No LaMichael James for Oregon

October, 15, 2011
EUGENE, Org. -- Oregon running back LaMichael James can now be moved from doubtful to out. Unless he's planning to run out of the locker room at the last minute without warming up.

I could not find him on the field before the game -- in or out of uniform. That doesn't mean he's not just doing a good job of hiding. But for our purposes, no No. 21 warming up with the first-team offense means what seemed likely all week is now real: No James for the Ducks.

And backup Kenjon Barner was just announced as the starter.

Barner, by the way, seems pretty amped up during warmups.

Weather doesn't figure to be a factor. It's been overcast all day but rain doesn't appear to be in the forecast.

Video: Arizona State-Oregon preview

October, 15, 2011

Ted Miller previews Arizona State-Oregon from Autzen Stadium.

Stanford 10, Washington State 7

October, 15, 2011
PULLMAN Wash. -- Fumbles have turned into touchdowns.

While Washington State wasn't able to do anything with its first quarter interception of Andrew Luck, they were able to find the end zone after Stepfan Taylor's first fumble of the season in the second quarter.

But that was after the Cardinal were able to turn Jared Karstetter's fumble into points.

Corner back Johnson Bademosi forced the wide receiver to fumble at the Stanford 37 and Michael Thomas recovered and returned it 33 yards to the Washington State 20. Seven plays later, Jeremy Stewart barreled in from 1 yard out for the touchdown.

But with 2:18 left in the half, the Cougars got on the board on Carl Winston's 2-yard run following the Taylor fumble. It's the first fumble this season by a running back -- on a running play -- for Stanford.

Sloppy game thus far from both teams.

Thomas key for Ducks to avoid ASU upset

October, 15, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. -- Who steps up if Oregon running back LaMichael James is unable to to play? And will Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler overcome the din of Autzen Stadium and lead the Sun Devils to a major upset?

Those seem like the starting points Saturday night between No. 9 Oregon and No. 18 Arizona State. James, the nation's leading rusher, is unlikely to play due to a dislocated elbow, though there's been nothing official from the Ducks. That means more weight falls on quarterback Darron Thomas and James' talented backup, Kenjon Barner.

Thomas has been a solid game manager this season, throwing 15 touchdown passes with just two interceptions. But his 208 yards passing per game rank 10th in the Pac-12. He also is running out of the Ducks spread-option a lot less, which coach Chip Kelly admitted this week is, in part, by design. More was expected out of a quarterback who won second-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2010.

Of course, if all Thomas needs to do is hand it to Barner -- or true freshman backs De'Anthony Thomas or Tra Carson -- then that's what he'll do. The Sun Devils first task is to contain the nation's No. 5 rushing offense.

As for Osweiler, he made his first career start here in 2009, and it was a forgettable night. Heck, he might not remember it because he was knocked out of the game in the first quarter.

But he's a different quarterback now. Not only is he far more experienced, he's become one of the conference's most dynamic leaders, throwing for 280 yards a game with 13 touchdowns while also providing a dangerous running threat.

That said, he's not a veteran. He's been sacked 14 times -- often for holding the ball too long -- and he's tossed six interceptions. This is an environment that can cultivate those sorts of things, too.

You can be sure turnovers will be a key, and the Sun Devils probably need to win that battle to notch the upset.

In the Ducks' 42-31 win last year in Tempe, they won the turnover battle 7-2. That's a big advantage in an 11-point game.

This season, the Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in turnover margin at plus-8. They are particularly good at forcing them. Their 18 takeaways are five more than any other conference team. Oregon is minus-1 in turnovers, gaining just four.

Mistakes and playmaking. Games typically come down to those two things.

The Ducks are missing one of the nation's top playmakers. Will that make enough of a difference that the Sun Devils can emerge victorious?

Final: BYU 38, Oregon State 28

October, 15, 2011
BYU rolled over Oregon State in the second half, ending the small momentum the Beavers gained from their first win of the season a week ago against Arizona.

Tied 14-14 at the break, the Cougars rolled to a 38-28 victory because the Beavers defense couldn't get a stop (BYU punted just once).

Telling stat: Oregon State was outrushed 282 yards to 59.

It also didn't help the Beavers had four turnovers -- two fumbles, two interceptions -- and missed both field goal attempts.

Quarterback Sean Mannion was 27-of-43 for 306 yards, but is still playing like a redshirt freshman with no help from a running game.

The Beavers fall to 1-5. They visit Washington State on Saturday, which figures to be a critical game for both team.

Final: Washington 52, Colorado 24

October, 15, 2011
Keith Price and Washington are ready for their close-up.

They'll get it next week at Stanford. After Price threw four first-half touchdown passes in a 52-24 rout of Colorado, the Huskies are 5-1 for the first time in a decade and appear headed for the national rankings.

Price completed 21 of 28 for 257 yards with no interceptions and wasn't even required to finish the third quarter. He has 21 TD passes this year, which is tied for fourth most in program history just over halfway through the season.

The Huskies also improved to 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 1997. If they can record the upset at Stanford, the Pac-12 North race will transform.

For Colorado (1-6, 0-3), the score might not have been the worst news. The Buffaloes lost RB Rodney Stewart to a knee injury in the first half. At this point, the injury is being called a sprain.

Washington has now scored 30 points or more in its first six games for the first time in school history. The 52 points were the most since 2001.

The Huskies outgained Colorado 562 yards to 269, including a 295 to 62 advantage in rushing yards. Chris Polk had 117 yards rushing on 18 carries.

For the Buffs, who lost their 21st consecutive game away from their home stadium, the schedule doesn't get any easier. They play host to Oregon next weekend.

Links: Looking back at USC's decisive win

October, 15, 2011
WeAreSC takes a look back at USC's 30-9 win against California.

Kyle Williams writes Insider: USC rides the performance of the lines, coaching adjustments to decisive victory over Cal.

Steve Bisheff writes Insider: Cal might not be the most formidable opponent, but USC's performance on Thursday should not be dismissed.

Video: Stanford-Washington State preview

October, 15, 2011

Stanford blogger Kevin Gemmell previews Stanford-Washington State from Pullman.

Halftime: Oregon State 14, BYU 14

October, 15, 2011
A 51-yard interception return from Oregon State CB Jordan Poyer has Oregon State tied with BYU 14-14 at the half.

The Beavers blocked a 50-yard field goal attempt on the last play.

Beavers QB Sean Mannion was uneven in the first half, completing 9 of 16 for 108 yards with an interception.

BYU has outgained the Cougars 223 yards to 141, including 131 to 33 on the ground, but the pick-6 has Beavers tied.

Oregon State needs Mannion to find his rhythm in the second half with the Beavers struggling to run. And the defense needs to take advantage of BYU QBs limited passing ability.

Halftime: Washington 38, Colorado 10

October, 15, 2011
Keith Price is putting on a show in Husky Stadium.

Washington's sophomore QB has thrown four first-half TD passes as the Huskies are stomping Colorado 38-10.

Price is 18 of 23 for 230 yards. Baylor's Robert Griffin, after throwing three TD passes in a loss to Texas A&M, presently leads the nation with 22 TD passes. Price now has 21.

So don't slack off in the second half, Keith.

The Huskies outgained the Buffaloes 379 yards to 104 and have 22 first downs compared to six for the Buffs.

At this pace, Washington will enter the national rankings before it heads to Stanford on Oct. 22.

Final: Utah 26, Pittsburgh 14

October, 15, 2011
Utah won the turnover battle and -- gee whiz -- won the game.

Utah, which lost the turnover battle 10-1 while losing its last two Pac-12 games, beat Pittsburgh 26-14, largely because it didn't turn the ball over and the Panthers did three times.

It also helped the Utah defense dominated. The Panthers scored two special teams TDs in the first quarter, but their offense failed to score.

Utah outgained the Panthers 251 yards to 120. Pitt was particularly bad throwing the ball, completing just 9 of 30 for 50 yards with two interceptions. It averaged 1.4 yards per completions, which almost seems like it would be difficult to do. One of the picks was returned 21 yards by DE Derrick Shelby for the Utes final score.

John White rushed for 171 yards on 35 carries, outperforming Pitt's Ray Graham, who only had 46 yards on 12 carries.

Utah improves to 3-3. It will be at California next weekend.

Halftime: Pitt 14, Utah 13

October, 15, 2011
If special teams didn't count, Utah would be whipping Pittsburgh.

But, alas, special teams count.

Pittsburgh scored touchdowns on a 98-yard kickoff return and blocked punt and leads the Utes 14-13.

The Utes had two nice drives in the first half, producing first downs on the Panthers four- and 11-yard lines, but both ended in field goals. They finally broke through late in the first half when a tipped pass from Jon Hays turned into a 33-yard TD for Luke Matthews.

Utah's defense was in complete control, holding Pittsburgh to just 84 yards and no offensive points. Ray Graham, the nation's second-leading rusher, has just 31 yards on seven carries, and 21 of those came on one carry on a drive at the end of the second quarter.

Utah has 129 yards. The good news is no turnovers -- knock on wood. The Utes gave the ball away 10 times in the previous two games.

If Utah can avoid any more special teams gaffes, it could end end it's two-game losing streak with a nonconference road win.

Video: A tall tale in Tempe

October, 15, 2011

College GameDay examines the size difference between Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler and receiver Aaron Pflugrad.

Final Pac-12 injury report

October, 15, 2011
Final Pac-12 injury report. For more injury information, see the

Arizona State
OT Aderious Simmons, ankle, probable
RB Cameron Marshall, ankle, probable
DE Junior Onyeali, knee, out
CB Osahon Irabor, back, questionable

WR Paul Richardson, knee, out
CB Brian Lockridge, ankle, out
CB Parker Orms, suspension, out
CB Ayodeji Olatoye, suspension, out
CB Paul Vigo, suspension, out
CB Josh Moten, suspension, probable
LB Liloa Nobriga, suspension, out
OL Shawn Daniels, calf, questionable

RB LaMichael James, elbow, doubtful
LB Michael Clay, ankle, probable

Oregon State
RB Malcolm Agnew, hamstring, probable
RB Jovan Stevenson, concussion, probable
WR Jordan Bishop, ankle, questionable
OG Josh Andrews, knee, questionable
WR Micah Hatfield, hand, questionable
CB Sean Martin, foot, out

CB Wayne Lyons, foot, questionable
LB Alex Debniak, hamstring, questionable

LB Jacoby Hale, concussion, out
SS Keith McGill, shoulder, doubtful
WR DeVonte Christopher, ankle, questionable
WR Charles Henderson, knee, out
RB Tauni Vakapuna, ankle, out
TE Kendrick Moeai, undisclosed, probable

WR Kasen Williams, ankle, questionable
DT Danny Shelton, foot, questionable
FS Nate Fellner, hamstring, probable
LB John Timu, neck, probable

Washington State
QB Jeff Tuel, shoulder, probable
OT Wade Jacobson, back, out
DE Lenard Williams, neck, questionable

Links: USC defense throttles Cal

October, 14, 2011
A few nuggets from

Erik McKinney Insider: Orange County private-school powers to meet Friday, junior receiver Steven Mitchell turning heads.

Greg Katz Insider: California might have thought that USC and its leaky defense was a good homecoming opponent, but the Trojans defense proved otherwise.

Garry Paskwietz Insider: Final thoughts on USC's 30-9 victory against the Golden Bears