Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Pac-10 stock report
By ESPN.com staff
Who's running with a bull market? Who's battling the bears (not the Golden ones)?
Oregon State: The Beavers announced their return to relevance with a 29-27 win at No. 9 Arizona.
Ryan Katz, QB, Oregon State: The Beavers announced their return to relevance in large part because Katz passed for 393 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score in a breakout performance.
California's defense: Forget the brain cramps at Nevada: This is one of the Pac-10's best units. After throttling UCLA's pistol, the Bears are now eighth in the nation and No. 1 in the conference in total defense, yielding just 254.8 yards per game.
Shane Vereen, RB, California: Vereen rushed for 151 yards and two scores against UCLA and caught three passes for 51 yards. The competition for first-team Pac-10 at running back is going to be fierce.
Juron Criner, WR, Arizona: Criner, quite simply, is the best receiver in the Pac-10. And it's not just because he's No. 7 in the nation and No.1 in the Pac-10 with 106.2 yards receiving per game. It's that he makes plays on his own, notably when Arizona really needs them.
Washington State: For the first time in a long time, analysts are putting a "hold" rating on the Cougars instead of a "sell." The consecutive competitive performances vs. UCLA and Oregon indicate this team is trending up.
National title hopes: With Alabama's loss at South Carolina, Oregon moved up to No. 2 in the nation. If the season ended today, the Ducks would play for the national title.
UCLA: Wow, that was a terrible day at California.
Kevin Prince, QB, UCLA: Wow, that was a terrible day at California. After completing just 13 of 31 passes for 99 yards, Prince's hold on the starting job isn't terribly firm.
Washington: Take a step forward at USC. Take a step back against Arizona State -- inside Husky Stadium, no less.
Arizona's pass defense: Entering the Oregon State game, the Wildcats ranked 21st in the nation in pass defense, giving up just 129.5 yards per game. After Katz passed for 393 yards against the Wildcats' secondary, 53 yards were added to that number.
Kevin Riley, QB, California: UCLA-Cal was a game that made fans of passing offense cringe. Not to be outdone by Prince, Riley completed just 9 of 16 passes for 83 yards. Afterward, coach Jeff Tedford said Riley needed to play better.
Thomas Weber: The 2007 Groza Award winner for the nation's best kicker was 1-for-3 at Washington last weekend. This season, he's 9-of-14 on field goal attempts. His 64.3 conversion percentage ranks ninth in the conference.
Hopes for two BCS bowl teams: Arizona's loss to Oregon State means the Ducks are the only unbeaten Pac-10 team. A second-place team with two losses would make hopes for an at-large BCS bowl berth a long shot.