Utes football: RB catalyst for OSU
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Jacquizz Rodgers, Pac-10's leading rusher, should see plenty of carries against Utah

Freshman Jacquizz Rodgers was the catalyst for Oregon State in its win over USC, rushing 37 times for 186 yards and two touchdowns.

Rodgers, who leads the Pac-10 averaging 112.25 yards, could have another busy night against the Utes if he gets going. Oregon State coach Mike Riley said he doesn't have any hesitation in giving Rodgers the ball 30-plus times, despite his size (5' 6", 180 lbs).

"It is a lot of carries, but I think he has shown he can do it and he has done it before in his life," Riley said. "I think it is something for us to be aware of, but he is also a highly conditioned, strong athlete. I'm not going to say we'll give him the ball 37 times this week, but he is very, very capable of doing it."

His backup is Ryan McCants, another freshman who has 22 carries for 79 yards this season.

Pac-10 may not be worthy

The Mountain West Conference's dominance over the Pac-10 this season could give the MWC more than just conference pride; it could give the MWC an unexpected bowl opponent in the Poinsettia Bowl.

The 2008-09 bowl agreements have a MWC team pitted against the Pac-10's seventh-place team in the Poinsettia Bowl.

However, the many nonconference losses the Pac-10 has had this season are prompting bowl officials to look elsewhere for an opponent because the conference may not qualify enough teams. Last season the Pac-10 sent six teams to bowl games.

Currently UCLA (1-3), Washington State (1-4) and Washington (0-4) all have losing records and Arizona State and Oregon State are 2-2.

"We knew going in that it was a long shot to get a seventh team and after what has happened, it's a very good possibility we need to have contingency plans," Poinsettia Bowl director Bruce Binkowski said.

Binkowski wouldn't reveal what those contingency plans might be. One team that won't be a possibility is Navy, Utah's opponent last season, which has committed to the new

EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C., if it qualifies.

"We aren't worried," Binkowski said. "Even though the Poinsettia Bowl has only been around three years, we have a good reputation from the Holiday Bowl and we'll have a good opponent. We know we'll have a good Mountain West team."

The Poinsettia Bowl selects its MWC opponent after the Las Vegas Bowl, which pits the MWC against the Pac-10's No. 4 or No. 5 team.

Calling Crimson Club members

The Crimson Club is celebrating its 25th anniversary this season, starting with a halftime ceremony Thursday. Families who have been Crimson Club members for 25 years or more are asked to meet in the south end zone so they can be recognized at halftime.

For more information contact Crimson Club director Doug Knuth at (801) 585-0446.

lwodraska@sltrib.com

Freshman Jacquizz Rodgers was the catalyst for Oregon State in its win over USC, rushing 37 times for 186 yards and two touchdowns.

Rodgers, who leads the Pac-10 averaging 112.25 yards, could have another busy night against the Utes if he gets going. Oregon State coach Mike Riley said he doesn't have any hesitation in giving Rodgers the ball 30-plus times, despite his size (5' 6", 180 lbs).

"It is a lot of carries, but I think he has shown he can do it and he has done it before in his life," Riley said. "I think it is something for us to be aware of, but he is also a highly conditioned, strong athlete. I'm not going to say we'll give him the ball 37 times this week, but he is very, very capable of doing it."

His backup is Ryan McCants, another freshman who has 22 carries for 79 yards this season.

Pac-10 may not be worthy

The Mountain West Conference's dominance over the Pac-10 this season could give the MWC more than just conference pride; it could give the MWC an unexpected bowl opponent in the Poinsettia Bowl.

The 2008-09 bowl agreements have a MWC team pitted against the Pac-10's seventh-place team in the Poinsettia Bowl.

However, the many nonconference losses the Pac-10 has had this season are prompting bowl officials to look elsewhere for an opponent because the conference may not qualify enough teams. Last season the Pac-10 sent six teams to bowl games.

Currently UCLA (1-3), Washington State (1-4) and Washington (0-4) all having losing records and Arizona State and Oregon State are 2-2.

"We knew going in that it was a long shot to get a seventh team and after what has happened, it's a very good possibility we need to have contingency plans," Poinsettia Bowl director Bruce Binkowski said.

Binkowski wouldn't reveal what those contingency plans might be. One team that won't be a possibility is Navy, Utah's opponent last season, which has committed to the new EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C., if it qualifies.

"We aren't worried," Binkowski said. "Even though the Poinsettia Bowl has only been around three years, we have a good reputation from the Holiday Bowl and we'll have a good opponent. We know we'll have a good Mountain West team."

The Poinsettia Bowl selects its MWC opponent after the Las Vegas Bowl, which pits the MWC against the Pac-10's No. 4 or No. 5 team.

lwodraska@sltrib.com