Another glorious Saturday of college football and the Pac-12 taking care of business. Oregon gave Tennessee a Pac-12 shocker that was felt through SEC country. UCLA looked lost offensively, USC can't seem to play a complete game yet, and U-Dubb quarterback Jake Locker looked like the guy that received some Heisman hype before the season.
Jake Locker played an efficient game and even more importantly led his team to victory. The Huskies were down 10-zip before Locker started finding his rhythm and completed 22 of 33 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was Jermaine Kearse who was the recipient of 9 passes for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Another player that I was extremely impressed with was Darron Thomas of the Oregon Ducks. His 17 of 32 passing for 202 yards won't blow you away, but he was in a hostile environment and didn't turn the ball over. He had some help out of his backfield with LaMichael James stealing the spotlight back from Kenjon Barner by running for 134 yards on 16 carries. His 72 yard run not only gave Oregon the lead, it was probably the best play of the weekend.
There were a couple other players that stepped up big time this weekend, but I prefer the two defensive performances from the Bay Area teams. Cal harassed Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen to the tune of six sacks and 3 interceptions, and a fumble. The defense scored two touchdowns with one coming on an 82 yard fumble recovery that popped right into the hands of senior corner back Darian Hagan. When I highlighted a strength of the Cal Bears in the off-season I mentioned Mike Mohammed and Mychal Kendricks, the two combined for 25 tackles, an interception returned for a touchdown, a fumble recovery, 3 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
Stanford's defense was even more impressive by posting a shutout of the UCLA Bruins in the Rose Bowl. Playing on the road in the Pac-12 is difficult, but shutouts are more rare than a perfect game in baseball. The Cardinal held the Bruins to only 233 yards of offense and Michael Thomas spearheaded the effort by collecting five tackles, forcing two fumbles and returning one of them for a 21 yard touchdown to blow the game open to 28-0. My research team told me that it was nearly impossible to find a picture of a good looking girl wearing Stanford apparel, but here is the one bright spot for them.
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