We may not ever find out the deciding factor in the immediate firing of the former Arizona head maniac, but falling behind win-less OSU 30-6 last Saturday couldn't have helped. Nick Foles worked his usual furry-scurry magic to try and make a game of it, but, also as usual, it wasn't enough to salvage a win -- or his boss' job. Though he can't count on his previous employer for a glowing reference, Mike Stoops can probably work the family angle to land on his feet. If not, he should find out if any Gothic Metal bands are in need of a lead singer.
Having already gotten the best of one threat to the South Division crown, ASU traveled to the great salty marsh in Utah last Saturday and dispensed of the other threat. Never mind the fact that they were trailing in the third quarter and needed five turnovers to put the game away, for the devil dogs are now one victory shy of gaining bowl eligibility, with no FCS exception asterisk this time. That College Gameday will show up in Eugene this weekend only intensifies ASU's need for revenge, as the Solar Satans squandered a perfect opportunity to beat the quacks a season ago. Like Oregon, Tempe State sacrifices size for speed, so get your stopwatches ready and don't blink, or you might miss a touchdown.
There are many things that bear backers are trying to forget about 2010, and somewhere near the top of that list was a record-setting first half of futility in Los Angeles that saw kal trailing $C 42-0 heading into intermission. Though the molden bears may have an upgrade under center this time around, all signs point to a downgrade in defensive personnel that should keep the made-for-baseball scoreboard at AT&T Park lit up like a Christmas tree. It remains to be seen if UC-Berkeley fans and students will make the trek to San Fran for "home" games but at least the ones that do will know where to park when their team ends up in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
October has been a brutal month for the Boulder Bison as they watched a ten-point lead disappear at home to Wazzu, had player conduct issues which lead to seven suspensions, lost their biggest play maker on offense to injury and then got their hides handed to them in Palo Alto. With games against Washington, Oregon and Arizona State still on the slate this month, CU fans must feel like they showed up at a Halloween party with no costume.
If it was anatomically possible to suffer a compound fracture of your elbow, LaMichael James would have been the case study for future docs. Being hyper flexible has its benefits though -- and so does playing against a Tedford-led offense. The tub toys shook off a sluggish first half to run away from kal, mostly by daring Zach Maynard to make a forward pass. Oregon would be wise to use the extra preparation time a Thursday game affords by coming up with a defensive game plan for ASU that doesn't require seven turnovers.
Who let the Beavers out? Who, who, who, who? How quickly the murmurs of "0-12" are replaced by shouts of "winning streak" after a thumping of Zona, and with BYU coming to town. As discouraging as the start of this year was for beaver believers, who thought they would be seeing a lot more "Katz to Rodgers" than "Mannion to Halahuni," one can never count out a Mike Riley team during the home stretch.
The point spreads keep increasing but Stanford continues to cover, mocking the odds-makers' futile attempts to place an upper bound on the potential of this football-playing machine. Some opponents raise their game to match the Cardinal, while others recoil in fear of being outgunned, but the end result remains the same: domination. Just when defensive coordinators figured they had accounted for every weapon at Luck's disposal, along comes fullback Ryan Hewitt, who has steadily become a first-down and touchdown specialist.
At least for one weekend, traffic has decreased significantly at FireNeuheisel.com. Forced to turn to his whipping boy clipboard holder, Rick was flabbergasted when Kevin Prince engineered two scoring drives in the final period to stun WSU and preserve his spotless career mark against those hapless Cougs. Add to that excitement, El Lay has a week off to prepare for a team in worse condition than themselves, currently licking their wounds in Tucson. Don't laugh, but UCLA represents the only team with a realistic chance of keeping ASU out of the Pac 12 Championship.
Already engaged in a chess match with the U of Zero, Lame Kiffin moved stud wide out recruit George Farmer to running back, countering Chip Kelly's earlier move of running back De'Anthony Thomas to wide receiver. This was the most newsworthy event to surface during US¢'s BYE week, which should be considered a good thing as far as the athletic department is concerned. If it seems like the toejams are taking the weenies lightly, that might be due to the fact that kal hasn't come close to the family-planning methods in the last seven years.
It is official: the Utes had the turnover curse passed to them during their most recent visit to Provo. The last two Utah opponents have been the beneficiaries of an astounding ten giveaways, essentially ruining Kyle Wittingham's first dance in a BCS conference. The team gets a breather from Pac-12 play this weekend when they travel to Pittsburgh for a showdown with the Panthers. Pitt no doubt smells blood as they lost this contest in overtime last season, and their fans still remember being embarrassed in the Fiesta Bowl by Alex Smith and Co. If that wasn't enough to keep Wittingham awake at night, his starting quarterback has been declared out for the remainder of the season.
Husky fans get a fair amount of ribbing (mostly from Duck fans) for their annual proclamations of being "back," only to have it blow up in their face as the season inevitably circles the drain. This time it feels different though, even without a signature win to hang their hats on, and nothing fuels unbridled optimism more than a week off coupled with a home date with the conference sure thing. Caught up in the hysteria is head coach Steve Sarkisian, who reportedly said, "Bark my words: this team is going to the Rose Bowl." The Dirty Dozen staff cannot verify the validity of this quote.
The week before facing the stingiest scoring defense in the conference is not the time to be struggling in the red zone. This is just one of many issues Paul Wulff is struggling will as he adjusts to the pressures of being in contention for a bowl bid for a change. Sometimes that pressure can lead you to make rash decisions, such as rushing a key player (Jeff Tuel) back from injury before he is ready. I don't know what it feels like to have a still-healing clavicle slammed against cold field turf by Chase Thomas, but I bet it would make me think twice before I audibled away from a running play after that.
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