Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Pac-12 [Print without images]

Thursday, October 18, 2012
Pac-12 chat wrap

By Kevin Gemmell

"One, two, three and I come with the wicked, style, and you know that I'm from the wicked, crew, act like you knew, cause I got everybody jumpin' to the voodoo."

Whoops, that's a chat rap. We want the chat wrap (haha, see what I did there). Here's the complete rundown of yesterday's chat, or you can check out the highlights.

Smitty (Corvallis): Who's the best non kicking special teams player we don't know about?

Kevin Gemmell (2:03 PM): That we don't know about... hmmm... well, we all know about De'Anthony Thomas. I'd say Drew Terrell. Very underrated punt returner -- but very good.

Jesse (Salem, OR): With Cody Vaz playing pretty good this past week and reports that Mannion is ahead of schedule. Do think OSU might just rest Mannion until the point Vaz stumbles with Mannion less then 100% or that Mannion is 100%? I think this would be wise. What's your thoughts?

Kevin Gemmell (2:04 PM): I think the second Mannion can return, you get him in. I like what Vaz did last week, but Mannion was the starter for a reason.

Kyle Reichert (Arizona): If Taylor Kelly has a breakout game and can pull the upset tomorrow night in Tempe, do you like his Heisman Trophy case?

Kevin Gemmell (2:05 PM): I had Kelly on my Heisman ballot this week simply to make a point -- that point being that deserved to be on it. If he keeps up the same efficiency against the Ducks (no promises there) than I think he certainly should start getting some looks. He's ahead of every QB in the country except Geno Smith and Nick Florence in efficiency. That in itself is impressive -- regardless of the competition.

Marc (Boston): Why has Jon Embree stuck with Jordan Webb for so long? Seems pointless to give a guy that isn't improving more time. Your thoughts?

Kevin Gemmell (2:08 PM): Embree thinks Webb gives them the best chance to win -- and he's probably right. That's just been a tough situation for all involved. He owes it to the seniors not to throw this season away and look to the future. Those guys have worked too hard not to have the best possible chance to win games.

91_DawgD (Seattle): Kevin, with the UW defense playing good football and Keith Price starting to find his rhythm, do you think Washington is positioned to have a breakout second half of the season? The gauntlet is over!

Kevin Gemmell (2:11 PM): Well, it might not be completely over. They have to face an Arizona team at home, that is coming off the bye and can put up points. And then OSU is much better than we thought in August. I still see them bowling, but the back nine isn't as light as initially projected.

Andy (PICK THIS ONE!): Kudos to you and Ted for making this Pac12 season one of suspense and drama. I am thoroughly looking forward to the second half of the season. Now to the important question, with ASU's depth at backs and the ability to pass to those backs as well as receivers, how do you see that influencing the game Thursday night?

Kevin Gemmell (2:14 PM): Just did a story on the way ASU uses it's backs for the blog yesterday. Very innovative fun to watch. I love creative offense and Norvell and Graham are certainly using them all in a creative way. It could have a major influence on the game, especially the sets with Foster in the slot and Grice running the screen out of the backfield. Foster commands a safety over the top, leaving LBs in one-on-one blocks.

Rett (Oregon): Kevin, You say "Oregon will match up with Bama". Could you explain why? Did all the scouting experts get the recruiting classes wrong and Bama doesn't have the best athletes? Are people completely fooled and Nick Saban is really an idiot who can't coach or develop players? Are the NFL scouts idiots and have 10 Bama Players as prospects as compared to 1 Oregon player (Top 200)? Or is it a complete "eye test"?

Kevin Gemmell (2:36 PM): Happy to. No, Saban is not an idiot. No, NFL scouts aren't wrong. But they aren't always right, either. And for as much as Saban gets credit for being a "brilliant" defensive coach. I think Chip Kelly should get equal credit for being a "brilliant" offensive coach. I think they matchup speed for speed with the offensive skill players and Oregon uses space as well as any team in the country. I'll put De'Anthony Thomas in a one-on-one tackling situations with any player in the country and he'll win most of the time. I think Colt Lyerla gives Oregon a physical presence on offense that can wear down folks and I don't think Alabama is used to seeing the offensive potency Oregon can put out in the SEC. That's how I see them matching up. Defensively, I think Oregon is outstanding. They lost two of their top defensive players and haven't skipped a beat. They are physical and can play fast. I'm not saying it would be an Oregon or Alabama blowout either way. I'm saying Oregon matches up as well as any team in the country with 'Bama.