Monday, November 1, 2010
Pac-10 rewind and look ahead
By Ted Miller
A look back on the week that was.
Team of the week: Oregon overcame the ESPN "College GameDay" curse, which had killed previous No. 1 teams (in some form or fashion), and whipped USC 53-32. It was a big win on a big stage and now the Ducks also are No. 1 in the BCS standings.
Best game: Only one conference game this past weekend was decided by single digits, so we'll go with Arizona's 29-21 win at UCLA. It certainly wasn't beautiful, but winning without your A-game on the road is what good teams do.
This acrobatic touchdown reception was one of three Jeff Maehl made against USC.
Biggest play: Oregon receiver Jeff Maehl's diving, tip-it-to-himself, 45-yard TD grab was one of the more impressive receptions this season.
Offensive standout: LaMichael James rushed for 239 yards on 36 carries with three TDs in the Ducks' win over USC.
Defensive standout: Arizona State freshman defensive end Junior Onyeali had three sacks and forced two fumbles in the blowout win over Washington State.
Special teams standout: USC's Ronald Johnson returned four Oregon punts for 94 yards (23.5 yards per return), with a long of 55 yards.
Smiley face: Oregon State's and Stanford's defenses have faced questions this year, particularly the Beavers, who ranked 119th in the nation in total yards last week. But both made big statements over the weekend. The Cardinal handed Washington its first home shutout loss since 1976 and held the Huskies to just 107 total yards. The Beavers held California to just 206 yards -- they had been giving up 459 yards per game -- in a 35-7 blitzing.
Frowny face: The state of Washington got whipped 83-0 this weekend. When Steve Sarkisian described the Huskies as hitting "rock bottom," he was also speaking for the Cougars. Hey, on the bright side, things are better than they were in 2008.
Thought of the week: Arizona ranks seventh in the nation in scoring defense (14.3 ppg). Stanford ranks fifth in the nation in scoring offense (42.38 ppg). Something has to give this weekend in Palo Alto.
Questions for the week: Can Washington's defense slow down Oregon or will it get run over in a humiliating way? The Ducks rank No. 1 in the nation in scoring and total offense and No. 3 in rushing. The Huskies rank 114th in run defense, 100th in total defense and 106th in scoring defense. This matchup would appear to favor the homestanding Ducks.