Washington State’s 2009 version of a Long March comes to an end this weekend with the Cougars third consecutive road game. This one is in Tucson, that “little” college town near the border with Mexico. Saddled with a five-game losing streak, WSU will try to pull a big upset in the desert after racking up about 8,000 miles of travel. Well, at least Tucson has an In-N-Out, so there’s that. Read on.
• Washington State: We covered the injuries in yesterday’s post and there’s little new to report – Chima Nwachukwu was in a boot (by the way, his brother is Texas A&M’s leading receiver as a true freshman and his name was called often on the radio broadcast we heard Saturday) to promote healing of his ankle – and may not play Saturday. … I’ve got to believe most college football fans, when they think of the University of Arizona, think of defense. Desert Storm, all that stuff. But that’s not this year’s Wildcats. Looking at UA in the national statistics, the defense still stands out (26 out of 120 teams – WSU is 118) but it’s the Wildcat offense is really interesting. They are 27 in rushing (188.14 yards per game), 29 in passing (257.29) and 14 overall (445.43). That’s a lot of yards considering they’ve played Iowa, Oregon State and UCLA, all teams who take pride in defense (yes, I know the Beavers are down this year and UCLA is an enigma). The emergence of Nick Foles at quarterback (he’s 19th in the nation in passing efficiency) has energized this group. Now they get WSU, which is still 114 in rush defense (220.38 yards per game), 118 in pass defense (290.75) and 119 in total defense (511.13). … Let’s move on to the links. … We had our follow story in today’s S-R, and our look back, the long version of which you can find here (below the follow). … Freelancer Howie Stalwick wrote a column that ran in today’s Kitsap Sun.
• Around the Pac-10: Bud Withers of the Seattle Times examined the rest of the Pac-10 schedule to discover if the king is really dead after its loss in Eugene. … ESPN.com’s Ted Miller had his usually crowd of items related to the weekend past, including what was learned, the power rankings and a look at the conference in the national polls. … The change that came to light in Eugene Saturday night actually happened once before. …Washington: Bye week, so no stories. … Oregon State: The Beavers need two wins to ensure themselves a bowl berth and, with three of their last four on the road (starting this week in Berkeley), it will be interesting. One of those, of course, is in Pullman. … Oregon: The Ducks feel they are in better shape than the rest of the conference. In more ways than one. Cal: Nothing, nada. … Stanford: Couldn’t find any football news here either, so I’m passing along a pretty important basketball story. Not good news at Stanford. … USC: Will the participants in Saturday’s “Game of the Year” be able to bounce back? …UCLA: It looks like Kevin Prince has ascended to the quarterback throne once again. … Arizona State: Despite the loss Saturday, the Sun Devils moved up and are fourth nationally in run defense. … Arizona: Sorry, but the past really has no bearing on this week’s game.
• That’s all for this morning. We’ll take our first look at the Arizona Wildcats this afternoon. Until then …