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Not a lot on the upside

September 14, 2008

You want a positive spin? OK: Pacific 10 Conference teams didn't have any problems with excessive celebrations this week.

Outside of top-ranked USC's 35-3 rout of No. 5 and free-falling Ohio State, there simply wasn't much to strut about.

True, Oregon State got its first win, 45-7 over Hawaii, but it's not as if the Beavers are going anywhere after opening losses to Stanford and Penn State.

The rest of the conference struggled to win Saturday. Or didn't.

No. 16 Oregon needed two overtimes to get past unranked Purdue. And that was the happy ending.

No. 15 Arizona State lost in overtime to Nevada Las Vegas -- which was coming off a three-touchdown loss to Utah. No. 23 California lost to Maryland, which had barely beat not-so-mighty Delaware by a touchdown in its opener, then lost to Middle Tennessee State last week.

And try picking the worst loss among this group: Washington by 41 to Oklahoma, Arizona by eight to previously 0-2 New Mexico, Stanford by 17 to Texas Christian.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, September 16, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction
College football: A roundup of items on Pacific 10 Conference football games in Sunday's Sports section said that blown calls helped Oklahoma lose in a game at Oregon in 2005. It was 2006.

Then, of course, there was UCLA.

All the Bruins did was suffer their worst loss in 79 years.

A look at the carnage:

Oklahoma has a good visit to the West Coast

Armed with Sam Bradford's nearly perfect passing, No. 3 Oklahoma made sure Pac-10 officials had no say in this one.

Bradford completed 18 of 21 passes for 304 yards, matched his career high with five touchdowns and ran for a sixth score to help the Sooners beat Washington, 55-14.

Ryan Broyles caught two of Bradford's touchdown throws for Oklahoma (3-0), which went home for a bye feeling much better than it did on its last trip to the West Coast two years ago.

Washington (0-3) was handed its largest margin of defeat at home since 1929, when it lost, 48-0, to USC.

Sooners Coach Bob Stoops threatened to never again bring his team to Pac-10 country after losing by one point at Oregon in 2005, with the help of blown calls at the end.

UNLV upsets ASU on blocked field goal

Malo Taumua blocked a field goal to lift Nevada-Las Vegas to a 23-20 overtime upset of No. 15 Arizona State.

Taumua's block on a 35-yard field-goal attempt by Thomas Weber came after Kyle Watson kicked a 20-yard field goal on the Rebels' overtime possession.

The loss took the luster off Arizona State's game against No. 2 Georgia next week.

For the Rebels, it will go down as one of the great victories in the school's sometimes checkered football history.

Moved up by Ike, TCU breezes past Stanford

At Fort Worth, Ryan Christian scored the go-ahead touchdown and Steven Coleman made a key interception as Texas Christian prevailed, 31-14, in a game that was moved up six hours because of Hurricane Ike.

Christian, who rushed for 82 yards on 19 carries, gave TCU (3-0) the lead for good on a one-yard scoring run with six minutes left in the third. Stanford (1-2) appeared to tie the game early in the fourth on Doug Baldwin's 49-yard punt return for a touchdown. Officials reviewed the play and determined Baldwin stepped out of bounds at the TCU 13.

Three plays later, Coleman intercepted Tavita Pritchard's pass in the end zone to thwart Stanford's comeback attempt.

New Mexico beats Arizona again

At Albuquerque, Rodney Ferguson ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns and freshman James Aho tied a school record with five field goals to help New Mexico beat Arizona, 36-28.

Ferguson, a bruising tailback, also tossed a 25-yard trick play scoring pass to quarterback Donovan Porterie as the Lobos (1-2) beat the mistake-prone Wildcats (2-1) for the second straight year.

It was a big night for New Mexico's defense, which stopped the Wildcats on downs 22 yards from the end zone early in the fourth quarter, and got another big play when Glover Quin intercepted Willie Tuitama's pass near midfield with just under eight minutes remaining.

Oregon comes back to beat Purdue in 2 OTs

LaGarrette Blount ran three yards for a touchdown in the second overtime to give the No. 16 Ducks a come-from-behind 32-26 win over the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Ind.

Oregon (3-0) trailed, 20-3, early in the second quarter but tied the game late in the third, and Purdue's Chris Summers missed a 44-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.

Blount finished with 12 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

Kory Sheets ran 29 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns for Purdue (1-1), which lost its 15th consecutive game against a ranked team.

Cal finds itself out of sorts against Maryland

Perhaps it was the trip across the country, the early kickoff or overconfidence.

For whatever reason, No. 23 California was outplayed by Maryland, which held the Golden Bears without a touchdown until the closing minutes of a stunning 35-27 upset at College Park, Md.

Coming off a 10-point loss to unheralded Middle Tennessee State, the Terrapins were given little chance against a California team that totaled 104 points in disposing of Michigan State and Pac-10 foe Washington State.

But Da'Rel Scott ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns before leaving with a shoulder injury, and the Terps (2-1) used a relentless defense to harass Cal (2-1) from the outset.

Oregon State wins at home against Hawaii

At Corvallis, Ore., Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns as the Beavers beat the Warriors, 45-7.

Lyle Moevao completed 20 of 34 passes for 268 yards and three scores for the Beavers (1-2), who were under pressure to get a victory in their home opener before facing top-ranked USC on Sept. 25.

Tyler Graunke, Hawaii's third starter this season, completed 12 of 27 passes for 118 yards, but threw two interceptions. He was replaced in the third quarter by Inoke Funaki, but the Warriors (1-2) had already fallen too far behind.

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