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While Arizona Rests, the Pac-10 Will Shine

Posted By Henry Childs On Sep 30 2010 @ 2:26 am In Arizona | 3 Comments

With Arizona having the week off, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the other Pac-10 matchups for this weekend. While the Wildcats relax, here’s a quick peek at this weeks conference games.

Washington State (1-3) at UCLA (2-2)

After losing it’s opening game to Kansas State and getting blown out at home against Stanford, UCLA looks like a completely different team. Two weeks ago, the Bruins crushed a ranked Houston team (even with Case Keenum in the game). Then last week, UCLA beat down overhyped Texas with a physical rushing attack and tenacious defense. Washington State will keep this competitive in the first half, but the Bruins are too physical on both sides of the ball to lose this one. UCLA will keep the momentum going.

Prediction: 34-17 UCLA

Arizona State (2-2) at Oregon State (1-2)

For me, this is an extremely intriguing game. The loser of this game could potentially be out of a bowl berth, while the winner could see their young season turn around. The Beavers need this one more than the Sun Devils, because I don’t know if Oregon State could finish at .500 or better against the rest of the Pac-10 if they can’t win this one at home. Arizona State played great at times against Oregon last weekend, but turning the ball over 7 (!) times isn’t going to win you any ball games. The key to this game will be Oregon State’s defense. The secondary needs to be prepared to play well against a good passer in Steven Threet. I think this is a close one, but I believe OSU has too much to lose in this one.

Prediction: 27-24 Oregon State

Washington (1-2) at USC (4-0)

I have always been skeptical of Jake Locker and the hype surrounding his talent. No doubt he has talent; but whether he can lead a team to big wins remains to be seen. Last year, the Dawgs won with a last-second field goal to begin the demise of the Trojan program. This year, USC will be looking for revenge. Many experts see USC’s 4-0 start as a fluke; with close wins against Hawaii, Virginia, and Minnesota, the Trojans have been less than spectacular overall, and even worse primarily on defense. Washington’s only win thus far has been against Syracuse in Seattle, but I do think the Huskies come out to play in this one: for a half. USC still has loads of talent, and I don’t think Washington’s defense will be able to stop Matt Barkley and Ronald Johnson.

Prediction: 41-27 USC

Stanford (4-0) at Oregon (4-0)

What a great matchup here. Two different offensive schemes, one team relying on speed, the other relying on physicality, and two coaches who aren’t afraid to speak their minds. Stanford was a trendy pick before the season began to win the Pac-10, but you know what they say: To be the best, you have to beat the best. Andrew Luck is a magnificent quarterback, and he will be trying to pick a part an Oregon secondary that gave up big yards last week against Arizona State. Oregon, however, did force seven turnovers against ASU. While most people think of Oregon’s speed, you also need to look into their physical play as well. They have one of the best linebackers in the country is Casey Matthews, a very physical secondary led by John Boyett and Eddie Pleasant, and a defensive line led by end Kenny Rowe and now the emerging Brandon Bair. The key will be the defenses for both teams, but I think Chip Kelly will think up a masterful game plan for the Ducks. Expect the defense who bends a little bit less than the other to win this one.

Prediction: 38-30 Oregon

Make sure to check back on Sunday for a recap on all of the Pac-10’s games, as well for a quick preview for the Arizona game!

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