Monday, October 25, 2010
Pac-10 rewind and look ahead
By Ted Miller
A look back on the week that was.
Matt Scott performed well, completing 18-of-22 with two touchdowns, while filling in for an injured Nick Foles.
Team of the week: When starting quarterback Nick Foles went down with a knee injury, Arizona had reason for concern. How would backup Matt Scott handle a second tour as a starter? Very well, in fact. Scott completed 18-of-22 for 233 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions and rushed for 65 yards in the Wildcats 44-14 win. But don't forget a defense that held the Huskies to 290 total yards.
Best game: There were no exciting games this past weekend, but Oregon's 60-13 stomping of UCLA on Thursday night certainly sent out a message to the country that the Ducks are a legitimate national title contender.
Biggest play: Arizona only led Washington 17-14 midway through the second quarter when Wildcats running back Keola Antolin exploded for a 78-yard touchdown run. The play seemed to break the Huskies' back.
Offensive standout: Oregon QB Darron Thomas completed 22-of-31 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and rushed for 48 yards on five carries. And he had no negative yardage.
Defensive standout: Arizona linebacker Paul Vassallo had 14 tackles -- nine solo -- and a sack in the Wildcats blowout win over Washington.
Special teams standout: California safety Chris Conte blocked an Arizona State punt and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.
Smiley face: Oregon and Arizona both made strong statements with complete performances in all three phases.
Frowny face: Arizona State played its worst game of the season at California and now its bowl hopes are dimming. The same for Washington, which continued its pattern of playing great one weekend, bad the next.
Thought of the week: While most of the national attention will be on Oregon's visit to USC, California's trip to Oregon State is also interesting. Will the Beavers, who have only one Pac-10 loss, be a factor in the conference race, even without James Rodgers? Can Cal win a game on the road? The winner will climb the pecking order in the conference.
Question of the week: Can Oregon do what Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma could not -- hold onto the No. 1 ranking in the major polls while playing a ranked foe on the road?