Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Hot and not in the Pac-12
By ESPN.com staff
Who's hot and who's not in the Pac-12?
Here's a random sampling.
Hot: Stanford's defense. It ranks seventh in the nation in scoring, holding foes to just nine points per game. It ranks fifth in the nation with 13 sacks. It ranks No. 2 in the nation against the run. Sophomore DE Ben Gardner leads the conference with 5.5 tackles for a loss. LB Chase Thomas is tied for first in the conference with four sacks.
Not: Washington's and UCLA's defense. The Huskies rank 108th in the nation in total defense and 107th in scoring defense. The Bruins rank in the 100s in run defense (108), scoring defense (103), total defense (100) and tackles for a loss (111).
Hot: Tedfords. California coach Jeff Tedford won his 75th game at Cal to make him the Bears' all-time winningest coach, and his son, junior receiver Quinn Tedford, caught his first career pass in the win over Presbyterian.
Not: Defensive injuries. Stanford LB Shayne Skov is done for the year due to a knee injury and Arizona State DE Junior Onyeali also is likely done for the year with a knee injury. Skov is a certain first-team All-Pac-12 linebacker, and Onyeali was a good bet for that postseason honor, too. Two great players, two great teammates, two great big drags.
Hot: Utah opportunism. The Utes forced seven turnovers, including six fumbles, in their blowout win over BYU.
Not: Arizona's running game. The Wildcats rank 116th in the nation with 55.67 yards per game.
Hot: Giorgio Tavecchio. The Cal kicker missed three of his first nine PATs but he was 9-for-9 against Presbyterian.
Not: Jaime Salazar. The Arizona kicker has lost his job after making just 1 of 4 field goals. He missed all three outside of 30 yards and also missed a PAT.
Hot: UCLA kicker/punter Jeff Locke. Locke averaged 48.8 yards on four punts against Texas and was 2-for-2 on field goals with a long of 51 yards, as he stepped in for normal kicker Kip Smith.
Not: Stanford punting. The Cardinal rank 94th in the nation in net punting at 34.75 per boot.
Hot: Oregon's run offense. The Ducks rank eighth in the nation in rushing with 261 yards per game.
Not: Oregon run defense. The Ducks rank 107th in the nation against the run (214.33 yards per game).
Hot: A dual-threat Buffalo. Colorado RB Rodney Stewart had 98 yards rushing and 93 yards receiving against Colorado State.
Not: Colorado's kickoff returns. The Buffs rank 120th -- last -- in the nation in kickoff returns (14.67 per return).