California experienced traveling east is not fun if you are not ready to play. The heat, humidity, and early kickoff did not bode well for the Bears. They went on the road and played bad against a Maryland team that should not have beat Cal.
Some Pac-10 teams find themselves on the big stage again this week and the pressure is on to once again prove that teams other than the Trojans deserve to be thought of as part of the elite in college football.
Arizona State vs. Georgia
The first thing that the Sun Devils must do is forget about their inexcusable loss to UNLV. The fact remains that on Saturday they have a game on their home field against No. 3 Georgia. If the Sun Devils win, the game against UNLV will be forgotten.
Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter has an opportunity to let the country know how good of a quarterback he is. This season Carpenter has thrown six touchdowns for 975 yards and only two interceptions. The key to this game will be the ability of the Sun Devils offensive line to give Carpenter time to throw, and Arizona States defensive line must contain Bulldogs running back Knowshon Moreno. Moreno is averaging 6.7 yards per carry and has seven touchdowns. Bulldog quarterback Matthew Stafford must show why he is considered one of the best at his position in the country. Both teams have a lot to lose if they cannot find a way to win this game.
Cal Sports Digest says…UNLV was a fluke, ASU will be ready…
Oregon vs. Boise State
The Ducks are one of the few teams that have had injuries at the quarterback position that have drastically changed their team's offensive ability in the last two years. Last season, the Ducks spread offense was just about impossible to stop with Dennis Dixon at quarterback before he got hurt. This season, projected starter Nic Costa was lost for the season with a knee injury during camp. Moreover, backup Justin Roper is lost for a few weeks after being injured in the victory over Purdue.
With problems at the quarterback, the Ducks will rely heavily on running back Jeremiah Johnson and their strong running game. Johnson is averaging 7.8 yards per carry. The Ducks defense better be prepared to stop an explosive Boise State offense. The Broncos have one of the best backs in the country in Ian Johnson. Johnson has 184 yards and three touchdowns through two games. Wide receiver Titus Young is averaging 20.3 yards per catch. Somehow, the Ducks must overcome their injuries and find a way to keep their #17 ranking.
Cal Sports Digest says…the underrated UO defense will have a big game.
Arizona at UCLA
Both teams are coming off a bad loss and now must focus on getting a win inside the conference. UCLA's woes might be mental, while the Wildcats need to have a strong belief in their ability to win games. Arizona has the edge at the quarterback position in Willie Tuitama, who has thrown for 792 yards and eight touchdowns. The Bruins need to find out who they are. Are they the team that beat Tennessee or are they the team that was held scoreless against BYU. Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel will be given three to four years to build his program, but Arizona coach Mike Stoops is expected to go to a bowl game this season and must win now.
Cal Sports Digest says…this will be ugly to watch.
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