Depth was an issue on opening weekend | Pac-12 in perspective
In the Pac-12, or in just about any high level of football, it's not just about the stars, or the starters, it's often about the depth. It was tested on the opening weekend of 2011, and will be.
Seattle Times staff reporter
In the Pac-12, or in just about any high level of football, it's not just about the stars, or the starters, it's often about the depth. It was tested on the opening weekend of 2011, and will be again.
Freshman running back De'Anthony Thomas, playing because of leg issues to LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner, had a couple of key fumbles in Oregon's clunker against Louisiana State.
UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince was injured again — stop us if you've heard this one — and Richard Brehaut came on to complete 17 of 26 for 264 yards, and run for another 87. Brehaut was going to play anyway, and now he appears to have the upper hand on Prince.
Oregon State's stunning loss to Sacramento State was punctuated by Mike Riley's surprising decision to bench incumbent quarterback Ryan Katz and play redshirt freshman Sean Mannion the entire second half. Anybody see this one coming?
And Washington State will now lean on senior Marshall Lobbestael for a while after Jeff Tuel broke his clavicle.
What We Learned
There are a lot of long faces in Oregon today.
After another edgy offseason, Oregon came unglued against LSU, partly because of turnovers. A year ago, the Ducks were second in the nation in takeaways with 37 and had a plus-13 margin. In this one, they turned it over four times and had a single takeaway.
Oregon State, meanwhile, took a major hit to its bowl hopes in one unexpected blast. You get 12 chances to win six games, and hardly anybody among the Beaver faithful wasn't counting this one on the plus side.
Now OSU gets the pleasure of traveling to Wisconsin. After a bye, the Beavers have a home game Sept. 24 against UCLA that might be a killer for the loser.
Rick Neuheisel is in a whole heap of trouble.
UCLA's defense was ineffective at Houston, and now the Bruins are again swimming upstream in a season in which the UCLA coach's job status is on the bubble.
"It's not a here-we-go-again feeling," insisted safety Tony Dye to the L.A. Times. "We're going to change this."
USC continues to be a mystery under Kiffin.
At home, the Trojans led Big Ten lightweight Minnesota 19-3 at half. They got a school-record 34 completions from Matt Barkley and 17 receptions from Robert Woods. And still, they had to make a late interception to close out a 19-17 victory.
"It feels like we should have beaten them way worse," USC linebacker Dion Bailey told the L.A. Times.
Colorado can't get the foundation laid.
First-year coach Jon Embree had each of the Buffs carry a brick onto their charter to Hawaii (wonder what that added to the plane's weight?) to underscore a "brick-by-brick" philosophy of rebuilding.
But Hawaii, Washington's next opponent, sacked quarterback Tyler Hansen seven times and CU gained only 240 yards.
The marquee matchup is the first conference game in the new Pac-12 — Utah at USC.
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or email@example.com
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