Oregon at ASU


When, where: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sun Devil Stadium

TV, radio: KATU (2), KXL (750 AM)

• The Sun Devils looked good offensively and defensively at times in three opening wins (Northern Arizona, Nevada, Colorado), but everything collapsed against California. The Bears had too much speed. ASU, which had injury issues, gave up four touchdowns in a 6:31 stretch in the first half.

Cal rattled sophomore quarterback Rudy Carpenter, who was 16-of-36 passing for 177 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions (two for TDs). 'I'm obviously not as good as I thought I was,' Carpenter told reporters. But 6-foot, 215-pound junior Ryan Torain ran for 191 yards; is ASU that good running the ball?

• One of the most inexplicable moments in coach Mike Bellotti's tenure was the game following the great Michigan win in 2003. The sky-high Ducks, with QB Jason Fife skipping into the end zone on the cover of Sports Illustrated, played against Washington State at Autzen Stadium and got absolutely drilled. It was 38-2 at halftime. It was the first of four losses in the next five games.

Linebacker Blair Phillips says many of the UO juniors and seniors still talk about that. 'People talk about Michigan and how it went downhill from there,' he says. 'It's not going to be something that happens this year,' after the Oklahoma win. 'A lot of guys have taken it personally.'

• Here's the reason receiver Jaison Williams, featured in last Friday's Portland Tribune, signed with Oregon and not USC, West Virginia or Michigan or any other Pac-10 school: It was the shoes.

He loves shoes, and obviously noticed Oregon's ties with Nike Inc. Williams wants to design shoes in the future; a lot of his idle time Williams spends drawing clothes and shoes, and he helped design Oregon's new collection of uniforms.

You could say he has a shoe fetish. He would have more than 30 pairs in his closet, if he had time to shop and more money to spend.

Another reason he chose the Ducks: Joey Harrington. He grew up a fan, and he felt like a little kid when he met the former Duck great last year. 'My jaw dropped,' he says. Of course, he liked the type of football the Ducks played, even before the spread offense. 'Air-it-out football,' he says.

• With Brent Haberly out, the linebacker corps will be: Kevin Garrett and Chris Mulvanny backing up A.J. Tuitele at the 'Will,' John Bacon backing up Blair Phillips at the 'Mike' and Jon Pope and Jerome Boyd backing up Kwame Agyeman at the 'Sam.'

• Has safety J.D. Nelson had more heavy hits on offensive players than ever? 'Uh, not really,' he says. 'It's just another season you go through.'

- Jason Vondersmith