At Long Last: Stanford Over UCLA
There was no luck involved in Stanford’s 35-0 thrashing of UCLA. Okay, besides Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck, who threw for 151 yards and two touchdowns. The win was Stanford’s first at the Rose Bowl since 1996. Next up for the Cardinal is Wake Forest. Stanford (2-0) will look to exact revenge on the Demon Deacons, who scored with two seconds left capping a come-from-behind 24-17 victory to beat the Cardinal last season.
Slow Start for the Spartans
To no one’s surprise, the Spartans were blown out in their first two games against Alabama and Wisconsin. The scores (48-3 and 27-14) and the stats (994 yards allowed combined) were ugly. But it’s too soon to declare the season lost. State plays Southern Utah at Spartan Stadium next week. A win would mean a lot to new head coach Mike MacIntyre.
San Jose Giants on a Roll
Speed kills. Just ask the Modesto Nuts. In a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning, San Jose outfielder Francisco Peguero reached first on an infield single, advanced to second on an error and went to third on a groundout. He sprinted home on a wild pitch to give the San Jose Giants a 2-0 series lead against the Modesto Nuts. The Giants will attempt to close it out tonight in Modesto and advance to the California League Championship.
Sharks New Goalies Ready
A few weeks back, after deciding not to re-sign goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, the Sharks signed Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki to man the crease. In Nieme’s case, the Sharks apparently went with the adage: “If you can’t beat him, sign him.” Sharks fans remember Niemi shutting down the Sharks in the Western Conference Finals en route to winning the Stanley Cup. Niittymaki has no such hardware, but he has 83 wins in his six-year career. I expect Niemi to start and Niittymaki to spell him every third game or so. Get your first looks at Niittymaki and Niemi as the Sharks start formal practices on Saturday, Sept. 18.
Earthquakes: Headed to Playoffs?
The San Jose Earthquakes picked up a point against FC Dallas with a scoreless draw on Saturday. Dallas extended its unbeaten streak to 14 games with the tie. If the season ended today, the Quakes (9-7-6) would be in the playoffs. San Jose next plays Philadelphia Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.