The Huskies lucky number isn't 8, and LaMichael looks strong as the Ducks head into the conference matchup of the season…
What’s your lucky number? The Dawgs (6-3, 4-2 Pac 12) were hoping it was number 8 Saturday night as they were welcomed by 70,000 fans who packed the house to witness the last game at Husky Stadium before the walls are torn down and the massive $250 million overhaul begins. If these walls could talk, they would tell you some great stories from the past 91 years. These walls have welcomed President Ronald Reagan and President Warren G. Harding, fielded the Seattle Seahawks, hosted the Goodwill Games and NCAA Track and Field Championships, and was a top pick for a number of NFL Exhibition games. 25 years from now there’s something else those walls could tell your kids – that the number 8 is not the Dawgs lucky number and these walls are not fond of Ducks….
It took two quarters to get the No.7 Ducks (8-1, 6-0 Pac 12) on track, but as usual this second half team handled the Huskies 34-17 and secured victory number 8 (consecutive) against their northwest rival, moving one step closer to the Inaugural Pac 12 Championship.
LaMichael looked much stronger than the previous week with 25 touches for 156 yards and one rushing TD on a day that Oregon gained just 381 yards of total offense. Thomas was 13 of 25 for 169 yards in the air; not the numbers Ducks fans want to see one week before their biggest matchup of the season….
Oregon’s defense stepped up and forced 3 turnovers; 2 picks coming from senior safety Eddie Pleasant in the first half that resulted in 14 points on the board; and another midway through the third when Oregon freshman DB Terrance Mitchell forced a fumble after Price connected with TE Michael Hartvigson. Price was sacked 6 times (21 this season) and finished the day 24 of 35 for 143 yards and 2 interceptions. Husky leading rusher Chris Polk carried the ball 24 times for 80 yards; and added another 31 in the air with six catches on the day.
My sister was eating in a bistro in the San Fran airport last Friday when someone asked if the other chair at her table was taken; turned out it was Joe Montana. After asking him if it wouldn’t be too much of a bother for him to sign some postcards for my nephews, he said goodbye and went on his way. If he caught a flight up north to Seattle, he was probably there when his son connected on a 53 yarder to freshman WR Kasen Williams to set the Huskies up for a first down on the Oregon 27. It may have been a better call for Sarkisian to keep Montana in for more than one play as the huge gain was followed by four incomplete passes that resulted in the Ducks taking over on downs.
Oregon State (2-7, 2-4 Pac 12) was whipped by No. 4 Stanford 38-13 after holding their own in the first two quarters; surprising anyone who saw the score flash across the bottom of the screen when they were within 4 early in the third with a score of 13-17. The Trees (9-0, 7-0 Pac 12) had over 500 yards of total offense on the day; racking up 300 of those on the ground. Stanford is running on all cylinders with an explosive rushing game and an offensive line that protects their QB; allowing only 4 sacks on the season. Stanford pulled away in the second half scoring 21 of their 38 while holding the Beavers to just six after a blocked punt early in the fourth. Beavs QB Sean Mannion was 18 of 30 for 252 yards and 1 TD.
Up Next: Oregon State travels south to sunny Cal this weekend to take on the Golden Bears. Depending on what team shows up on both sides, this game could go either way, but my gut is telling me California (5-4, 2-4 Pac12) is going to come away with the W. Game time: 3:30 PM
The Golden Bears secured their second conference win last weekend after ripping apart the Cougs 30-7 and putting up 411 total yards of offensive to the Cougs 224. Washington State (3-6, 1-5 Pac 12) started the season with high hopes, averaging 44.5 points per game in their first four of the season with an impressive 3-1 record. The last five games the Cougs have gone 0-5, averaging just 19 point per game.
Keep in mind, we are talking about a team that is coming off of a combined 2009-2010 record of just 3 wins and 21 losses. There’s a lot that needs to be improved in the Palouse before Wazzu can once again become a legitimate contender in the Pac.
Up next: The Cougs host the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-3, 4-2 Pac 12) Saturday at 7:30 on Versus. A week ago I would have told you that the then ranked (No. 19 last week) Sun Devils would probably put up 40 points and most of that would be coming in the air. But after their loss to Rick’s Bruins from a last second missed field goal your guess is as good as mine….you just never know what’s going happen in the Pac.
Work was busy at Sumner College this week; which was probably a good thing because I didn’t waste any time on the clock thinking about the much-anticipated Pac 12 match up this weekend between the No. 7 Oregon Ducks and the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal. I remember watching the NFL draft earlier this year thinking I was glad Luck was staying to play another year – now I’m thinking he should have entered the draft. If he was gone, I would feel a lot more confident about the Ducks D forcing several turnovers this weekend against the Trees being led by Sophomore QB Brett Nottingham from Alamo, California. Instead I am wondering how the Ducks are going to stop Andrew Luck…
Overall Record: 8-1,
Conference Record: 6-0
Passing: 212.2 average
Points for: 46
Points against: 20.8
Keep your eye on:
Darron Thomas; QB
113/188 for 1549 yards; 19 TD’s
LaMichael James; RB
133 carries for 1046 yards; 9 TD’s
Kenjon Barner: RB
89 carries for 601 yards; 8 TD’s
Overall Record: 9-0
Conference Record: 7-0
Points for: 48.2
Points against: 16.6
Keep your eye on:
Andrew Luck; QB
194/272 for 2424 yards; 26 TD’s
Griff Whalen; WR
36 carries for 534 yards; 2 TD’s
Coby Fleener; TE
20 receptions for 431 yards; 8 TD’s
This matchup will define the season for both teams. Oregon's only loss this season came from No. 1 LSU in their first non conference play of the year. Stanford has the longest winning streak in the FBS with 17 victories; which began after their 52-31 loss at Autzen last season.
Kurt and his team were in Tuscaloosa last week for what the nation thought would be the game of the year. Unlike the defensive battle we saw between LSU and Bama, expect a lot of points to be put on the board this weekend. Both teams are ranked in the top five in scoring offensive and the top ten in total offense. Stanford has scored every time they have made it into the red zone this season; Oregon’s defense held Washington to just 278 total yards last weekend; the second fewest allowed since their first game of the season.
Game Time: 5:00 Saturday night on ABC
Home Field; Advantage: Stanford
Defense; Advantage: Oregon
QB Spot; Advantage: Stanford
On the Ground; Advantage Oregon
Red Zone; Advantage: Stanford
Mascot: Advantage: Oregon
Chick Pick: Oregon