A Look Back at the Pac

Another week in the Pac-10, another improbable UCLA comeback and, well, another USC blowout.UCLA had the ball for 3:40 in their final three drives and scored three touchdowns. I don't see a whole lot Stanford did wrong in their final possessions in regulation in that game, short of a couple of incomplete passes when they would have been much better suited to running the ball and killing the clock. They didn't turn the ball over at inopportune times, giving the Bruins a short field; they just couldn't stop UCLA anymore. The Bruins went 201 yards in 3:40.

Thing is, they're not playing a complete game; they need to figure out how to play sixty minutes by December 3.Their crosstown nemesis, the Trojans of USC, remembered how to play a complete game against a tough Washington State team that, but for a little bit of luck and a couple of good bounces, could have a couple more wins in its pocket. The Trojans put up 55 points and held the Cougs to just 13; watching this game was like watching a kid beat up on his little brother. WR Dwayne Jarrett is phenomenal, and he's only a sophomore.

I'm not quite sure people realize the depth of this team. Coming into the game, I figured Washington State was going to give the Trojans a headache on offense. That wasn't the case.

The Trojans led 28-6 after a quarter and threw it in cruise control after that.Oregon eked one out over Arizona, but it was a Pyrrhic victory if there ever was one. On consecutive possessions, the Ducks lost QB Kellen Clemens (ankle, out for the season) and Dennis Dixon for the remainder of the game.

Clemens finishes his career at Oregon as the Ducks' most accurate passer in history, and he will be missed, although Dixon adds the element of escapability to the offense. And for the diehards who watched the game ? the QB in near the end for the Ducks should look familiar. His name's Brady Leaf and his brother's the former Washington State star Ryan. Conspicuous by its absence from younger Leaf's bio is any mention of his brother ? just a reference to "two brothers".And Washington, the newest doormat of the Pac-10, was saddled with another loss at the hands of Arizona State. The Sun Devils sent a redshirt freshman under center for his first start at QB, and Rudy Carpenter responded with a Pac-10 Player of the Week performance.

Carpenter, playing in place of Sam Keller, threw for 401 yards and three touchdowns. Of course, it came against Washington. The Huskies couldn't get a passing game going, with Isaiah Stanback completing just 40% of his passes.What we've learned at this point of the season is that when a team goes into a game with a game plan in mind, and executes that game plan, they can stun another team for a half of football.

It's the teams that can adjust ? the USCs and UCLAs ? that can make things difficult on their opponents. USC has done it time and again this season, wriggling out of deficits against Oregon and Arizona State, but no one has walked a tightrope this year quite like the Bruins.

.Lenny Del Genio is a documented member of the Professional Handicappers League.

Read all of his articles at http://www.procappers.com/Lenny Del_Genio.

By: Lenny Del Genio


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