Pac-12 Notes – Oregon State Week

November 6th – Game Day!

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Utah mauls Stanford, 52-7 – David Shaw: “Just a terrible showing top to bottom”

From ESPN … Utah got off to fast start and didn’t let up.

Tavion Thomas ran for four TDs in the first half, TJ Pledger scored on a school-record 96-yard run and Utah ran past Stanford 52-7 on Friday night.

The game was a mismatch from the start as the Utes (6-3, 5-1 Pac-12) scored TDs on their first two drives after coach Kyle Whittingham opted to take the ball first and didn’t allow the Cardinal (3-6, 2-5) to get a first down until it was 21-0 in the second quarter.

“Coach Whitt has a tremendous amount of confidence in this offense and knows that we like to start fast and like to get going early,” quarterback Cameron Rising said. “The O-line did a great job that first drive and really dominated up front.”

Utah just added on from there, scoring five TDs and one field goal on seven drives in the first half with the only stop coming on a botched snap.

Thomas raced for a 58-yard score on a one-play drive for the of his four TDs, tying the school record he had also matched last week against UCLA.

Pledger then outran the Cardinal defense on the first play of another drive for the longest run ever by the Utes.

Utah outgained Stanford 440-28 in taking a 38-0 halftime lead for the second highest yardage discrepancy in the first half of an FBS game in the past seven seasons, 24 yards shy of Boise State’s edge against Connecticut in 2018.

The Cardinal, who were playing without injured starting quarterback Tanner McKee, suffered their most lopsided loss since a 57-7 defeat to Notre Dame in 2003. Stanford has lost four straight games.

“Just a terrible showing top to bottom,” coach David Shaw said. “Obviously we missed some guys who aren’t out there. … That being said, we have 11 out there at a time, strap it up and get out there and play. Defensively we have to have a lot of discussions on how to stop the run. All year it’s been close, it’s been close. Today wasn’t close.”

Thomas led the way for Utah with 177 yards on 20 carries a week after running for 160 yards and four scores against the Bruins.

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November 5th

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Oregon State defense trying to rebound: “We just have to do a better job”

From … A 14-point loss on the road at California last weekend seems to have been a wakeup call for the Oregon State defense. The unit allowed 39 points to a Golden Bear team that had not reached that point total against any other FBS opponent this season, and for the Beavers, it was the most they had allowed in a game all year.

Opponent scoring totals are trending in the wrong direction for Oregon State. The heart of conference play has seen the Beavers give up 31 points at Washington State, 34 points at home against Utah, and most recently, the 39 at California.

Oregon State’s leaders on the field and in the coaching box recognize that the first step in improving the team’s defensive output is taking accountability for its recent struggles.

“Nobody wants to go out and have a bad game, but we did on Saturday,” said defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar. “We’ve got to own it, and then come back and play well this week.”

All parties involved must “own it,” not just the players and not just the coaches. That was the message in the postgame locker room after the loss to the Golden Bears.

Defensive back Jaydon Grant told the media on hand in Berkeley that he didn’t want any of his teammates to feel sorry for themselves, because they were solely responsible for their poor performance. He said it wasn’t on the coaches, the scheme, or anything else other than the players’ own lack of execution.

While head coach Jonathan Smith agreed that the eleven men on the field need to play at a higher level, he said the coaching staff must also do a better job of getting the players ready and putting them in positions to be successful.

It appears as though everyone has bought into what their leaders have preached.

Grant is doubling down on the stance he took in the locker room at California Memorial Stadium, and when asked if his teammates have responded well to his message, he gave an affirmative.

“There’s been no excuses made for our play and for our performance,” he said.

In taking responsibility for their shortcomings in the Bay Area, the Beavers are using Saturday’s loss as a learning opportunity. Tibesar identified third down defense as the number one area of necessary improvement, but he also pointed to the team’s recent lack of takeaways as another element to ameliorate.

Grant agreed that the team must contain opponents with more consistency on third downs, as the defense is currently allowing conversions on 51.6 percent of those occasions – the fourth-worst rate in the nation.

“I think they converted 13 out of 19 or something crazy like that last week, which is just totally unacceptable,” the team captain said of the Golden Bears. “It starts with me, it starts with the other leaders on our defense, and overall, collectively, we just have to do a better job.”

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Another nail in the CU NIL coffin: Washington loads up

From the Seattle Times (with a tip of the CU at the Game hat to iriebuff for finding this article) … On July 1, the NCAA effectively suspended amateurism rules related to name, image and likeness nationwide — allowing college athletes to profit off of autograph sales, sponsored social media posts or ads, personal YouTube/Twitch streaming channels, training lessons and camps, speaking engagements, personal merchandising, endorsement deals and more.

The NIL Era was underway.

Four months later, “Montlake Futures” was formed to maximize it.

A for-profit corporation unaffiliated with the University of Washington, Montlake Futures “was founded to provide a platform to directly develop and facilitate NIL opportunities for UW student-athletes, in cooperation with local businesses and sponsors,” according to a press release published Thursday. Local companies that have publicly endorsed “the formation and goals of Montlake Futures” include Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Costco, Nordstrom and Precept Wines.

Montlake Futures will also feature an “Athletes Council” of prominent Husky athletes — including Taylor Rapp and Vita Vea (football), Detlef Schrempf (men’s basketball), Kelsey Plum (women’s basketball) and Sis Bates (softball).

Former UW football coach Chris Petersen will serve as the company’s ambassador and “Lifetime Transformation Leader.”

Montlake Futures is supported by an independent advisory group of “local business leaders and friends of UW Athletics,” including UW alumni Pete Shimer and Neal Dempsey. Shimer — a former Husky basketball player, whose wife and four children also attended UW — is the chief operating officer of Deloitte, the world’s largest professional services and accounting firm by revenue. He’s also a past chair of the board of directors for the University of Washington Foundation and a board member for UW’s Foster School of Business.

Dempsey is the Managing General Partner of Bay Partners, which claims more than $2.5 billion in successful returns. He was named one of the top 100 venture capitalists in the world by Forbes in 2013.

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November 4th

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Arizona’s chance at win No. 1 improves: Cal to be without “multiple” players this weekend

From 247 Sports … The California Golden Bears will be without “multiple” football players this week at Arizona. Cal announced the news in a press release on Thursday.

Cal has not specified which players, or how many, will be absent this week. All players on the travel team will be tested before making the trip. Nearly all of Cal’s team is reportedly vaccinated.

A press release by Cal Athletics specified, “Multiple Cal football student-athletes are in COVID protocol and will not be available to play in Saturday’s game at Arizona. All student-athletes traveling to Tucson will be tested and cleared prior to departing the Bay Area. Everyone within the Cal football program is compliant with UC Berkeley’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements, and 99 percent of football student-athletes are fully vaccinated. Due to state and federal student privacy laws, Cal Athletics is not able to comment on the personal health of individual student-athletes.”

In a press release on Thursday, Cal Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “Our primary concern is for the health of our student-athletes, and we continue to monitor the situation closely. As we know, this pandemic is not over. We need to respect it and understand that it can affect much of what we do every day. Even with 99 percent of our football student-athletes fully vaccinated, we have seen that breakthrough cases are still possible.”

Cal and Arizona will kick off at noon PT on Saturday. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

Cal (3-5, 2-3) is trying to keep bowl hopes alive. After starting 1-5, Cal has back-to-back wins over Colorado and Oregon State. They are now favored by 12 points to win at Arizona (0-8, 0-5). Only one remaining team in the schedule currently holds a winning record as the Golden Bears need to win three out of four to reach the six-win bowl eligibility threshold.

Rolovich asks Washington State to “reexamine illegal and unconstitutional conduct”

From ESPN … In a filing this week appealing former Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich’s termination for failure to comply with the state’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement, Rolovich’s attorney urged athletic director Pat Chun to “reexamine [his] illegal and unconstitutional conduct,” ahead of a forthcoming civil rights lawsuit in federal court.

A necessary step to allow Rolovich to pursue legal action, the appeal includes allegations that Chun was hostile toward Rolovich’s “expressed religious and scientific reasoning for refusing to receive a COVID vaccine” over the course of several months. It alleges Chun referred to Rolovich as a “con-man,” “selfish” and having “situational integrity” and “extreme views regarding many issues.”

Washington State fired Rolovich on Oct. 18, citing his unwillingness to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate that all state employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The appeal, along with related documents reviewed by ESPN, show WSU’s Human Resource Services department determined Rolovich was entitled to a religious exemption on Oct. 6. In a document dated Oct. 14, the university’s Environmental Health and Safety department compiled a list of recommended safety procedures related to COVID-19 — most of which are consistent with the policies that have been in place for over a year — specific to Rolovich and what his job entailed.

In response to Human Resources Services’ determination that Rolovich had documented a “sincerely held religious belief,” a memo from the athletic department dated Oct. 13 objected to that finding.

“In numerous formal and informal meetings between March and August, Rolovich made it clear to Pat Chun, his supervisor and many within the Athletic Department, that he was unwilling to take the vaccine based on his independent research,” the memo said. “He stated on multiple times he had done his own research, made an independent decision and came to a conclusion that he would not take the vaccine.”

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Pac-12 Hot Seat Rankings: Chip Kelly and Herm Edwards moving up the list

From CBS Sports … Sometimes, the real-life hot seat doesn’t wait around for the CBS Sports’ Hot Seat Rankings. Since we updated you last month, five more coaches have been fired bringing the total to eight since the start of the 2021 college football season.

That saved us some work on Ed Orgeron (LSU), Nick Rolovich (Washington State), Matt Wells (Texas Tech), Gary Patterson (TCU) and Tom Arth (Akron). Clay Helton has been fired (at USC) and rehired (at Georgia Southern), replacing Chad Lunsford, since Sept. 13. Randy Edsall (UConn) left his second stint with the Huskies just two games into his fifth return season.

This isn’t a coaching carousel; it’s become bungee jumping with a whistle. With less than a month to go in the regular season, the Hot Seat Ranking have been updated again. Remember, the hot seat doesn’t necessarily mean imminent firing. At a minimum, it means it’s time to monitor the temperature of your coach’s seat from here on out.

Chip Kelly, UCLA – 4 (out of 5) … It’s never good when the Los Angeles Times’ UCLA writer calls for your job. The Bruins have lost two in a row, given up significant yards and Kelly is down to his backup QB. His .375 winning mark is the worst of any full-time UCLA coach. When pushing for the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl is being discussed, things are not going well. As of Dec. 1, the school would owe Kelly $9 million in buyout money. The pivot point may be the USC game on Nov. 20. UCLA is not awash in money, which may be Kelly’s security blanket. Preseason rating: 3

Herm Edwards, USC – 4 … There is an ongoing NCAA investigation, two assistants have been put on administrative leave, and defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce has been called the “mastermind” of the recruiting violations. Adding to it all: The Pac-12 South that was once theirs is slipping away from the Sun Devils. October rating: 4

Scott Frost, Nebraska – 4 … If anyone can open a portal into Trev Alberts’ intentions, it would help. We simply don’t know which way the Nebraska AD is leaning. Nebraska continues to lose close in agonizing ways, but overall, there has been improvement. A $20 million buyout would seem to be in Frost’s favor, but it only takes one (or more) booster(s) to decide to scratch a check. There is some concern about Nebraska becoming a coaching merry-go-round. The Cornhuskers may be a quarterback or a new coach away. Ask Trev. October rating: 4

Steve Addazio, Colorado State – 4 … This curious hire just got curiouser. Someone’s gotta own how the Oct. 23 game against Utah State was mismanaged. Instead of spiking the ball to stop the clock with 11 seconds left, the field goal team rushed and missed a game-winning kick with a second left. “No one sent them [in],” Addazio said. Wait, what? The Rams are 3-5 in Addazio’s second season. October rating: 4

Read full list here


November 3rd

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Washington coach Jimmy Lake mocks Oregon academics: “We battle more academically prowess teams (for recruits)” 

From CBS Sports … No. 7 Oregon will face unranked Washington on Saturday night in Seattle in a game that, before the season, looked like it could be one of the biggest games of the Pac-12 season. After all, the Huskies technically won the Pac-12 north last year but were unable to play in the conference championship game due to COVID-19. The Ducks took their place and went on to top USC. The rivalry is big on the field and, since both programs are located in the Pacific Northwest, typically bleeds over into recruiting.

Don’t tell Washington coach Jimmy Lake that, though. The second-year head coach of the Huskies was asked about the battle on the recruiting trail on Monday and didn’t hold back.

“That is way more pumped up than it is,” he said. “Our battles are really the schools we go against, that have academic prowess like the University of Washington — Notre Dame, Stanford, USC. We go with a lot of battles, toe to toe, all the way to the end, with those schools. So I think that’s made up and pumped up in [the media’s] world. In our world, we battle more academically prowess teams.”

That didn’t sit well with Oregon president Michael Schill, who responded to the quote in an article in The Oregonian.

“UW is a wonderful school with a great football history,” he said. “I have great respect and affection for its president, its academic and football program and its former exceptional football coach, coach [Chris] Petersen. I look forward to our team meeting theirs on the gridiron this Saturday.”

Well, hello. The high road from an academic standpoint combined with a passive aggressive shot at Lake’s ability to coach is quite a zinger. Oregon currently ranks No. 8 in the nation in the 247Sports 2022 team recruiting rankings, while the Washington is No. 54. The Ducks are No. 9 in the 247Sports team talent rankings and the Huskies are No. 17.

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November 2nd

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First College Football Playoff Rankings: Oregon in at No. 4

From ESPN … The College Football Playoff selection committee revealed its first of six rankings on Tuesday evening and delivered disappointment to Cincinnati fans hoping to see their Bearcats make history as the first Group of 5 team to crack the top four. Instead, the Bearcats are ranked No. 6, while the SEC and Big Ten dominated, with No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama leading the way, followed by three Big Ten teams in the top seven.

While it’s only the beginning of the pecking order, Tuesday’s rankings revealed a lot about what direction this year’s playoff race is headed:

No. 6 is a hole Cincinnati might never climb out of. The No. 6 position doesn’t bode well for the Bearcats, because their strength of schedule — which is currently No. 100 in the country — is only going to get worse. The committee didn’t rank one-loss SMU, so as of right now, No. 10 Notre Dame is the only ranked opponent on the Bearcats’ regular-season schedule. Even teams ranked behind Cincinnati — including No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 Oklahoma — have more opportunities to impress the selection committee this month and move up in the rankings.

According to ESPN’s Strength of Record metric, even if Cincinnati finishes 13-0, its résumé would be worse than any playoff participant’s in the first six years of the playoff (excluding the shortened 2020 season). The average Top-25 team would have a 26% chance to go 13-0 against the Bearcats’ schedule; there are nine FBS teams that would have a better résumé — even with one loss. Cincinnati’s placement this week might light a fire under the CFP’s management committee, though, which is scheduled to discuss the 12-team playoff model here on Wednesday and Thursday. The Bearcats could use it now.

The Pac-12 is alive and well, and head-to-head still matters. Oregon’s win at No. 5 Ohio State is the best nonconference win in the country, and the committee rewarded the Ducks for it — big time. The No. 4 spot might be the most surprising part of the ranking, if only because the Ducks haven’t been dominant as of late. The selection committee knows, though, that offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead wasn’t at the Stanford loss because of health reasons, and the Ducks have been decimated by injuries but still finding ways to win. The question is if they can keep it up, because a two-loss Pac-12 champ likely isn’t going to make the cut. ESPN’s FPI favors the Ducks in each of its remaining regular-season games except Nov. 20 at Utah (45% chance to win). If Oregon can run the table and finish as one-loss conference champions — and Ohio State does the same — Tuesday night’s ranking lends credence to the possibility that they both finish in the top four.

1. Georgia8-0
2. Alabama7-1
3. Michigan State8-0
4. Oregon7-1
5. Ohio State7-1
6. Cincinnati8-0
7. Michigan7-1
8. Oklahoma9-0
9. Wake Forest8-0
10. Notre Dame7-1
11. Oklahoma State7-1
12. Baylor7-1
13. Auburn6-2
14. Texas A&M6-2
15. BYU7-2
16. Mississippi6-2
17. Mississippi State5-3
18. Kentucky6-2
19. NC State6-2
20. Minnesota6-3
21. Wisconsin6-2
22. Iowa6-2
23. Fresno State7-2
24. San Diego State7-1
25. Pittsburgh6-2

Clay Helton has already found a new head coaching job

From CBS Sports … Less than two months after he was fired from USC, Clay Helton was announced Tuesday as the next coach at Georgia Southern. Helton, 49, replaces Chad Lunsford, who was fired on Sept. 26 after a 1-3 start to the 2021 season. Helton’s deal will be for five seasons at nearly $800,000 per year, according to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, and he is expected to start working immediately on tasks such as recruiting and building a staff.

Helton was fired from USC on Sept. 13, two days after the Trojans lost at home to Stanford after beginning the season favored to win the Pac-12 South. He was two games into his seventh season as USC’s head coach. He went 46-24 (36-13 Pac-12) during his tenure after taking over for Steve Sarkisian midway through the 2015 season. Helton had been on staff at USC since 2010.

Though he’s never coached in the Sun Belt, Helton does have ties to the southeast. Helton began his playing career at Auburn and worked at Duke and Memphis before arriving in Los Angeles. During Helton’s childhood, his father was an assistant for Florida, Miami and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kevin Whitley, who was the cornerbacks coach under Lunsford, has been serving as the interim coach since Lunsford’s dismissal. Whitley is 1-3 in that role. With a 2-6 record, Georgia Southern will need to win its final four games in order to reach a fourth-straight bowl game.

CU one of five Power Five teams remaining in CBS Bottom 25

From CBS Sports … It’s November, and in the sport of college football, this month has proven to be the most important of the year. Not because it’s the time when #MACtion returns to our television screens on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but because it’s when the contenders are truly separated from the pretenders. There are 25 teams ranked in The Bottom 25 this week, but most of them don’t have a chance to win a Bottom 25 title. They’re hangers-on. Posers. They’re teams bad enough to be seen but not heard.

November is when the teams worth listening make their statements. As we enter the final weeks of the regular season and the simpletons are all distracted by the College Football Playoff Rankings, the real ones are here because this is the only title that’s settled on the field and not in a hotel conference room with free donuts and coffee. Which, honestly, if somebody wants to provide me with free donuts and coffee while I write this column every week, that would be fine. I have nothing against donuts and coffee, especially when they’re free. Anyway, I’m getting distracted.

As we enter the season’s final weeks, we have two winless teams and nine teams with one win. That means we have 11 genuine contenders for the 2021 Bottom 25 title, and there are only so many opportunities left on the schedule for these teams to take it.

Now, I’m going to get myself some coffee and maybe a donut. I’m in more of a bagel mood, to be honest, but all this donut talk has been intriguing. While I figure it out, you stay here and read The Bottom 25.

No. 25 … Indiana … The Hoosiers remain in The Bottom 25 for at least another week, but I’m proud of them. In my weekly betting column, The Six Pack, I made the Hoosiers my Lock of the Week to cover against Maryland. Shortly after publication, Tom Allen announced backup QB Jack Tuttle would be a game-time decision. Tuttle did not play, but third-stringer Donaven McCulley and the Hoosiers managed to get the cover anyway. They’ll always be heroes to me for it. This week the heroes will travel to Ann Arbor to face Michigan. (Last Week: 24)

No. 20 … Colorado … The Buffaloes weren’t terrible during their 52-29 loss to Oregon, but the divide between the two programs was evident throughout. This week the Buffs have what might be the most winnable game remaining on the schedule at home against Oregon State. (22)

No. 12 … Vanderbilt … Missouri  looked to be the most beatable team remaining on Vandy’s schedule this season, but the Tigers beat the Commodores 28-27. If Vandy wants to get that third win, it’ll have to do so against either Kentucky, Ole Miss or Tennessee. The good news is they have this week off to prepare for the Wildcats. (12)

No. 5 … Arizona … Arizona continued its recent tradition of looking better against USC than it does anybody else in the Pac-12, losing 41-34. The Wildcats would like to start a new tradition called “winning” this week against Cal. (5)

No. 2 … Kansas … The Jayhawks were trounced 55-3 by Oklahoma State this weekend. Maybe they were caught looking ahead to this week’s rivalry game against Kansas State? The Sunflower Showdown deserves everybody’s fullest attention. (3)

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November 1st

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Arizona State: “A lot of fans have jumped off the Herm train”

From … You don’t have to take my word for it that Arizona State football hasn’t been good enough under Herm Edwards. All you have to do is listen to the program’s athletic director, Ray Anderson.

In November of 2017, after four years on the job, Anderson said the following upon firing Todd Graham for his lack of confidence in the direction of the program: “We should be top three in the Pac-12, in my opinion, every season. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be, every year, top-15 nationally, if we do what we’re supposed to do.”

Fast-forward another four years and the Sun Devils haven’t been a top-three team in the Pac-12 or a top-15 team in the country in any season under Edwards. They haven’t finished a season ranked in the AP Top 25 at all, much less in the top 15. It’s almost assuredly not going to happen this year, either.

Following their second bad loss in a row, a blowout homecoming defeat to Washington State despite being a 16-point favorite after their bye week, the Sun Devils are a rather uninspiring 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the Pac-12. Perhaps most importantly, they are just 1-3 against opponents with a winning record and were outscored 56-0 over a nearly four-quarter stretch in two of those games.

And really, the essential question that has to be asked is, if not this season, when?

The Sun Devils are one of the most experienced teams in the Pac-12. They reportedly have the second-most so-called “Super Seniors” in the country. In Jayden Daniels, they have a third-year starting quarterback who is the conference’s top-rated player at the position by Pro Football Focus. They don’t even have Oregon on their schedule, the Pac-12’s only ranked team.

Opportunities like this rarely knock on the door of a program like ASU. Instead of answering it though, the Sun Devils appear to be actively walking in the opposite direction while covering their own ears.

Their head coach, meanwhile, has already started to shift the narrative. Edwards quickly pivoted after Saturday’s debacle to the following: “There is a lot to play for. With another win, we become bowl eligible. We’ve been very fortunate to be in some bowl games around here and I just think we can’t lose sight of that and if you win enough of them, the bowl games become bigger.”

Nobody’s buying that. Playing in a second-tier bowl was never going to cut it this season and nothing has changed. That’s why booing could be heard from Sun Devil Stadium throughout Saturday’s game. That’s why Washington State had more fans remaining in attendance in the fourth quarter than ASU did in its most embarrassing home loss in years.

It’s understandable that Edwards would say everything he can to try to get his team back on the rails for ASU’s remaining four games. A nine-win season is theoretically still possible. But a lot of fans have already jumped off the Herm train and won’t be back unless and until there is some demonstration of proof that the engine is being powered by more than just a bunch of hot air.

At this point, there are not a lot of indicators that ASU football even genuinely believes in its own year-long rhetoric. How can you steam your way to a Rose Bowl when you don’t even appear to be steaming mad about getting blown out in your own stadium by a 16-point underdog that just fired its head coach and four assistants two weeks earlier?

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USC WR Drake London – best player in the Pac-12 – out for the season

From CBS Sports … USC star Drake London, one of the top wide receivers in college football, will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his right ankle in the second quarter of Saturday’s 41-34 win over Arizona, Trojans interim coach Donte Williams revealed on Sunday. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound junior was visibly emotional as he was tended to by trainers and carted off the field.

The injury occurred with 4:15 left in the first half when Trojans quarterback Jaxson Dart found London over the middle on a drag route. Though the catch went for a touchdowns, London was tackled awkwardly and he immediately reached for his right leg before an air cast was applied as several Trojan players gathered around their star wideout. He was later carted back on the field in street clothes in the third quarter.

London entered Week 9 with 79 catches for 1,003 yards and five touchdowns through seven games. He had nine catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns against the Wildcats at the time of his injury.

The second-team All-Pac-12 receiver from 2020 caught 33 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns last season, and he was named to CBS Sports’ 2021 Midseason All-America team. With his size, speed and ability to make contested catches, London was projected to be the No. 20 overall pick to the New Orleans Saints in the latest mock draft from CBS Sports NFL Draft analyst Josh Edwards.

With London sidelined, the task gets ever harder for a 4-4 USC team set to face three of the best remaining opponents on the schedule. Added pressure now lands on Memphis transfer Tahj Washington, who ranked second on the team with 396 receiving yards. Gary Bryant Jr. led the Trojans with 89 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Kyle Ford, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound sophomore, is listed as London’s backup on the depth chart at X receiver.

USC travels to Arizona State at 10:30 p.m. ET on Saturday before playing at Cal and at home against UCLA and No. 17 BYU.

Arizona State in free fall: Players quitting on Edwards? 

From the San Jose Mercury News … We cannot remember a collapse as swift and severe as the one unfolding in Tempe.

Just six quarters ago, ASU led Utah 21-7 at halftime and was 30 minutes from laying claim to division domination.

But the Sun Devils were outscored 28-0 in the second half by the Utes, then 28-7 in the first half by Washington State — a mind-numbing 56-7 demolition that has left coach Herm Edwards and his undisciplined team reeling.

Not only are the Devils the most penalized team in the conference; they committed five turnovers against WSU and played with utter indifference.

The dreadful showing came after a bye. Two weeks to prepare, and a face plant was the result.

The Sun Devils aren’t poorly coached so much as they are un-coached.

Asked about options for reversing the slide, Edwards said: “It’s the players. There’s going to be no new offense. There’s going to be no new defense. We’re not revolutionizing anything. We got to execute.” (Per

Next week is gigantic for the Sun Devils, who host USC.

Toss the lack of discipline, lack of effort and two-game losing streak into a cauldron with the NCAA investigation and all the internal distractions that brings, and there is no telling how the Sun Devils might react.

They appear on the verge of quitting on Edwards, whose own future with the school is very much in doubt.

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October 31st

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TCU (2022; 2023 CU opponent) parts ways with all-time leading coach Gary Patterson

From CBS Sports … TCU coach Gary Patterson has agreed to mutually separate from his position leading the Horned Frogs after 22 seasons with the program, according to 247Sports’ Chris Hummer and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Special assistant to the head coach Jerry Kill will take over as interim coach for the remainder of the 2021 season.

Patterson leaves as the winningest coach in TCU history (181-79) and one of the greatest defensive minds of the modern era. Though TCU had numerous successful seasons under Patterson, the most remarkable came in 2010 when the Horned Frogs finished 13-0, won the Rose Bowl and ended the campaign ranked No. 2 in the AP Top 25.

As TCU defensive coordinator under Dennis Franchione, Patterson was elevated to the top job in 2000 soon after the Frogs were left out of Big 12 expansion. He grew the program into one of the most fearsome teams outside of the Power Five conferences, particularly once TCU joined the Mountain West in 2005.

Patterson led the Frogs to six seasons of 11 wins or better during their seven-year tenure in the MWC, and after four consecutive top 15 finishes along with the aforementioned Rose Bowl victory, TCU was invited to join the Big 12 in 2012.

TCU won 11 or more games over three of its first six seasons in the Big 12; however, it started to backslide in 2018 after a trip to the 2017 Big 12 Championship Game. The Frogs under Patterson went 21-22 (13-19 Big 12) over the last three-plus seasons without a single campaign featuring more than seven wins.

TCU lost 31-12 against Kansas State on Saturday, allowing more than 11 yards per pass attempt on Patterson’s signature defense to move to 3-5 with consecutive games against ranked opponents remaining. Saturday’s game against No. 13 Baylor will be TCU’s first without Patterson on the coaching staff since 1997.

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Pac-12 Lines: Buffs open as 12.0-point underdogs to Oregon State


Pac-12 lines … 

  • Utah at Stanford … Utah is a 6.0-point road favorite … Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1
  • California at Arizona … California is a 12.0-point road favorite … Saturday, 1:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks
  • Oregon State at Colorado … Oregon State is a 12.0-point road favorite … Saturday, 5:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks
  • No. 7 Oregon at Washington … Oregon is a 7.0-point road favorite … Saturday, 5:30 p.m., MT, ABC
  • USC at Arizona State … Arizona State is a 10.0 favorite at home … Saturday, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN
  • Idle … UCLA (so yes, UCLA has a bye week before facing the Buffs) and Washington State

October 30th

… Foe Pause … 

Oregon State falls at Cal, 39-25

Worthy of note … Cal was up two touchdowns in the final minute, just like Oregon was against CU. The Bears had a fourth-and-goal with seconds left, and the clock stopped. Cal could have kicked a field goal, or gone for a score. Instead, quarterback Chase Garbers ran backwards, then threw the ball into the stands to end the game. Compare Oregon, which had a two-score lead in the final minute against Colorado. The Ducks could have taken a knee twice to end the game, but ran plays in order to get a meaningless touchdown. Cal and Oregon both had two score leads in the final minute. One school acted with sportsmanship; one did not … 

From ESPN … After three straight Pac-12 losses to open the season, California is starting to find its stride.

Chase Garbers threw one of his three TD passes one play after a partially blocked punt and the Golden Bears beat Oregon State 39-25 Saturday.

“We’re certainly improving,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said. “There are guys who are developing and making some big plays in the game who are coming into their own a little bit. We are improving but the margins are so thin at this level of football and in our conference that there are going to be a handful of critical plays in the game that you have to find a way to make and I thought there were some big ones today.”

The biggest plays came in the closing seconds of the third quarter with Cal (3-5, 2-3 Pac-12) leading by seven points.

Chance Nolan couldn’t connect with Trevon Bradford on a third-down pass and sent out Luke Loecher to punt.

Nick Alftin got a piece of the kick and it went out of bounds 1 yard past the line of scrimmage. Garbers then went deep and connected on a 38-yard TD pass to Trevon Clark to make it 31-17 on the final play of the third quarter.

The Beavers (5-3, 3-2) lost for the second time in three games and fell a game behind rival Oregon in the Pac-12 North.

“There’s nobody feeling sorry for themselves, because we put ourselves in this position,” defensive back Jaydon Grant said. “We’re the ones who came out and didn’t execute. We’re the ones who came out and got out-physicaled from top to bottom. We’re the ones who are accountable for losing this game — not the coaches, not the game plan. It’s us. It’s not being able to execute for four quarters throughout the duration of the game. It’s don’t feel sorry for yourself and back to work tomorrow.”

Continue reading story here

Utah takes control of the Pac-12 South with 44-24 win over UCLA

From ESPN … Tavion Thomas rushed for a career-high 160 yards and a school record-tying four touchdowns to power Utah to a 44-24 win Saturday night as the school retired the number 22 in honor of the untimely deaths of Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe.

“My O-line was moving that thing. It made it easy for me the way they were working together,” Thomas said.

Cam Rising threw for 179 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score to run Utah’s winning streak against the Bruins to five.

“We got a group of dogs and they just don’t stop going. They just keep that gas pedal tilted down and just go. It’s really fun and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Rising said.

If his passing and running wasn’t enough, Rising even punted twice in quick-kick situations and had them both downed inside the 10-yard line.

But the key was running the ball, according to Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.

“They led the league (allowing just 94.9 yards rushing per game going into the game) and we got 297,” Whittingham said. “Tavion was outstanding. He’s really turned into a workhorse for us.”

Utah (5-3, 4-1 Pac-12) is alone atop the conference’s south division and has beaten the other three contenders – the Bruins, USC and Arizona State, the only other team with fewer than three Pac-12 losses.

Freshman Ethan Garbers threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns on 27-for-44 passing with an interception for UCLA (5-4, 3-3). He made his first career start in place of Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who was injured on the Bruins’ final possession of last week’s loss to Oregon.

“Garbers is a cool customer … to come out and play in this environment and just to rally the troops, battling right down to the end. I’m happy with the way Ethan played,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly said.

Utah clinched the game with a safety – a sack by Hauati Pututau with 7:16 remaining – and an ensuing deliberate touchdown drive that forced the Bruins to use all three of their timeouts.

Continue reading story here

Washington State turns five Arizona State turnovers into a 34-21 road win

From ESPN … Jayden de Laura accounted for three touchdowns and Washington State forced five turnovers in a 34-21 win over Arizona State on Saturday.

The Cougars (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12), one of the nation’s best at creating takeaways, were at their ball-hawking best in the first half, forcing four turnovers. Washington State’s offense capitalized, scoring 24 points after Arizona State turnovers for its first win since coach Nick Rolovich was fired on Oct. 18 for not complying with the state’s vaccination mandate.

The Sun Devils (5-3, 3-2) got off to an abysmal start coming off a bye week, turning it over on their opening three drives, including twice in the first three plays.

Jayden Daniels threw two interceptions and Arizona State lost three fumbles to suffer a second straight lackluster defeat that had fans inside Sun Devil Stadium booing throughout.

The worst part was the Sun Devils had an extra week to regroup after giving up 28 second-half points in a 35-21 loss to Utah on Oct. 16.

They could have used another week off.

Arizona State bumbled its way through the first half, following the three opening turnovers by turning it over on downs at Washington State’s 18-yard line and missing a 32-yard field goal after a false start negated a made one.

A holding penalty also wiped out Daniels’ 56-yard touchdown run and Daniyel Ngata lost a fumble on the next play.

Daniels finally gave Arizona State a glimmer of hope in the final seconds of the first half, throwing a 12-yard TD pass to LV Bunkley-Shelton. That cut Washington State’s lead to 28-7.

Any chance at momentum ended when Daniels threw a lob that went right to Washington State’s Jaylen Watson in the third quarter.

Continue reading story here


19 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes – Oregon State Week”

  1. Rolovich… “alleges Chun referred to Rolovich as a “con-man,” “selfish” and having “situational integrity” and “extreme views regarding many issues.””

    I mean.. Is it really an allegation if it’s true? Screw Rolovich. I eagerly await reading about how his stupid lawsuit got laughed out of court.

    I’ll happily root for WSU and interim coach Dickert, though. Love how he got ahead of this six months ago and even as Rolovich was getting fired he still had an image of himself getting vaccinated pinned to the top of his Twitter profile.

    1. bingo
      when did Rolovich become a scientist? And where does it forbid vaccines in the bible, koran or any other religious manifesto? Even the JWs backed off. The church of the oxy moron “christian scientists” doesnt promote it but doesnt have any written material against it either.
      Then there is the constitution which explicitly forbids vaccinates or mandates thereof. (sarcasm)
      Its really unfortunate we dont have a vaccination against irrational political cults.

      1. The only political cultist on this this site is you..and apparently chirality. What “scientist” do you listen to? Oh let me guess. Could it be the one and only dr faucci? The doctor who has lied to you and the American public from the start of this craziness? (14 days to flatten the curve, wear a mast for 2 weeks, wear a mask for 30 days, wear 2 masks for 30 days, get the shot and you will never ever never ever have to wear a mask again, get the shot and you will never ever never ever carry or transmit or have to go to the hospital or die, shots are safe for all (blood clots, myocarditis). Now they are making them put the shot into little children, who have virtually no risk from “the covid.” So Rolovich and many others like him are part of a political cult because they shot have hesitancy and refuse an experimental jab (and even you would have to agree its not a vaccine) that has already killed thousands of people? Wow, I wonder why so many people who consult their own doctor and have the ability to think on their own would have any hesitany at all? Which, by the way, if you believe 80% of Americans have received the jab..well any way. Its people like you and your political cult who destroy sports, sports sites, and basically everything else one can think of. Now hurry up and make sure you are fully, fully, fully, fully, fully “vaccinated” with your 29th booster or whatever it is now.
        Oh and one last question…can you tell me why volleyball players, basketball players, can play without a mask but when they come to the sidelines they have to wear one? Oh yea its probably the science. Duh!
        This probably wont get posted but oh well.

        1. Oh boy here we go. Politics on a sports site.

          But he is right ya know.

          I am vaxed
          My choice.

          But have decided not to get the booster or whatever it is called.
          My choice as well

          Let’s Go Brandon………………….Mandate this

          Go Buffs………whip Lingrenling

        2. Steve so much misinformation and yet all you say is true? So, millions getting a shot doesn’t prove anything to you, just that the news about how many is fake? If we had this kind of push back decades ago we would still be dealing with Polo, Small Pox and etc.

          I see a medical specialist monthly and have had conversations with her regarding the vaccine and a good number of her patients who have no reason to avoid the vaccine (some having reasons to need it) were asking her for a reason to be exempt, problem is she tells them they have no reason and some of them try to argue with false things they’ve read and she has to waste time educating them.

          She’s the doctor, but they read it on facebook in their “group” so they must be right… it was on the interweb.

          Also Rolovich sited religious reasons??? He’s Catholic (Same as I) and the Pope has not only supported the vaccine, he made it mandatory for ALL Vatican employees, which include all priest and etc. The Pope has also stated (and every other major religious leader) That NO WHERE in the bible is it against the vaccine.

          The only thing I’ll give you is it is ridiculous for athletes and coaches to be wearing masks some of the time while not other times, and half the time they are not wearing them correctly or are pulling them down to talk; so that is useless.

          Fucci’s and everyone having to deal with this on the fly with NO help from the prior administration, you know the one that shut down the infectious disease unit when he arrived, has made some mistakes, but those are big lies designed to come after you, the real victim here?

          It’s that kind of paranoia that is pulling this nation apart, were you in Dallas a couple of days ago too?

          1. Look at the studies of the millions around the world who have received the shot. Many still contract and die from “covid.” Im not saying the shot may not be appropriate for some, but a mandate that all need to take it or you can not provide for your family is ridiculous. All this for a 99.9% survivability rate. Finally, you know what happens when one gets a polio, small pox vax etc? THEY DONT GET THE VIRUS!

          1. Don’t forget the ivermectin.

            And one final thought from me on vaccinations, side effects etc. one of my best buddies (and room mate from Boulder) is full on flat earth conspiracy guy. He, like many, like to cite the adverse reactions to vaccines that “thousands” have. True enough. Some people do not react well to them. Some people do not react well to the covid 19 virus. And, statistically speaking, the % of adverse reactions to the covid 19 and other viruses is significantly larger than the % of adverse reactions to vaccines. So, if you are not concerned with a roughly 1% chance of dying, if you get covid, why are you concerned about the much smaller chance of an adverse reaction to a vaccine that in most cases, you can still choose not to take?

            Oh. Because of mandates? Freedom to choose? That is a hollow argument. Last I checked, Alabama doesn’t require kids to be vaccinated to go to school. Neither do a lot of states. Exercise your freedom and move. Or, deal with the “hoa” of places like ca, that have a lot of features and amenities (and the people that come with them) that people like, or move to a different hoa, maybe in a trailer park that is less restrictive.

            And guess what, people. Turns out, population density matters. 8 billion and growing by 80 million, that is two californias, a year, is a lot. That is all. Sorry I entered the frey I said I would avoid.

            But, as you all know by now, I am not bashful with my opinions. And these are that. We are learning more daily about the facts and the ongoing evolution of this pandemic. And sadly, I bet it won’t be 100yrs before we see the next, much worse one. And add population displacement with a pandemic sprinkled on top? That is when the real fun starts.

            Turns out, population density matters.

            Happy thoughts, by eric.

            Go Buffs

          2. Editor’s note.
            I’m leaving this topic with the Oregon State Pac-12 Notes, in hopes it will die a quiet death as we move onto UCLA week.
            If it doesn’t end on its own, I’ll just start deleting the posts.


          3. Ps- another solid talking point is “these aren’t vaccines because vaccines have a bit of the virus in them”. Like the j&j but not the mRNA ones? Ah. So electric cars are not cars, because they don’t have combustion engines. Got it.

            Go Buffs

  2. I actually like that Karl is openly considering nate’s future in assessing whether he will play again this year. I hope it resonates with recruits. Pretty sure it does with the kids already on the team. There was no quit Saturday. Plenty of other issues, but no quit.

    Go Buffs

    1. Every Monday and only on Monday
      I am going to post a reminder
      that you said
      you would write up an expose as to
      why you hate the Real Mac,
      based on your derogatory comments about him and Barnett as well.

      That was 3 months ago.

      Spit it out pal…promise made (patience) promises broken…

      Go Buffs

      1. Sounds good. Since none of the rest of us care about your squabble, I’ll hold you to the once a week statement on the subject.

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