Premier Pac-Ten Games of Week 3

The California Golden Bears travel East to face Maryland, but much of the nation will be focused on the battle in the Coliseum. USC and Ohio State square off in the anticipated match-up in prime time on ABC. The country also gets to see if UCLA is legit when they face BYU for the third time in the last 12 months. And the Oregon Ducks play at Purdue.

This is a very big week for the Pacific-10 Conference. The top half of the conference will be on display for the entire county to watch, analyze, and compare to the SEC and Big XII.

#1 USC vs. #5 Ohio State

A lot of questions need to be answered. Will Chris "Beanie" Wells play in this game? Is Trojan quarterback Mark Sanchez the real deal? Is it possible for Ohio State to beat any team that has tremendous speed? If Wells plays, can the Buckeyes really be successful at running the ball right at the Trojans linebackers? If USC can win this game, it will solidify the Trojans as the clear-cut No. 1 team in the county.

Moreover, if they win and run the table the rest of the country will be playing for No. 2. This game might come down to the ability of Buckeye quarterback Todd Boeckman to pass the ball to receivers Ray Small and Brian Robiskie. On the other side of the ball, the Trojans receivers must finally live up to their potential. Patrick Turner and Vidal Hazelton can give Mark Sanchez tremendous help if they can have big games. It should be a tight game in the first half and expect Pete Carroll, to once again, pull off his second half magic.

Cal Sports Digest says…the Trojans pull away in the second half.

UCLA at #15 BYU

The Bruins had a bye last week, but the week before that they surprised the country by beating Tennessee 27-24 in overtime. Most people feel that victory elevated the football program to higher status. Quarterback Kevin Craft overcame four first half interceptions and played a great second half. Craft must now prove that he can go on the road and play a solid game from start to finish. The Cougars will put themselves in position to participate in a BCS game if they can beat the Bruins. BYU has one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Max Hall. He has thrown for 824 yards, five touchdowns and one interception this season. The last two games between these two teams were decided by a total of 11 points. The Bruins defense must play big in this game. The main problem with UCLA over the last few years has been their inability to play consistently.

Cal Sports Digest says…the UCLA defense will challenge BYU.

# 25 California at Maryland

The biggest factor of this game might be the fact that the game is being played at 9 a.m. PT. The Cal players could start the game a little sluggish. The Terrapins would love to put up points on the board early, but the Terrapins are only averaging fourteen points per game. Even if the Bears start slow, they should have time to get their bodies adjusted and take control of the game.

The Terrapins have a solid running game and a game breaker in Darrius Heyward-Bey at the receiver position, but the Maryland quarterbacks have not shown the ability to be able to get the ball to their playmaker. Quarterbacks Chris Turner and Jordan Steffy have combined for one touchdown pass but five interceptions. Expect Cal to lean heavily on their running game and wait for Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen to make big plays on the ground.

Cal Sports Digest says…Cal rolls to a 3-0 start.

# 14 Oregon at Purdue

The Ducks are solid team that is unknown to the rest of the country. Oregon is walking into a lively environment in West Lafayette. The Ducks went to the Big House last season and beat Michigan easily. Purdue's only game this season was against Northern Colorado and that game will not have them prepared for what Oregon has to offer. The Boilermakers have a solid quarterback in Curtis Painter who threw for 3,846 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. The Ducks defense is underrated and they should contain the Boilermaker passing attack. Oregon will rely on running back Jeremiah Johnson and receiver Jaison Williams to lead them.

Cal Sports Digest says…the Ducks represent the Pac-10 well.

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