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Pac-12 Notes – Oregon State

October 27th

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All four Colorado November opponents win this weekend, with three over ranked opponents

November 2nd … at Arizona … “Tate returns, Arizona rolls over No. 19 Oregon 44-15” … From ESPN

November 10th … Washington State … “No. 14 Washington St. rallies past No. 24 Stanford 41-38” … From ESPN

November 17th … Utah … “Utah delivers a 41-10 smackdown on UCLA” … from the Los Angeles Times

November 24th … at California … “Cal uses defense to stun No. 15 Washington, 12-10” … from ESPN

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October 26th

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Utah runs away from UCLA, 41-10

Related … “Utah delivers a 41-10 smackdown on UCLA” … from the Los Angeles Times

From ESPN … Zack Moss and Utah rushed their way to another big Pac-12 win.

Moss gained a career-high 211 yards on the ground and scored three touchdowns, helping the 23rd-ranked Utes beat UCLA 41-10 on Friday night.

“We got back to playing Utah football and we’ve been able to do a lot of good things,” Moss said.

Britain Covey had 132 all-purpose yards and threw a touchdown pass for the Utes (6-2, 4-2), who won their fourth consecutive game. Armand Shyne ran for a touchdown and Matt Gay kicked two field goals.

Utah leads the Pac-12 South by one game over Southern California and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Trojans with three conference games remaining. The Utes are the only team from the South that has not played in the conference title game.

Utah scored 28 straight points after falling behind 7-3 in the first quarter. Covey threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cole Fotheringham off a reverse to make it 10-7 midway through the second quarter, and Moss had 1-yard touchdown runs in the second and third quarter.

“Some of those runs Zack made were sheer toughness and willpower,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “He’s like a sledgehammer in between the tackles.”

Continue reading story here

USC to start third-string quarterback against Arizona State

From ESPN … USC third-string quarterback Jack Sears will start against Arizona State on Saturday, the school announced.

The decision comes a day after USC coach Clay Helton said starter JT Daniels was “50-50 at best” to clear the concussion protocol after suffering a concussion against Utah on Saturday. Helton previously said that if Daniels was cleared medically, he would start, indicating the true freshman will not be available in relief of Sears, a redshirt freshman.

USC also will be without backup Matt Fink, who fractured three ribs in the 41-28 loss to the Utes and will miss a few weeks.

“I’m a big fan of Jack. I always have been,” Helton said Sunday, adding he appreciated how both Fink and Sears remained engaged in preparing for games despite losing the competition to Daniels, a true freshman.

“If [Sears is] given the opportunities, I think he’ll do a great job.”

Sears, who succeeded former USC star Sam Darnold in high school, competed with both Daniels and Fink in training camp before landing at third on the depth chart. He has not attempted a pass at the college level.

Redshirt sophomore walk-on Holden Thomas is expected to serve as Sears’ primary backup. He joined the program in 2016 after throwing for 3,107 yards as a senior at nearby Brentwood (California) High in 2015.

Oregon State injury update

From the Corvallis Gazette-Times … Oregon State head football coach Jonathan Smith said Thursday that sophomore Jack Colletto is most likely going to get the start at quarterback against Colorado. Conor Blount, who was knocked out of the Cal game late in the first half, is still going through the concussion protocol.

Jake Luton, who has missed the last four games with an ankle sprain, has been limited again this week and Smith is hopeful he will be available to play if needed.

Smith also said he expects true freshman running back Jermar Jefferson to be a go after only being able to take two carries last week with an injury.

Pac-12 coaching jobs … as ranked by Pac-12 coaches

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … This might come as a surprise to anyone outside the USC fandom bubble, but frustration with Clay Helton is not universal.

He has supporters, who view the Rose Bowl at the end of the 2016 season and the conference title in 2017 as evidence of Helton’s fitness for the job; who point to his maturity as “the adult in the room”; and who attribute the ’18 stumbles to playing a rookie quarterback.

They also have little use for history: The landscape has changed, Helton’s advocates argue. The Trojans won’t ever replicate the success they experienced in the 2000s under Pete Carroll, or in the 1960-70s under John McKay and John Robinson.

Which got the Hotline thinking (always dangerous):

Is USC no longer the unquestioned coaching jewel of the Pac-12?

Have I somehow missed an undercurrent that has permanently undermined a program that owns 39 conference titles, seven national titles and seven Heisman Trophies?

Which got the Hotline thinking a bit more (run!): What are the best coaching jobs in the Pac-12? The order seems fairly obvious from the outside, but how do the coaches view the hierarchy?

So I asked.

… 1. USC – 106 (8 first-place votes)
Highest ranking: 1st
Lowest ranking: 3rd
Comment: “The L.A. schools are 1-2 for me because of where they’re located with all those players. And if you’re from out of town, it’s easy to get to for parents, and the flights are cheap.”

7. Colorado – 45
Highest: 5th
Lowest: 10th
Comment: “It’s a romantic destination if you can get the kid with the right profile.”

12. Oregon State – 9
Highest: 12th
Lowest: 12th
Comment: “It’s so tough to even have a winning year.”

Read full story here

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October 25th

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Third-string quarterback preparing for possible start against Colorado

From the Corvallis Gazette-Times … Each week, Jack Colletto tries to prepare as if he is the starting quarterback for the Oregon State football team.

Colletto, a junior college transfer who arrived on campus for spring drills, was in a three-man battle for the starting job when fall camp began.

When the season started, he was listed as the third string behind Jake Luton and Conor Blount.

But with injuries to both quarterbacks this season, Colletto has played in four games, including the second halves against Ohio State and California.

He might just get his first career start on Saturday when the Beavers head to Colorado for a noon kickoff in the Pac-12 battle in Boulder.

Oregon State (1-7, 0-4) has not won a road game since beating the Buffaloes (5-2, 2-2) in 2014.

“Any game there’s a chance for me to get in so I just have to come in and always try to be ready, study the tape and know my opponent,” Colletto said on Tuesday. “That’s been my mindset going into every game.”

Blount suffered a concussion late in the first half last week and Luton is still recovering from a high ankle sprain that has kept him out the last four games.

With Blount being in concussion protocol, Luton, Colletto and Aidan Willard will all get reps this week.

Continue reading story here

Update … Conor Blount, who sustained a head injury during the second quarter of last Saturday’s game against California, remains in concussion protocol and has not practiced as of Wednesday. With only Thursday’s light workout before the Beavers leave for Colorado, it’s unlikely Blount will play against the Buffaloes.

Pac-12 to develop “clear” protocols in wake of replay fiasco

Related … “Pac-12 Conference Athletic Directors discipline ‘certain’ personnel, call for comprehensive instant-replay manual” … from the Oregonian

From the Associated Press … Pac-12 athletic directors endorsed changes Wednesday to the conference’s replay review system for football games, including developing a manual with clear protocols and procedures, after a league executive influenced a potential targeting call during a game last month.

Commissioner Larry Scott ordered an internal review of the centralized replay system this month after Yahoo Sports! reported a replay official complained about a “third party” overruling officials at the stadium and at the review center during the Washington State-Southern California game Sept. 21.

The athletic directors released a joint statement, saying the conference office acknowledged mistakes were made in the replay process during the game.

“The Conference office has taken action with the personnel involved with the game and have made important changes to the replay process and protocol,” the athletic director said. “These revisions have been presented to the Athletic Directors and we support the changes that have been implemented. Moving forward, we have confidence in the integrity of our process and the personnel charged with monitoring the process.”

The third party was Woodie Dixon, the Pac-12’s general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs. He also oversees football administration. The conference said Wednesday it was a mistake for Dixon to call into the replay center during that Friday night game between Washington State and USC.

Continue reading story here

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October 24th

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Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award trims list to 15 – Steven Montez one of four quarterbacks from the Pac-12

From CUBuffs.com … Junior QB Steven Montez remains a candidate for the 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award after the list of candidates was cut from 30 to 15 on Wednesday.

The award has been presented to the nation’s top senior or fourth-year quarterback since 1987 based on accomplishments both on and off the field.

Montez is one of four Pac-12 quarterbacks on the list along with Washington’s Jake Browning, Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Washington State’s Gardner Minshew.  Other QBs on the list are Eric Dungey (Syracuse), Ryan Finley (NC State), Will Grier (West Virginia), Drew Lock (Missouri), Trace McSorley (Penn State), McKenzie Milton (UCF), Shea Patterson (Michigan), Brett Rypien (Boise State), Jordan Ta’amu (Ole Miss), Clay Thorson (Northwestern) and Brady White (Memphis).

This season, Montez has completed 158-of-228 passes for 1,734 yards and 12 touchdowns with four interceptions.  His completion percentage of 69.3 is on pace to break the CU single season record and his QB Rating of 147.0 currently ranks fourth for a season.

Of his 70 incompletions this season, just 30 of those have been missed or intercepted passes, meaning 188-of-228 passes (82.5 percent) have been on target.  He has thrown the ball away 14 times, had eight passes dropped, 16 broken up and twice the receiver has slipped on his route.

He opened the season by completing 22-of-25 passes against Colorado State, setting the single game record for highest completion percentage, 88 percent, for both 20 and 25 pass attempts in a game.  He actually holds the top two spots on both lists as his 22-of-26 performance against UCLA, 84.6 percent, would’ve set both marks had it not been for his other performance.  He has three 300-yard games this season and has completed 80 percent of his passes in a game twice, 70 percent four times and 60 percent in six of seven games.

He currently ranks in the top 5 in career passing yards (5,582) and total offense (6,285).

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October 23rd

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Jon Wilner: Scenarios for Pac-12 South teams to win the division

From the San Jose Mercury News … It’s Week Nine, not even Halloween, and the South is a mess worthy of a conference with multiple messes.

The division has experienced so many losses, so much mediocre play, so many confounding performances that:

* Every team has multiple conference losses.

* Colorado, which won its first five games, and UCLA, which lost its first five, are tied.

(The Bruins are a half-game out of first place, folks.)

* USC, which just got poleaxed by Utah and has been outscored in its five conference games, remains in solid shape for the division crown.

* One team — just one team! — is positioned to win the title without help:

Utah, the only school that hasn’t won the South, is the only team that controls its own destiny.

Here’s a breakdown of each team’s path, followed by an explanation of the conference tiebreaker formula:

… Colorado (2-2): Reality arrives.

The Buffaloes were the talk of the conference after their 5-0 start but got unmasked, to a certain degree, by a sharp uptick in schedule difficulty.

Now, CU must not only navigate a November that includes Washington State and Utah but also have the Trojans lose somewhere within their soft finishing stretch.

A multiple-team tie at 6-3 would likely be a precarious position for the Buffs.

Continue reading story here

Oregon State remains in ESPN’s Bottom Ten

... Related … “Bottom 25 college football rankings” … from CBS Sports

No. 6 – Oregon State … I wrote last week that Cal would probably be the best chance Oregon State has to get another win this season, and the Beavers lost 49-7. That about sums it all up. (8)

From ESPN … 10. Ore-gone State (1-6)

There was much debate as to which 1-6 team should occupy this last slot, Ore-gone State or Living on Tulsa Time. So we examined each team’s lone victory. Tulsa defeated the Central Arkansas Bears, who are 6-2 and fighting with Incarnate Word for first place in the Southland Conference. Oregon State beat the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, who are 1-6 and fighting to stay out of the cellar of the Big Sky. Plus, no offense to bears, but Thunderbirds is a more awesome nickname. So Oregon State it is! #science

Waiting List: UNC Achilles Heels (1-5) Kansas Nayhawks (2-5), EC-Yew (2-5), Central Michigan Chippy-was (1-7), State of Kent (1-7), Living on Tulsa Time (1-6), No-braska (1-6), The Team That Lost to No-braska (3-4), State of New Mexico State (2-6), UMess (2-6), being mad at the coach you ran out of town because he posted a celebratory pic with his new team after beating you.

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October 22nd

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ESPN Power Rankings – CU No. 7 in the Pac-12

From ESPN … These rankings are all about rating teams against their conference brethren, but we are also ranking the conferences against each other.

Check out the chart below, and click on a conference to get full details on why we ranked teams how we did.

4. Pac-12

Essentially out of the College Football Playoff discussion, the Pac-12 still landed five teams in the AP Top 25 this week. The Conference of Parity, indeed.

1.Washington State Cougars (6-1)
An epic scene at College GameDay was followed by an impressive win against Oregon, leaving the Cougars as the Pac-12’s only one-loss team. The Rose Bowl is looking more and more likely each week.

7. Colorado Buffaloes (5-2)
It would have been a lot of fun to watch Laviska Shenault Jr. against Washington’s secondary, and even without him the Buffs hung around long enough to not feel terrible about the loss.

12. Oregon State Beavers (1-6)
They seem destined to finish without a FBS win for the second straight season.

5 Dimes – Colorado a 23.5-point favorite over Oregon State

From 5 Dimes

Pac-12 schedule

UCLA … a 10.0-point underdog at home to Utah … Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN

Colorado … a 23.5-point favorite at home against Oregon State … Saturday, 1:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

Stanford … a 3.5-point favorite at home against Washington State … Saturday, 5:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

USC … a 6.5-point favorite at home against Arizona State … Saturday, 1:30 p.m., MT, ABC/ESPN2

California … a 10.5-point underdog at home against Washington … Saturday, 4:30 p.m., MT, FS1

Arizona … a 9.0-point underdog at home against Oregon … Saturday, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN

USC may be down to third-string quarterback against Arizona State

Update J.T. Daniels has passed initial concussion protocols, and is now expected to be available this weekend

From YardBarker.com … The USC Trojans will be in a tough position during Saturday’s game against Arizona State because of injuries to their quarterbacks.

Starting quarterback JT Daniels is in concussion protocol after being knocked out of the Trojans’ loss to Utah. Backup Matt Fink suffered three broken ribs after entering the game in the fourth quarter.

The only other scholarship quarterback on the roster is freshman Jack Sears.

USC head coach Clay Helton says the team will keep prepare as if Sears is the starter and keep things simple.

USC does have two more options — Holden Thomas and Brandon Perdue — but that would be digging extremely deep.

Sears has not thrown any passes this season. The 4-3 Trojans will get ASU at home on Saturday.

Report: Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert likely to return for 2019 season

From YardBarker.com … Despite the fact that many believe Justin Herbert would be the top pick of the 2019 NFL Draft if he came out after his junior season, it’s being reported that the Oregon quarterback will return for his senior campaign.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noted on Sunday that, “…numerous sources said that there is a very strong sentiment from the Oregon program that Herbert will remain in school for 2019. Several scouts from NFL teams who have held informal discussions with friends and contacts on the Oregon staff said they would be very surprised if the quarterback opted to turn pro this spring.”

This report mirrors what a family friend recently said during an interview with a local newspaper in Oregon. Herbert is said to be very interested in staying in school one final year with the added bonus that he might be able to play with his brother Patrick.

Aside from all that, Herbert might do well to stay in school simply so that he has more experience once he does declare for the NFL draft. His physical tools are right up there with some of the best we’ve seen in years, and he routinely makes throws (like this) that scream “NFL franchise passer.”

But it’s also clear he has plenty of work to sharpen up those tools. So far this season, the junior signal caller is completing 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,883 yards with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions.

 

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5 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes”

  1. Rooney:

    Through seven games, the Buffs have utilized four different starting combinations along the offensive front. Perhaps more alarming has been the in-game rotations, which began as a healthy mini-competition to see which of the top seven or so linemen would stand out but has since devolved into a panicky, on the fly, let’s-see-if-this-Band Aid-fixes-things approach

    Dang nab it that is the honest truth.

    Buffs.

    1. As evidenced by Josh Kaiser getting yanked after a critical holding call and then replaced by Hagler who had been replaced by Filip after Hagler had replaced Lynott….. wash, rinse repeat. Interesting article on ESPN on how Florida State and their recent woes date back to the previous three years of inconsistent O -line play and yes, suspect coaching. And that’s with recruiting a few 4 stars at that position.

      1. Suspect coaching. Yup. This is the 6th year of suspect OL coaching under Mac 1/2. They do have some nice young talent but with the “continued suspect coaching” no reason to believe it will change. 6 years is not instant results. The players came the players left. Same coaching same results.

        Whip the Lindgrenites.

    2. It is frustrating. On the bright side? They have Sherman and Purcell who appear to be the backbone of the line for at least a couple more years. Filip is getting better. Then ray, and some others. I know, you expect instant results. Usually takes time.

      Go Buffs

      1. Filip was beaten like that big Texas Bass Drum. You didn’t watch eh?
        Pushed back 5 yards at least 5 times.

        Still young but if he is one of the “chosen 5” by the MWC oline coach, then there is a problem.

        A couple more years? Under mac 1/2 we been waiting 6

        Buffs

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