Some big games on this weekend's Pac 10 plate, obviously headlined by USC-tOSU (thank God our game will be over by this kickoff). No conference match ups for the first time this year, so everyone gets a break. Anyways, here's a look and some predictions, starting with our game. Go Beavs!
Oregon State v Hawai'i, Sat 1 PM
Not exactly ideal starts for either teams. Opening weekend saw us losing to Stanford and Hawai'i getting manhandled by Florida. The following weekend wasn't much better for us, but I imagine this weekend should be vastly improved. The home opener for us and the fans are pumped. Hawai'i is having a down year (although I never thought they were very good). Things to watch for: Hawai'i has a pass-happy offense, which should give our DBs a lot to do. Hopefully our tackling has gotten better, or we could be in for a long day. While I don't think we are going to lose, it's not going to be a pushover game. I'll take Oregon State 34-20.
Washington State @ Baylor, Fri 5:30
Washington State has suffered in it's first two games, losing by a combined 105-16. Baylor hasn't had a great start either, but they do have an athletic QB who could cause the WSU defense fits. Not really sure how call this one, but I imagine it's going to be a close one. My mind says to pick Baylor, but I'll go with the Pac 10 on this one: Washington State 24-21.
#23 Cal @ Maryland, 9 AM
Cal has looked impressive in their first two wins, especially last week against WSU winning 66-3. Maryland has suffered, barely squeezing by Delaware at home and losing to Middle Tennessee State. The only thing Maryland has going for them is I'm not sure Cal will still be fully used to the time zone, and playing a game at 9 AM may have them come out flat. I'll say close at halftime, but Tedford makes adjustments and Cal wins 45-10.
Stanford @ TCU, 10 AM
Stanford looked impressive beating us on opening weekend. Last weekend versus ASU? Um, not so much. TCU hasn't had a real challenge yet, winning their first two games (@ New Mexico, Stephen F. Austin) by a combined 93-10. One thing to watch for is Arizona is playing New Mexico this week, so this might be the first time we can match up teams and see where the Pac 10 is right now. Did that make sense? Sorry if it didn't. I wonder if the hurricane will affect the game, but I'll give the nod here to TCU at home, 28-17.
#16 Oregon @ Purdue 12:30 PM
Interesting matchup here. First semi-test for the Ducks defense, and a good indication of how their DBs will handle the pass happy Pac 10. I don't think Purdue's defense will be good enough to keep up with UO's offense, but if they get a couple early stops and get the crowd into it, they might be able to put some points on the board and come up with the upset. Will be interesting to see how Bellotti uses his Qbs this game. Oregon wins 49-21.
UCLA @ #18 BYU, 12:30 PM
UCLA had an off week after their huge upset of Tennessee 2 weeks ago. I don't know if BYU had an off week last week vs Washington or what, but they sure as hell didn't look very impressive. The verdict is still out on UCLA, but I think they got lucky versus UT. The match up to watch will be UCLA's good D versus BYU's O. That's going to be what decides the game. UCLA needs to force turnovers and keep BYU's O off the field. BYU wins 28-13.
#3 Oklahoma @ Washington, 4:45
Washington suffered a heartbreaker last week versus BYU, but Husky fans should feel better that they won't be suffering the same heartbreak this week. Oklahoma has advantages at every position, and their DLine will get to Locker all day long and force him into bad decisions. No Pac 10 ref will be able to take this game away from OU this time because this game will be over by halftime, and Husky fans will be switching over to the USC game. Oklahoma wins big 56-17.
#5 Ohio State v #1 USC, 5:00
Easily the non-conference game of the year, this is the game the whole country has been waiting 9 months for. Beanie Wells is doubtful and that poses problems. Anyone that thinks Terrell Pryor is going to come in and cause fits for the SC defense is sorely mistaken. USC's defense has no trouble with the spread. It took a veteran Vince Young 59 minutes and a 4th and goal to beat USC. Last year, it took a probable Heisman winner in Dixon and an injury to their starting QB before they lost by 7 to USC. Carroll has had 2 weeks to prepare for Ohio St and you better believe he'll have this team fired up to come out. I'm tempted to take OSU, but I really don't think it's going to be. USC wins a dogfight 28-20.
Arizona @ New Mexico, 5:00
Can't imagine many fans wanting to watch this game with it going on at the same time as the above mentioned game. That being said, Arizona has looked impressive so far. New Mexico was supposed to be decent this year, but it hasn't took. Boring game, Arizona wins another blowout 42-7.
UNLV @ #15 Arizona State
The only storyline here is 2 party cities getting together for a desert clash. ASU, and Rudy Carpenter in particular, looked very impressive last week against Stanford. UNLV is a lot worse than Stanford and Arizona State is going to win big. One thing to watch for is can ASU get its running game going. We all know how good Rudy C and his receivers are, but they are going to need to establish a solid running game if they want to compete with the elite of the Pac.
Can't wait for this weekends games! Should be a good indicator of how strong/weak the Pac 10 is.