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Two favorites won in Pacific Mountain West play Saturday, while one pick ‘em game was taken in big fashion. UCSB handled UC Irvine 43-15 and Loyola Marymount defeated USC 43-15, as could have been expected.

The one potential surprise was U. San Diego walloping Claremont Colleges 50-17.

“The reality is we left our game on the practice field and on the bus. We Didn’t show up like Claremont Colleges is expected to,” said Claremont coach Jeremy Ognall.

“All credit to USD. They exposed some of our weaknesses. They were much more aggressive in the set pieces. Their scrum overall controlled ours. Their first-up tackling was better than ours, and they created some opportunities out wide that they really capitalized on and we failed to adjust.”  

The Torreros won the San Diego city championship some while ago, beating San Diego State for that title, and seem to be primed for a good season.

USD should move to 2-0 next week against USC, who has opened league play 0-2 and given up 43 points in each loss. We’ll know more about Claremont after next week’s rivalry match against Loyola Marymount.

LMU’s lopsided win over the Trojans Saturday was not always on pace to be so, as the Lions conceded a pair of tries late in the first half that gave USC an 18-16 lead at intermission.

“We won because of possession,” said Loyola coach Larry Docimo, “and we kicked away some possession at the end of the first half and they counter attacked and scored a couple of tries, and our fly half learned his lesson.”

The Lions shut out USC in the second half while scoring four more tries. Loyola is back to .500 after giving up a loss in week one to SDSU.

UCSB, like Loyola, didn’t separate until the second half. The Gauchos jumped out to a 19-0 advantage, haing scored the first of three first-half tries in the opening 30 seconds when John Gallo scooped up a rebuttal to the kickoff and dotted down. However, Irvine was feisty in the breakdowns and parlayed that into two tries in the second quarter. UCSB led 19-10 at halftime.

“It was really frustrating because we certainly had the measure of them in the set pieces. Our scrum was very effective, our lineouts were very good,” said UCSB coach Kevin Battle, “but they really did well at the tackle point and turning us over.”

It was all Gauchos in the second half, and the scoring was mostly Gallo and scrumhalf Alex Asturius, who both scored hat-tricks, accounting for 30 points. Gallo, a 2011 RUGBYMag DI (now DI-AA) All American, is a well-known commodity, while Asturius didn’t win the starting scrumhalf battle until this week.

“He did a decent job directing the team, and he got his scores off of just working really well with the forwards and did his job up front,” said Battle of Asturius. “We took a lot of their scrum ball and Alex was the recipient of that a couple of times.”

Up next for USCB is a huge match with SDSU, while the Anteaters take the week off.