Monday, September 1, 2008

The Pac-10: Week 1 in review

For what was supposed to be a down year for the conference, the Pac-10 looked strong out of the gates. The league went 5-1 in non-conference (3-1 BCS), including wins over Tenessee, Michigan State and Virginia.

Here's what we know:
USC is as good as advertised
On the road against a decent opponent, the Trojans put to rest any doubts about the offense. Mark Sanchez was sharp. The young offensive line looked solid and they have a bunch of horses in the backfield. I'm still not sold on the receivers, but they have time. Oh yeah, the defense is outstanding.

UCLA might be better than we thought
HUGE win for the Bruins against 18th ranked Tennessee. For Rick Neuheisal to beat an SEC opponent in his coaching debut at his alma mater was a giant first step for the program. I loved to hate Neuheisal when he was at Washington, but you have to admit that college football is better with him on the sidelines.

It's gonna a be long year for Oregon State, Washington and Washington State
There defensive front looked soft against Stanford, giving up 147 rushing yards and 2 tds to unknown Toby Gerhart. Lyle Moevao was hot and cold. He'll have to do better as the Beavs still have to play Penn State and Utah on the road. Jake Locker is looking like a one man show in Seattle, but he can't carry the team by himself.

Arizona and Arizona State are unknowns. Big wins against cream puffs make judgements impossible.

Cal has found their quarterback
Sophomore Kevin Riley sealed the deal with 202 yards and 2 touchdown passes. What happened to Nate Longshore? This guy looked fanstastic two years ago, leaving Bear fans drooling over the future. He went 3/5 for 62 yards and two interceptions. Barring injury, we've probably seen the last of him.

Defense leads at Oregon
The Ducks got great performances from their retooled defensive line, young linebackers and salty defensive backs. They were fast, aggressive and fundamentally sound. Weakside linebacker Spencer Paysinger is proving to be a unexpected surprise. Offensively, the Ducks still look crafty with a healthy Jeremiah Johnson, even with backups behind center.

No comments: