Week 9 in the WAC


Week 9 Wac Preview:

Wouldn’t it be ironic if a loss to Colorado was what kept Boise St. out of the “Big Game”?  Not saying it will, but Hawaii’s Week 3 loss to the Buffaloes are all that is keeping them out of the top 25 right now.  There only other loss is the opening game to the Trojans, and that was no blowout.  Either way, Hawaii has to take care of the Vandals of Idaho before they meet the Broncos next week.

Boise St. already took care of business with a 49-20 drubbing of LA Tech on Tuesday night.  Tech kept it interesting early with an onside kick and they also handed Kellen Moore his 2nd Int. of the season.  That wasn’t enough to keep up with Coach Peterson’s crew though as they found plenty of ways to score including finding Moore on a TD reception to add to his 2 passing TD’s.

Nevada should continue to move forward against Utah St. and I’ll let you pick the winner of the San Jose St. and New Mexico St. matchup…if you want…you don’t have to.

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 02: (L-R) Courtney Randall  of the Nevada Reno Wolf Pack is congratulated by quarterback Colin Kaepernick  and Brandon Wimberly  after Randall scored a touchdown against the UNLV Rebels in the second quarter of their game at Sam Boyd Stadium October 2, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nevada Reno won 44-26. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Weekly Tid Bit:

Doug Martin’s 150 yards on Tuesday night was a career high.  The Broncos also seemed determined to run the ball more, especially early in the game against LA Tech.  Was this a sign of things to come or just a matter of taking advantage of matchups?  Either way, developing a strong running game is going to be essential to Boise St. as they’ll want to keep teams like Hawaii’s offense off the field as much as possible and control the clock.

Conference Standings:

Team                           Conference                 Overall

Hawaii                                 4-0                                       6-2

Boise St.                             2-0                                       6-0

Fresno St.                           3-1                                       5-2

Louisiana Tech                  2-2                                       3-5

Nevada                               1-1                                       6-1

Idaho                                   1-1                                       4-3

Utah St.                                0-3                                       2-5

New Mexico St.                 0-3                                       1-6

San Jose St.                        0-3                                       1-7

Written by Rusty Pettit.  Follow him on Twitter @isbnrustypettit.

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PGWU Heisman Watch: Week 8


We had some great showings on Saturday and others weren’t.  Deanrd Robinson and Taylor Martinez fell to the back of the line after last weeks performances.  Terrelle Pryor failed to follow up a great pasing game against Indiana with a horrible game vs the Badgers.  Kellen Moore and Cam Newton continue to win and put up ridiculous stats.  Here is the top 5 for week 8:

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 05:  Wide receiver Justin Blackmon #81 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys warms up before the college football game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Boone Pickens Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  The Cowboys defeated the Bulldogs 24-10.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

5th Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State Cowboys  He leads the nation in most major categories for receiving and is a major reason behind his Cowboys being 6-0 with a big time battle against Nebraska this week.  He will be matched up with stud CB Prince Amukamara for the Huskers.  If he has a big game here, he will climb on this list.

University of Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray dives into the end zone for a touchdown against the University of Texas in the second half of their NCAA Big 12 football game played in Dallas, Texas, October 2, 2010.  REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

4th DeMarco Murray RB Oklahoma Sooners   The All-Time leader in Touchdowns for the Oklahoma Sooners keeps getting it done every week.  He padded his stats against a weak Iowa State team last week, but he will have a national spotlight on Saturday night when his Sooners head to Mizzou for a battle with the Tigers.

3rd LaMichael James RB Oregon Ducks  He dropped a spot after the bye week, but LaMichael still has a great shot to hoist the trophy in December.  Look for him to have a huge game against the Bruins this Thursday night.

BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Kellen Moore  of the Boise State Broncos looks for a receiver against the Oregon State Beaversat Bronco Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)

2nd Kellen Moore QB Boise State Broncos 14-16 fro 231 yards and 2 TD, and that is just in the half he played.  His stats would be twice as impressive if he played in the 2nd half of any games this year.  The fact that he plays a weak schedule in the WAC is what bothers me about him.

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Cameron Newton  of the Auburn Tigers reacts after rushing in a touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

1st Cameron Newton QB Auburn Tigers His performance in the shootout against the Razorbacks was incredible.  He added another 4 TD’s to his tally this season and almost rushed for 200 yards.  He has the Tigers up to number 5 in both polls and 4th in the BCS rankings.  He finds a way to get it done every week.

WAC Report: Week 7


Week 7 WAC Preview:

This won’t be the most telling week for a conference trying to gain recognition, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t learn some things.  The most intriguing matchup is when Nevada takes their 6-0 record to the islands to take on Hawaii.  The Warriors come in with the #1 rated passing attack in the country and the Wolfpack ranks 78th against the pass. 

Though this game may not rank up there with Iowa vs. Michigan and other BCS showdowns this weekend, I believe it is crucial for the WAC.  The Nevada/Boise St. matchup at the end of the season will mean a lot more to computers and voters alike if the two teams are undefeated when they meet on Nov. 26th.

Boise State Broncos celebrate with fans after their NCAA football game with the Oregon State Beavers at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho September 25, 2010. REUTERS/ Brian Losness (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Speaking of the Broncos, they should continue to roll against San Jose St. this weekend and remain at #3 in both polls…that is unless, either Oregon and Ohio St. are kind enough to take one on the chin.  By the way, with all the talk of Kellen Moore and the offense, it should not be over looked that coach Peterson owns the 2nd ranked defense in the country.

Weekly Tid Bit:

As most people like to point to the overall strength of the conference as the main reason that the WAC doesn’t get very much national attention, it is important for teams like Hawaii and Fresno St. to make as much noise as possible to show more depth.  However, in my opinion, the team that had the best potential to do this was Utah St.  Too bad it didn’t play out that way…they were so close.

Conference Standings:

Team                           Conference                 Overall

Hawaii                                 2-0                                       4-2

Nevada                               1-0                                       6-0

Boise St.                             1-0                                       5-0

Fresno St.                           1-1                                       3-2

Louisiana Tech                  1-1                                       2-4

Idaho                                   0-0                                       3-2

Utah St.                               0-2                                       2-4

New Mexico St.                 0-1                                       1-4

San Jose St.                        0-1                                       1-5

Written by Rusty Pettit.  Follow him on Twitter @isbnRustyPettit.

PGWU Heisman Watch: Week 7


Welcome to week 7 in the college football season. This weekend we get our first BCS standings and quite a few big games, but we are here this week to talk about the Heisman Trophy candidates. Terrelle Pryor is back on the map this week, as is Taylor Martinez. Did Denard Robinson hurt his chances with last week’s performance? Check it out.

5th Kellen Moore QB Boise State   He has 14 TD to 1 INT this season, and is averaging 9.9 yards per completion.  These stats are great considering he hasn’t played much in the 2nd half of the last few games.

4th Taylor Martinez QB Nebraska Wow!  That is all I can say about his performance last Thursday against KSU.  He made the Wildcat defense look silly with his blazing speed.  Martinez leads all FBS schools with 10.8 yards per rush and 12 rushing TD.

3rd Terrelle Pryor QB Ohio State  Slowly, but surely Pryor is beginning to quiet his critics.  He is throwing the ball better this season than he ever has, coming off a great performance against Indiana.  He was 24-30 for 334 yards and 3 TD.  For the season he has 15 TD to 3 INT and is completing nearly 70% of his passes.

2nd LaMichael James RB Oregon  Had an impressive game last week with 223 total yards and 3 scores.  He has been an extremely consistant performer so far this season and that is what it takes to win the Heisman Trophy.

1st Cameron Newton QB Auburn  He continues to put the Tigers on his shoulders and they continue to win.  He had 4 rushing TD last week, adding to his impressive total TD mark of 21.  If the Tigers keep winning, he will stay atop this list.

PGWU Heisman Watch


Every Week we will be giving out the top 5 Heisman candidates based on their performance so far in the season.  Last weekend gave us some strong showings, from some of the top candidates.  Michigan Wolverines QB Denard Robinson continues to seperate himself from the rest of the pack.  Terrelle Pryor took a step back with average play and an injury, LaMichael James had a huge week in a very important Pac 10 game..  Here are the top 5 Heisman candidates for this week.  They are ranked in reverse order.

5th Cameron Newton QB Auburn Tigers

He has carried the Tigers on his super-sized shoulders to a 5-0 record, both throwing and running the football.  His mix of accuracy, a big time arm and mobility are 3 of the biggest reasons Auburn is undefeated.

4th Daniel Thomas RB Kansas State

This do it all running back has the odds stacked against him every week, but he still manages to get his yards and big plays.  This former QB is a pro at running the Wildcat for HC Bill Snyder.

3rd DeMarco Murray RB Oklahoma Sooners

Did you see him tip toe the sidelines against Texas last Saturday?  He is a do it all player for the Sooners who deserves more pub.

2nd Colin Kaepernick QB Nevada

I know this is probably way too high for many peoples liking, but he is as good as they come with the ball in his hands.  He should lead his team to an undefeated record when the Wolfpack face Boise State later in the season.

1st Denard Robinson Michigan Wolverines

I really don’t need to say much about this phenom.  He is the Heisman winner right now and if his season continues this way, it will be impossible to overlook Mr. Robinson.

Week 4 in the Pac 10


If you hear a rumbling, that’s the sound of everybody jumping off the Jake Locker bandwagon all at once. The biggest game of Week 3 for the Pac-10 was Nebraska vs Washington, and Locker’s 4 for 20 performance left a lot to be desired.

I wouldn’t be too alarmed for Locker, though. Yes, he was bad, but it’s not like everyone just missed the boat on him and he went from #1 overall pick to being a schlub. The Nebraska defense is really good, and the Huskie defense didn’t exactly do Locker any favors. I’ll wait to hold judgement, and the bye week should help Sarkisian and company refocus.

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Jake Locker  of the Washington Huskies passes against defensive end Pierre Allen  of the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Then there was Arizona’s trouncing of Iowa. This was an odd game for a few reasons. Iowa’s first possession ended in a punt block, the end result being a Wildcat touchdown. Iowa’s next possession ended with a pick-six. After Iowa scored its first touchdown, the ensuing kickoff was returned for a score.Now, I give Arizona all the credit for being opportunistic and creating turnovers, but how much can you really gauge from this game? After those first few drives, were the Hawkeyes really that into it?

It was 27-7 at half time, with those three touchdowns resulting from a blocked punt, interception and kick return. The high powered Arizona offense, when having to face the Hawkeye defense with a long field, could only muster two field goals. I’m not completely sold on Arizona just yet.

Some quick notes on a few other games:

I continue to watch USC with an eye of skepticism. They just don’t seem to possess the ability to overwhelm inferior opponents. Winning is the name of the game, but I’m just not sure the Trojans have what it takes to knock a good team out. Still watching, still waiting for some signs.

Arizona State almost shocked the world by going on the road and coming within a blocked extra point of tying #11 Wisconsin late. I had this one nearly pegged last week, but I’m still surprised. Might not be the last time I say that about the Sun Devils this year.

I take nothing away from UCLA beating a Case Keenum-less Houston team. But you beat who is in front of you, so kudos to the Bruins. Now on to Week 4…

USC vs Washington State

Here you go, Lane. While most people won’t figure there is anything to learn from this game, I’ll be watching. I want to see the Trojans whoop up on somebody, and who better than the worst team (by far) in the Pac-10. This is the time to send a message.

Stanford vs Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish are coming off two hard to swallow losses, and now they face one of the top quarterbacks in the country, Stanford’s Andrew Luck. I would be fearful of the Cardinal players being caught looking forward to next week’s Oregon matchup, but does anybody really look past Notre Dame?

I really don’t see the Irish stopping Luck. And by the way, the drinking game for this one will be all puns that include the words “Luck” and “Irish” by NBC commentators.

UCLA vs Texas

Texas might boast the best defense in the nation, and UCLA has serious offensive issues. You get blanked at home against Stanford, then what are you going to do on the road against Texas?

What they need to do is make sure the Longhorns don’t get any kind of running game going. Then take a page from Arizona’s book and look to special teams and turnovers early to knock the wind out of Texas’ sails. If this were a home game for the Bruins, I could see something like that happening, but a road game against a top ten team? I’d be surprised if the score didn’t end in double digits favoring Texas.

Oregon State vs Boise State

This week’s Pac-10 game of the week. Here’s something I find interesting: The Beavers painted their practice field blue this week to prepare for a trip to Boise. I find this very funny, but at the same time, a possibly genius move by Mike Reilly.

It also helps the Beavers that they are coming off a bye week. Then again, Boise State’s game last week against Wyoming might as well be considered a bye.

The Broncos are the better team, but the matchup favors Oregon State slightly. You want to run the ball on the Beavers, and Boise is a pass-happy team. However, OSU quarterback Ryan Katz cannot get into a shootout with Kellen Moore.

The Beavers have to make this a low-scoring game. Even if they are down, say, 17-3 at half, that’s better than having Moore and the Broncos start lighting up the scoreboard, even if OSU is keeping up early. They won’t be able to sustain that, and Boise will.

California vs Arizona

The Bears seem to be a team that does well when everybody counts them out and folds under pressure. Well, after getting mauled by Nevada last week, and Arizona picking up a signature win, the pressure is off.

The Wildcats jumped ten spots from #24 to #14 in the AP poll. Not sure if I agree with that kind of movement in the polls with the kind of game that went on last week. And really, that was the only real game Arizona has played so far, and it was over early. This is also the last game before the bye week for the Cats. I smell “trap”.

Shane Vereen of California scores a touchdown during the game against UC Davis at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California on September 4th, 2010.  California defeated UC Davis, 52-3. Photo via Newscom

What Cal needs to do is run the ball with a vengeance. Shane Vereen needs about 25 carries for the Bears to win. Keep the ball, stop Arizona from airing it out, and you give yourself a chance. I think they will keep it close late, but Nick Foles and the Arizona passing attack will find seams against a questionable Cal secondary, and make enough big plays down the stretch to put the Bears away.

Oregon vs Arizona State

While the loss was painful, Arizona State should feel pretty good about their performance against Wisconsin. This is also Oregon’s first real game. Kind of smell an upset here, as it has all the ingredients, but there’s only one problem: Oregon is really, really good.

And should be good enough to blow the Sun Devils out. Perhaps the game will remain close in the first half, as the Ducks get up to speed, but Oregon is the best team nobody is talking about, and ASU still has a ways to go before they can be seriously thought of as a threat.

Written by Jay Fisher @jfishsports on Twitter

PGWU Heisman Watch


Every Monday we will be giving out the top 5 Heisman candidates based on their performance so far in the season.  Last weekend gave us some strong showings, from some of the top candidates.  Michigan Wolverines QB Denard Robinson continues to impress the voters.  Terrelle Pryor has put up some tremendous stats, so has Kellen Moore from Boise State.  Here are the top 5 Heisman candidates after week 3.  They are ranked in reverse order.

5th Taylor Martinez QB Nebraska Cornhuskers

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Taylor Martinez  of the Nebraska Cornhuskers rushes against Nate Williams  of the Washington Huskies on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Cornhuskers defeated the Huskies 56-21. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
He has led the Cornhuskers to a 3-0 record, and done so in a convincing manor.  He has rushed 40 times for 421 yards and 8 TD averaging 10.5 per rush.  In what isn’t a strong part of his game, he has thrown the ball for a 65% completion percentage and  392 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  He runs the Nebraska offense extremely well, and if they keep winning he will keep climbing on this list.
 
4th Andrew Luck QB Stanford Cardinal
PALO ALTO, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Andrew Luck  of the Stanford Cardinal in action against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Stanford Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Luck has played flawlessly so far this season.  He has led Stanford to a 3-0 record with a TD-INT ration of 10-0.  He has thrown for 674 yards this season and has a completion percentage of 64%.  He is no slouch on the ground either.  He averages 10.8 yards per carry and has another score on the ground.
 
3rd Patrick Peterson CB LSU Tigers
ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 04: Patrick Peterson  of the LSU Tigers breaks up a touchdown reception to Joshua Adams  of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the final seconds of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Peterson has played his role perfectly as a shutdown corner, he already has 2 INT.  He is also an incredible return man for the Tigers.  He is averaging 31.7 yards per kick return and 23.9 per punt return.  He is as good as they come for what he does.
 
2nd Ryan Mallett QB Arkansas Razorbacks
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Quarterback Ryan Mallett #15 of the Texas A&M Aggies at Cowboys Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Mallet has done an incredible job leading the Razorback offense this season.  The Hogs have a huge game this weekend with number 1 ranked Alabama.  If Arkansas and Mallett come out of this game with a W, I could see a magical season for Mallett and his team.

1st Denard Robinson QB Michigan Wolverines

 

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Denard Robinson  of the Michigan Wolverines pushes off a tackle attempt by Manti Te
This kid has been a huge surprise this season.  Very few had any idea about him before he exploded against UCONN.  I figured it would slow down after that game, but he has continued to impress.  He has a 69% completion percentage, has thrown for 671 yards, 4 TD and 1 INT.  That is impressive, but here is where it gets ridiculous, his running stats are that much better.  He leads the nation in rushing with 559 yards and a 7.6 average yards per carry.  Add in another 4 TD on the ground and you can tell why Michigan has played so well this season.
Written by Jason Madson @isbnJMAD on Twitter