WHO YA GOT?
Addicted to Quack breaks Oregon-UCLA down; jtlight is focusing on the defensive side of the ball.
If Oregon is the team we want them to be, this defense will turn in a dominating performance, and keep the mediocre UCLA offense down for the game, something they weren't able to do last year. They will limit the 3rd down conversions (UCLA converted at a 45% rate in lasts year's game), limit them to less then 4 yards per play, and keep the UCLA offense off the field. And they will do this on the road in a traditionally hostile environment.
Although it doesn't appear that Oregon is "reading" defenders to figure out where to go with the ball on its zone game, the coaches upstairs are no doubt keeping an eye on the defenders to figure out assignments. I don't think it is enough to "play assignment football" and "play disciplined" against teams like Oregon. Teams need to be smart and mix up assignments - playing games like the scrape exchange, in order to either provide "false reads" or to just have players in unexpected positions. I believe that the Bruins need to switch up assignments. Once the Oregon coaches start seeing which guys fly down to stop the pitch man, which guys rally up when they read bubble screen, and which guys press the quarterback on the zone play, they will begin to scheme in-game by switching up blocking assignments and plays in order to take advantage of that knowledge, so defenses have to me multiple and flexible to provide different looks. If you throw a 100 mph fastball every pitch you are still going to get one knocked out of the park - you need to switch things up as much as possible to keep the other guys guessing, and that goes for all aspects of the game.
Afternoon thread (here are the games to watch)
3 PM EST/noon PST
UC DAVIS AT SOUTH DAKOTA!!!!, CSN California (just kidding, although I'd love to hear someone cover this game with passion).
A quick look at Arizona State-Washington State (not televised) after the jump.
The Sun Devil offense has struggled through the first four games of the season. Starting quarterback Danny Sullivan has failed to impress, completing just 51% of his passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Many are calling for the backup, true freshman Brock Osweiler, to take over the starting duties. Sullivan will start against WSU on Saturday, but Dennis Erickson has announced that Brock Osweiler will play, with the situation undetermined (sound familiar?).
WSU Football Blog has decided to make comparisons between the Cougars and the Bears that frankly make me ill. TEDFORD=WULFF???? AGGGGHHHHH!!!!
For starters, both Cal and WSU have played two very good teams, one of whom will probably win the conference, although Stanford will be a factor in this race. I also think it means that in the last two games, Paul Wulff has done more with far less than Cal coach Jeff Tedford. Also consider that Cal had a #6 ranking going into the Oregon game, and was favored to beat the Ducks. Meanwhile, WSU went into these games still considered about the worst team in the FBS, but fared about as well as Cal. Neither team looked good, and WSU shouldn't strive to look as good as another Pac-10 team who arguably played the two worst football games in the country the last two weeks. WSU should strive to look as good as they can with what they have, and I think Paul Wulff is doing his job in this area. Jeff Tedford clearly isn't.
House of Sparky compares their Sun Devils to Entourage. I wonder what TV show we'd compare our Bears to.