No. 16 UCLA (6-2, 3-2 Pac-12) vs. Arizona (6-2, 3-2)
Location: Arizona Stadium, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. PT
TV: ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen, Maria Taylor)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)
Last meeting: UCLA crushed Arizona 66-10, the most lopsided win in the all-time series. Running back Johnathan Franklin set the school’s career rushing mark with a 37-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and he Bruins’ led 42-3 at the half.
Key storylines: The Bruins haven’t won in Tucson since 2003, when they rallied back from an 11-point halftime deficit to win 24-21. Also, this happened the last time they went to the Zona Zoo. Continue reading
UCLA coach Jim Mora talked a bit about Arizona’s offense Tuesday morning, pointing out the Wildcats’ effective run game. Rich Rodriguez’s spread has the team at 275.4 rushing yards per game, 12th in the country.
“You look at them as a casual observer, you see the four wide sets, you think they’re just going to sling it all over the yard,” Mora said. “Really, they just do a great job of spreading you out and running it.”
Star running back Ka’Deem Carey leads college football with 153.1 yards per game, and hasn’t been held under 100 yards since UCLA limited him to 54 last November.
» Mike Riley finally named junior Sean Mannion his starting quarterback over senior Cody Vaz. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said Mannion won’t need to look over his shoulder.
» An upcoming book on college football called “The System” alleges that Lane Kiffin paid hostesses to help close the deal with recruits — the subject of an NCAA investigation in 2009. Reporters Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict got Lacey Pearl Earps, the most infamous of the hostesses, to speak on record for the first time. It’s far from the best tidbit in what Y! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel called “the best book on the sport written in years.” Continue reading
Here are the full results of the Pac-12 preseason media poll, with first-place votes in parentheses. Few surprises down the line, as Oregon was named both the North Division and conference favorite. UCLA was named the South Division favorite, and also receive three votes as the Pac-12 champion.
1. UCLA (12) … 130
2. Arizona State (9) … 124
3. USC (4) … 113
4. Arizona … 73
5. Utah … 58
6. Colorado … 27
1. Oregon (14) … 139
2. Stanford (11) … 134
3. Oregon State … 91
4. Washington … 81
5. Cal … 45
6. Washington State … 32
Pac-12 Champion: Oregon (13 votes)
Others: Stanford (8), UCLA (3)
» Incoming Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon took MVP honors as the U.S. U-19 team won gold at the FIBA World Championships in Prague. Likely a future top-five NBA draft pick, the 6-foot-8 forward led the team with 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game despite being the third-youngest player on the roster. Coach Billy Donovan compared Gordon’s energy and passion on the court to Joakim Noah’s.
» Brad Stevens is now the youngest head coach in the NBA — a title once held by Arizona State assistant Eric Musselman. He broke down a few key differences between working in college and the pros.
» Penn State guard Jermaine Marshall will graduate in August and transfer to Arizona State. The 6-foot-4 slasher averaged 15 points for the Nittany Lions, and should slide into the starting backcourt with Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year Jahii Carson. Continue reading
With the week’s countdown over, here is a rundown of the Pac-12′s top 25 players as voted on by 11 different writers. I also included my ballot on the right side.
|Totaled votes||My votes|
|1||Marqise Lee, USC||Marqise Lee, USC|
|2||Anthony Barr, UCLA||Marcus Mariota, Oregon|
|3||Will Sutton, Arizona State||Anthony Barr, UCLA|
|4||Marcus Mariota, Oregon||Will Sutton, Arizona State|
|5||De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon||De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon|
|6||Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona||Brett Hundley, UCLA|
|7||David Yankey, Stanford||Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona|
|8||Brett Hundley, UCLA||Morgan Breslin, USC|
|9||Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington||David Yankey, Stanford|
|10||Morgan Breslin, USC||Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon|
|11||Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon||Ed Reynolds, Stanford|
|12||Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA||Trent Murphy, Stanford|
|13||Ed Reynolds, Stanford||Hroniss Grasu, Oregon|
|14||Scott Crichton, Oregon State||Scott Crichton, Oregon State|
|15||Shayne Skov, Stanford||Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA|
|16||Hroniss Grasu, Oregon||Hayes Pullard, USC|
|17||Trent Murphy, Stanford||Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington|
|18||Brandin Cooks, Oregon State||Shayne Skov, Stanford|
|19||Leonard Williams, USC||Taylor Kelly, Arizona State|
|20||Bishop Sankey, Washington||Shaq Thompson, Washington|
|21||Hayes Pullard, USC||Deone Buccanon, Washington State|
|22||Taylor Kelly, Arizona State||Brandin Cooks, Oregon State|
|23||Shaq Thompson, Washington||Bishop Sankey, Washington|
|24||Brendan Bigelow, Cal||Paul Richardson, Colorado|
|25||Silas Redd, USC||Eric Kendricks, UCLA|
The per-team tally in the final results: USC 5, Oregon 4, Stanford 4, UCLA 3, Washington 3, Arizona State 2, Oregon State 2, Arizona 1, Cal 1. Washington State, Colorado and Utah were shut out.
Also receiving votes, in descending order: Continue reading
10. Morgan Breslin, USC
Originally thought of as a probable reserve, Breslin emerged when defensive end Devon Kennard lost his season to a pec injury. As a first-year starter after transferring from Diablo Valley College, Breslin notched the most tackles for loss (19.5) and sacks (13) for any Trojan since 2003. He should be just as effective a pass rusher as he moves to outside linebacker for 2013. Continue reading
» Cal’s newly renovated Memorial Stadium has a marvelous press box view of the San Francisco Bay, but the price may be looming, insurmountable debt. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the school would still be short $132 million even if it sold all 2,902 seats. Stagnated at 1,857, Berkeley is now spending $300,000 a year to “professionalize” sales efforts.
The campus had originally planned to raise $270 million of the $321 million cost through ticket sales.
The whole project seemed ill-conceived from the beginning, what with the reliance on non-binding pledges. An absolute face palm of a quote from John Wilton, vice chancellor for administration and finance: “They learned a commitment is not a commitment until you have a binding document. Now we feel we’re better off.”
In other news, the Bears landed 2014 quarterback Luke Rubenzer, a Scottsdale, Ariz., product rated three stars by Rivals.com. He has generated at least one premature comparison to Russell Wilson, which is fine but does little to avert crippling debt.
» Tucson’s city prosecutor dropped domestic violence charges against Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey, who had been allegedly involved in a December incident with his then-pregnant ex-girlfriend. Carey was an All-American for the Wildcats last season, a card he won’t hesitate to use in the face of trouble.
The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rate reports this morning, which means anyone can go fiddle with the somewhat-cumbersome search engine and figure out which rivals they can mock for their classroom failures. While certainly imperfect, the APR — which factors in eligibility and retention — is still the only college athletics’ only comprehensive academic metric.
Here are the rankings for Pac-12 football, which average out the four academic years through 2011-12:
1. Stanford, 978
2. UCLA, 966
3. Utah, 963
4. Oregon St, 957
5. Arizona, 956
6. Washington, 954
7. Oregon, 951
8. Colorado, 946
9. USC, 945
10. Washington St, 942
11. Arizona St, 937
12. Cal, 935 Continue reading