Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

The victories for USC and UCLA against Arizona State and Oregon State, respectively, were the result of both the Trojans and Bruins' special teams play coming through with the game on the line.
USC got a Sun Devil field-goal attempt blocked in the fourth quarter and turned it into two-point score which turned out to be a key play in its 34-33 win at the Coliseum Saturday night. Later, kicker Joe Houston, who had missed two tries earlier in the game, including one that clanked off the right goal post, made the game-winner with 1:33 left, a 29-yard kick that improved the Trojans record to 6-3.
Earlier in the evening at the Rose Bowl, UCLA's Kai Forbath, arguably the best kicker in college football, drilled a 51-yard field goal with no time left to give the Bruins a 17-14 win, snapping their three-game losing streak.
Coach Rick Neuheisel has had to adjust his offense since starting quarterback Kevin Prince went out with a season-ending injury two weeks ago. Richard Brehaut, Prince's replacement, is more passer than runner, forcing Neuheisel to mostly abandon the concept of the Pistol offense, which requires the quarterback to run when his receivers are covered.
The Bruins are now utilizing the more traditional two-back offense with Jonathan Franklin spearheading the running game. UCLA, now 5-4, is one win away from being bowl eligible.

add Forbath: The senior had missed a 45-yard attempt earlier in the fourth quarter. On TV replay it appeared that the UCLA holder had trouble handling the snap.

add USC: The Trojans travel to Arizona this Saturday to face the challenging Wildcats coached by Mike Stoops. Arizona at 7-2 is led by quarterback Nick Foles who is among the top quarterbacks in the Pacific 10. He threw for 248 yards in a losing effort against Stanford on Saturday.

add Pacific 10: The conference announced its revised 2011 schedule last week, adding games against its newcomers Utah and Colorado. USC will play its home opener on Sept. 12 against Utah and will visit Boulder, Colorado to play the Buffalos on Nov. 5.

Stanford has the inside track to a Rose Bowl appearance on New Year's Day and the opponent could be either TCU or Boise State.

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