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Pac-10 Notes

By Connor Doyle
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 18, 2002

Last week: Beat Utah 23-17
This week: No. 22 Wisconsin

Head coach John Mackovic was a little riled by Cal quarterback Kyle Boller winning the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week Award. "Nobody played better than Jason (Johnson)," Mackovic said of the senior who threw for 416 yards and two touchdowns against Utah · The Wildcats are still a little thin on the offensive line going into this week's game against the Badgers. Guard John Parada (knee) and tackle Darren Safranek (knee) are both listed as doubtful, and guard John Vorsheck (concussion) is questionable. On the defensive side of the ball, end Andre Torrey (hip) and linebacker Pat Howard (knee) are doubtful.

Arizona State
Last week: Beat San Diego State 39-28
This week: Bye

While most of the blame for ASU's slow start against the Aztecs was placed on quarterback Chad Christensen's poor play, the running attack while he was under center was equally as responsible. Andrew Walter, Christensen's replacement, was aided in his comeback by running back Cornell Candidate, the third-stringer in the backfield. Both have catapulted themselves into the top spot on the depth chart in their respective positions.

No. 23 California
Last week: Beat Michigan State 46-22
This week: Air Force

For the first time since 1996, the Bears are ranked in the Top-25 nationally. After laying the wood to Michigan State Saturday, previously the No. 15 team in the country, Cal vaulted to No. 23 on the AP poll. But everything's not totally rosy in Berkeley; even if the Bears could continue their incredible run and secure bowl eligibility, they won't be able to play in December. They've been banned from post-season play for NCAA violations · Boller won the Pac-10 Offensive Award thanks to the day when he threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns in addition to a receiving touchdown.

No. 9 Oregon
Last week: Beat Idaho 58-21
This week: Portland State

Head coach Mike Bellotti said this week he only expects one player not to play this weekend due to injury, linebacker David Martin, who strained a thigh muscle. There's still a chance Martin could be available against DI-AA Portland State, but it's unlikely the coach will push him into action if the game is a blowout, as predicted.

Oregon State
Last week: Beat UNLV 47-17
This week: Fresno State

The first three games of the season for Oregon State have been relatively easy in comparison to their matchup against the Bulldogs this weekend. There's also the revenge factor ÷ Fresno State ripped apart the Beavers last season, ending their national championship hopes in the season opener · Receiver Jason Boyd, who missed last week's game against the Rebels with turf toe, is expected to play this weekend. He was the team's third-leading receiver through the first two games of the season.

No. 11 Southern California
Last week: Beat Colorado 40-3
This week: No. 23 Kansas State

This weekend's game should be an epic battle when the Wildcats have the ball. The Trojan's defense is tops in the country, allowing only 171 yards a game through two contests. KSU's offense is the best in the country, averaging 59.7 points per game. The only difference between the two teams is scheduling; USC has played Auburn and Colorado so far this season, while Kansas State has played creampuffs Eastern Illinois and Western Kentucky (both DI-AA schools) and Louisiana-Monroe, a DI-A school in name only · Strong safety and preseason All-American Troy Polamalu was voted the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week after making 11 tackles against the Buffaloes.

Last week: Beat San Jose State 63-26
This week: Bye

Stanford better enjoy its time off this week, as it heads to Tempe for a 12:30 game next weekend for its first conference matchup against ASU, then to South Bend to take on the surprising Notre Dame team headed by their former coach, Tyrone Willingham. The Cardinal won't be back on The Farm until Oct. 12, when they take on a tough Washington State team.

No. 22 UCLA
Last week: Beat Colorado State 30-19
This week: Colorado

The Bruins coaching staff is considering moving free safety Matt Ware back to his original position of cornerback, where he earned a spot on the freshman All-America team. Ware has suffered minor injuries in his two games at safety this season, a position that requires more contact than corner · This week's matchup against Colorado might stir some mixed feelings in UCLA quarterback Cory Paus, who wanted to play for the Buffaloes out of high school, but ended up signing with the Bruins when then-head coach Rick Neuheisel said his first choice was fellow prep star Carson Palmer. Palmer, of course, ended up going to USC, so Neuheisel ended up with no one when all was said and done.

No. 13 Washington
Last week: Bye
This week: Wyoming

After a week off, the Huskies likely won't have to worry about working too hard this weekend. The Cowboys are in the midst of an 11-game losing streak and were drubbed 47-7 by Tennessee in their opener. In fact, the biggest challenge head coach Rick Neuheisel will probably face this week is deciding which of his backup quarterbacks öö Taylor Barton or Casey Paus öö will get the majority of snaps in case of a blowout. Neuheisel said it would likely be a game-time decision.

No. 16 Washington State
Last week: Lost to Ohio State 25-7
This week: Montana State

Not only did head coach Mike Price have to leave the Horseshoe with a loss, but he'll now have to deal with the injuries suffered during the game. The most serious was left tackle Josh Parrish's, who broke his leg and is expected to be out anywhere from six weeks to the rest of the season. Left guard Phil Locker (bruised shin) and defensive tackle Jeremey Williams (broken thumb) are also both questionable for Saturday's game against Montana State · Compounding the injuries is a couple of suspensions Price levied against players after the Ohio State game. Backup guard Billy Knotts and starting defensive tackle Rien Long were both suspended for one game for violating unspecified team rules.


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