Premier Pac-10 Games of Week 6

The Pac-10 competition is finally starting to heat up with match-ups that will start to determine the pecking order in the conference. California takes on Arizona State in a key conference battle. The spotlight will again be on the USC Trojans as they travel to Eugene to take on Oregon...

USC needs to prove to the country that they are the most talented team in the country that the so-called experts thought they were. Alternatively, if the Trojans are the type of team that can be beaten by opponents that have a good running and passing game. Teams like California, Arizona State, and Oregon must show that they have the ability to take control of the conference and end the years of Trojan dominance in the Pac-10.

Oregon State at Utah

This game is worth paying attention to for a couple of reasons. The MWC has embarrassed the Pac-10 in their head-to-head match-ups this season and it will be interesting to see if the Beavers can play with the same intensity that they played with when they upset the Trojans. Utah is 5-0 and has their sights set on possibly playing BYU on November 22 in a match-up of undefeated teams with the winner earning a BCS berth.

Utah proved they are a team to be reckoned with after they went into the Big House and beat the Michigan Wolverines, 25-23. This game against Oregon State will be the toughest test for the Utes until they meet the Cougars in November. Utah has a bruising ground game led by Matt Asiata (320 rushing yards and 6 tds) and Darrell Mack (319 rushing yards and 2 tds). The Utes' passing game is very balanced. Bradon Godfrey, Freddie Brown, and Brent Casteel have combined for 58 receptions through five games. After this game, we will find out who the real Beavers are the team that beat the number one team in the country or the team that lost to Penn State 45-14. Jacquizz Rodgers and wide receivers Shane Morales and Sammie Stroughter must have big games for the Beavers to win this game.

Cal Sports Digest says…Beavers keep it going.

Arizona State at California

Both teams are undefeated in the Pac-10 and the winner of this game will have shot at challenging for first place in the conference. The winner of this game will be one-step closer to winning the Pac-10. The Sun Devils have a very good passing game and struggle to run the ball. The Bears are a very good running team, but they have had problems advancing the ball through the air. The defensive game plans will be different for both teams.

Arizona State will focus on stopping the Bears running game and try and force Cal to pass. The Bears will concentrate on shutting down the Sun Devils air attack. Over the last few years, both programs believed they had the talent to win the conference. USC is not the only team to keep them away from the crown. The Bears and Sun Devils have unexplained losses in conference and a victory in this game will be a giant step in the right direction for either one of these teams.

The winner of this game will be very confident as they approach the rest of their schedule. Rudy Carpenter has thrown seven touchdowns and only two interceptions. He will need to have a good performance against a tough Bear secondary if ASU expects to win the game. The Bears have to get better production from their quarterback and wide receivers. The Sun Devils have good enough players on defense to stop the Bears' running game. For Cal to win, Kevin Riley or Nate Longshore will have to find a way to consistently move the Bears' offense up and down the field and put points on the board. This game should be highly competitive.

Cal Sports Digest says…Cal is nearly unbeatable at home.

Oregon at USC

The Trojans problems are more mental than physical. They are talented, but problems arise because they start reading and believing their press clippings. After the debacle in Corvallis, the Trojans will put the loss to Oregon State behind them and continue to win games. Or, if they feel their goal of a National Title is gone, they could stumble again.

Oregon has had a lot of tough luck with injuries at their quarterback position, which has hurt them the last few years. The Ducks enter this game with their third string quarterback behind center and that could put them at a disadvantage against the Trojans.

USC Head Coach Pete Carroll must focus on getting the ball to two running backs only instead of spreading the ball around to multiple backs. The Ducks have to find a way to put points on the board and they might take a page from the Beavers game plan and force-feed the ball to Jermiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount. Johnson and Blount have rushed for a total of 921 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Trojans had better be prepared to stop the Oregon running game or they could have a repeat performance of their game against the Beavers.

Cal Sports Digest says...USC bounces back with a big win.

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