Pac-12 – Week 4 Players of the Week

28 09 2010

We are a quarter of a way through the season with the most challenging non-conference schedule behind us. Some teams came out losers (Oregon State & Washington) some teams came out winners (Arizona & UCLA) and the jury is still out on a few teams (Cal, ASU, USC).

Players of the Week

Starting with the Leader of the Pac MVP this week, Johnathan Franklin finally made the UCLA offense worthy of being called the pistol. Franklin carried the ball 19 times for 118 yards and a touchdown against the former #1 ranked rush defense in the country. He did a great job of using his blockers, finding the gaps, breaking tackles, and extending plays with his tough running style. The special teams and Bruin secondary will be good enough to keep them in most games, but back-to-back wins against ranked teams is a great sign for a young team still searching for its identity. Kevin Prince had a a beautiful 38 yard touchdown run and he passed for another. A UCLA cheerleader deserves to be here on the blog today, but I’ll take the last opportunity to post a Texas girl this season.

The other big performance from a running back came from Stanley Havili of USC. Full backs don’t usually have the type of impact that this guy does, but his 59 yard rushing touchdown looked like something I do in Madden. He also caught the ball four times for 88 yards and a 58 yard touchdown. From a day when Matt Barkley was inconsistent Havili gave them the spark they needed on offense. From the defensive side of the ball Nickell Robey looks like a future Pac-12 star. He picked off two passes and returned one for a touchdown.

One of my favorite players of the conference is back with Jordan Wynn returning from injury. Utah is one of the most exciting teams in the country with this guy slinging the ball around and his hand doesn’t look to be bothering him as he completed 14 of 18 passes and two touchdowns.

Bust of the Week

The Cal versus Arizona game looked more like the BigTen than the exciting brand we love in the Pac-12. To play that style of game you need to minimize mistakes , play strong defense, and capitalize on special teams play. Cal was in control of the game for 57 minutes and as they were driving down field up 9-3 they got into the field goal range. The Italian imported kicker, Georgio Tavecchio lined up on his money spot – the right hash. The kick went up and sailed wide right with two minutes and some change to play. On the next play Nick Foles connected with Juron Criner for a 51 yard pass the put them in a position for the go-ahead score.

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Pac-12 – Week 4 Predictions

24 09 2010

UCLA at #7Texas 12:30PM: UCLA had a gutsy win last week against #23 Houston and the Bruin secondary is designed to slow down a spread offense like Texas’, but look for Mack Brown to take advantage of his size up front by relying on the ground game. Longhorns 34 – Bruins 17

#20 USC at Washington State 12:00PM: Lane Kiffin is addicted to two point conversions, the Trojans haven’t played a complete game, and they have dropped in the rankings after all three of their victories. This should be the game where they put it all together and finally cover the spread for the first time this season. Trojans 42 – Cougars 20

#16 Stanford at Notre Dame 12:30PM: As we know from The Big Lebowski “Nobody F#cks with The Jesus!” Except maybe Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck of Stanford. Notre Dame’s defense will need extra prayer this week if they plan on slowing down the Cardinal offense. Trees 27 – Catholic Kids 23

#5 Oregon at Arizona State 7:30PM: ASU looked good against the big slow white guys from Wisconsin, but the Ducks have as much speed as any team in the country. The main advantage for Oregon is that they get to train with this guy. The side story for this game is the amazing talent at cheerleader that should be on display. Ducks 41 – Sun Devils 17

San Jose State at #13 Utah 7:30PM: The Utes haven’t missed a beat with the reemergence of Terrance Cain at quarterback. San Jose State doesn’t have the athletes to contain DeVonte Christopher and Jereme Brooks. A win here will bring them closer to the top ten. Utes 44 – Spartans 13

#24 Oregon State at #3 Boise State 5:00PM: This looked like a marquee game before the season started, but don’t expect it to be a close one. The Beavers might have a chance if Stephen Paea can disrupt Kellen Moore, but they haven’t been able to get to the quarterback much this year. Boise is balanced offensively and Chris Peterson should exploit the inexperience at linebacker by utilizing the tight end more. Broncos 38 – Beavers 21

Cal at #14 Arizona 7:00PM: The Bears are coming off a disappointing loss and the Wildcats just knocked off a top ten team last week. If Juron Criner doesn’t play look for Arizona to use a shorter passing game. If Cal plays to their potential and Arizona has an emotional letdown, this could be an upset. The Zona Zoo is wild at night and the Bears have struggled in Tuscon. Wildcats 31 – Bears 27 Here’s a great preview of Bears vs Housecats

2010 Prediction Record 28-4

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NASPAQ – Pac-12 Stock Report : Week 3

23 09 2010

On Separation Saturday the Pac-12 split the four games against ranked opponents with  Arizona State losing by a point at Wisconsin, the Dawgs getting a beat down like they were facing Michael Vick, and two big upset performances out of Arizona and UCLA. Two teams (USC & Oregon State) couldn’t cover the spread against inferior opponents, and Cal had their annual national television audience letdown against Nevada. Playboy also came out with their Girls of the Pac-10 edition and it’s a must get. Leader of the Pac’s official girl is now Rachel Lorraine of UCLA (pictured below).

Quarterbacks

Let’s jump right into our competitive positional markets with the quarterbacks. In case you haven’t already heard, Jake Locker (LUCK) had a miserable day and was outplayed by a freshman on his home turf. He’s apparently unaware of the Under Armour commercials or protecting the house, and his stock is down 20% because of it. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Andrew Luck (LUCK) who had the speedy Chris Owusu back at wide receiver to help him complete 17 of 23 passes and four touchdowns. His numbers were identical to his week 1 stats except he had 100 less yards. Nick Foles (FOLE) was the runner up for top QB performance this week and saw his stock go up 8% with an impressive win over Iowa. His interception for a pick-six hurt his stock, but he still topped out at $135 this week.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Andrew Luck Stanford LUCK ↑ 15 12% $140
Nick Foles Arizona FOLE ↑ 10 8% $135
Matt Barkley USC BARK $120
Jake Locker UW LOCK ↓20 20% $80
Kevin Riley Cal RILE ↓10 11% $85
Jordan Wynn Utah WYNN $55
Tyler Hansen Col HANS ↑ 10 25% $40
Darron Thomas Oregon DARR ↑ 5 20% $30
Kevin Prince UCLA PRNC ↑ 5 33% $20
Ryan Katz OSU KATZ ↑ 5 33% $20

Wide Receivers

Most of the wide receivers saw a decrease in their receptions this week, but their stocks continued to rise. Juron Criner (CRIN) had to leave the Arizona game with turf toe, but still managed a 46 yard touchdown reception. Robert Woods (WOOD)only had 4 receptions, but his 97 yard punt return for a touchdown increased his stock by $10. James Rodgers (JROD) only had 5 receptions for 22 yards, Jake Locker couldn’t get the ball to Jermaine Kearse (JERM), and Ronald Johnson (ROJO) only caught three balls, but all three finished with a touchdown. My horn needs to be tooted as I left James Rodgers off of the pre-season All-Pac-10 Team, because I predicted his numbers would drop.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Juron Criner Arizona CRIN ↑ 5 7% $70
Jermaine Kearse UW JERM ↑ 5 7% $70
Ronald Johnson USC ROJO ↑ 5 10% $55
Marvin Jones Cal MARV ↑ 10 25% $50
James Rodgers OSU JROD ↓10 18% $45
Jeff Maehl Oregon MAEL ↑ 10 33% $40
Doug Baldwin Stanford BALD ↑ 5 25% $30
DeVonte Christopher Utah DEVO ↑ 5 25% $25
Robert Woods USC WOOD ↑ 10 66% $25
Keenan Allen Cal KEEN ↓10 33% $20
David Ausberry USC BERY $15
Devin Aguilar UW AGUI ↓10 40% $15

Running Backs

The nation already knows that the Pac-12 is the Conference of Quarterbacks, but the running backs are quickly becoming the best in college football. LaMichael James (LMJ) and Shane Vereen (VERE) saw a $20 bump in their stocks with 200+ yard performances. Vereen had multiple highlight reel runs and LMJ has speed like the Twilight vampires. We had some great running from the LA schools starting with Allen Bradford (BRAD) finally breaking through with his 12 carries for 131 yards and a 56 yard touchdown. Not to be outplayed by his cross-town rival, Johnathan Franklink (FRNK) of UCLA looks to be the man to take the SuperSoaker offense to pistol status after his 160 yards and 3 touchdowns. His stock IPO’d this week at $20.

Team Symbol Δ Δ % Total
JacQuizz Rodgers OSU QUIZ ↑ 5 4% $125
LaMichael James Oregon LMJ ↑ 20 19% $125
Shane Vereen Cal VERE ↑ 20 26% $95
Chris Polk UW POLK ↓ 5 6% $75
Kenjon Barner Oregon BARN ↓10 18% $45
Nic Grigsby Arizona GRIG ↓10 28% $35
Allen Bradford USC BRAD ↑ 5 33% $20
Cam Marshall ASU MRSH ↓ 5 25% $15
Marc Tyler USC MARC ↓ 5 25% $15

IPO’s

We had some standout performances  on the defensive side of the ball with Patrick Larimore (LARI) being the Leader of the Pac. Larimore was named the Nagurskie National Defensive Player of the week after recording 11 tackles (10 of which were solo), a forced fumble, and a pass breakup in UCLA’s upset of the Houston Cougars. While Cal was getting pistol-whipped by Nevada, DJ Holt (HOLT) notched 16 tackles forced a fumble. Rumor has it that he is the cousin of famous Arrested Development star Steve Holt so watch for him on the Berkeley campus doing something like this. Dwight Roberson (ROBE) also had a sweet 16 tackles for the Oregon State Beavers with their victory over  Louisville. Jordan Wynn’s backup – Terrance Cain (CAIN), was almost perfect by throwing 20 for 23 as the Utes knocked off UNLV. He’s proving that he might be the best backup quarterback in the conference.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Johnathan Franklin UCLA FRNK $20
Patrick Larimore UCLA LARI $20
DJ Holt Cal HOLT $20
James Washington Arizona WASH $20
Dwight Roberson OSU ROBE $20
Steven Threet ASU THREE $15
Terrance Cain UTAH CAIN $15
Tyler Gaffney Stanford GAFF $10
Stepfan Tylor Stanford STEP $10

Don’t Be So Defensive

Players Market

Our analysts thought before the season that teams could avoid directing their plays around Akeem Ayers (AYER), but his big play potential is ubiquitous. He should have scored on his 77 yard interception return but he gets style points for breaking Case Keenum’s ankles (or knee).  Mason Foster had 14 tackles and forced a fumble against Nebraska, but Taylor Martinez told him to hit the weights on his way to an 80 yard touchdown run. Foster is #40 and the guy that misses the tackle on the play. Brooks Reed (REED) may look like a blonde version of the WWE wrestling icon Undertaker, but it translated perfectly when he buried Ricky Stanzi on four consecutive plays to end their chances of a comeback. His pressure off the edge has led to James Washington (WASH) ascension to the conference’s sack leader through three games.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Akeem Ayers UCLA AYER ↑ 10 11% $95
Rahim Moore UCLA MOOR ↑ 10 12% $90
Mason Foster UW FOST ↑ 5 6% $85
Jurrell Casey USC CASE ↑ 5 6% $85
Vontaze Burfict ASU BURF ↑ 5 6% $85
Brooks Reed Arizona REED ↑ 10 13% $85
Mike Mohamed Cal MIKE $80
Omar Bolden ASU BOLD ↑ 10 15% $75
Trevin Wade Arizona WADE ↑ 10 15% $75
Tony Dye UCLA DYE $55
Malcolm Smith USC SMIT ↓ 5 $50
Richard Sherman Stanford SHER $45
TJ McDonald USC TJMC ↑ 5 20% $30
Cliff Harris Oregon CLIF ↑ 5 20% $30
Michael Thomas Stanford THOM ↑ 5 33% $20

Unit Market

Oregon is #1 in the nation in scoring and total defense, but even scarier is the that all of the reps their younger players receive in blowouts make them a deeper unit each game. Cal and UW were absolutely rocked in their blowout losses, and USC did just enough to eek out the win. Nickell Robey and TJ McDonald are looking very promising in the secondary for the Trojans, but the team as a unit is still undisciplined. UCLA has proven that it has the best secondary in the conference by shutting down Case Keenum and Andrew Luck in back-to-back weeks, but they need to get stronger up front with all of the great running backs in the Pac-12. Oregon State was unable to avoid the slow start this year after losing their first game and they have an even tougher test this week when they travel to face Boise State on the Smurf Turf. A strong defensive performance is exactly what the Beavers will need to give the offense a chance.

Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Oregon Defense ORED ↑ 10 8% $135
Arizona Defense ARID ↑ 10 15% $75
Utah Defense UTAD ↑ 5 7% $70
ASU Defense ASUD ↑ 5 8% $65
USC Defense USCD $60
Stanford Defense STAD ↑ 10 20% $60
UCLA Defense UCLD ↑ 15 37% $55
Cal Defense CALD ↓ 10 16% $50
OSU Defense OSUD $40
Colorado Defense COLD ↑ 5 16% $35
UW Defense UWD ↓ 10 22% $35

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Pac-12 – Week 3 Players of the Week

21 09 2010

My prediction record took a beating this week with a 9-3 record overall, but the conference’s image received some crushing blows when Cal got pistol whipped by Nevada and Washington got corn-holed at home by Nebraska. Luckily I found this picture of a gorgeous prostitute from Nebraska who exchanges sexual acts for football tickets.

Players of the Week

Despite the embarrassment of Cal’s loss to Nevada, Shane Vereen was a bright spot for the Bears. The Junior running back hadn’t played much in the first two games with Cal having both games in hand by halftime, but Vereen had some moments that reminded fans of another Cal legend – Jahvid Best, with his jukes, broken tackles and great burst. He finished the night with 19 carries for 198 yards and three touchdowns.

Those numbers would normally be good enough to be the top running back of the week, but LaMichael James was a one-upper with his 227 yards on just 14 carries and two touchdowns. We still don’t know if Darron Thomas can throw the ball, but they might not need to if they keep putting up rushing numbers like they have been (564 yards rushing vs Portland State).

The Leader of the Pac MVP this week belongs to Andrew Luck of Stanford. He continues to improve his decision making and shows great touch on his long ball. He went 17 of 23 with 4 touchdowns and also added a 52 yard touchdown run that made Wake Forest look like a pee wee football team. Chris Owusu played in his first game this season and caught 3 passes for 65 yards and 2 TD’s. My only problem with Stanford this week is that their school colors are Cardinal and White, which makes the opposite of their school colors Blue and Black. They should burn the black jerseys, but coach Harbaugh thinks his team looks tough in them.

The Week 3 Juggy Award belongs to Nick Foles of the Arizona Wildcats for his up and down play. He was managing the game efficiently until he threw the ball to Broderick Binns for a pick-six play to tie the game up at 27 all. Foles wasn’t fazed by the error and went right over the top for a 38 yard gain on the next play to put Arizona in position for the go-ahead score. It looks like the Wildcats are finally getting over the hump and getting some national recognition with the #14 ranking in both polls.

Bust of the Week

As I’ve previously documented, I thought that Jake Locker was the third best quarterback in the Pac-12, but Mel Kiper had him pegged as the #1 QB on his draft board since the off-season. While I don’t claim to know as much as Mel, you don’t need a gallon of gel in your hair to see that Locker’s draft stock is falling faster than Mel Gibson’s popularity amongst women’s rights groups. His 4 of 20 for 71 yards and 2INT’s is one of the worst games of the decade and a lot of it was poor decision making by the QB. The Huskies now have to go 5-4 in Pac-10 play to make a bowl game and they have road trips at USC, Oregon, Cal, and Arizona. Locker is the only player to ever receive the Bust of the Week award twice in the same season and it’s only week 3…

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Pac-12 Week 3 Predictions

17 09 2010

The Pac-12 now boasts seven ranked teams in the two polls, but even more impressive is the fortitude to schedule four other ranked opponents (#8 Nebraska, #9 Iowa, #11 Wisconsin, #23 Houston) in addition to the playing the most difficult of all BCS conference schedules.

#25 Cal at Nevada: The Bears have the number one defense in the country and The Wolfpack have the number one offense. Colin Kaepernick hasn’t faced a front seven as good as the Bears in his entire career, but Cameron Jordan and Kendrick Payne will try to introduce themselves in the backfield. My guess is that the defense prevails. Bears 34 – Wolfpack 27

#18 USC at Minnesota: Lane Kiffin left the defense at home in his first game, he left the offense in Hawaii for game 2, could there be a special teams disaster on the horizon? Trojans 38 – Golden Gophers 20

#23 Houston at UCLA: The Bruins might be facing Houston without their Heisman candidate – Case Keenum, who suffered a concussion last week. If he’s unable to play the Bruins might get their first win behind a strong defensive performance. I’m guessing that Keenum plays. Cougars 24 – UCLA 19

Arizona State at #11 Wisconsin: The Sun Devils won’t have a chance if they can’t stop the 255lb running back known as John Clay. ASU is one of the most aggressive defensive teams in the conference, but they will need to minimize the penalties to keep the game within reach. Badgers 30 – Sun Devils 13

#8 Nebraska at Washington: The Cornhuskers freshman quarterback – Taylor Martinez, looks like a Jake Locker clone with the ability to make plays when they break down. The Husky defense will struggle to stop the running game, but if their offense gets rolling they will stay in the game. Dawgs 27 – Huskers 24

Wake Forest at #19 Stanford, 8:15: Stanford wants redemption after they lost a game in the final minutes at Wake Forest last year. Andrew Luck struggled against the talented UCLA secondary, but Wake Forest won’t be able to match the Pac-10 speed. Cardinal 34 – Demon Deacons 17

Portland State at #5 Oregon: The Oregon offense should keep on rolling and this game might be an opportunity to get a lot of reps out of Darron Thomas. Ducks 52 – Vikings 10

Louisville at #25 Oregon State: The Rodgers Brothers should put on a show against an inferior opponent, but this could be a statement game for new Louisville head coach Charlie Strong, former defensive coordinator of the Florida Gators. Oregon State wants to bounce back after their loss against TCU. Expect Ryan Katz to improve from his 9 of 25 performance in week one. Beavers 34 – Cardinals 14

#9 Iowa at #24Arizona: Arizona will attempt to spread out the Iowa defense and get their play makers in space. Iowa’s DE Adrian Clayborne leads arguably the best defensive line in the country and will likely shut down the Wildcat running game. I think Arizona plays with a chip on their shoulder and the secondary comes up with a big play late.  Wildcats 27 – Hawkeyes 23

#14 Utah at New Mexico: New Mexico is still recovering from the beat down that Oregon put on them, the Utes cruise in this one 37 – 14.

Hawaii at Colorado: The Buffaloes were cooked into bison burgers in Berkeley last week, but the benefits of the loss are learning where you can improve. Hawaii is not nearly as good on the road. Buffs 33 – Rainbows 24

2010 Prediction Record 20-1

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NASPAQ – Pac-12 Stock Report : Week 2

15 09 2010

The defensive side of the NASPAQ is starting to shape up after some incredible performances this week. The Leader of the Pac – Defensive MVP this week goes to Mike Mohamed (MIKE) of the Cal Bears for his 14 tackles and an interception returned 41 yards for a touchdown. Mohamed is third in the conference in tackles with 21. He is the leader of the #1 total defense in the country with Cal yielding only 160 yards per game. Our bullish trend this week is wide receiver of the Washington Huskies – Jermaine Kearse, after putting on a show of 9 receptions and 179 yardsin their victory over Syracuse. His stock is up 30% and he’s tied for the highest wide receiver stock with Juron Criner of Arizona at $65 per share.

Defensive Players

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Akeem Ayers UCLA AYER ↑ 5 6% $85
Mason Foster UW FOST ↑ 5 7% $80
Mike Mohamed Cal MIKE ↑ 10 14% $80
Rahim Moore UCLA MOOR ↑ 5 7% $80
Jurrell Casey USC CASE ↑ 5 7% $80
Tony Dye UCLA DYE ↑ 5 10% $55
Malcolm Smith USC SMIT ↑ 5 10% $55
Richard Sherman Stanford SHER ↑ 5 12% $45

IPO’s

We’ve had some IPO’s pop up on our radar starting with Cliff Harris (CLIF) of the Oregon Ducks. We don’t know how we missed his two touchdowns on special teams last week (Punt 1, Punt 2), but he caught our analysts attention when he pick-sixed Tennessee’s Matt Simms. His stock opens up at $25 and we see this as a bull market if you invest early enough.


Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Darron Thomas Oregon DARR $25
Devin Aguilar Washington AGUI $25
Robert Woods USC WOOD $15
Marquess Wilson WSU MARQ $15
Michael Thomas Stanford THOM $15
TJ McDonald USC TJMC $25
Cliff Harris Oregon CLIF $25

Running Backs

The Oregon Ducks also had some of the top offensive highlights this week from their backfield. LaMichael James (LMJ) is back on the NASPAQ after his suspension and saw a 5% rise in his stock to $105. Kenjon Barner didn’t replicate his four touchdowns of week one, but he had an 80 yard punt return for a touchdown. The Ducks quarterback – Darron Thomas (DARR) IPO’d at $25 dollars this week after managing his first road game like a veteran.

Team Symbol Δ Δ % Total
JacQuizz Rodgers OSU QUIZ 4% $120
LaMichael James Oregon LMJ ↑ 5 5% $105
Chris Polk UW POLK ↑ 5 6% $80
Shane Vereen Cal VARE $75
Kenjon Barner Oregon BARN ↑ 5 10% $55
Nic Grigsby Arizona GRIG ↑ 10 28% $45
Cameron Marshall ASU MRSH ↓ 5 20% $20
Marc Tyler USC MARC ↓ 5 20% $20

From our positional markets there were a couple outstanding defensive performances this week, most notably from Cal and Stanford. Their defenses were aggressive and applied pressure on the opponent’s quarterbacks to force turnovers. Both of their defensive units saw some coaching turnover and replaced their defensive coordinators with experienced NFL coaches. Cal is currently #1 in total defense nationally, while Stanford is #6, but the Bears will face the #1 total offense in the country against Nevada this week so we see this as a bear market that has topped out.

Defensive Market

Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Arizona Defense ARID ↑ 10 60% $65
Cal Defense CALD ↑ 10 20 $60
Colorado Defense COLD ↓ 10 25% $30
Oregon Defense ORED ↑ 10 9% $125
Oregon State Defense OSUD $40
USC Defense USCD ↑ 10 20% $60
UCLA Defense UCLD ↓ 20 33% $40
Stanford Defense STAD ↑ 15 42% $50
Utah Defense UTAD ↑ 5 8% $65
UW Defense UWD ↑ 5 12% $45

Quarterbacks

Week 2 wasn’t as kind to our quarterbacks as the first week with Matt Barkley, Andrew Luck, and Kevin Riley looking like they needed to shake off some rust. Jordan Wynn sat out this week with an injury, but the Utes were able to win with their backup. Tyler Hansen was sacked six times and committed four turnovers in the first Pac-12 game between Colorado and Cal. Jake Locker finally had some success and received an 11% bump in his stock to get back to triple digit stock prices.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Nick Foles Arizona FOLE ↑ 5 4% $125
Andrew Luck Stanford LUCK ↓10 7% $125
Matt Barkley USC BARK ↑ 5 4% $120
Jake Locker UW LOCK ↑ 10 11% $100
Kevin Riley Cal RILE ↑ 5 6% $85
Jordan Wynn Utah WYNN $55
Tyler Hansen Col HANS ↓10 25% $30
Kevin Prince UCLA PRNC ↓ 5 25% $15
Ryan Katz OSU KATZ $10

Wide Receivers

Robert Woods (WOOD) is the newest wide receiver on the NASPAQ, and even though he hasn’t found pay dirt he’s been consistent and at times looks like Barkley’s first target. Jermaine Kearse (JERM) was the top wide receiver of the weekend with 9 catches for 179 yards and three touchdowns.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Juron Criner Arizona CRIN $65
Jermaine Kearse UW JERM ↑ 15 30% $65
James Rodgers OSU JROD $55
Ronald Johnson USC ROJO $50
Marvin Jones Cal MARV ↑ 5 14% $40
Keenan Allen Cal KEEN ↑ 5 20% $30
Doug Baldwin Stanford BALD $25
DeVonte Christopher Utah DEVO ↓ 5 20% $20
David Ausberry USC BERY ↓10 40% $15


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Pac-12 – Week 2 Players of the Week

14 09 2010

Another glorious Saturday of college football and the Pac-12 taking care of business. Oregon gave Tennessee a Pac-12 shocker that was felt through SEC country. UCLA looked lost offensively, USC can’t seem to play a complete game yet, and U-Dubb quarterback Jake Locker looked like the guy that received some Heisman hype before the season.

Jake Locker played an efficient game and even more importantly led his team to victory. The Huskies were down 10-zip before Locker started finding his rhythm and completed 22 of 33 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was Jermaine Kearse who was the recipient of 9 passes for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Another player that I was extremely impressed with was Darron Thomas of the Oregon Ducks. His 17 of 32 passing for 202 yards won’t blow you away, but he was in a hostile environment and didn’t turn the ball over. He had some help out of his backfield with LaMichael James stealing the spotlight back from Kenjon Barner by running for 134 yards on 16 carries. His 72 yard run not only gave Oregon the lead, it was probably the best play of the weekend.

There were a couple other players that stepped up big time this weekend, but I prefer the two defensive performances from the Bay Area teams. Cal harassed Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen to the tune of six sacks and 3 interceptions, and a fumble. The defense scored two touchdowns with one coming on an 82 yard fumble recovery that popped right into the hands of senior corner back Darian Hagan. When I highlighted a strength of the Cal Bears in the off-season I mentioned Mike Mohamed and Mychal Kendricks, the two combined for 25 tackles, an interception returned for a touchdown, a fumble recovery, 3 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

Stanford’s defense was even more impressive by posting a shutout of the UCLA Bruins in the Rose Bowl. Playing on the road in the Pac-12 is difficult, but shutouts are more rare than a perfect game in baseball. The Cardinal held the Bruins to only 233 yards of offense and Michael Thomas spearheaded the effort by collecting five tackles, forcing two fumbles and returning one of them for a 21 yard touchdown to blow the game open to 28-0. My research team told me that it was nearly impossible to find a picture of a good looking girl wearing Stanford apparel, but here is the one bright spot for them.

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