Coach Rich Rodriguez noted that Saturday’s opponent, Washington State, will have had “16 days to prepare for us. We’ve got to prepare for just about anything they’ll throw at us scheme-wise.”
Of his pass defense that faces Oregon State this week, Todd Graham says, “Last year, I think we were one of the top pass defenses in the country. We’re a lot better this year, and we’re a lot better in the last four weeks.”
He was asked by an Arizona writer about WSU safety Deone Bucannon (whose team plays the UA this week), and Graham hemmed and hawed a bit, and said, “He had a good game against us, but our offense was pretty much able to do what we wanted to.”
Mike MacIntyre bristled at the suggestion that Cal, Saturday in Boulder, presents a game that the Buffs should think they can win. “We should be able to think we’re going to win every football game,” MacIntyre said. “Hopefully, they’ll bounce back (from the Washington loss) because they played so bad.”
Mark Helfrich didn’t sound ready to concede that the Stanford loss merely equates to another inability by Oregon to measure up to a physical team, and that (by that thinking) the Ducks need to make program changes.
“If we make a couple of plays early on, it’s a completely different situation,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any huge, program-changing type of things from this. If we win the game 52-3, we’re going to say, ‘What could we do better?’ They’ve beaten us the last two years, we tip our cap to them and move on.”
Mike Riley’s team has struggled against some spread-option teams this year (Eastern Washington and Utah), but he pointed out that OSU has played it well in the past, giving the Beavers some hope they can do that at Arizona State.
OSU is bowl-eligible, he said, “But that’s nothing to be complacent about.”
Asked about a possible emotional hangover from the Oregon win last week, David Shaw, looking to the USC game, said, “We don’t have time for that. This conference is too tough.”
The offensive line, says Kyle Whittingham, “has taken steps backward each week” and might see some changes after freshman Isaac Asiata played well against ASU. Whittingham says QB Travis Wilson is 100 percent (after a hand injury), and Wilson still “gives us our best chance to win. There’s no debating that at this point in time.”