Up by 20 in the final quarter, it appeared to be business as usual when the rubber meets the dome. $C got uncharacteristically sloppy and found themselves having to come up with a goal-line stand in the waning seconds to preserve the win, much to the dismay of Charlie Weis' daughter, the honorary clock operator that day. Nonetheless, the Toejams press on and are gearing up for the stretch run to another Rose Bowl. Petey and the boys welcome the River Rats to Compton in what has turned into an exciting matchup over the last six years.
The webbed foots incubated the eggs this weekend and thus have nothing new to add to the discussion. Anecdote of the week belongs to head coach Chip Kelly, who shared with reporters this nugget; "Our guys actually clapped on Monday when I congratulated them on being the halfway-through Pac-10 champs. Then they realized I was being sarcastic." Hand gestures will be the norm as UO travels to Seattle for the annual Profanity Bowl.
Oregon State 82
It looks like the entire state of Oregon needed a vacation as the Beavs joined their I-5 brethren on the couch this weekend. Since 2006, OSU has compiled an astounding .803 winning percentage in games played October through December. If that statistic doesn't get Beavernation fired up for the stretch run, then the governor's plan of automatic hunting license renewals will.
Already planning ahead for overtime, Dennis and his Demons suddenly found a gift basket on their desk from the UW coaching staff. With the intent of throwing it up for grabs, QB Danny Sullivan couldn't believe his eyes when he spotted his favorite target running free towards pay dirt and tossed him a softball that Chris McGaha cradled in for his first and last catch of the game. The second team to sweep the Apple State Schools is feeling good, except for Vontaze "Hey, No One Is" Burfict, who added to his nation-leading personal foul tally by picking up three in the first half. Why so angry, young man?
Recent history in the Stanford-Arizona series has been marked by tough defense and wins under the gun. Only half that equation was on display in Tucson last Saturday night, as the two teams took turns torching each other through the air and on the ground. Over 1,000 yards of offense, 12 plays of 30 yards or more and 82 points were all an afterthought as the Cats got redemption for their heartbreaking loss to the Huskies just a week earlier. Arizona has not produced an NFL quarterback since it joined the Conference of Champions, but perhaps Nick Foles can end that dubious streak.
Now mired in a two-game slide, the buzz from a 3-0 conference start has all but dissipated, leaving Cardinalmaniacs alone with thoughts of another bowlless season. You can't blame the offense for this latest calamity, but the coaches are starting to feel the heat, even though they have left the desert behind. Subpar performance in the secondary has Ron Lynn considering changes to the terms used to describe his personnel. For example, "safeties" will now be referred to as "risk aversion specialists."
Those who were wondering where the barely bears' offense had gone got their answer in convincing fashion, as the weenies went berserk on their ursarian cousins. Though the offense has come out of hibernation, the defense has apparently hit the snooze button a few more times, letting UCLA rack up season bests in yardage and points. With this win in the books and a freebie this weekend, with Wazzu coming to town, UC has temporarily halted their nosedive, but don't go de-foaming the runway just yet.
Cardinal coaches weren't the only ones being second guessed in Arizona last Saturday night, just ask Steve Sarkisian and his overpaid staff. Seemingly running out the clock, backed up on their goal line, Sark inexplicably called for a third-down pass that fell incomplete. Now forced to run one more play, the Huskies punted to mid field and left 13 seconds for disaster to strike. And strike it did, as Dawg defenders crossed themselves up on a Hail Mary pass, leaving not one, but two ASU receivers wide open in the end zone. It doesn't get easier for the hapless pups, as arguably the nation's hottest team ventures into town, bringing a sea of green and yellow with them.
Poised to be the breakout season Ricky needed to supplant Pete as THE talked about squad in LA, the wheels have come off and have scattered in four different directions. Not only has the defense lost its swagger, but the offense is very inconsistent, looking like a bowl-bound team one drive and Cougariffic the next. A silver lining, if you can even call it that, is All-World placekicker Kai Forbath taking advantage of so many stalled drives by splitting the uprights at a 17-of-18 clip. He single-leggedly won a game already this season, and odds are he will be called upon to do it again down the road.
Bye weeks are never seen quite so merciful as when they happen for teams like Wazzu. Any incremental improvement went out the window when three starters on the offensive line went down with injuries, the root cause for an underperforming offense trying to avoid setting a new low mark it just established a year ago. That kind of sieve upfront is not the ideal situation to throw your true freshman quarterback into, but Paul Wulff just shrugs and says, "He knew what he was signing up for."
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