For years, the Pac-10 enforced one of the nation's most stringent policies against intra-conference transfers. It required that the athlete...
For years, the Pac-10 enforced one of the nation’s most stringent policies against intra-conference transfers. It required that the athlete sit out not just one, but two years, effectively preventing it from happening.
Almost nobody did it.
Today, the face of a relaxed rule adopted a couple of years ago shows up at the Rose Bowl. Matt Moore, who dueled with UCLA quarterback Drew Olson for the Bruins’ starting job in 2002-03, will lead Oregon State (4-2) against the undefeated Bruins (6-0).
Moore and coaches Karl Dorrell of UCLA and Mike Riley of Oregon State have tried to downplay the occasion, but others say they know better. OSU center Kyle DeVan told the Los Angeles Daily News, “He’s been waiting for this for a long time. He talks about it, too. Bad things happened with Dorrell and those guys, and he wants to show them he’s a player.”
Moore’s father, Don, told the newspaper, “He truly wasn’t happy with Dorrell from day one.”
Moore had five starts with the Bruins. He has unimpressive statistics for the Beavers — 75th nationally in pass efficiency, with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions — but he has helped them to three straight fourth-quarter comebacks, and they are unexpectedly angling for a bowl berth.
“There are obviously a lot of people on this team that know him,” Dorrell said. “And obviously, a lot of people that don’t know him, because we’re a very young team.”
Riley called it “a unique situation of two teams gone on to different lives. The past is the past. I don’t see it being a major issue in this ballgame.”
Two other elements might be: OSU’s improved running game against a team that has given up identical 330-yard rushing totals to Cal and Washington State in successive weeks; and the Bruins’ facility for erasing late deficits.
Oregon at Arizona
Two of the past three years, Oregon (6-1) has had unseemly finishes, last season dropping its final three to miss out on a bowl game for the first time since 1996. But the Ducks have been perking since their only loss, to USC on Sept. 24, going 3-0 in October and outscoring foes 120-58.
Clearly, they’re growing into coordinator Gary Crowton’s spread offense. Quarterback Kellen Clemens has a chance to surpass Akili Smith’s school records for total offense and passing.
But the intrigue in Tucson surrounds the other quarterback picture. Wildcats coach Mike Stoops, whose team is 1-5, has said he is considering pulling the redshirt off freshman prospect Willie Tuitama rather than continue to go with Richard Kovalcheck.
Stoops says Kovalcheck will start, but “we’re ‘repping’ Willie a lot more than we have. He has all those intangible things you look for in a quarterback. He’s very competitive, very meticulous and very confident in his ability.”
Arizona State at Stanford
Ex-UCLA coach Bob Toledo once said Stanford Stadium was like “playing football in a Safeway parking lot.” He was right. The excitement level is the lowest in the Pac-10, and Stanford’s strange performances show it: The Cardinal is 3-0 on the road and 0-2 at home.
ASU (3-3) indicated late in the week it would start QB Sam Keller, who has battled a hand injury.