Pac-12: Colorado

Trojans Live! USC-Colorado

November, 4, 2011
Welcome to Trojans Live! Set your reminders.'s interactive chat on Friday, 6 PT.
Game will be shown on ESPN and ESPN3

Arizona lands touted tight end

June, 7, 2011
Is a Rob Gronkowski sequel coming to Tucson?

Tight end Taylor McNamara (San Diego, Calif./Westview) has committed to Arizona, ESPN's Greg Biggins reports.

A member of the ESPNU150, McNamara had offers from USC, Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Washington, UCLA, California, Washington, Oregon State, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, Miami, Maryland and Kentucky.

So this is a big get for the Wildcats.

"There were a lot of reasons why I liked Arizona. I'll have a chance to play early there, I'm comfortable with the school and the direction the program is going in, it's close enough to home for my parents and coaches to come and watch me and I like the players on the team and trust the coaching staff there," he told Biggins.

McNamara, 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, is the Wildcats' third commitment.

Stanford lands A-list D-lineman

May, 2, 2011
Stanford has landed a big-time commitment on its defensive line.

ESPNU 150 Watch List defensive tackle Aziz Shittu of Buhach HS (Atwater, Calif.), one of the top players on the West Coast, has become the Cardinal's third commitment for the 2012 class.

Shittu (6-foot-2, 275 pounds) picked Stanford over an array of other suitors, including Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Northwestern, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA, Southern California, Washington and Washington State.

ESPN's Craig Haubert said of Shittu, "Stanford picked-up a verbal from one of the top defensive line prospects in the state of California. Aziz Shittu is a big man who can be tough against the run, but also can help rush the passer. He is capable of firing out low and knocking blockers back to help collapse the pocket, but the big man can also attack blockers as well and use his weapons to work past them to apply pressure. Shittu looks to give effort and can be a disruptive defender and is a nice in-state pick-up for the Cardinal."

Can USC find a second wind?

October, 30, 2010
LOS ANGELES -- This one might be about big chunks of yards.

Oregon's offense -- and most particularly running back LaMichael James -- thrive on fast-paced drives fueled by big plays. And USC's defense has given up yards in large chunks this year.

James leads the nation with 32 runs of more than 20 yards over the past two seasons. That's a big reason that Oregon has 10 TD drives of 70-plus yards this year that took less than two minutes.

Meanwhile, USC’s defense has given up 114 plays of 10 yards or more this season. USC opponents are averaging a 10-yard gain on almost a quarter of all plays, according to ESPN Stats & Information, a percentage that ranks it beside bottom-feeders like Colorado, Washington State and Minnesota.

So the first order of business for USC's defense is to stop the James and the Duck from piling up big plays.

The second order is to find a second wind in the second half.

The Trojans aren't deep. So far this season, they haven't rotated in many guys -- unlike Oregon, they rely heavily on their starters. And there have been times when the Trojans have seemed tired.

Oregon might be the best second-half team in the country. It's outscoring foes 156-23 after the break. It's reasonable to believe opponents wear down late due to the Ducks' pace of play.

Will USC?

Or might USC counter by holding onto the ball, grinding down on a fast, but undersized Ducks defense with a power running game, and then having Matt Barkley go over the top to Robert Woods and and Ronald Johnson?

Sure, these are not the dominant Trojans of 2002-2008. They are 4-4 in their past eight Pac-10 games -- after winning 55 of 63.

But if the defense can maintain a high level of play for four quarters, the Trojans' potent, balanced offense has the fire-power to win a shootout.

At this point, "Road Block Saturday" hasn't been good to unbeatens. Can the Ducks manage to thrive on the road and continue their pursuit of the school's first national championship?