Pac-12: Reid Forrest

Preseason position reviews: punter

July, 6, 2011
Punters often don't get much respect, but if you understand the value of field position, you understand the value of a good punter.

California and UCLA might be offensively challenged this fall, but if their defenses step up, they might be able to steal a few games by being opportunistic after their punter creates a field-position headache for their opponents.

So how does the entire conference stack up? Read on.

Great shape

California: Bryan Anger, first-team All-Pac-10, is on the short list for the Ray Guy Award. Huge foot. Averaged 45.6 yards per boot in 2010, which ranked sixth in the nation. Twenty one of 62 punts downed inside 20-yard line.

UCLA: Jeff Locke is also a leading Ray Guy candidate. He led the conference in punting last fall at 45.8 yards per punt and earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors. Twenty four of 64 punts went for 50-plus yards.

Washington: The Huskies actually have two good punters. Will Mahan averaged 40.6 yards per punt in 2009 and got off to a good start in the 2010 opener at BYU -- 45.2 yards per boot -- before getting hurt. Then Kiel Rasp stepped in and averaged 43.8 yards per punt. An "or" was between the two on the post-spring depth chart.

Good shape

Oregon: Jackson Rice averaged a solid 42.3 yards per punt in 2010, with 18 of 40 punts downed inside the 20.

Stanford: Dan Zychlinski didn't punt much last season -- see a conference-low 27 punts -- but he averaged a decent 41.8 yards per attempt.

Oregon State: Johnny Hekker averaged 41.7 yards per punt, which ranked eighth in the conference.

Utah: Sean Sellwood, a South Africa native, was solid last season with a 41-yard average. Ten of his 33 punts were downed inside the 20. On the worrisome side, three of his punts were blocked.

We'll see

Colorado: Zach Grossnickle is back. That's good. His 35.7 yards per boot average from 2010 is not. Potentially more good news: Mark Brundage, a transfer from Rice, averaged 44.2 yards for 26 punts in 2009. They will compete for the starting job.

Washington State: Dan Wagner averaged 51 yards per punt last season. On one punt. Of course, he backed up one of the nation's best punters in Reid Forrest and had a solid spring.

Arizona State: Josh Hubner is a touted junior college transfer. At 6-foot-4, 230, he looks like a tight end.

USC: Kyle Negrete was No. 1 on the depth chart after spring practices. Incoming freshman Kristopher Albarado was one of nation's top recruits at the position.

Arizona: Kyle Dugandzic takes over for Keenyn Crier, which might be a good thing because Crier was the worst punter in the conference last season.

Pac-12 lunch links: Sarkisian and Carroll chat about QBs

April, 26, 2011
The heart makes dreams seem like ideas.'s 2010 All-Senior Pac-10 team

January, 25, 2011
The SEC and Big Ten Bloggers -- Chris Low and Adam Rittenberg -- had an excellent idea: An All-Conference team of only seniors (fourth or fifth-year guys with no more eligibility).

And being the radical sort of guy I am, we're going to do an "All-Underclass" Pac-10 team Wednesday morning, which will feature players who will have at least two years of eligibility left next year. So stay tuned!

And here's my All-Pac-10 team without regard to year, just for reference.

So here's my take for the seniors of 2010.

[Edit note: We subbed in USC TE Jordan Cameron after realizing that Stanford TE Coby Fleener has another year of eligibility.]

QB Jake Locker, Washington
RB Owen Marecic, Stanford
RB Allen Bradford, USC
TE Jordan Cameron, USC
WR Jeff Maehl, Oregon
WR Ronald Johnson, USC
OL Chase Beeler, Stanford
OL Jordan Holmes, Oregon
OL Adam Grant, Arizona
OL Colin Baxter, Arizona
OL Bo Thran, Oregon

LB Casey Matthews, Oregon
LB Mason Foster, Washington
LB Mike Mohamed, California
DE Cameron Jordan, California
DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
DT Brandon Bair, Oregon
DE Brooks Reed, Arizona
CB Talmadge Jackson, Oregon
CB Shareece Wright, USC
S Chris Conte, California
S Nate Williams, Washington

K Nate Whitaker, Stanford
P Reid Forrest, Washington State
PR/KR Ronald Johnson, USC

Forrest, Anger are Ray Guy semifinalists

November, 13, 2010
Washington State's Reid Forrest and California's Bryan Anger are two of the 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award, which is given annually to the nation's best punter.

But does it really?

Inexplicably missing from the list? Arizona State's Trevor Hankins, who ranks third in the nation and No. 1 in the Pac-10 with a 47.1-yard average, and UCLA's Jeff Locke, who ranks second in the conference and ninth in the nation.

Hankins, who was suspended for last week's USC game after a DUI arrest, and Locke should be on the list.

2010 Ray Guy Award Semifinalists

Reid Forrest (Sr.) – Washington State
Bryan Anger (Jr.) – California
Drew Butler (Jr.) – Georgia
Ryan Donahue (Sr.) – Iowa
Chas Henry (Sr.) – Florida
Dan Hutchins (Sr.) – Pittsburgh
Kyle Martens (Jr.) – Rice
Anthony Santella (Sr.) – Illinois
Quinn Sharp (So.) – Oklahoma State
Dawson Zimmerman (Jr.) – Clemson

Pac-10 did you know? Week 11

November, 12, 2010
Some quick notes to get you through the hours until Saturday.
  • The Pac-10 was again ranked the No. 1 conference this week by the Sagarin Ratings. The Big 12 was No. 2, the SEC No. 3 and the Big Ten No. 4.
  • California is 4-0 at home season with an average winning margin of 38.8 points per game.
  • The Bears still have won four of five against Oregon, who haven't won in Berkeley since 2001
  • Oregon is 9-0 for the first time in 115 seasons.
  • Oregon has outscored its opponents 215-48 in the second half.
  • Ducks RB LaMichael James leads the nation in rushing (166.38 yards per game) and has 17 rushing touchdowns, which is No. 1 in the nation.
  • Oregon WR Jeff Maehl has 15 TD catches in his last 14 games.
  • USC leads its series with Arizona 26-7, but the Wildcats won last year in the Coliseum 21-17.
  • Arizona WR Juron Criner has caught 25 passes for 333 yards in the last three games.
  • USC quarterback Matt Barkley hasn't been in sync with downfield throws the past two games. In the first seven games on passes of 15 yards or more, he completed 44.3 percent with four TDs and two interceptions. In the last two, he's completed just 38.9 percent with two interceptions and no TDs.
  • Barkley is most accurate outside the pocket. On passes of 10 or more yards, he's completed 71.4 percent outside the pocket and 42.7 percent inside the pocket.
  • The Trojans defense has given up 148 plays of 10 yards or more, and USC opponents are averaging a 10-yard gain on almost a quarter of all plays. That ranks in the bottom five in the nation, and the other four teams -- Minnesota, Memphis, Colorado and Washington State -- have combined for six wins.
  • Stanford is 8-1 on the season, matching its best start since 1970.
  • Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is the Cardinal's second-leading rusher with 370 yards on 43 attempts (8.6 ypa) and three TD. He has rushed for 724 yards in 21 career games, the highest total ever by a Stanford quarterback.
  • Luck thrown 22 TD passes this season, which already is tied for fourth on Stanford’s single-season list. John Elway (1980) and Steve Stenstrom (1993) hold the single-season record with 27.
  • Arizona State wide receiver T.J. Simpson has caught 18 passes for 272 yards (15.1 yards per reception) in the last three games. In the first six games, he caught just six passes for 104 yards.
  • Oregon State remains the only team in the nation that has not lost a fumble. The Beavers have just four turnovers this year, which is the fewest in the nation.
  • Beavers RB Jacquizz Rodgers needs 194 yards rushing to move into the top-10 of the Pac-10's career rushing list. The junior has rushed for 3,496 yards over the past three seasons.
  • After recording just two sacks in the first three games, the Beavers have made 19 in the last five. Leading the charge is DT Stephen Paea, who leads the team with four sacks.
  • Washington State QB Jeff Tuel was the only conference quarterback to pass for over 200 yards in his first nine games, but his streak was snapped last weekend against California, when he passed for just 92 yards in a 20-13 defeat.
  • The Cougars led Cal 10-7 at halftime last weekend. It was the first time they'd led at the break since Sept. 20, 2008, when they were up 17-3 on Portland State.
  • Cougars punter Reid Forrest had a career-long 84-yard punt vs. Cal. It was the longest punt in the conference this year and tied for the fourth best in conference history.

Pac-10 did you know? Week 10

November, 5, 2010
Some quick notes to get you through the hours until Saturday. Many thanks to ESPN Stats & Information.
  • The Sagarin Ratings this week ranked the Pac-10 as the nation's top conference. Seven teams were ranked in the top-25 by the computer rating, in large part because the conference has played by far the nation's toughest overall schedule. The nation's five toughest schedules are in the Pac-10 -- No. 1 Oregon State, No. 2 Washington State, No. 3 Washington, No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 Arizona State -- as well as seven in the top-10 (No. 7 California and No. 10 USC). That said, the three teams ranked in the top-25: No. 1 Oregon, No. 13 Stanford and No. 15 Arizona have played the three easiest schedules: Nos. 42, 25 and 21, respectively
  • In Arizona's 43-38 win against Stanford in 2009, the teams combined for 1,137 yards, including 838 passing yards.
  • Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has nine touchdown passes in the first quarter this season, which is the second highest total in the nation. Luck’s first quarter pass efficiency is the best in the nation.
  • Luck has been great in the red zone this season, amassing a pass efficiency of 226.0, seventh best in the FBS (minimum 15 attempts). He's thrown 16 red zone TD passes with just one interception.
  • Arizona’s defense has allowed just one rush this season to go for 20 yards or more. Stanford comes into the game with 14 such running plays, tied for 19th in the FBS.
  • Wildcats receiver Juron Criner has caught 16 passes for 235 yards over the past two games with Matt Scott as the starting quarterback.
  • Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor has eclipsed 100 yards rushing in five consecutive games. He is the only Pac-10 back who has done so.
  • Oregon's average time of possession on 51 touchdown drives this year is 1:43, quickest among all FBS teams.
  • Oregon’s offense is averaging more than 570 yards per game, and the Ducks gain their yards in chunks. They lead the nation with 40 plays of more than 25 yards, and 22 of those have gone for TDs, which also leads the nation.
  • LaMichael James has 13 rushes of 20-plus yards this season, which is second in the country behind Taylor Martinez of Nebraska, but nobody has more long runs than James since the start of last season. His 34 is 10 more than anyone else.
  • Washington has lost six consecutive games to Oregon, each by at least 20 points. The Huskies still lead the series 58-39-5.
  • The top three tacklers in the Pac-10 are Huskies: linebacker Mason Foster (12.5 tackles per game), safety Nate Williams (8.8 tpg) and linebacker Cort Dennison (8.6). On the downside, the Huskies rank ninth in the conference in total defense (429.8 yards per game) and rushing (212.1 ypg) defense.
  • USC has won 10 in a row vs. Arizona State, the longest current winning streak in Pac-10 play. The Trojans, who lead the overall series 17-9, have played the Sun Devils fewer times than any other Pac-10 team.
  • Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson is 1-7 against the Trojans, with the losses coming while at Washington State (1987), Oregon State (1999, 2001 and 2002) and Arizona State (2007, 2008 and 2009). His lone victory, in 2000 at Oregon State, however, was a biggie: It snapped the Beavers’ Pac-10 record 26-game losing streak to USC.
  • ASU freshman Deantre Lewis has eclipsed 100 yards rushing in three consecutive games, the first Sun Devil to do so since 2003.
  • Oregon State is the only team in the nation that has not lost a fumble. Its four total turnovers are fewest in the nation.
  • After getting just two sacks in the first three games, the Beavers have 16 in their past four.
  • Beavers running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who is now 14th on the Pac-10 list for career rushing yards (3,433), has scored a rushing TD in 12 straight games.
  • Oregon State has kicked just three field goals this year, fewest in the Pac-10.
  • UCLA had just three TD passes in its first seven games before Richard Brehaut threw two last weekend against Arizona.
  • The Bruins have scored 20 TDs this year, fewest in the conference. They rank last in total offense with 312.5 yards per game, passing offense (120 yards per game) and passing efficiency.
  • The Bruins have only four interceptions, fewest in the conference. Last year, safety Rahim Moore led the nation with 10 interceptions.
  • California is 0-4 on the road this year. Three of those were blowouts, with the Bears losing by 21, 34 and 28 points.
  • Cal quarterback Brock Mansion will be making his first career start at Washington State on Saturday. He came off the bench for Kevin Riley at Oregon State last weekend and completed 14 of 24 for 138 yards with a TD. He was sacked four times.
  • California running back Shane Vereen saw his streak of 33 consecutive games with at least one reception end at Oregon State.
  • Washington State's Reid Forrest is No. 1 on the Cougars all-time punting list with 256 punts for 10,879 yards.
  • The Cougars have lost 15 consecutive Pac-10 games, with their last conference victory coming in their final league contest of 2008, a 16-13 double overtime win against Washington in the Apple Cup.

Some Pac-10 numbers to chew on

October, 5, 2010
Some numbers that might interest you.
  • In four games last weekend, Pac-10 teams averaged 487 yards and 34.4 points per game. No conference team scored fewer than 28 points.
  • Three conference running backs rushed for more than 200 yards: Oregon's LaMichael James (257 yards vs. Stanford), USC's Allen Bradford (223 vs. Washington) and UCLA's Johnathan Franklin (216 yards vs. Washington State).
  • A conference of QBs? Four Pac-10 teams rank among the nation's top-25 in rushing: No. 2 Oregon, No. 10 UCLA, No. 15 USC and No. 24 Stanford. But only two are among the top-25 in passing: No. 9 Arizona State and No. 11 Arizona.
  • Arizona is the only conference team that ranks in the top-25 in rushing and pass defense. The Wildcats are No. 2 in the nation in total defense (230.75 yards per game). The Wildcats have not allowed a TD in three of four games. They've surrendered zero rushing TDs.
  • USC QB Matt Barkley is No. 1 in the Pac-10 and 14th in the nation in passing efficiency.
  • Three Pac-10 kickers have yet to miss a field goal attempt: Stanford's Nate Whitaker (9 for 9, long of 46 yards), Washington's Erik Folk (7 for 7, long of 54 yards) and Oregon's Rob Beard (5 for 5, long of 42 yards). The longest field goal so far this year came from Washington State's Nico Grasu, who connected from 56 yards (vs. Oklahoma State).
  • Washington LB Mason Foster leads the conference with 48 total tackles and 12 tackles per game.
  • Oregon DT Brandon Bair leads the conference with 8.5 tackles for a loss.
  • Oregon CB Cliff Harris leads the conference with four interceptions and eight pass breakups.
  • Four Pac-10 teams rank among the top-15 in the nation in turnover margin. Oregon is No. 1 (2.20), Oregon State is No. 2 (2.0), California is No. 12 (1.0) and Stanford is 15th (0.80). The Beavers are the only team in the country that hasn't turned the ball over.
  • Four Pac-10 punters rank among the top-14 in the country. Arizona State's Trevor Hankins is No. 1, UCLA's Jeff Locke is No. 10, Washington's Kiel Rasp is No. 12 and Washington State's Reid Forrest is 14th.
  • On the downside for punters, five conference punt returners also rank among the top-14 in the country: Oregon's Harris is No. 1, Oregon State's James Rodgers is No. 4, USC's Ronald Johnson is No. 6, Oregon's Kenjon Barner is No. 11 and Cal's Jeremy Ross is 14th.

Preseason position reviews: punter

August, 11, 2010
The Pac-10: A conference of punters.

You have both the first- and second-team All-Pac-10 punters back, two on the seven-man Ray Guy Award watch list and three that ranked among the nation's top 21 in punting last year.

Oh, and every team welcomes back their punter from 2009.

Any of the six teams in "Great shape" here could produce an All-Pac-10 punter.

Great shape
  • California: Bryan Anger, first-team All-Pac-10 in 2009, might be the nation's most talented punter. Though he ranked fourth in the conference with a 42.3-yard average, he led the conference with 24 punts downed inside the 20 with only four touchbacks, which means he's got great touch.
  • Arizona State: Trevor Hankins led the Pac-10 with a 44.2-yard average. His 18 punts of 50 or more yards tied for most in the conference.
  • UCLA: Jeff Locke, who's on the Ray Guy watch list, earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2009. His 43.6-yard average ranked second in the conference.
  • Washington State: Reid Forrest punted 86 times in 2009 -- 16 more boots than anyone else in the league -- and averaged a stout 43.2-yards per punt.
  • Oregon: As a true freshman, Jackson Rice, despite an unimpressive 40.5-yard average, downed the second-highest percentage of punts inside an opponent's 20-yard line in the conference (37.7).
  • Oregon State: Johnny Hekker, one of seven punters on the Ray Guy watch list after being a semifinalist in 2009, doesn't have a huge foot but he did down 19 of his 51 punts inside his opponent's 20-yard line, which means he did so at a higher rate than Anger.
Good shape
  • Arizona: Keenyn Crier was first-team All-Pac-10 as redshirt freshman in 2007 and honorable mention pick in 2008, but he fell off a bit last year.
  • Stanford: David Green doesn't have a big foot -- only two punts went for more than 50 yards -- but he dropped nearly half (15) of his 33 punts inside an opponent's 20.
  • Washington: Will Mahan is a solid if unspectacular punter.
We'll see
  • USC: A touted JC transfer, Jacob Harfman ranked last in the Pac-10 last year with a 39.8-yard average. Only nine of his 48 punts pinned a foe inside its 20-yard line.

Opening camp: Washington State

August, 8, 2010
Washington State opens preseason camp today. Here's a quick look.

Who's back: Eight starters on offense, six starters on defense and both specialists.

Big names: Quarterback Jeff Tuel, defensive end Travis Long, receiver Jared Karstetter and punter Reid Forrest.

What's new: Coach Paul Wulff made two coaching changes. He hired veteran offensive line coach Steve Morton, who's coached five Pac-10 Morris Trophy winners, and special teams/running backs coach Dave Ungerer.

Key competition: The only two "ORs" on the depth chart are on the offensive line between Wade Jacobson and Micah Hannam at left tackle, and David Gonzalez and Hannam at right tackle. The pecking order at running back probably still remains open, too.

Breaking out: Long, a sophomore, and senior Kevin Kooyman should give the Cougars a solid tandem at defensive end. Junior college transfer Brandon Rankin was impressive during the spring. Cornerback Daniel Simmons has all-conference ability, and safety LeAndre Daniels and linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis also will lead the defense.

Quote: Kooyman on the Cougars being picked 10th: “The last two season’s have been really rough. You just kind of have to ignore it. We are going to shock some people ... this season. We don’t really care about the rankings. It is more of a distraction.”

Notes: James Montgomery is back in position to start at running back after a harrowing battle with illness and injury. He required emergency surgery last year for acute compartment syndrome -- which can be life-threatening -- and then missed spring practice because of micro-fracture surgery on his right knee ... Speedy linebacker Louis Bland continues to struggle with a knee problem. He might end up redshirting ... Former Cougars star Chad Eaton is serving as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line ... Backup defensive tackle Dan Spitz will be ineligible for the first nine games because he violated NCAA policy on banned substances. The Cougars previously lost senior defensive tackles Toby Turpin and Josh Luapo because of academic issues ... Redshirt freshman linebacker Andre Barrington is academically ineligible.

Pac-10 deep & thin: Stocked and depleted positions

June, 3, 2010
At what position is the Pac-10 deep? At what position in the Pac-10 thin? Here's the third of three parts taking a look at just that.

Deep: Specialists

[+] EnlargeKai Forbath
Jim Brown/US Presswire Kai Forbath of UCLA is one of two Lou Groza Award winning kickers returning to the Pac-10 this season.
Why is it deep? Eight teams welcome back both their punter and kicker, and many of them are quite happy about that. Three conference kickers ranked among the top-20 in field goals per game, while three punters ranked in the top 21. No team is replacing both specialists. Oregon is replacing kicker Morgan Flint and USC is replacing kicker Jordan Congdon, who ranked fifth and seventh, respectively, in field goals per game in 2009.

The big names: Start with two Lou Groza Award winning kickers: UCLA's Kai Forbath (2009) and Arizona State's Thomas Weber (2007). Then there's Oregon State's Justin Kahut, who made 22 of 27 field goals with a long of 50, and Washington's Erik Folk, who was 18 for 21 with a long of 48. As for the punters, Arizona State's Trevor Hankins ranked No. 1 in the Pac-10 and 10th in the nation in punting (44.2 yards per punt), while UCLA's Jeff Locke (43.6) was 16th in the nation and Washington State's Reid Forrest (43.2) was 21st. Oh, and California's Bryan Anger might have the biggest foot of everyone; he dropped a conference-high 24 punts inside the 20 last year.

Thin: Linebacker

Why is it thin? Four of the six linebackers who made up the first and second All-Pac-10 teams are gone as are five of the 11 LBs who earned honorable mention. Only two teams -- USC and Oregon -- welcome back all of their starting LBs from 2009, and a big story this spring was the Trojans lack of depth at the position, while the Ducks moved Eddie Pleasant to safety (in large part because of depth at the position). Arizona is replacing all three starting linebackers, while Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA only have one returning starter at the position (though the Beavers outside linebacker platoon of Dwight Roberson and Keith Pankey probably should count as more than one starter).

Fill the void? This is not a "strength" position, but the cupboard is hardly empty: UCLA's Akeem Ayers, California's Mike Mohamed and Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict are All-American candidates, while Oregon's Casey Matthews earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2009 and Washington's Mason Foster is a likely breakout player. The Ducks, in particular, are fast and deep at linebacker, while the Sun Devils aren't far behind in terms of young talent.

Washington State spring wrap

May, 7, 2010
Washington State

2009 overall record: 1-11

2009 conference record: 0-9 (10th)

Returning starters

Offense: 8, Defense: 6, punter/kicker: 2

Top returners: QB Jeff Tuel, WR Jared Karstetter, DE Travis Long, LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis, P Reid Forrest

Key losses: C Kenny Alfred, RB Dwight Tardy, FS Xavier Hicks, LB Andy Mattingly

2009 statistical leaders (*returning starter)

Rushing: Tardy (417)

Passing: Tuel* (789)

Receiving: Karstetter* (540)

Tackles: Alex Hoffman-Ellis* (84)

Sacks: Travis Long*, Toby Turpin, Casey Hamlett*, Anthony Laurenzi* (2)

Interceptions: Xavier Hicks (3)

Spring Answers

1. Solid at QB: Both sophomore Tuel and junior Marshall Lobbestael played well this spring. Both are more skilled, more mature and better versed in the offense than when they were prematurely forced into action the previous two seasons. Tuel is the heavy frontrunner to start, but it's always nice to have two quarterbacks with starting experience.

2. Offensive line improvement: A big area of concern the past two seasons, the Cougars added a pair of JC recruits midyear and the additions greatly enhanced the competition and depth up front. Also, the addition of offensive line coach Steve Morton and his 35 years of experience, which includes five Morris Trophy winners, already has made a big impact. The line lost one starter from last season (center Kenny Alfred) but the return of four starters, along with the JC additions and return of Andrew Roxas, who missed 2009 due to illness, could make this one of the most improved units in the conference.

3. There's some depth: Everyone around the program insists this is by far the best spring for coach Paul Wulff since he took over a beleaguered program two years ago. Part of that success is legitimate competition for starting spots and playing time. Players who redshirted the past two seasons, in particular, made an impact during the 15 practices

Fall questions

1. Confidence? The Cougars have won just three games over the past two seasons -- just one Pac-10 game. Many of their defeats have been blowouts. While the talent looks better heading into 2010, the Cougars have to believe they can compete -- and win -- in the Pac-10. That belief will drive players to work out hard during the summer. That belief will keep games close into the fourth quarter. That belief might even help them steal a few games. But that belief has to be real, which means it will have to block out all the talk about another dreary 10th-place finish.

2. Will the D-line step up? Sophomore end Travis Long should take the next step. JC transfer Brandon Rankin lived up to his considerable hype at tackle. Senior end Kevin Kooyman is back from injury and had a good spring. That's the good news. The bad news is three of the top four or five tackles are either gone -- or close to going -- before their time. Toby Turpin was kicked out of school over an undisclosed academic incident, while tackles Bernard Wolfgramm and Josh Luapo are struggling to remain academically eligible (coaches are more hopeful about Wolfgramm getting back on track). That means youngsters such as Justin Clayton, Dan Spitz, Jordan Pu’u Robinson and Anthony Laurenzi will need to be ready -- and be better than they were in 2009.

3. Receiver depth? The Cougars went through spring with just four scholarship receivers (Jeffrey Solomon, Jared Karstetter, Gino Simone and Daniel Blackledge). The incoming recruiting class features five receivers. JC recruit Isiah Barton is probably the most ready, but at least a couple of freshmen will need to earn spots in the rotation.

A quick look into this week's games

October, 6, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

Lining up this week's action.

No. 13 Oregon (4-1, 2-0) at UCLA (3-1, 0-1)

Oregon beat UCLA 31-24 last year. ... UCLA leads the series 39-23-0. ... Oregon's four-game winning streak leads the Pac-10. ... UCLA has won six of its last nine against ranked foes in the Rose Bowl. ... Oregon's Ed Dickson is now the Ducks career leader in receptions by a tight end with 104. ... UCLA kicker Kai Forbath leads the nation with three field goals per game. ... Oregon has forced a conference-high 13 turnovers but it has also given away 12. ... The Bruins rank ninth in the conference in passing, total and scoring offense. ... Ducks freshman RB LaMichael James has rushed for 351 yards in the Ducks last three games. ... UCLA ranks 23rd in the nation in run defense (99.25 yards per game) and 20th in total defense (281.25 yards per game). ... Oregon leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense with 34.2 points per game even though it still ranks last in passing offense with 172.6 yards per game.

Stanford (4-1, 3-0) at Oregon State (3-2, 1-1)

Stanford beat Oregon State 36-28 last year. ... Stanford leads the series 48-24-3. ... Stanford is off to its best start since beginning 5-1 in 2001, the last season the Cardinal went to a bowl game. The Cardinal haven't been 3-0 in conference play since 1999, and that team went to the Rose Bowl. ... Oregon State receiver James Rodgers leads the Pac-10 in receptions per game (9.6) and receiving yards per game (93.2 ypg). He also leads the conference in all-purpose yards (187 ypg). ... Stanford running back Toby Gerhart ranks first in the Pac-10 and fourth in the nation with 130 yards rushing per game. ... Oregon State ranks 12th in the country in run defense (87.4 ypg). The longest run against the Beavers defense is 19 yards. ... Among conference quarterbacks with at least 100 passing attempts, Stanford's redshirt freshman Andrew Luck ranks No. 1 in pass efficiency. ... Oregon State has not lost a fumble this year. ... Stanford DE Thomas Keiser ranks second in the conference in sacks (4.5) and tackles for a loss (7.5). ... Jacquizz Rodgers leads the conference with nine touchdowns.

Arizona (3-1, 1-0) at Washington (2-3, 1-1)

Arizona beat Washington 48-14 last year. ... Washington leads the series 16-8-1. ... Washington has the leading freshman running back, Chris Polk with 90.4 ypg, and leading freshman receiver, James Johnson, with 55.8 yards per game, in the Pac-10. ... Arizona running back Nic Grigsby leads the conference with an 8.1 yards per carry average. ... The Huskies are the only Pac-10 team converting more than 50 percent of their third downs (54.5 percent). ... Arizona ranks 23rd in the nation in total defense, giving up 288.25 ypg. ... Washington quarterback Jake Locker leads the conference in both passing (256.6 ypg) and total offense (278 ypg). ... Arizona defensive end Ricky Elmore ranks third in the conference with 4.5 sacks. ... Huskies kicker Erik Folk is 9 of 10 on field goals. ... Wildcats cornerback Trevin Wade is tied for second in the nation with an average of one interception per game.

Arizona State (2-2, 0-1) at Washington State (1-4, 0-3)

Arizona State beat Washington State 31-0 last year. ... Arizona State leads the series 21-12-1. ... Arizona State receiver Chris McGaha caught 15 passes for 165 yards, both career highs, against Oregon State. The 15 receptions is now tied for fourth on the conference's single-game list. ... Washington State punter Reid Forrest leads the Pac-10 with an average of 44.7 yards per punt. He's had 11 punts downed inside an opponent's 20-yard line. ... Arizona State ranks third in the nation in total defense (232 ypg). ... Washington State ranks last in the Pac-10 in rushing, passing, total and scoring defense. It ranks last in rushing, total and scoring offense. It ranks eighth in passing offense. ... Arizona State is 7 for 10 on fourth downs this year. ... Washington State ranks last in the Pac-10 in attendance at 22,353. The Cougars averaged 30,718 last year. ... The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in turnover margin (plus-9), which includes a league-high nine interceptions. ... Washington State leads the conference in redzone defense, with opponents scoring only 65.2 percent of the time. ... Sun Devils quarterback Danny Sullivan ranks last in the conference in passing efficiency.

USC and California are both off. Cal next plays at UCLA on Oct. 17. USC will be at Notre Dame on Oct. 17.

A quick look at this week's games

September, 29, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

Lining up this week's action.

No. 7 USC (3-1, 1-1) at No. 24 California (3-1, 0-1)

USC beat Cal 17-3 last year... The Trojans lead the all-time series, 61-30-5... Cal has won nine consecutive home games. It last lost in Memorial Stadium to USC in 2007... USC leads the Pac-10 in total offense (424 yards per game), rushing and scoring defense (59.5 ypg and 10 ppg)... Bears QB Kevin Riley hasn't thrown an interception this season and has a streak of 115 passes without a pick dating back to last year... USC leads the Pac-10 with 18 sacks... Cal had three fumbles at Oregon, its first three turnovers of the season... USC ranks last in the Pac-10 in third-down conversion percentage (25 percent)... Bears RB Jahvid Best ranks ninth in the nation with 116.75 yards rushing per game... Trojans DE Nick Perry leads the conference in sacks with six, while linebacker Michael Morgan leads the conference in tackles for a loss with 8.5... Despite scoring just three points at Oregon, the Bears still rank No. 1 in the conference in scoring with 37.25 points per game.

UCLA (3-0, 0-0) at Stanford (3-1, 2-0)

UCLA beat Stanford 23-20 last year... The Bruins lead the all-time series 23-20... UCLA will play nine consecutive conference games without a bye... Stanford has won six of its past seven home games... The Bruins have eight interceptions, tied for first in the conference... Stanford running back Toby Gerhart is No. 3 in the nation with 129 yards rushing per game... UCLA kicker Kai Forbath has connected on 22 of his past 23 field goal attempts dating back to last year. His lone miss came from 51 yards... The Bruins have held each of their opponents to less than 300 yards of total offense. They rank 15th in the nation in total defense (251 ypg) and 12th in scoring (12.67 ppg)... Stanford is No. 1 in the conference in passing efficiency... UCLA is No. 1 in the conference in passing efficiency defense... Stanford is No. 1 in the conference in rushing... UCLA is No. 3 in the conference in run defense...Stanford has yielded only two sacks this year, fewest in the conference... UCLA ranks 10th in the Pac-10 in total offense (301.3 ypg) and eighth in scoring (25 ppg)... Stanford ranks last in the conference in turnover margin (negative-3).

Washington (2-2) at Notre Dame (3-1)

Notre Dame beat Washington 33-7 last year... The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series 7-0... Washington QB Jake Locker leads the Pac-10 and ranks 21st in the nation in total offense (269 yards per game)... Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen ranks fourth in the nation in passing efficiency. He's thrown 10 TD passes with just one interception... Washington ranks 106th in the nation in run defense... Notre Dame ranks 106th in the nation in pass defense... The Huskies have just four sacks this season... The Fighting Irish's last three games have been decided by a total of 10 points.... Washington ranks ninth in the Pac-10 in scoring and rushing offense... Washington is converting 58 percent of its third downs, which ranks fifth in the nation.

Oregon State (2-2, 0-1) at Arizona State (2-1, 0-0)

Oregon State beat Arizona State 27-25 last year... The Sun Devils lead the all-time series 24-10-1... The Beavers have won four in a row on the road, the longest road winning streak in the conference, but they haven't won at ASU since 1969... Arizona State ranks third in the nation in total defense (211 yards per game) and 11th in scoring defense (12.33 ppg)... Running back Jacquizz Rodgers leads the Pac-10 in receptions per game (8.0) while his brother James leads the conference in receiving yards per game (88 ypg)... The Sun Devils have turned the ball over just once this season and lead the Pac-10 with a plus-10 turnover margin... The Beavers have only three turnovers this year -- no fumbles -- but they have only forced four turnovers, fewest in the conference... The Sun Devils will play nine consecutive conference games without a bye... Oregon State leads the conference in passing with 255.8 yards per game... ASU leads the Pac-10 in passing defense with 136.7 yards allowed per game.

Washington State (1-3, 0-2) at No. 16 Oregon (3-1, 1-0)

Oregon beat Washington State 63-14 last year... Oregon leads the all-time series 41-38-7... The Ducks have won seven in a row at home... Cougars punter Reid Forrest leads the Pac-10 with a 45.3 yards per punt average... Oregon TE Ed Dickson caught a career-high 11 passes for 148 yards and three TDs in the win over California. The 11 catches tied a school tight end record... Washington State will start true freshman Jeff Tuel at quarterback. He's just the second true freshman quarterback to start for the Cougars. Drew Bledsoe was the first... Oregon's redshirt freshman tailback LaMichael James, who replaced the suspended LeGarrette Blount, has recorded back-to-back 100-yard rushing efforts... The Cougars have forced 11 turnovers, which is tied for first in the conference. They forced 13 turnovers in 2008... The Ducks' defense has held its past two opponents, nationally ranked Utah and Cal, to less than 300 yards of total offense... Washington State ranks 10th in the conference in passing, total and scoring defense. It ranks ninth in run defense.

Arizona is off this week. It next plays at Washington on Oct. 10.

A quick look at this week's Pac-10 games

September, 22, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

Lining up this week's action.

No. 6 California (3-0) at Oregon (2-1)

Cal won 26-16 last year. ... The Bears lead the all-time series 39-30-2. ... California owns the Pac-10's longest winning streak at six games. ... Oregon owns the longest winning streak in conference games at three games. ... Cal has won three in a row in the series. ... The Ducks have faced three ranked teams in their first four games. ... Bears running back Jahvid Best scored five rushing TDs against Minnesota, tying the Pac-10's single-game record, and he has seven consecutive games with at least 100 yards rushing. ... The Ducks ended Utah's 16-game winning streak on Saturday. The Utes entered the game averaging 509 yards per game, but the Ducks held them to 297 total yards. ... Cal QB Kevin Riley has throw five TD passes with no interceptions. ... Oregon CB Walter Thurmond has scored TDs this year on a punt return and interception return. ... Cal ranks second in the Pac-10 in run defense (63.3 yards per game). ... Oregon ranks last in the Pac-10 in passing and total offense.

Arizona State (2-0) at Georgia (2-1)

Georgia leads the series 1-0, winning last year at Arizona State 27-10. ... Georgia outgained the Sun Devils 461 yards to 212 last year. ... The Bulldogs had to replace quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno, who both were first-round NFL draft picks in the spring, with Stafford going No. 1 overall. ... Arizona State has given up just two touchdowns and 17 points in its first two games. ... The Bulldogs had just 257 total yards in their opening loss at Oklahoma State. They had 530 yards Saturday in their win over Arkansas. ... The Sun Devils haven't lost a turnover this season, while picking off six passes.

Arizona (2-1) at Oregon State (2-1)

Oregon State won 19-17 last year. ... The Wildcats lead the all-time series 20-11-1. ... In last year's game, Oregon State kicker Justin Kahut made a 24-yard field goal as time expired to earn the Beavers the road win. ... Quarterback Sean Canfield made his second-consecutive start for the injured Lyle Moevao in that game. Canfield will start against the Wildcats Saturday. ... Arizona announced that Nick Foles will start at quarterback. Matt Scott started the first three games. ... The Wildcats also announced that tight end Rob Gronkowski will have back surgery this week and is out for the season. ... Beavers junior receiver James Rodgers has become just the second player in program history to combine more than 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. ... Wildcats running back Nic Grigsby is sixth in the nation and second in the Pac-10 with 133.33 yards rushing per game. ... Oregon State has lost only one turnover in three games.

No. 24 Washington (2-1, 1-0)) at Stanford (2-1, 1-0)

Stanford won 35-28 last year. ... Washington leads the all-time series 40-35-4. ... Washington's defense didn't allow USC to convert on 10 third-down opportunities in Saturday's 16-13 Huskies upset win. ... Stanford''s sophomore defensive end Tom Keiser had three sacks against San Jose State and he's tied for first in the conference with four sacks and ranks first with six tackles for a loss. ... Huskies quarterback Jake Locker has the most pass attempts in the conference this year -- 105 [Edit note: This total was changed from 63, the number of completions Locker has] -- but he has only thrown one interception. His five TD passes is tied for No. 1 in the conference. ... Locker suffered a season-ending thumb injury while trying to throw a block in last year's game at Husky Stadium. ... Stanford has scored first in every game this year. ... The Huskies are third in the nation in third-down conversion percentage (60.42 percent). ... Stanford's Chris Owusu ranks No. 1 in the nation in kickoff returns. He's averaging 52.8 yards per return and has taken two back for touchdowns, which no one else in the nation has done.

Washington State (1-2, 0-1) at No. 12 USC (2-1, 0-1)

USC won 69-0 last year. ... USC leads the series 56-8-4. ... In last year's game, the Trojans outgained the Cougars 625 yards to 116. The Cougars only had four first downs vs. 28 for USC. ... USC free safety Taylor Mays sat out of the Washington game, ending a string of 40 consecutive starts. It was the first game he's missed in his entire USC career. He is expected to play Saturday. ... Washington State overcame a 17-0 deficit to beat SMU 30-27 in overtime last weekend. ... The Trojans rank first in the conference in run defense, with opponents averaging just 1.6 yards per rush. The Trojans also haven't yielded a TD pass. ... Washington State is ranked last in the Pac-10 in scoring offense and defense, rushing offense and defense, pass defense and total defense. ... Cougars punter Reid Forrest leads the Pac-10 in punting with a 45.5-yard average.

UCLA is off. It plays at Stanford on Oct. 3.

Pac-10 players of the week

September, 8, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

California quarterback Kevin Riley, Arizona State linebacker Mike Nixon and Stanford kick returner Chris Owusu have been named Pac-10 Players of the Week.

Riley, a junior from Portland, Ore., directed California to a 52-13 win over Maryland. He completed 17 of 26 passes for 298 yards and a career-high four touchdowns with no interceptions. His touchdown passes covered 3, 39, 42 and 15 yards. The Golden Bears offense piled up 542 yards of total offense (244 rushing, 298 passing) with no turnovers.

Nixon, a senior from Phoenix, had three interceptions, returning one of them 34 yards for a touchdown, in the Sun Devils' 50-3 win over Idaho State. The Arizona State defense limited Idaho State to four first downs, minus-5 yards rushing, 37 yards total offense and just 1-of-13 on third-down conversion attempts.

Owusu, a sophomore from Westlake Village, Calif., sparked Stanford in a 39-13 win at Washington State. Owusu returned three kickoffs for 143 yards (47.7-yard average), including an 85-yard return for a touchdown.

Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, Arizona running back Nic Grigsby, Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers and freshman quarterbacks Kevin Prince of UCLA and Matt Barkley of USC. Also nominated on defense were linebackers Vuna Tuihalamaka of Arizona and Chris Galippo of USC; safeties Rahim Moore of UCLA, Lance Mitchell of Oregon State and Delano Howell of Stanford; and end Cameron Jordan of California. Nominated for special teams play were kickers Alex Zendejas of Arizona, Thomas Weber of Arizona State, Justin Kahut of Oregon State and Vince D’Amato of California, punter Reid Forrest of Washington State and return man Terrence Austin of UCLA.