun Bowl loss.

RB Stanley Havili, USC: He only rushed for 2 yards, but he also he caught six passes for 83 yards with two touchdowns.

WR Damian Williams, USC: He caught 12 passes for a season-high 189 yards.

WR Damola Adeniji, Oregon State: He caught seven passes for 102 yards and a touchdown in the Beavers' Las Vegas Bowl loss to BYU.

TE Anthony Miller, California: He led Cal with five receptions for 55 yards in the Poinsettia Bowl loss to Utah.

OL Chris Marinelli, Stanford: The offense was without its starting quarterback, but Gerhart gained 133 yards and the Sooners only had one sack.

OL Mike Tepper, California: Cal's pass protection wasn't great against Utah, but running back Shane Vereen finished with 122 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

OL Charles Brown, USC: The Trojans didn't run terribly well vs. Boston College, but they only yielded one sack and gave Barkley plenty of time to throw.

OL Jake Dean, UCLA: He was thrust into the starting lineup after starting center after Kai Maiava was ruled academically ineligible, and the Bruins yielded only one sack vs. Temple.

OL Chase Beeler, Stanford: See Marinelli.

K Kai Forbath, UCLA: He kicked field goals of 40 and 42 yards.

DEFENSE

DE Kenny Rowe, Oregon: He set a Rose Bowl and Oregon bowl record with three sacks in a losing effort against Ohio State.

DT Jurrell Casey, USC: Casey had five tackles, a sack and a 22-yard return of a fumble.

DT Brian Price, UCLA: Price started slowly vs. Temple but he dominated the second half and finished with five tackles, with one coming for a loss.

DE Tyson Alualu, California: Alualu had five tackles, with 1.5 coming for a loss.

LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA: Ayers led the Bruins with nine tackles, two for a loss, and his leaping interception at the Temple 2-yard line, which he returned for a TD, was the play of the Pac-10 bowl season.

LB Kyle Bosworth, UCLA: He finished with seven tackles and 1.5 sacks.

LB Eddie Young, California: Young had seven tackles and returned an interception 31 yards for a TD.

CB Shareece Wright, USC: In his first game back after academic ineligibility, Wright grabbed a key interception.

CB Alterraun Verner, UCLA: Verner had seven tackles, two for a loss, and a pass breakup.

S Rahim Moore, UCLA: Moore had four tackles and an interception.

S Taylor Mays, USC: Mays had five tackles for a Trojans defense that shut down Boston College in the second half.

P David Green, Stanford: He averaged 44 yards on six punts, three of which were downed inside the Sooners' 20-yard line.

Instant analysis: UCLA 30, Temple 21

December, 29, 2009
12/29/09
9:04
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UCLA, awful in the first half, scored 23 consecutive points to beat a game Temple squad 30-21 on a chilly night in Washington D.C.

Pac-10 improved to 2-2 during the bowl season.

How the game was won: Not to discount an inspired effort from Temple, but the Bruins, who were down 21-7 before tacking on a field goal just before halftime, won because they turned up their intensity in the second half on both sides of the ball. Also, from the Owls perspective, the UCLA cause got a boost when Temple lost leading rusher Bernard Pierce to injury in the second quarter.

[+] EnlargeKevin Prince
AP Photo/Nick WassUCLA quarterback Kevin Prince led his team back from a 21-7 deficit.
Turning point: After UCLA closed the gap to 21-17 to open the third quarter, Temple drove to the Bruins 10-yard line. On third-and-2, Matt Brown appeared to dive for the first down. But the spot, which was upheld upon review, marked him inches short. On fourth down, the Owls tried to run up the middle and the Bruins stopped Brown cold. From that point on, little went right for Temple, while UCLA took control.

Stat of the game: 41 and zero. That's how many yards and points Temple had in the second half after they gained 241 yards and scored 21 in the first half.

Player of the game: UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince didn't have a great game. He missed open receivers a number of times and tossed an interception. But he was much better while leading the second-half comeback, completing 9 of 15 passes for 131 yards with a touchdown after the break. He also ran for a key first down in the fourth quarter while the Bruins were trying to run out the clock -- the bad news being he appeared to re-injured the shoulder he hurt in the season-finale vs. USC.

Unsung hero of the game: Despite tough conditions, UCLA kicker Kai Forbath connected on field goals of 40 and 42 yards. He's now made 37 in a row from inside 50 yards.

What it means: After going 4-8 in Rick Neuheisel's first year, the Bruins improved to 7-6 and won a bowl game in year two. While it wasn't a distinguished performance, a bowl win is a bowl win, and it sends the Bruins into the offseason on a positive note, which is encouraging for a team expected to take another step forward in 2010

2009 All-Pac-10 team

December, 8, 2009
12/08/09
3:07
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We copped out at running back, but it just didn't seem fair to recognize only two.

First-team offense
QB Sean Canfield, Sr., Oregon State
RB Toby Gerhart, Sr., Stanford
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, So., Oregon State
RB LaMichael James, RFr., Oregon
WR James Rodgers, Jr., Oregon State
WR Damian Williams, Jr., USC
TE Ed Dickson, Sr., Oregon
OG Jeff Byers, Sr., USC
OG Gregg Peat, Sr., Oregon State
OT Charles Brown, Sr., USC
OT Chris Marinelli, Sr., Stanford
C Kenny Alfred, Sr., Washington State
K Kai Forbath, Jr., UCLA

First-team defense
DT Brian Price, Jr., UCLA
DT Stephen Paea, Jr., Oregon State
DE Tyson Alualu, Sr., California
DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Washington
LB Keaton Kristick, Sr., Oregon State
LB Mike Mohamed, Jr., California
LB Donald Butler, Sr., Washington
S Rahim Moore, So., UCLA
S Taylor Mays, Sr., USC
CB Trevin Wade, So., Arizona
CB Alterraun Verner, Sr., UCLA
P Trevor Hankins, Jr., Arizona State

A Pac-10 Halloween!

October, 30, 2009
10/30/09
10:02
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Happy Halloween Eve!

The Pac-10 has its share of ghosts, ghouls and goblins.

 
 AP Photo/Don Ryan
 After being left for dead following the first three games, Jeremiah Masoli has come back to life.
So, in the spirit of the coming weekend ...

Haunted House: Autzen Stadium. Ducks fans are donning all-black for Saturday's marquee showdown with USC. The freaks will be out and it will be very, very loud.

Scary Movie: Boise State 19, Oregon 8. Eek! The Ducks don't record a first down into the third quarter! They managed just 152 total yards! Running back LeGarrette Blount is possessed by an evil spirit! Eek!

Cursed Team: Washington State. The Cougars won two games a year ago. They will be lucky to win two again this season.

Trick-or-Treat: Oregon's visit to Arizona on Nov. 21 could be tricky. And a treat? Arizona comes out of a bye this weekend to face Washington State on Nov. 7.

Nightmare on Tempe Street: Arizona State plays host to California this weekend with an increasingly unhappy fan base frowning from the stands. The Sun Devils need two more wins to reach bowl eligibility, but the remaining schedule includes USC, visits to Oregon and UCLA and the season finale against rising rival Arizona.

Boo (Boo): While there have been plenty of season-ending injuries, the Pac-10's most critical injury thus far only lasted one game. When USC quarterback Matt Barkley suffered a sprained shoulder at Ohio State, it may have cost the Trojans a shot at playing in the national title game. With Barkley on the sidelines, backup Aaron Corp had a terrible day at Washington in a 16-13 loss.

Jigsaw team: California is tough to figure. It welcomed back 17 starters from a nine-win team that beat Oregon and lost to USC by 14 points in 2008, while the Ducks and Trojans had to replace 17 NFL draft picks between them. Yet the Bears lost to both by a combined 72-6 count.

Night of the living dead: Speaking of the Golden Bears, it's not unreasonable to project that they could run the table and finish 10-2, despite the faceplants against Oregon and USC.

The Great Pumpkin: When UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel talks about his offense, most particularly his uncertain quarterback situation, you can almost see him transform into Linus Van Pelt, hoping against all hope that some points magically arrive.

Halloween costumes:

Arizona quarterback Nick Foles: The Dude from "The Big Lebowski"
Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict: A watch (so he can learn to be on time with his hits)
California running back Jahvid Best: Flash
Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli: Dracula (he looked dead three games into the season, but he's clearly undead now)
Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers: Chucky (he looks like a little doll, but he will kill you)
Stanford running back Toby Gerhart: Juggernaut (the bad guy from the X-Men)
UCLA kicker Kai Forbath: Bigfoot
USC coach Pete Carroll & UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel: Hans & Franz (They're both here to pump (clap) you up!)
USC safety Taylor Mays: The Terminator
Washington quarterback Jake Locker: Batman the Dark Knight (Locker is a tortured superhero)
Washington State coach Paul Wulff: Joe Bfstplk

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller


Ten years ago, would you have believed UCLA and Oregon would be 3-0 at halftime?



The Pac-10 is now a defensive league.

The Bruins lead on Kai Forbath's 52-yard field goal. And that's our scoring summary.

Oregon sophomore cornerback Anthony Gildon -- the Ducks third option at the position after Walter Thurmond and Willie Glasper went down to knee injuries -- has been flagged twice for pass interference, but the Bruins have been unable to exploit the Ducks secondary, which is also missing safety T.J. Ward and was riddled with illness this week.

Quarterback report?

Kevin Prince and Nate Costa are both playing OK, but neither has strung a few good passing plays together.

Turning point: Oregon posted an impressive goal-line stand when two quarterback sneaks by Prince from the 1/2-yard line failed.

Stat of the half: Ducks are 1 of 6 on third down. Costa has played fairly well, but he hasn't been able to string together first downs.

Best player in the half: Ducks running back LaMichael James has 83 yards rushing on eight carries. Of course, one carry -- from the Ducks' 1-yard line -- went for 49 yards.

What Oregon needs to do; What UCLA needs to do: Both teams need the same thing. They need to keep playing stingy defense while finding an offensive rhythm. In a low-scoring game, turnovers are almost always critical. No turnovers so far. And both teams have made nice plays in special teams. In low-scoring games, field position is almost always critical. Wonder who gets to play on a short field more?

Preseason All-Pac-10 team

August, 14, 2009
8/14/09
10:05
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

It's never easy to put a preseason all-conference list together. Should you project forward or look back? How do you choose between three A-list cornerbacks or leave off a couple of deserving defensive ends?

Perhaps this list will be much different by mid-December.

QB Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon
RB Jahvid Best, California
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State
WR Damian Williams, USC
WR James Rodgers, Oregon State
TE Rob Gronkowski, Arizona
C Kristofer O'Dowd, USC
OG Jeff Byers, USC
OG Colin Baxter, Arizona
OT Charles Brown, USC
OT Shawn Lauvao, Arizona State

K Kai Forbath, UCLA

DE Will Tukuafu, Oregon
DT Brian Price, UCLA
DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
DE Dexter Davis, Arizona State
LB Keaton Kristick, Oregon State
LB Reggie Carter, UCLA
LB Mike Nixon, Arizona State
CB Walter Thurmond, Oregon
CB Syd'Quan Thompson, California
FS Taylor Mays, USC
SS Cam Nelson, Arizona

P Bryan Anger, California

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