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The Monday Morning Wash

Washington's win over Arizona on Saturday was one of those games we will remember a long time. The timing was right on this one since it came on the heals of a major dissapointment a week ago in South Bend. Somehow the football gods finally smiled on a Washington program that has been struggling for six long years. The struggle isn't over either even though we received some smiles. This week the Huskies venture to Tempe to play in one of the conference's tougher venues.

Arizona State has been near the bottom of our conference ratings most of the season. The 3-2 Sun Devils loaded up on patsies to start the season and their lone Pac 10 win came last weekend against WSU. It wasn't a convincing win even though the game was never in doubt. The Devils turned the ball over six times against the tooothless Cougar defense which kept the score respectable at 27-14.

The ASU offense has struggled all season. Danny Sullivan is prone to errors and there doesn't seem to be an adequate replacement for him on the roster. The defense though is one of the better one's Washington will face this season. The Sun Devils are strong up front featuring some of the best pass rushers in the the conference. Mike Nixon is a 25 year old linebacker who has shined this season. He picked off three interceptions against Idaho State earlier this season and also blocked a punt.

DE Dexter Davis and DT Lawrence Guy are a couple of guys to keep an eye on Saturday night. Chances are they will play on Sunday's. ASU can put together a solid pass rush and also shut down the oppositions running game. The Washington offensive line really has to bring their "A" game to Tempe if Washington is going to come out of the desert with a victory.

The key for Washington this upcoming weekend is for the defense to exploit what seems to be the second worst offense in the Pac 10 and force some mistakes. ASU has one of the worst offensive lines we will face all season. Our defense should be able to handle the run and still put pressure on the beleagured Danny Sullivan. UW will still try to keep everything in front of them this week but Nick Foles was a much more talented QB than Sullivan who had better tools surrounding him.

Health wise the Huskies should be in better shape going into this game. Reserve RB Johri Fogerson who was out with the flu last week should return as will S Nate Williams and WR D'Andre Goodwin. OG Greg Christine is gone for the season with a broken fibula. Replacing him will be the surprising Nick Wood who moved over from defense earlier this season to provide depth to the offensive line.

Nick Wood is a feel good story because he was hopelessly buried on defense even though the coaches liked his attitude. He actually has picked up a lot of experience and was on the verge of beating out Christine for the starting job the last couple of weeks. The key for Washington with Christine out is to develop some more depth in case of injury. This offensive line cannot afford another injury this season.

Expect Jake Locker to spend a little more time in the whirlpool this weekend. He bruised a tailbone in the second half against Arizona. Sarkisian unleashed his legs for the first time this seaon but there are always consequences to doing that. Expect UW to live more by his arm this week in Tempe. The Sun Devil secondary is the weak link to an otherwise strong defensive unit.

Oregon game on ABC

The Pac 10 announced the Oregon at Washington football game will be on ABC with a 12:30 start time. Good news for us Midwest and East coast guys who were up till 2:00 am on Saturday night.

Around the Pac

Arizona State 27 Washington State 14

Danny Sullivan ran for one touchdown and threw for another as Arizona State relied one of the conferences best defenses to beat WSU. The hapless Cougars managed only 181 yards of offense, 99 of them on the longest touchdown pass in school history. ASU turned the ball over six times but still was able to get out of town with the win.

Oregon State 38 Stanford 28

Jacquizz Rodgers ran for a career-high 189 yards and four touchdowns in Oregon State's 38-28 victory over Stanford.Rodgers' four rushing touchdowns in the game matched a school record held by several others. His older brother, James Rodgers caught six passes for 78 yards and another score for the Beavers. Stanford's Toby Gerhart, who was just starting to grab some Heisman buzz, ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns.

Oregon 24 UCLA 10

With Oregon trailing 3-0 at halftime, Kenjon Barner returned the second-half kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown, and Talmadge Jackson returned an interception 32 yards for another score just 13 seconds later. After a fumble recovery, Jeff Maehl then took a short screen pass 20 yards through traffic for the Ducks' third TD just 3:54 after halftime.

Pac Ten Power Ratings

1. USC...The Trojans had the week off to prepare for Notre Dame. As we move into the second half of the season nobody has the depth to survive it like the Trojans do. The Trojans should romp all over the Irish.

2. Oregon...This was a big road win for the Ducks who relied on defense and special teams to put UCLA away. The Ducks are a different team offensively when Masoli is out of the game.

3. Oregon State...Once again Coach Mike Riley has the Beavers primed for a great second half. The Beavers exposed Stanford as the one dimensional team we all knew they were. The key was getting out to an early lead and force Stanford to pass to keep up. You can't stop Gephart but you can take the ball out of his hands when your offense clicks.

4. Washington...The Huskies lost one they shouldn't the previous week and won one they shouldn't have this week. I guess that is how the football gods even things out.

5. Arizona...This had to be one of the toughest losses of Mike Stoops tenure. Why they didn't keep the ball on the ground late in the fourth quarter is a question Zona fans will be asking all week. Stoops went to the bubble screen well one too many times. The Wildcats need to get the bad taste out of their mouths next week against Stanford at home.

6. Stanford...The Cards were finally exposed by a gameplan that took them out of their ball control power offense. Finally a team was able to put the game in the hands of Andrew Luck. Nothing against Luck but he didn't have the tools on offense to compete to get in a track meet with Oregon State. Next up is a tough road game in Tucson.

7. UCLA...The Bruin defense played a great first half then imploded in the early minutes of the third quarter similar to what Washington did against Arizona. One big difference in this one...the Bruins don't have a guy like Jake Locker who can lead them back from the abyss.

8. California...The Bears had the week off to regroup. Cal goes up against a tough UCLA defense on the road this week. They should be able to muster the offense to beat UCLA. This game wil tell the story on this team. If they lose they are in perma-fold mode.

9. Arizona State...ASU just had enough firepower to hold on against the worst team in the BCS. Next up is a must win contest against UW in Tempe. Will Danny Sullivan continue to start or will Erickson try something else?

10. Washington State...ASU did everything they could in turning it over six times to give WSU the game. The WSU offense simply doesn't have the tools to do anything with it.

Pac 10 Offensive Player of the Week

Jacquizz Rodgers of Oregon State had ran for 189 yards and four TD's against Stanford.

Pac 10 Defensive Player of the Week

Mason Foster of Washington fourth quarter interception that was returned for a TD was the difference maker in a miracle win over Arizona.

Washington Offensive Player of the Week

Jake Locker was 12-23-1 with three TD passes. He also ran for 92 yards on eleven carries and had a 56 yard TD run in the first half.

Washington Defensive Player of the Week

Mason Foster of Washington fourth quarter interception that was returned for a TD was the difference maker in a miracle win over Arizona.