It’s been a long wait for Oregon State.
The Beavers, whose season opener against Nicholls State was canceled due to Hurricane Isaac, will finally get on the field Saturday against Wisconsin at Reser Stadium in Corvallis. Instead of a Football Championship Subdivision pushover, the Beavers will now open things with the No. 13 Badgers. Wisconsin struggled with FCS Northern Iowa last week, but beat Oregon State 35-0 last year at Camp Randall.
“I’ve been saying it’s as big a nonconference game as Oregon State has ever hosted,” coach Mike Riley said.
Riley has admitted in the past to overscheduling — it opened with TCU, Louisville and Boise State two years ago — and this year seemed to have found more balance. Without Nicholls State, however, the Beavers will jump into the Pac-12 schedule against UCLA after playing Wisconsin.
Riley said the delay created the “world’s longest training camp.”
The Beavers may yet get to play Nicholls State, however. Riley said the game has been tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 1 — assuming the Beavers don’t qualify for the Pac-12 championship game (assume away) and the Colonels don’t reach the FCS playoffs.
Silas Redd fared a lot better last week than his former Penn State teammates.
While the Nittany Lions lost at home to the Ohio Bobcats, USC was running all over Hawaii, winning 49-10. And Redd, who left Penn State in the wake of NCAA sanctions that freed players to transfer and retain eligibility, had a strong debut, albeit not a wildly successful one.
The running back rushed for 56 yards and had one catch for 41 yards.
“I though Silas did a good job mentally,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said.
The flip side was Redd’s second-quarter fumble after a big third-down gain.
Last season with the Nittany Lions, Redd rushed for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns. He will be the lead runner in what could be a crowded backfield for USC, with Curtis McNeal coming off a 1,000-yard season last year.
That was fast
The state of Arizona will likely have two of the best offenses in the Pac-12. They certainly did on opening weekend: Arizona State hung 63 points on FCS Northern Arizona, while Arizona accumulated 624 yards in a win against Toledo.
The funny thing is, one offense can be traced to the other.
Both Arizona State coach Todd Graham and Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez are in their first seasons at the school, but their shared history won’t begin on Nov. 23, when their teams play in Tucson. In 1993, Graham’s East Central University won an NAIA Division I title after beating Rodriguez-led Glenville State 49-35. Graham said his team had the country’s No. 1 defense, while Rodriguez coached the No. 1 offense, a rapid-moving spread similar to what both coaches use now. Graham used it as a learning opportunity.
“I was just fascinated by how difficult that fast pace was,” Graham said.
Graham quickly implemented something similar, and it has become a staple of his own teams, while remaining consistent with Rodriguez’s.
“The origin of me doing it comes back to that game,” Graham said, “and everywhere I’ve been we’ve been a fast-paced, no-huddle team.”
Matching results against expectations, Cal arguably had the worst week of any Pac-12 team. Debuting at home in a remodeled Memorial Stadium, the Golden Bears lost 31-24 to Nevada.
Now, Cal, with coach Jeff Tedford considered to be on the hot seat, will look for its first win of the season against Southern Utah, an FCS team that it should have no trouble dispatching. However, Tedford spoke highly and cautiously of the Thunderbirds, who lost to Utah State 34-3 last week.
“They have a lot of good players on their team,” Tedford said. “They have a great quarterback [Brad Sorensen] who can throw it all over the yard.”
It will be Southern Utah’s first matchup with a Pac-12 team, but, Tedford said, “We’re in no position to overlook anyone after losing last week.”
BCS conferences: opening week
Some BCS conferences fared better in the opening week than others:
Conference Record Best win Worst performance
ACC 10-0 Virginia Tech 20, Georgia Tech 17 (OT) Maryland 7, William & Mary 6
Big XII 10-0 Baylor 59, SMU 24 None
Big East 5-2 Louisville 32, Kentucky 14 Youngstown State 31, Pitt 17
Big Ten 10-2 Northwestern 42, Syracuse 41 Ohio 24, Penn State 12
Pac-12 8-3 Washington 21, San Diego State 12 Colorado State 22, Colorado 17
SEC 10-2 Alabama 41, Michigan 14 Clemson 26, Auburn 19