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Pac-10 Wrap-up: Oregon’s the Favorite, but Plenty of other Contenders

Posted By Henry Childs On Oct 3 2010 @ 5:43 pm In Arizona | 4 Comments

What an exciting weekend of Pac-10 football. Despite Arizona and California having the week off, the conference produced four very solid games, led by none other than the gigantic top-10 matchup between Oregon and Stanford, as well as a sight very familiar to last year’s game that pitted Washington against USC.

First, let’s start with UCLA handling Washington State at home, 42-28. Once again, the Bruins looked dominant on the ground, churning out 437 rushing yards. To give the Cougars credit, however, they kept fighting and fighting until UCLA finally pulled away in the fourth quarter. Running back Johnathon Franklin of UCLA rushed for over 200 yards, and slashed the Cougar defense all game long.

Once again, don’t discount Washington State’s effort in this one. They have shown that they can at least compete in most of their games this season thus far. Also, UCLA is pretty good, even without Kevin Prince starting at quarterback. Watch out for them in Pac-10 play, because they are capable of pulling off the upset.

Next up is Oregon State squeaking out a win against the Sun Devils of Arizona State, 31-28. For the Beavers, it was a must-win. Quarterback Ryan Katz had his best game of his career so far, and Jacquizz Rodgers finally broke out with two touchdowns and almost 150 yards rushing. Don’t sleep on Arizona State this season, either. While they didn’t play great, they still kept up with the Beavers for the most part. If Steven Threet can stop throwing three and four interceptions per game, they can beat a lot of teams.

What a game it was in Los Angeles. Washington got by USC 32-31, and what a familiar sight it was as well. A last minute field goal doomed the Trojans. USC finally got burned just enough to lose the game, and for Jake Locker and the Huskies, this win could perhaps turn their season around.  The offense racked up 536 total yards, and although the defense still looked pretty bad, the Trojans couldn’t contain them on the ground or through the air.

This game proves how strong the Pac-10 is this season. USC, who still has loads of talent on both sides of the ball, and Washington, who has the potential number one draft pick in Jake Locker, both played good football. And both teams will be competing for the top three in the conference with Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona (and maybe even Oregon State).

Speaking of Oregon and Stanford, the fourth-ranked Ducks asserted their dominance in a 52-31 win in Eugene against the Cardinal. I had the distinct pleasure of attending the game, and let me tell you, it was an outstanding matchup. Oregon’s LaMichael James proved that he should be a Heisman candidate, and the defensive adjustments that the Ducks made at halftime proved to be too much for Stanford. Also, Darron Thomas is one heck of a quarterback. He proved that he could stay calm at all times, even when down 21-3 in the first quarter.

Here’s another pretty good quarterback: Andrew Luck. Some of the throws he made were amazing. Pure athleticism, pure concentration, and pure arm strength. In my opinion, he’s better than Jake Locker.

I was extremely impressed with how Oregon handled Stanford’s big, strong, and physical defense. They are surely the favorites to win the conference, but they’ve got a ways to go.

Next week’s games:

Arizona vs. Oregon State

Washington State vs. Oregon

California vs. UCLA

Stanford vs. USC

Washington vs. Arizona State

Come back on Thursday when I’ll have my Arizona vs. Oregon State preview!

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