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Pac-12 Conference News and Notes

9:00 AM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -

ARIZONA: A week after falling out of the top-25, Arizona had a chance to rejoin the national rankings but fell short in a 38-35 loss at home to then No. 18 Oregon State. The loss drops the Wildcats to 0-2 in conference play and 3-2 overall. Quarterback Matt Scott took a hold of the top spot among Pac-12 passers in the game by throwing for 403 yards on 31-of-53 passing, but two costly interceptions marred the performance. Scott did throw three touchdown passes giving him 10 this season. He is one of four quarterbacks in the conference to have thrown for double-digit touchdowns at this point in the season. Scott, who is the leading rusher among quarterbacks in the Pac-12, only managed 29 yards on the ground. Ka'Deem Carey on the other hand did have a solid game rushing the ball, piling up 115 yards and two scores on 17 carries. The running back had failed to reach the 100-yard mark in back-to- back games entering play. He is currently third in the Pac-12 in rushing (538 yards). Four different receivers had at least 68 yards receiving in the loss for Arizona, led by Dan Buckner (six receptions, 119 yards, TD). The Wildcat defense was lit up for 613 total yards thanks in large part to a 13-minute difference in time of possession in favor of Oregon State. Next up for the Wildcats is a trip to Paolo Alto to take on Stanford.

ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils traveled to Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California where they posted a 27-17 victory over California. The win made Todd Graham the third Sun Devil coach since 1980 to win his first Pac-12 conference road game. Arizona State out-gained California in total yards by a 409-285 margin and had 12 more first downs (29-17). Quarterback Taylor Kelly broke a record he set last weekend against Utah by throwing the ball 45 times. Kelly completed 26 of those pass attempts for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Rashad Ross (seven receptions, 84 yards) was the most productive receiver in the contest in terms of yards but Kevin Ozier (three receptions, 42 yards, 2 TDs) was the more dangerous threat in the red zone. The receiver matched his career receiving touchdown total in the game. Cameron Marshall and Marion Grice complemented the passing attack well with a combined 112 yards on 28 carries. Arizona State's defense did a solid job of creating pressure in the game, recording six sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Will Sutton led the way with a pair of sacks and four tackles for loss. A California touchdown just over five minutes into the fourth quarter was the first points surrendered in the final period by the Sun Devils this season. Graham's squad is off next week and will be back in action the following week when it takes on Colorado on the road.

CALIFORNIA: For the third straight game the California Golden Bears ended on the losing side, as the squad fell 27-17 at home to Arizona State. This season the Bears are just 1-4 with the only win coming against FCS opponent Southern Utah. The loss was the first in five years against the Sun Devils and the first time ASU has defeated California at Memorial Stadium since 1997. Keenan Allen extended his streak of games with a reception to 29 as he caught four passes for 79 yards in the game. He is now fourth all-time in receptions (177) and seventh in receiving yards (2,221) in California history. Allen's accomplishments came despite quarterback Zach Maynard completing just 9-of-28 passes in the game. Maynard finished with 126 yards passing and was unable to get comfortable as he was sacked seven times. Isi Sofele and C.J. Anderson each had solid games on the ground. Sofele rushed for 105 yards on 15 carries and also had a touchdown while Anderson added 78 yards rushing. Sofele is currently ranked sixth in the Pac-12 in rushing. California was out-gained by a 409-285 margin in the loss while also picking up 12 fewer first downs than Arizona State (29-17). Avery Sebastian was around the ball all game, recording 14 total tackles which was a career high and the most by a Bear since 2010. The Golden Bears will look to right the ship next weekend when the No. 25 UCLA Bruins come to Memorial Stadium.

COLORADO: After a thrilling victory in its Pac-12 opener over Washington State, Colorado came back down to Earth against UCLA this past weekend, suffering a 42-14 loss at home to the Bruins. As a new member of the Pac-12, Colorado has only faced the Bruins eight times losing five of those contests. Colorado remained at the bottom of the conference in scoring (21.6 ppg), while posting 309 total yards in the losing effort. Colorado had 15 fewer first downs (29-14) than the Bruins and struggled to run the ball with a 2.8 yards- per-carry average and only 83 total yards on the ground. With the running game slowed, the team turned to the passing game which was not much better. Jordan Webb threw for 184 yards on 21-of-32 passing while tossing a touchdown and an interception. Tyler McCulloch caught a career high seven passes and finished with 69 yards receiving. He leads the Buffaloes with 19 receptions and 238 yards on the season. As a team the Buffaloes converted only 2-of-15 third down attempts. Kirk Poston had six total tackles, three of which went for loss including a pair of sacks. Colorado will be off next weekend giving the Buffaloes an extra week to prepare for a home matchup with Arizona State.

OREGON: Things started slow but in the second half Oregon showed its explosive offensive ability, rolling to a 51-26 win over Washington State in Seattle on Saturday. The win kept Oregon in the No. 2 spot in the top-25. It was the first road game for Oregon this season after the Ducks spent their first four games in Eugene. It was a big night for running back Kenjon Barner who scored four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving) while moving into the fifth spot in all-purpose yards (4,541) in program history. Barner rushed for 195 yards and added 37 through the air. Barner is now the second leading rusher in the Pac-12. The ever dangerous De'Anthony Thomas was slowed in the game to just 54 yards of total offense although he did score a touchdown. Freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota looked his age in the win, throwing for 169 yards and two picks on 21-of-32 passing. No receiver had more than 38 yards receiving for Oregon. The Ducks picked up 469 total yards which was far below their average (550.6 ypg) which ranks second in the conference. The defense was aggressive in the game recording seven sacks while forcing a pair of turnovers. Taylor Hart and Wade Keliikipi each had a pair of sacks while Michael Clay led the team with eight tackles, despite playing in only the first half. Oregon returns home next weekend to face the newly nationally ranked Washington Huskies.

OREGON STATE: The Beavers continued their shocking beginning to the 2012 campaign by pulling out a 38-35 win on the road over Arizona last weekend. The win pushed Oregon State to No. 14 in the top-25 after the Beavers jumped into the rankings last week. It is the highest ranking for an Oregon State squad since 2001. The Beavers are now 3-0 and undefeated through the month of September for the first time since 2000. The win also gives head coach Mike Riley sole possession of the top spot in the Oregon State all-time wins list with 75. Sean Mannion threw for 433 yards and three scores, including the game-winner with just over a a minute remaining, while completing 29-of-45 pass attempts. Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks were the main beneficiaries with the two combining for 19 receptions and 315 yards. Wheaton also caught a pair of touchdown passes. The running game was also effective, led by Storm Woods, whose 161 yards was a career high. Overall the Beavers piled up 613 yards of total offense while making seven red zone trips, five of which ended in touchdowns. The defense did not put up much of a resistance, surrendering 545 total yards while recording only seven tackles for loss. Rashaad Reynolds led the team with 10 tackles and had one of two interceptions collected by the Beavers. Oregon State will play its first conference home game next weekend when the Beavers host Washington State.

STANFORD: Stanford took a step back after its big win over then No. 1 USC, falling 17-13 on the road last week to Washington. The Cardinal had jumped to No. 8 in the top-25 after beating the Trojans but fell back to No. 18 with the loss to the Huskies. The loss kept the Cardinal from opening the season 4-0 for a third straight season and snapped an 11-game winning streak in September that dated back to 2008. The Cardinal defense played well in the loss, allowing 313 yards and only 17 points. The defense even outscored the offense with a 40-yard interception return by Trent Murphy ending in a Stanford touchdown. Murphy was one of four different Cardinal defenders who tied for the top spot on the squad with seven tackles in the game. Stanford is now ranked third (316.5 ypg) in the Pac-12 in total defense. Last season the Cardinal rushed for a school record 446 yards against Washington but managed only 65 on Thursday. Stepfan Taylor rushed for 75 yards, but three sacks of Josh Nunes resulted in enough negative yards to lower the team's rushing total. Stanford had allowed only 0.67 sacks per game entering play. Nunes didn't have much success throwing the ball either, completing only 18-of-37 pass attempts for 170 yards and an interception. Zach Ertz caught six of those passes for 106 yards, marking the first 100-yard game of his career. Stanford will try to rebound at home against Arizona next weekend.

UCLA: UCLA is back in the national rankings after dropping Colorado 42-14 on the road to capture its first conference victory of the season. The Bruins are now ranked No. 25 in the most recent top-25, a week after being taken out with a loss to Oregon State. The Bruins finished with 492 total yards and went a perfect 4-for-4 in the red zone with four touchdowns. Johnathan Franklin had a nice bounce back game with 111 yards rushing on 15 carries. The effort keeps Franklin atop the Pac-12 in rushing with 697 yards. He had only 45 yards in the loss to Oregon State. Brett Hundley threw for fewer yards (281) than in the loss to the Beavers, but completed 25-of-38 pass attempts while throwing two touchdowns and no interceptions. In the game 11 different receivers had at least one catch, but Jerry Johnson's four were the team-high. The Bruins surrendered 90 yards fewer than their season average (309), while holding Colorado to a 2-for-15 conversion rate on third down and only one red zone trip. Tevin McDonald led the way with nine tackles, while Damien Holmes was constantly in the backfield with five tackles for loss and three sacks. In all the Bruins had 12 tackles for loss in the game. Next weekend Jim Mora's squad will take a trip north to take on in-state foe California at Memorial Stadium.

USC: The Trojans were off this past weekend after taking down in-state foe California 27-9 in the wake of their devastating loss to Stanford. USC, which remained No. 13 in the most recent top-25, will be back in action this week on the road against Utah on Thursday.

UTAH: Utah had an extra week to dwell on its 37-7 loss on the road to Arizona State with a bye this past weekend. The time off also gives the Utes more time to prepare for a showdown with No. 13 USC at home on Thursday.

WASHINGTON: In this week's Pac-12 upset of the week, Washington downed then No. 8 Stanford 17-13 to climb into the top-25 itself. The Huskies are now ranked No. 23 in the nation with a 3-1 mark on the season. The win was the first time Washington had beaten a top-10 opponent since downing No. 3 USC in 2009. Washington's defense was much improved from last season's matchup in which it allowed 446 rushing yards as the Huskies allowed only 65 on Thursday. While the defense stopped the run the offense relied on it heavily as Bishop Sankey piled up 144 yards on the ground including a 61-yard touchdown run at the end of the third quarter. Stanford had allowed only 124 yards rushing combined in its previous three games. Keith Price completed just over half of his pass attempts (19-of-37) and was intercepted, but threw the game-winning touchdown, a 35-yard strike to Kasen Williams. Williams was a reliable target all game with a career-high 10 catches for 129 yards. No other receiver had more than two catches. The Huskies not only came up big against the run but in critical situations. Stanford converted only 5-of-18 third down attempts and settled for two field goals in its only red zone trips. Thomas Tutogi had a team-high 10 tackles in the game including a sack, one of three by the Huskies against a Stanford team allowing only 0.67 sacks per game. Another top-10 team is next up for Washington when the Huskies travel south to battle with the No. 2 Oregon Ducks.

WASHINGTON STATE: For the first half Washington State stayed right with No. 2 Oregon before falling apart after halftime in a 51-26 loss to the Ducks over the weekend. The Cougars trailed by just four points, 23-19, and held the explosive playmaker DeAnthony Thomas to just 33 total yards at halftime. However in the second half the Cougars, who rank second to last in the Pac-12 in total defense (471.0 ypg) returned to form, allowing a 21-point surge in the third quarter alone. Although the team racked up 402 yards of total offense, the Cougars finished with minus eight yards rushing as a team and relied heavily on the pass. Connor Halliday completed 33-of-60 pass attempts for 348 yards but was sacked seven times in the game. Halliday has now thrown the ball 60 times in a game in consecutive weeks, while throwing for 300 yards in three straight. Their was a bright spot in the loss, as Marquess Wilson became the all-time leading receiver in Washington State history by catching 12 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown. Wilson now has 2,756 career receiving yards. Three different players tied for the team lead with six tackles although the Cougars did manage 10 tackles for loss and two interceptions, both from Deone Bucannon. Next up for the Cougars is a road trip to Corvallis to take on the upstart Oregon State Beavers.

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