We're back in Seattle, waiting to catch the next flight. On the link is out notebook from last night. We follow that with some more links from around the Pac-10. But there's more coming later in the day. Read on.
• Here's the notebook ...
LOS ANGELES – Welcome to the road.
Washington State University's 27-6 loss to USC on Saturday night was a prelude of games to come.
The Cougars opened with three home contests – yes, one was in Seattle, but it was nominally a home game – and finished the stretch 1-2. Now WSU is in the midst of five road games in seven weeks.
After Oregon's 42-3 rout of sixth-ranked Cal, next week's game in Eugene against the 3-1 Ducks just took on a tougher slant. But, following the lone home game before November, the homecoming contest with Arizona State on Oct. 10 and a bye the next week, the road gets as bumpy as Spokane's intersections.
First up is Cal, which owns a four-game winning streak against the Cougars and features running back Jahvid Best. The battle with Notre Dame in San Antonio, the Irish's first attempt at holding a home game outside South Bend, Ind., comes up on Halloween.
The road ends in Tucson, with the Cougars facing an Arizona team they haven't defeated since 2004.
The travel squad that ran down the Coliseum tunnel Saturday was missing four players who only a couple weeks ago were counted on to lead the offense.
Jeshua Anderson left the team last week, deciding to concentrate on track.
Starting right guard B.J. Guerra stayed home this week after suffering a knee injury against Southern Methodist. He won't be back until the Cal game at the earlist.
Then James Montgomery underwent two surgeries this week, an emergency procedure Sunday to repair acute compartment syndrome damage to his right leg and a follow up on Tuesday to close the wound. He's out for the season and his football future is cloudy at best.
The final blow fell Wednesday, when former starter, now-backup quarterback Kevin Lopina suffered a calf injury in a routine passing drill. The senior, who started the first two games, was on crutches Thursday and didn't make the trip to Los Angeles. When Lopina will be able to return is unknown.
One more offensive starter, left guard Zack Williams, made the trip to USC but was not in uniform.
The defense was without just one starter, senior defensive end Kevin Kooyman, out with a knee injury suffered before the Hawaii game. But it will be without two key secondary reserves, LeAndre Daniels (broken leg) and Tyree Toomer (pectoral muscle surgery) for the remainder of the season.
The Cougars lost three players to injury Saturday.
Defensive lineman Josh Luapo was injured on the first play of the second quarter, suffering a knee strain. Reserve tight end Zach Tatman suffered a first-half concussion and did not return. And late in the game, guard Steven Ayers was helped off the field after suffering a right leg injury.
The worst-looking injury of the night was suffered by USC's Hebron Fangupo. The defensive lineman's leg twisted on a WSU second quarter running play and had to be carted off.
Washington State did get one player back before the game. Joshua Garrett, a reserve linebacker returned from suspension. The redshirt freshman appeared on special teams.
Another reserve linebacker, Jarred Walker, wore a different number. Formerly 34, Walker switched to 23 to avoid a special teams conflict with the other 34, running back Logwone Mitz.
• And here are more links ...
• Washington State: A couple more here. There are these post-game opinion pieces, one from CougCenter and one from WSU football blog. They say a lot of the same things and correspond to many of your comments. ... And there is this game report from Cougfan ... And there's this story from the LA Daily News.
Around the Pac-10: ESPN.com's Ted Miller has two staples, a quick Pac-10 roundup and his what we learned from the weekend. ... And Buster Sports Nick Daschel says Arizona and Stanford are for real. I think the jury is still out on the former's offense. ... Ken Goe of the Oregonian must agree with me, because he says Oregon State's defense needs fixing. ... Washington: Well the ranking didn't last long. The Times' Steve Kelley notes the Huskies still have a ways to go after the 34-14 loss at Stanford. ... A big problem is the run defense. ... Oregon State: Another Pac-10 opener, another loss for the Beavers. ... Oregon: The Ducks' 42-3 rout was started by quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and fueled by tight end Ed Dickson. ... Cal: The Bears' national-title hopes come crashing down in Eugene. ... Stanford: Toby Gerhart crashed through UW. ... USC: See above and previous post. ...UCLA: Bye week, so nothing. ... Arizona State: The Sun Devils show they can play with anybody, anywhere, but last-play field goal lifts Georgia to a 20-17 win. ... Arizona: With new starting quarterback Nick Foles playing well, the Wildcats hold off Oregon State 37-32 in Corvallis.
• That's it for now. We'll be back later with our follow story on the Cougars' 27-6 loss at USC. Until then …