Happy Friday Cougs! Lots of things to get to on a busy Friday, so let's get started, shall we?
First, the FSN weekly show, Runnin' With the Cougs, is on again this year. I'm not sure how many of you keep tabs on such things, but it runs every Wednesday evening, 7 PM on FSN. We went ahead and ripped about seven minutes worth of the action from this week, which features of course, highlights from the Montana State victory from Saturday:
Personally I love seeing the sidelines stuff, stuff you don't normally see from the broadcast. And the field level replay of the Mizell INT is pretty cool, especially seeing the sidelines jump around and celebrate! It is easy to forget about now, but MSU had the ball on the freakin' 25 YARD LINE. If Mizell doesn't make that play, who knows, we may have seen this thing boil down to a 42-yard field goal attempt, if not even closer than that. And on the quality, sure, it's not exactly NFL Films, but hey, they do a great job on this kind of thing. And I don't know about you, but I'm sure happy they decided to do the show again this year. Even in these tough times, it's still great that they give us the extra highlights you wouldn't get otherwise?
Maybe you haven't been following along, but, this whole "EA Super Sim" thing? So far it's been perfect in predicting games. Last week it wasn't so accurate on some of the final scores, but still, it has correctly picked every winner we have simulated thus far. Kind of weird if you ask me, but kind of cool too. 3-0 the first week, 6-0 last week, 9-0 total. Not bad!
With that, let's look at week 3 around the Pac-10, and what the magic of the XBox has to say.
1) SMU 37, WSU 30 - This one looked like a rout early, as SMU bolted to a 17-0 halftime lead, and 24-6 into the fourth quarter. But WSU would score 22 fourth quarter points, and with a TD with one minute left, cut it to a 37-30 lead. But the onside kick would be recovered by SMU, and that was it.
WSU actually outgained SMU, 452-403, but Kyle Padron got the best of Jeff Tuel. Padron was 27-for-53, 361 yards and an amazing FIVE TD's. Best of all, no interceptions by the sophomore QB. Tuel was still pretty good, 24-for-50 for 343 yards and three TD's, but did toss two costly first-half interceptions, both in SMU territory. A good showing by the Cougs though, as they nearly came all the way back.
2) UW 22, Nebraska 17 - In a seesaw battle that saw UW take an early lead, fall behind, then put it away in the fourth quarter, the Huskies prevails in a mild upset. After trailing 17-13 going into the fourth quarter, UW gets a field goal to cut it to 17-16, and then Jake Locker hits Jermaine Kearse on a 56-yard TD pass with 3 minutes left. The 2-pt conversion failed, giving UW a 22-17 lead. Nebraska fails to cross midfield on their next possession, and UW runs out the clock for the win at home.
UW outgains Nebraska 486-343 in total yards. Jake Locker had a strong game, throwing for a whopping 376 yards and two TD passes on 28-for-44 passing. Chris Polk added 94 yards rushing, but this was all about the passing game. Jermaine Kearse was absolutely dominant, hauling in 10 passes for an amazing 235 yards and two TD's. Meanwhile Nebraska ran the ball OK, but the passing game was a struggle under QB Taylor Martinez, who threw for 181 yards. They ran for 160 total yards, as Roy Helu Jr led with 129 yards on the ground. But UW kept the Nebraska passing game in check, and the Huskers couldn't execute late through the air when they absolutely had to throw the ball.
3) IOWA 42, AZ 10 - A huge shocker in the desert, as Iowa blows up the AirZona offense. It was tight early, as Iowa was up just 14-10 at the half. But Iowa would score a couple of quick TD's to take a 28-10 lead, and Nick Foles started to force the action.
Foles was 24-for-37 for 262 yards, but no TD's and two second-half INT's hurt the AZ offense. Foles was also sacked five times and was generally on the run for much of the evening. Iowa's O was led by Ricky Stanzi's 336 yards and three TD passes, and sophomore running back Adam Robinson had 146 yards and three TD runs of his own, all in the second half. A great night for Hawkeye fans!
Stanford 35, Wake Forest 21 - Andrew Luck goes 28-for-40 for 411 yards and a couple of scores as the Cardinal control from start to finish.
Cal 27, Nevada 17 - Berkeley Bears slow down Nevada's pistol offense, holding them to just 286 total yards. Shane Vareen rushes for 226 yards and a couple of TD's as Cal grinds it out on a Friday evening.
USC 48, Minnesota 45 (OT) - Seesaw shootout with absolutely zero defense, both teams went up and down the field all afternoon long. After Minnesota kicked a field goal in OT, Matt Barkley led the Trojans to a touchdown, ending the game on a QB sneak from a yard out. Barkley throws for 447 yards and four TD's as the SC offense racked up 580 total yards.
Oregon State 30, Louisville 20 - Quizz Rodgers runs for 93 yards and a couple of TD's, and James Rodgers catches a TD to go with his 11 catches for 147 yards, as the Beavs hold off Louisville in Corvallis.
UCLA 37, Houston 29 - The Bruins shock the Cougars, as Kevin Prince throws for 356 yards and two TD's. The UCLA defense slows down Houston, holding them to 52 yards rushing and just 336 yards of total offense.
We'll see how the 'ol sim does this week.
Back to reality, the Cougs are banged up as we head into the weekend. Per Grippi, it looks like true frosh Eric Oertel from Wisconsin will be on every special teams unit, taking the place of Rickey Galvin. Good for Oertel, but wow, the redshirts are starting to burn, aren't they? Marquess Wilson, CJ Mizell, Deone Bucannon, John Fullington, Damante Horton, etc. And Kristoff Williams would have already burned his by now, had his turf toe injury not kept him on the sidelines. While it's great that the youth gets their chances, I'm sure there is already more true frosh who have played than Wulff would prefer. But what can you do but play the hand you are dealt? But I guess everyone is banged up a little bit a couple of weeks into the season, and you are seeing more and more frosh get game action for the first time.
Meanwhile, theSportsNetwork.com has a preview of the WSU-SMU game, where they pick the Mustangs to win, 27-17.
ESPN.com ran a Pac-10/Big-Ten debate. Right now you would have to go with the Big Ten to take two out of the three in this weekend's matchups, don't you? And overall, geez, the Big Ten seems awfully loaded this year. Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan on the rebound, Penn State, etc. And next year you'll have Nebraska in the mix. It's a strong year for the midwest!
Cougcenter has their tailgater's guide to week three, which you can see here.
Finally, Cougfan rolled out their "SMU 101" article, where they take a look at the upcoming game. After weighing everything, what do they pick? SMU 35, WSU 14. Not really much of a surprise, is it?
That's it for now. Enjoy your Friday, and as always, GO COUGS!