Clardy's Corner - 9/15

After a wild weekend up and down the conference, Clardy has a lot to say about the Cardinal and their Pac-10 brethren. From Trent Edwards to T.J. Rushing to Jon Alston... to Oregon State scheduling to UCLA playcalling... to an incredible unilateral cancellation by Cal of their Southern Miss game this week - Troy has plenty of fresh takes around the conference and around the nation.

Normally when I write Clardy's Corner, I write the actual column first, then I get into the other stuff. This time, even though I had a pretty decent idea for this week's column, I went backwards. And by the time I finished up, I had a full column's worth of the other stuff! So why skimp on a good thing? It's time for an entire column of…

RANDOM PAC-10 THOUGHTS

A trusted fellow Stanford football follower stopped by the radio booth after the game last Saturday. We looked at each other and shrugged, as if to say, "who knew?" Obviously we'll all find out next weekend, but this was one of those wins that might have signaled to us that we might have something here…

I liked the second-half playcalling, with the Cardinal establishing the run against that rugged BYU defense, and Trent Edwards still throwing the ball downfield even though Stanford had a three-score lead…

Next time you see these guys on campus, pat a member of the Stanford defense on the back and shake his hand. Well done, fellas…

Anyone else notice that Jon Alston was roving around a bit to some different positions? Aside from his normal outside rush linebacker spot, he found himself at middle linebacker for a couple plays, and actually lined up across from the center on a couple other plays. This was by design, and not due to necessity. Many of you know that Alston is one of my favorite guys to watch on the Stanford defense, and I love all the possibilities that could come from moving him around…

Nice work by T.J. Rushing. He did the Sooner State proud with his overall efforts against the Cougars. T.J., your next Braum's milkshake is on me… wait a minute… isn't that an NCAA violation? Never mind, then…

I didn't really see the band's halftime show, so I can't really comment on it (I got a chuckle from the "Jeopardy Ken" outfit). But from what I heard about what they did, I thought it was kinda funny. Then again, I'm not Mormon, so my opinion probably doesn't count for much in all this…

By my count, Trent took 18 hits last week against BYU. That's a lot. The good news is that Trent will be spending this weekend resting up, while Matt Leinart (and his young offensive line) will have to face that BYU defense. Here's hoping the Cougars soften Leinart up a little bit for us next week…

In some ways, cal caught a break by having their road trip to Southern Mississippi postponed. As it was, they would have faced an underrated Golden Eagles team. On the road. In Hattiesburg. On a short week. The Bears might have dodged a major ambush. Which also might be why Southern Miss coach Jeff Bower was so ticked off that the Bears pulled the plug on this week's game. This will be an interesting game to watch, if and when they finally get around to playing it…

You think the Ducks were looking past the Hoosiers last weekend? To call that result an embarrassment would be a pretty big understatement. Good luck this week in Norman, fellas… you'll need it…

I can see why some Bruin fans have found themselves flummoxed by their offensive playcalling. UCLA up by seven in the second quarter against Illinois last week. It's third-and-six from their own 24. They called an off-tackle play by Maurice Drew and came up two yards short. On their next possession, with a fourth-and-one at their own 48, they go for it, with Drew Olson sneaking ahead for the first down. What? Why so conservative on one drive and so aggressive on the next one?

I was flipping between games last Saturday, but did I see that right? The Wazzu receivers dropped seven balls in the first half? They need to get that tightened up, and in a hurry…

Word on the street is that Fresno State might play U$C next year. That will be verrrrry interesting…

Speaking of next year's schedules, it looks like Oregon State needs two games in 2005. I'm going to take a wild guess here, but something tells me the Beavers will go back to calling up folks like the Nashville Auto Diesel College to see if they have an open date…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… I'm not a quarterback coach, but I sometimes play one on the radio and the internet. I don't want to pile on the kid, but I was stunned by just how poor of a quarterback Chris Rix is. Bad footwork, terrible mechanics, putrid decision-making. If I had seen it without knowing who the kid was, I would have sworn it was a true freshman. Has he learned anything about playing the quarterback position in his 14 years at Florida State? Doesn't seem like it. I think Rix's performance is as much of an indictment on FSU QB coach Daryl Dickey as it is of Rix…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… The Big XII better be glad that their Southern division is so good, because things are looking rough up north. Missouri losing to Troy State? Kansas State losing at home to Fresno State? Southern Mississippi handling the Huskers in Lincoln? Colorado staggering away from Seattle with the win over the Cougars? Yikes…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… after beating Michigan, Notre Dame got 38 votes in this week's AP poll. After losing to BYU, Notre Dame received zero votes in last week's AP poll. Just found that interesting…

Not a Pac-10 thought, but… the "Jacked Up" segment of ESPN's Monday Night Countdown is the most fun you can have watching TV without actually being on it. Great stuff. Eli Manning… you got… JACKED… UP!!!!

To clear up some confusion about the Farm Report, this week's edition is scheduled to air on Saturday morning at 8:30am on FOX Sports Net Bay Area. Now that FOX Sports Net will begin broadcasting games at 9:00a, that should be the Farm Report's normal slot for the remainder of the season. My apologies…

Radio programming notes… no "College Football Today" on KNBR 1050 this week, but stay tuned for some Stanford radio programming news… that should come down by the end of the week…

Quote of the week, from former U$C receiver Mike Williams, when asked by ABC's Suzy Shuster if he'd gotten a fair shake by the NCAA: "Yeah, I got a fair shake… I broke the rules."


E-MAILBAG

Derek from San Francisco writes: "Going back to Teyo Johnson's one handed catch --- one foot in the corner of the endzone against UCLA. I was sitting in that endzone during the game, and it was a thing of beauty. Always remember the touchdown against Oregon in Autzen when he took the ball away from the corner like an offensive rebound. But one of his best catches that not many people saw? Go back to the spring, Cardinal & White scrimmage before his breakout year. Last play, a hail mary to the endzone.  Teyo goes above like 5 guys and brings it in no problem. You just knew something good was going to happen during the season."

 I remember that Spring Game catch… and the ooh's and ahhh's that came from the crowd afterwards. From the looks of it, Teyo's gonna need a few more of those types of catches if he wants to prolong his NFL career. Raider tight ends Doug Jolley and Roland Williams did well, but rookie Courtney Anderson was a beast during preseason. Teyo's got some work to do…


PAC-10 PICKS

 This weekend marks the first Pac-10 matchup (and it's a real doozy, trust me), and once again I'll be picking the games…with one change. I will be abstaining from picking conference games involving Stanford.

Over the years, I've gone 29-11, 29-11, 27-13, and 25-15 straight up. My goal this year is 24 wins, which would give me a personal-best 75% success rate. As always, remember that these picks are for entertainment purposes only!

UCLA @ Washington. Who will the Huskies' quarterback be? Who knows? Whoever it is, they'd be best served by handing the ball of to Kenny James early and often, especially considering that UCLA has allowed 317 rushing yards per game so far. The Bruins used 12 different defensive linemen against Illinois last week, none of whom were named Irv Eatman, Dave Ball, or Kenyon Coleman. But the Huskies will have to throw the ball at some point, and that's where their problems begin. I like UCLA by 10, but by no means is that a ringing endorsement of the Bruins' abilities.

Last year: 25-15 (straight up)… don't ask about how I did ATS…

-- Got a thought on this column or on Stanford sports? E-mail me at gocardinal@knbr.com! The ones I like best will end up in next week's E-Mailbag.

Troy Clardy is a reporter for the Stanford Cardinal Farm Report, which airs Saturday mornings at 8:30 on Fox Sports Bay Area. Clardy also hosts Cardinal men's basketball pregame shows on Stanford radio network flagship station KNEW in San Francisco, and "College Football Today" on KNBR 1050 in San Francisco.


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