Good morning gang. The dog is walked. The baby is sleeping and I'm five cups of coffee into the morning. Not feeling jjjjjjjittery at all. What's on your mind?
Tall order for my fellow Cats in Autzen. You see any way we can Bear Down and bring back a W?
Tall order indeed. The best way, create turnovers and score touchdowns. Field goals aren't going to do it. Arizona has shown the ability to move the ball, but not always end a drive with a TD. Finding the end zone will be the only way to keep up.
With poyer and Reynolds locking down the corner position for osu, do you think the beavs have the best corners in the PAC 12?
I'm a huge Poyer fan and I wrote he's probably only one of two legit lock-down corners in the conference. Need to see them, and the OSU defense as a whole, for more than one game though before completely passing judgement.
Does Oregon State's defense match up well with my UCLA Bruins speedy offense? I just dont see it!
Again, not enough data yet available on the Beavers. We know the secondary has talent and the defensive line played fantastic in the first game. We need more data though.
Kevin, can you tell us what Duck fans should expect from Zonas Matt Scott? all ive heard are rave reviews but i havent seen much film on him up here in the 5-4-1
Very good arm, very athletic. Moves in and out of the pocket really well. I've been impressed with his decision-making so far. It's tough to learn a new system and make all of the reads so quickly. But he's done a good job. I think he'll keep Arizona competitive in this game.
Is Stanford's defense really that good?
The issue with Stanford's defense was the secondary. And they played fantastic Saturday night. Jordan Richards and Ed Reynolds were hitting hard and jarring balls loose. You combine that with a really, really good front seven and you have possibly the top defense in the conference. So yes, they are that good.
Is my seat forever on ice at Utah? It could never warn up....right?
Right now, your cheeks are a couple of Klondike Bars. But I won't ever say never. A couple of one- or two-win seasons and things could get ugly. But I don't see that happening. As Utah gets more resources from being in the Pac-12, they'll stay competitive for a long time.
Can you please use your ESPN powers to eliminate the wildcat from the game of football? As is the case with many QBs inserted for the wildcat, Travis Wilson has run the ball 80% of the time he has been put in (admittedly small sample, but still...). On 3rd & short a defense would be foolish to play anything other than QB run. If you were in Vegas and you knew you had 80% odds on any bet, you would take it right? Please, Kevin, please make the wildcat go away.
I think the wildcat has lost its impact now that everyone does it ... and probably does it too frequently. But I wouldn't say elminate it completely. A good wildcat poses the threat of a throw. I'll use Stanford as an example. Last year when Tyler Gaffney ran it, he never threw the ball, but he was a heck of a baseball player so there was always that fear that he could so safeties wouldn't be so quick to step up. When used in moderation, I have no problem with it.
Who do you think is the Best Pac-12 Quarterback in 2012?
As of right now, I'm still going with Matt Barkley. David Shaw said he's still the best quarterback in the country -- and that guy knows quarterbacks, so I'll trust his word.
Your thoughts on ASU's 2 QB system? Didnt' seem like it worked too well against Mizou last saturday.
Kinks are still being worked out. But for the most part I think it has the chance to still be very effective.
Does Colorado have any chance of beating Washington State this weekend?
Every team has a chance. WSU could turn the ball over five times. There could be a special teams' touchdown. Crazy things happen in this game. With that said, I think Washington State has a better chance of winning than Colorado.
Khaled Holmes is the most important Trojan, who knew?
I would say the center is always one of the most important players on any team.
Do you think the lack of scholarships, and the inability to practice hard because of it, showed itself in Palo Alto Saturday Night?
No. I think Stanford had a great gameplan and they executed better on Saturday night.
Will UCLA finish 2nd in the South or do you see them struggling as the season progresses?
First off, Snoop. Good luck with the new album. I think it's been peaches and cream for UCLA so far. Good test this week against OSU. I think there will be some growing pains and a bad game or two -- it happens when you have that much youth. With that said, they are playing some of the most impressive football -- on both sides -- of any team in the conference.
Which one classic novel would you use to describe the upcoming offensive showdown in Eugene?
Hmmmm... good one. Guns of Navarone or Shootout at OK Corral?
Do you think ASU is still being overrated? This will be their 4th straight backup QB they are facing and they are not locks to win. Mizzou's QB did not look good behind that rag tag fill in for injuries line
I don't think they are overrated. I think they are probably where most expected them to be at this point. They've won the games they were supposed to win. Almost won a game they weren't. I'd say they are progressing nicely.
Halliday or Tuel this Saturday for the Cougs?
Gut says Halliday, but Mike Leach is being all Mike Leach about it so I can't say for sure.
Why are you so much more popular with our readership than I am?
I am? News to me. But thanks.
do my huskies need a new o line and strength and conditioning coaches. because we do not compete in the trenches.
Lot's of injuries and turnover there doesn't help the situation. I honestly don't know much about Washington's strength and conditioning program, but I know a lot of teams would be in the same spot with all of the injuries they have endured.
Does my 3-3-5 give Oregon any trouble this weekend?
The 3-3-5 can give a lot of teams trouble because it's quirky. I can speak from experience, because one of the grandfathers of the 3-3-5, Rocky Long, used to sit with me for 30 minutes each week and explain the scheme. With that said, you still have to tackle. And DAT and Co. are hard to tackle.
Will RichRod continue to pass more than he runs the ball at Arizona? Does this give him any additional advantage when the Cats play Oregon this weekend?
The fun thing about this offense is it can be pass-first one week and throw-first the next. It has the ability to be very multiple and he's got a quarterback who can run it well. Assuming the Wildcats don't fall behind early, I'd say staying multiple is the best bet for Arizona.
Did you see the new Si cover...they have three pictures of DAT and his number is six...bad omen for the Ducks?
I don't buy into jinxs. Just me.
Clearly the loss of Khaled Holmes was a bigger deal than USC originally thought. Any news on when he will return?
Haven't heard yet. If only there was some way -- a release of some sort -- that was standardized and would answer all of these questions...
4th time, Are we heading for another LSU-Bama snooze fest?
Sorry, the other three must have gotten lost in the couple other hundred questions... I hope not. And honestly, if Oregon takes care of business we won't have to worry. Oregon SOS looks better now with Stanford in the Top 10 and USC still in the Top 15.
Is there any chance the PAC 12 blog will get it's own app?
Good question. Not sure. I'll run it by Bristol...
"The fun thing about this offense is it can be pass-first one week and throw-first the next."----Impressive, Gemmell...
I'm clever when I can be. :-) (or it was a typo and I meant run-first...)
Hey Santa Clara man, your alma mater has as much chance of having a football team as mine (Loyola Marymout)... If I had told you in 2005 that Stanford would soon be a physically stronger team than USC, and in 2012 would be on a 4 game victory streak against the Trojans, what facility would you have recommended so that I could regain my mental health?
Betty Ford would be a good start. And I grew up on SCU and LMU basketball. Was fortunate enough to see Hank Gathers play.
Does the USC - Oregon game lose some of its importance now? Is it no longer the game of the year?
Not at all. In fact, it might be more important now than it was before. A win for Oregon keeps them in the national title picture and a win for USC might put them back in it.
Do you think Taylor Kelly should be taking all of the snaps or should they stay the course with the 2 QB system?
The two QB system has generally worked well, so I would say stay with it. Eubank is too talented to be sitting. I always believe the more options you can put out there and make teams prepare for, the more of an advantage you'll be at.
While you were at Santa Clara did you every go down to Santa Cruz and eat at Kianti's Pizza and Pasta Bar? Crazy good you should check it out.
The name doesn't ring a bell, but I probably ate there in my teens. We grew up going over the hill every weekend in high school for late night beach bonfires. Good times.
Any non-conference games I should keep my eye on this week?
No. All of your attention should be trained on the Pac-12 and the Pac-12 blog at all times.
What should Utah be most concerned about facing ASU this weekend?
ASU's defensive front is playing very well right now. With the question marks on the offensive line and the health of John White, I'd say running the football is Utah's biggest concern.
Hey Kevin, After Cal clearly outplayed Ohio St and got the tough loss to show for it, I thought they played really well and were really starting to jell as a team. Do you think the Bears have a shot at SC with both teams seemingly heading in opposite directions?
I wouldn't say they are completely headed in opposite directions. One still has three first-round draft picks on offense and one on defense. I think USC is going to be very salty, but Stanford gave folks a roadmap on how to beat the Trojans. At question is whether the Bears can follow it. I do agree that Cal came together nicely. Kicking has to be concern -- as are the low snaps from Schwenke. That was screwing up Maynard the whole game.
You're still awesome Kevin !
You too, buddy.
What needs to happen for Stanford or USC to get a shot at the national championship?
Both need to beat Oregon and hope that Alabama, LSU or Oklahoma get knocked off along the lines.
Does Jonathan Franklin go over 100 yards this weekend?
Good question. I think he'll get enough carries to get there, but OSU's front looked awful strong against Wisconsin.
Who wins this weekend, ASU or Utah?
Mom! I told you, don't bother me while I'm chatting... and you know predictions come out tomorrow. By the way, I'm done in about 30 minutes here, heat up that lasagna.
Watching the first 3 weeks in the PAC-12, would you consider the PAC-12 a much deeper conference than SEC?
I would. The conference has been more impressive against better competition.
If the winner of the conference championship game goes to the NCG, does the Rose Bowl have to pick the loser of that game?
No. It's my understanding that the Rose Bowl picks the best team possible. So, say Stanford is 11-1 and USC loses to Oregon twice, giving them at least three losses, the Rose Bowl would be thrilled to take a one-loss Stanford squad.
Is Blechen going to be a factor on Saturday at ASU?
If you're a Utah fan, you better hope so. The guy is a playmaker. Talking with Todd Graham about this, he said Blechen is the guy they are most worried about.
Is Colorado the 13th (after 2008 winless UW) or 14th (after 2008 winless UW and 2008 WSU) best team in the Pac-12?
Ha. Tough times at Colorado. But I talked with some guys from the program earlier this week and you have admire the way they keep grinding. No one on that team has quit (at least publicly). I actually asked Embree how he keeps a positive attitude and he said that the players will react to how he does, so he's doing his best to strike that balance between frustration while still being a teacher.
After week numero tres, do you like the PAC's chances of filling all of its bowl spots this year?
Coach Kelly runs with the bulls, revolutionizes the game of football and stares down puny reportersYou?ve got one question you can ask him?what?s it gonna be?
Lemondade or Arnold Palmer... the world wants to know.
How many points will be scored in the AZ Oregon game? It's going to be a shootout, right?
No reason not to think so. I'd say 70-plus is a conservative guess.
Any chance the NCAA approves Barkley's waiver for a 5th year, claiming "unfinished business"?
HA! He's outta here after this season. I still think it was the right call for him to comeback, but this is a game a lot of NFL GMs will look to when he goes before the cattle call.
Have you ever played the Cal Bears/Pac-12 Blog drinking game?
I haven't. I played Cal in rugby in college though. My not-so-illustrious collegiate career ended with a dislocated shoulder on the Cal rugby field.
Gotta feel bad for Jordan Wynn. But the Utes must move on. How is your assessment of Hays so far?
So far, not bad. 30 of 53, 350 yards, three touchdowns and zero picks. That's about as solid as you can ask for a backup thrown into the mix. He's taking care of the ball. That's a good thing.
over/under 3 touchdowns for DAT this weekend: what you got?
Three is a good number, but I'll lean toward the over.
How am I doing this year compared to last?
See my answer above... and get back to the playbook.
UCLA looked better defensively against Houston, but really Houston is not strong offensively this year. Do you think the Beavers will be able to move the ball like Nebraska and Rice did against them? Thank you
I think OSU will have a good gameplan because of the extra time to prepare. But I can't say enough about the emergence of Datone Jones. He's not-so-quietly making a run at defensive MVP through the first quarter of the season. That said, OSU has a lot of offensive weapons so I'd expect them to pick up some healthy yards.
SPAM...is too salty for my taste. You? Hahaha
Never been a fan.
Why did Cam Marshall only get 4 carries last week?
Because ASU only had the ball for about 9 minutes in the first half and they fell behind early. I'd expect his workload to increase this week.
Where are you guys going this week?
Ted is in Oregon. I'm at the Rose Bowl.
When you visit a college town, do you ever venture outside of it for good food? we've got a couple good places just up the road from Corvallis if you get tired of what they've got.
The outside world scares me. I stay in my hotel and drink the free coffee ... but in all seriousness, yes, I do make an effort to find the place in town that the locals hit and try the grub.
Why do you never answer questions from Montana?
Because Oregon rotates the two-deep at every position, should we stop claiming that the Ducks' second stringers gave up so many points through three games? It really was on the threes...
With Coach Whitt now not talking about injuried unless they are season ending injuries. How do you feel that this comes off to the fans? In other words, they said last week the RB (White) was 100% and going to play, then comes gametime and he is sidelined. Does this create a divide with loyalty to the fans and a bigger issue with trust? Thoughts? Thanks.
The whole injury debate is an interesting one. I think fans want to know what is going on with their teams and reporters are the conduits for that. At the same time I see the argument that these are amateur athletes. I don't know where I come down on it. The coaches were all asked on the Pac-12 teleconference yesterday and it was split down the middle. It's a tough debate.
Alright 2 weeks in a row is a good sign. UCLA has a ________% chance of beating OSU this weekend. (Fill in the blank.)
Haha. Greg, my man. 50.01
You played rugby? I played for SC and took home a high school "Natty" in Dallas. As someone who has played years of both, I would say rugby is sooooo much more fun than football. Agree? Or Agree to disagree?
Different. Rugby is so much more fluid. I actually find them to be very distinctive sports. I enjoyed playing both, though.
Who wins in an arm wrestle match, Rich Rod or Chip Kelly? I heard they have the same style...
Do you think Oregon's poor FG kicking will bite them at some point this season?
I think FG kicking has been atrocious league wide. The Pac is last among the BCS conferences (I'm writing about this for the what to watch post tomorrow, so here's a sneak peek). Pac is completing 59 percent of its kicks. That's just bad.
Should the word "Natty" be banned from the PAC-12 blog or punish the person with a 24 hour ban?
Alright 2 weeks in a row is a good sign. UCLA has a ________% chance of beating USC this year. (Fill in the blank.) (With a 0)
Ha. As of right now, I'd say 40.
Why are you so hard on the Beavers?
I almost fell for that one...
QB Brett Hundley has made UCLA's offense two-dimension. Can he continue to be a running threat when deep in their schedule?
I've seen him play very smart with his legs. He's working on sliding and running out of bounds because those hits will pile up over the course of the season. Plus, if Franklin keeps doing his thing, he might not need to have more than three or four planned runs per game. His scrambling really makes him an asset, though.
How soon until Chip Kelly starts giving De'Anthony Thomas the ball 8 or even 9 (!) times a game? The world might split if Mamba touches it double digits.
I think we'll see his numbers go up as we get deeper in the conference season. The fact that he's fresh and we're into Week 4 bodes very well for the Ducks.
In an all out cage match of P-12 coaches who is the last man standing???????
Wow... I'd say Embree, Whittingham, Shaw and RichRod are the final four. From there, it's anybody's guess.
All the sports radio stations up here in UW country are telling people to dress in black next Thursday when my Cardinal come up to play the Huskies. They're calling it (I'm not making this up) the "Blackout of the Century". Aren't you only supposed to have a blackout for games you actually have a shot of winning? I don't think wearing black is going to help the patched up Husky O-Line against the Stanford front 7...
Hey, whatever you have to to do help motivate your team, go for it.
What's the chance Stanford defeat Oregon this year and they finally get revenge for the past two years?
Stanford's style matches up much better against USC than it does Oregon. Then again, most teams don't match up well with Oregon. They have a surplus of speed and they know how to use it.
That's it for me today folks. You've got Ted tomorrow. Enjoy the weekend and, as always, I hope your team wins.