Clardy's Corner: Pac-12 Midterms

As Halloween approaches, which Pac-12 teams have earned their candy? Which teams can expect a bag of rocks? It's midterm time!



PAC-12 MIDTERMS

Oregon State (0-4 Pac-12; 2-5 overall)
Treats:
QB Seth Collins can throw a mean slant route. LB Rommel Mageo has been busy. "The Drive" on the Pac-12 Networks is put together very well.
Tricks:
The Beavers are a young team, and it shows. They're not strong enough, and not experienced enough right now. They struck first at Michigan in their best drive of the year, then promptly turtled.
Outlook:
They'll be better next year. But this year? Grim.
Grade:
D

Colorado (1-3; 4-4)
Treats:
The Buffs just snapped a 14-game Pac-12 losing streak and a 13-game road losing streak by beating the Beavers. They also knocked off pesky rival Colorado State in overtime.
Tricks:
Mike McIntyre guaranteed victory before facing the Wildcats. That game didn't go as planned. Their first quarter against Hawaii was one of the rougher stretches of football I've watched this year.
Outlook:
If you look closely enough, there are signs of progress. Enough progress to think they can put a scare in the Pac-12's big boys? Not right now, no.
Grade:
D+

Washington (1-3; 3-4)
Treats:
Led by LB Azeem Victor, the Huskies defense is quick, active, and problematic for opposing offenses. True freshman RB Myles Gaskin has been impressive. Knocking off the Trojans in Los Angeles had to be extra special.
Tricks:
Remember when the Huskies had more quarterbacks than they knew what to do with? Remember when they had an offensive line that would just destroy people? Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it? Getting mashed by the Cardinal had to be a big blow.
Outlook:
Good enough to cause anybody problems, but not good enough to win, the Huskies seem stuck in football purgatory for another season.
Grade:
C-

Arizona (2-3; 5-3)
Treats:
As you would expect from a Rich Rodriguez-coached squad, the offense can move the ball. QB Jerrard Randall is especially effective as a runner. RB Jared Baker has become a touchdown machine of late.
Tricks:
QB Anu Solomon's concussion didn't help matters much, but losing LB Scooby Wright set the spiral in motion. Next thing you knew, they were getting massacred by the Bruins on national TV.
Outlook:
With the Trojans, the Utes, and the Sun Devils still on the schedule, Arizona still has chances to climb into the South race. But to this point, the Wildcats have yet to prove they can make that move.
Grade:
C

USC (2-2; 4-3)
Treats:
When the Trojans win, they win big; their average margin of victory is over 36 points. They're the only undefeated team in Pac-12 South play. They ripped the Sun Devils' hearts out. The talent is there, with QB Cody Kessler and WR Juju Smith-Schuster leading the way. LB Cameron Smith played out of his mind in the upset of the Utes.
Tricks:
They lost to the Cardinal. Again. And they'll be looking for a permanent head coach in the offseason. Again.
Outlook:
If USC plays up to its potential, all five of its final games are winnable. Odds are, though, that they'll only play up to that potential in three of them.
Grade:
B-

Oregon (2-2; 4-3)
Treats:
QB Vernon Adams has performed capably after showing up on campus just weeks before the opener. RB Royce Freeman is a bad, bad man. And it seems like they've toned their uniforms down somewhat.
Tricks:
Any quarterback who took snaps that wasn't named Vernon Adams. A secondary that looks completely out of place. Two shocking losses at home.
Outlook:
No matter what happens, in many Duck fans' minds, this is already a lost season in Eugene.
Grade:
B-

Arizona State (2-2; 4-3)
Treats:
LB Salamo Fiso may be the Pac-12's best defender you don't know about. WR D.J. Foster has been a steady contributor. After getting poleaxed by USC, they rebounded with a big win in Pasadena. RB Kalen Ballage carried the entire Bruin defense into the end zone with him; it's in the conversation for Pac-12 Play of the Year.
Tricks:
It took too long for the Sun Devils to find a rhythm on offense. Instead of capitalizing when the Utes literally tried to throw the game away, Arizona State folded down the stretch in Salt Lake City. Their loss to Texas A&M gave insufferable SEC fans a direct reason to crow and claim superiority over the Pac-12.
Outlook:
We've seen glimpses from the Sun Devils, but nowhere near the whole package. A road trip to Pullman and home games against the Ducks, Wildcats, and Bears may tell the whole story.
Grade:
B-

California (2-2; 5-2)
Treats:
QB Jared Goff. Enough said there. WR Kenny Lawler makes circus catches every week. Safety Damariay Drew is a missile. And no matter what, they are almost always entertaining to watch.
Tricks:
Despite forcing a conference-high 22 turnovers, Cal's defense is average at best. A healthy Daniel Lasco at running back would have been nice to have the last few weeks. And under the biggest spotlight of his career so far, Goff threw five picks.
Outlook:
Last year, Cal went 4-1 before leveling off. This year, a 5-0 start has led to a two-game losing streak. With games against USC, Oregon, Arizona State, and the Cardinal looming, the Bears could fall into that same trap again.
Grade:
When you have an A-level offense and a C-level defense, there's only one grade I can give. B

UCLA (2-2; 5-2)
Treats:
QB Josh Rosen has hit some speed bumps, but has been impressive overall (when he's not trying to throw hut tub parties, that is). RB Paul Perkins and WR Jordan Payton are dangerous playmakers.
Tricks:
Losing Eddie Vanderdoes was bad enough. But losing Myles Jack, too? Tremendously huge blows to what could have been a very good defense. Oh, and the Cardinal made the Bruins look soft. Again.
Outlook:
At this rate, it boils down to their last two games: Utah at home, and at USC.
Grade:
B+

Washington State (3-1; 5-2)
Treats:
Their win at Eugene was one of the more entertaining games in the Pac-12 this year. QB Luke Falk is on fire. Receivers Gabe Marks, Dom Williams, and River Cracraft are making names for themselves. And they're actually running the ball, too.
Tricks:
They lost to Portland State. At home. And they should've gone for two at the end of regulation against the Ducks.
Outlook:
The Cardinal, the Sun Devils, the Bruins. The next three games will tell us about the Cougs for sure.
Grade:
B+

Utah (3-1; 6-1)
Treats:
RB Devontae Booker has been as advertised. QB Travis Wilson has played well when healthy. The defensive coaching may have changed, but the Utes still have an active defense that gets after it. You can make a case that Rice-Eccles Stadium is the toughest place to play in the Pac-12.
Tricks:
I still can't get over that throwback on the kick return against Arizona State. That silly mistake could have cost them everything.
Outlook:
There's a difference between playing well and being a great team. Utah has played well, but I never thought they were a great team even before their trip to Los Angeles. They can still have a great season, though.
Grade:
A-

Stanford (5-0; 6-1)
Treats:
Between Kevin Hogan, Christian McCaffrey, the offensive line, and the other running backs, Stanford's offense has become fun to watch again. Blake Martinez is perhaps the best individual defender in the Pac-12. The Card have clawed back, stabilized their season, and inched their way to the playoff conversation.
Tricks:
After seven games, the defense has forced only five turnovers. There is zero depth on the defensive line. And yes, Stanford still has that Week 1 performance to answer for.
Outlook:
Quite favorable, actually. There are still some obstacles, though. And what could possibly be on the line when Notre Dame comes to town on November 28?
Grade:
A-

********** ********** **********

PAC-12 PICKS

Oregon @ Arizona State (-2.5) (Thursday). The Sun Devil defense is well-equipped to deal with the Ducks' offense. But how much Royce Freeman can it take? And which QB will make the clutch throws? I like Oregon by 9.

USC (-6) @ Cal. I expect this game to come down to the wire. Then again, I had that same thought heading into Cal's game last week, too. I like Cal by 6.

Colorado @ UCLA (-21). No reason for me to pick the Buffs here, so I won't. I like UCLA by 25.

Oregon State @ Utah (-24). No reason for me to pick the Beavers here. So I won't. I like Utah by 21.

Arizona @ Washington (NL). The Husky defense will keep UW in it. But can their offense win it? I like Washington by 7.

Last week: 2-2 (straight-up), 2-2 (ATS).
This year: 12-8 (straight-up), 12-8 (ATS).

********** ********** **********


The 2015 season marks Troy Clardy’s 23rd year of following the Cardinal as a columnist, broadcaster, and announcer. Troy also calls baseball, softball, and soccer games for the Pac-12 Network. In its 14th season of Cardinal commentary, Clardy’s Corner appears Wednesdays during the college football regular season on TheBootleg.com. His “TreeCast with Troy Clardy” podcast is available for download via the Cardinal Sports Radio app from VSporto on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can also check him out online at TroyClardy.com, follow him on Twitter @TroyClardy, or Like him on Facebook.






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PAC-12 MIDTERMS

\r\n

Oregon State (0-4 Pac-12; 2-5 overall)\r\n
Treats:
QB Seth Collins can throw a mean slant route. LB Rommel Mageo has been busy. \"The Drive\" on the Pac-12 Networks is put together very well.\r\n
Tricks:
The Beavers are a young team, and it shows. They're not strong enough, and not experienced enough right now. They struck first at Michigan in their best drive of the year, then promptly turtled. \r\n
Outlook:
They'll be better next year. But this year? Grim.\r\n
Grade:
D\r\n

\r\nColorado (1-3; 4-4)\r\n
Treats:
The Buffs just snapped a 14-game Pac-12 losing streak and a 13-game road losing streak by beating the Beavers. They also knocked off pesky rival Colorado State in overtime.\r\n
Tricks:
Mike McIntyre guaranteed victory before facing the Wildcats. That game didn't go as planned. Their first quarter against Hawaii was one of the rougher stretches of football I've watched this year.\r\n
Outlook:
If you look closely enough, there are signs of progress. Enough progress to think they can put a scare in the Pac-12's big boys? Not right now, no.\r\n
Grade:
D+\r\n

\r\nWashington (1-3; 3-4)\r\n
Treats:
Led by LB Azeem Victor, the Huskies defense is quick, active, and problematic for opposing offenses. True freshman RB Myles Gaskin has been impressive. Knocking off the Trojans in Los Angeles had to be extra special.\r\n
Tricks:
Remember when the Huskies had more quarterbacks than they knew what to do with? Remember when they had an offensive line that would just destroy people? Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it? Getting mashed by the Cardinal had to be a big blow.\r\n
Outlook:
Good enough to cause anybody problems, but not good enough to win, the Huskies seem stuck in football purgatory for another season. \r\n
Grade:
C-\r\n

\r\nArizona (2-3; 5-3)\r\n
Treats:
As you would expect from a Rich Rodriguez-coached squad, the offense can move the ball. QB Jerrard Randall is especially effective as a runner. RB Jared Baker has become a touchdown machine of late.\r\n
Tricks:
QB Anu Solomon's concussion didn't help matters much, but losing LB Scooby Wright set the spiral in motion. Next thing you knew, they were getting massacred by the Bruins on national TV.\r\n
Outlook:
With the Trojans, the Utes, and the Sun Devils still on the schedule, Arizona still has chances to climb into the South race. But to this point, the Wildcats have yet to prove they can make that move.\r\n
Grade:
C\r\n

\r\nUSC (2-2; 4-3)\r\n
Treats:
When the Trojans win, they win big; their average margin of victory is over 36 points. They're the only undefeated team in Pac-12 South play. They ripped the Sun Devils' hearts out. The talent is there, with QB Cody Kessler and WR Juju Smith-Schuster leading the way. LB Cameron Smith played out of his mind in the upset of the Utes.\r\n
Tricks:
They lost to the Cardinal. Again. And they'll be looking for a permanent head coach in the offseason. Again.\r\n
Outlook:
If USC plays up to its potential, all five of its final games are winnable. Odds are, though, that they'll only play up to that potential in three of them.\r\n
Grade:
B-\r\n

\r\nOregon (2-2; 4-3)\r\n
Treats:
QB Vernon Adams has performed capably after showing up on campus just weeks before the opener. RB Royce Freeman is a bad, bad man. And it seems like they've toned their uniforms down somewhat.\r\n
Tricks:
Any quarterback who took snaps that wasn't named Vernon Adams. A secondary that looks completely out of place. Two shocking losses at home.\r\n
Outlook:
No matter what happens, in many Duck fans' minds, this is already a lost season in Eugene.\r\n
Grade:
B-\r\n

\r\nArizona State (2-2; 4-3)\r\n
Treats:
LB Salamo Fiso may be the Pac-12's best defender you don't know about. WR D.J. Foster has been a steady contributor. After getting poleaxed by USC, they rebounded with a big win in Pasadena. RB Kalen Ballage carried the entire Bruin defense into the end zone with him; it's in the conversation for Pac-12 Play of the Year.\r\n
Tricks:
It took too long for the Sun Devils to find a rhythm on offense. Instead of capitalizing when the Utes literally tried to throw the game away, Arizona State folded down the stretch in Salt Lake City. Their loss to Texas A&M gave insufferable SEC fans a direct reason to crow and claim superiority over the Pac-12.\r\n
Outlook:
We've seen glimpses from the Sun Devils, but nowhere near the whole package. A road trip to Pullman and home games against the Ducks, Wildcats, and Bears may tell the whole story.\r\n
Grade:
B-\r\n

\r\nCalifornia (2-2; 5-2)\r\n
Treats:
QB Jared Goff. Enough said there. WR Kenny Lawler makes circus catches every week. Safety Damariay Drew is a missile. And no matter what, they are almost always entertaining to watch.\r\n
Tricks:
Despite forcing a conference-high 22 turnovers, Cal's defense is average at best. A healthy Daniel Lasco at running back would have been nice to have the last few weeks. And under the biggest spotlight of his career so far, Goff threw five picks.\r\n
Outlook:
Last year, Cal went 4-1 before leveling off. This year, a 5-0 start has led to a two-game losing streak. With games against USC, Oregon, Arizona State, and the Cardinal looming, the Bears could fall into that same trap again.\r\n
Grade:
When you have an A-level offense and a C-level defense, there's only one grade I can give. B\r\n

\r\nUCLA (2-2; 5-2)\r\n
Treats:
QB Josh Rosen has hit some speed bumps, but has been impressive overall (when he's not trying to throw hut tub parties, that is). RB Paul Perkins and WR Jordan Payton are dangerous playmakers.\r\n
Tricks:
Losing Eddie Vanderdoes was bad enough. But losing Myles Jack, too? Tremendously huge blows to what could have been a very good defense. Oh, and the Cardinal made the Bruins look soft. Again.\r\n
Outlook:
At this rate, it boils down to their last two games: Utah at home, and at USC.\r\n
Grade:
B+\r\n

\r\nWashington State (3-1; 5-2)\r\n
Treats:
Their win at Eugene was one of the more entertaining games in the Pac-12 this year. QB Luke Falk is on fire. Receivers Gabe Marks, Dom Williams, and River Cracraft are making names for themselves. And they're actually running the ball, too.\r\n
Tricks:
They lost to Portland State. At home. And they should've gone for two at the end of regulation against the Ducks.\r\n
Outlook:
The Cardinal, the Sun Devils, the Bruins. The next three games will tell us about the Cougs for sure.\r\n
Grade:
B+\r\n

\r\nUtah (3-1; 6-1)\r\n
Treats:
RB Devontae Booker has been as advertised. QB Travis Wilson has played well when healthy. The defensive coaching may have changed, but the Utes still have an active defense that gets after it. You can make a case that Rice-Eccles Stadium is the toughest place to play in the Pac-12.\r\n
Tricks:
I still can't get over that throwback on the kick return against Arizona State. That silly mistake could have cost them everything.\r\n
Outlook:
There's a difference between playing well and being a great team. Utah has played well, but I never thought they were a great team even before their trip to Los Angeles. They can still have a great season, though.\r\n
Grade:
A-\r\n

\r\nStanford (5-0; 6-1)\r\n
Treats:
Between Kevin Hogan, Christian McCaffrey, the offensive line, and the other running backs, Stanford's offense has become fun to watch again. Blake Martinez is perhaps the best individual defender in the Pac-12. The Card have clawed back, stabilized their season, and inched their way to the playoff conversation.\r\n
Tricks:
After seven games, the defense has forced only five turnovers. There is zero depth on the defensive line. And yes, Stanford still has that Week 1 performance to answer for.\r\n
Outlook:
Quite favorable, actually. There are still some obstacles, though. And what could possibly be on the line when Notre Dame comes to town on November 28?\r\n
Grade:
A-\r\n

********** ********** **********\r\n

\r\nPAC-12 PICKS\r\n

\r\nOregon @ Arizona State (-2.5) (Thursday). The Sun Devil defense is well-equipped to deal with the Ducks' offense. But how much Royce Freeman can it take? And which QB will make the clutch throws? I like Oregon by 9.\r\n

\r\nUSC (-6) @ Cal. I expect this game to come down to the wire. Then again, I had that same thought heading into Cal's game last week, too. I like Cal by 6.\r\n

\r\nColorado @ UCLA (-21). No reason for me to pick the Buffs here, so I won't. I like UCLA by 25.\r\n

\r\nOregon State @ Utah (-24). No reason for me to pick the Beavers here. So I won't. I like Utah by 21.\r\n

\r\nArizona @ Washington (NL). The Husky defense will keep UW in it. But can their offense win it? I like Washington by 7.\r\n

\r\nLast week: 2-2 (straight-up), 2-2 (ATS).\r\n
This year: 12-8 (straight-up), 12-8 (ATS).\r\n

\r\n\r\n********** ********** **********\r\n\r\n


The 2015 season marks Troy Clardy’s 23rd year of following the Cardinal as a columnist, broadcaster, and announcer. Troy also calls baseball, softball, and soccer games for the Pac-12 Network. In its 14th season of Cardinal commentary, Clardy’s Corner appears Wednesdays during the college football regular season on TheBootleg.com. His “TreeCast with Troy Clardy” podcast is available for download via the Cardinal Sports Radio app from VSporto on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can also check him out online at TroyClardy.com, follow him on Twitter @TroyClardy, or Like him on Facebook.

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Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com(sign-up)!

","mobileBody":" Follow @TroyClardy

PAC-12 MIDTERMS

Oregon State (0-4 Pac-12; 2-5 overall)
Treats:
QB Seth Collins can throw a mean slant route. LB Rommel Mageo has been busy. \"The Drive\" on the Pac-12 Networks is put together very well.
Tricks:
The Beavers are a young team, and it shows. They're not strong enough, and not experienced enough right now. They struck first at Michigan in their best drive of the year, then promptly turtled.
Outlook:
They'll be better next year. But this year? Grim.
Grade:
D

Colorado (1-3; 4-4)
Treats:
The Buffs just snapped a 14-game Pac-12 losing streak and a 13-game road losing streak by beating the Beavers. They also knocked off pesky rival Colorado State in overtime.
Tricks:
Mike McIntyre guaranteed victory before facing the Wildcats. That game didn't go as planned. Their first quarter against Hawaii was one of the rougher stretches of football I've watched this year.
Outlook:
If you look closely enough, there are signs of progress. Enough progress to think they can put a scare in the Pac-12's big boys? Not right now, no.
Grade:
D+

Washington (1-3; 3-4)
Treats:
Led by LB Azeem Victor, the Huskies defense is quick, active, and problematic for opposing offenses. True freshman RB Myles Gaskin has been impressive. Knocking off the Trojans in Los Angeles had to be extra special.
Tricks:
Remember when the Huskies had more quarterbacks than they knew what to do with? Remember when they had an offensive line that would just destroy people? Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it? Getting mashed by the Cardinal had to be a big blow.
Outlook:
Good enough to cause anybody problems, but not good enough to win, the Huskies seem stuck in football purgatory for another season.
Grade:
C-

Arizona (2-3; 5-3)
Treats:
As you would expect from a Rich Rodriguez-coached squad, the offense can move the ball. QB Jerrard Randall is especially effective as a runner. RB Jared Baker has become a touchdown machine of late.
Tricks:
QB Anu Solomon's concussion didn't help matters much, but losing LB Scooby Wright set the spiral in motion. Next thing you knew, they were getting massacred by the Bruins on national TV.
Outlook:
With the Trojans, the Utes, and the Sun Devils still on the schedule, Arizona still has chances to climb into the South race. But to this point, the Wildcats have yet to prove they can make that move.
Grade:
C

USC (2-2; 4-3)
Treats:
When the Trojans win, they win big; their average margin of victory is over 36 points. They're the only undefeated team in Pac-12 South play. They ripped the Sun Devils' hearts out. The talent is there, with QB Cody Kessler and WR Juju Smith-Schuster leading the way. LB Cameron Smith played out of his mind in the upset of the Utes.
Tricks:
They lost to the Cardinal. Again. And they'll be looking for a permanent head coach in the offseason. Again.
Outlook:
If USC plays up to its potential, all five of its final games are winnable. Odds are, though, that they'll only play up to that potential in three of them.
Grade:
B-

Oregon (2-2; 4-3)
Treats:
QB Vernon Adams has performed capably after showing up on campus just weeks before the opener. RB Royce Freeman is a bad, bad man. And it seems like they've toned their uniforms down somewhat.
Tricks:
Any quarterback who took snaps that wasn't named Vernon Adams. A secondary that looks completely out of place. Two shocking losses at home.
Outlook:
No matter what happens, in many Duck fans' minds, this is already a lost season in Eugene.
Grade:
B-

Arizona State (2-2; 4-3)
Treats:
LB Salamo Fiso may be the Pac-12's best defender you don't know about. WR D.J. Foster has been a steady contributor. After getting poleaxed by USC, they rebounded with a big win in Pasadena. RB Kalen Ballage carried the entire Bruin defense into the end zone with him; it's in the conversation for Pac-12 Play of the Year.
Tricks:
It took too long for the Sun Devils to find a rhythm on offense. Instead of capitalizing when the Utes literally tried to throw the game away, Arizona State folded down the stretch in Salt Lake City. Their loss to Texas A&M gave insufferable SEC fans a direct reason to crow and claim superiority over the Pac-12.
Outlook:
We've seen glimpses from the Sun Devils, but nowhere near the whole package. A road trip to Pullman and home games against the Ducks, Wildcats, and Bears may tell the whole story.
Grade:
B-

California (2-2; 5-2)
Treats:
QB Jared Goff. Enough said there. WR Kenny Lawler makes circus catches every week. Safety Damariay Drew is a missile. And no matter what, they are almost always entertaining to watch.
Tricks:
Despite forcing a conference-high 22 turnovers, Cal's defense is average at best. A healthy Daniel Lasco at running back would have been nice to have the last few weeks. And under the biggest spotlight of his career so far, Goff threw five picks.
Outlook:
Last year, Cal went 4-1 before leveling off. This year, a 5-0 start has led to a two-game losing streak. With games against USC, Oregon, Arizona State, and the Cardinal looming, the Bears could fall into that same trap again.
Grade:
When you have an A-level offense and a C-level defense, there's only one grade I can give. B

UCLA (2-2; 5-2)
Treats:
QB Josh Rosen has hit some speed bumps, but has been impressive overall (when he's not trying to throw hut tub parties, that is). RB Paul Perkins and WR Jordan Payton are dangerous playmakers.
Tricks:
Losing Eddie Vanderdoes was bad enough. But losing Myles Jack, too? Tremendously huge blows to what could have been a very good defense. Oh, and the Cardinal made the Bruins look soft. Again.
Outlook:
At this rate, it boils down to their last two games: Utah at home, and at USC.
Grade:
B+

Washington State (3-1; 5-2)
Treats:
Their win at Eugene was one of the more entertaining games in the Pac-12 this year. QB Luke Falk is on fire. Receivers Gabe Marks, Dom Williams, and River Cracraft are making names for themselves. And they're actually running the ball, too.
Tricks:
They lost to Portland State. At home. And they should've gone for two at the end of regulation against the Ducks.
Outlook:
The Cardinal, the Sun Devils, the Bruins. The next three games will tell us about the Cougs for sure.
Grade:
B+

Utah (3-1; 6-1)
Treats:
RB Devontae Booker has been as advertised. QB Travis Wilson has played well when healthy. The defensive coaching may have changed, but the Utes still have an active defense that gets after it. You can make a case that Rice-Eccles Stadium is the toughest place to play in the Pac-12.
Tricks:
I still can't get over that throwback on the kick return against Arizona State. That silly mistake could have cost them everything.
Outlook:
There's a difference between playing well and being a great team. Utah has played well, but I never thought they were a great team even before their trip to Los Angeles. They can still have a great season, though.
Grade:
A-

Stanford (5-0; 6-1)
Treats:
Between Kevin Hogan, Christian McCaffrey, the offensive line, and the other running backs, Stanford's offense has become fun to watch again. Blake Martinez is perhaps the best individual defender in the Pac-12. The Card have clawed back, stabilized their season, and inched their way to the playoff conversation.
Tricks:
After seven games, the defense has forced only five turnovers. There is zero depth on the defensive line. And yes, Stanford still has that Week 1 performance to answer for.
Outlook:
Quite favorable, actually. There are still some obstacles, though. And what could possibly be on the line when Notre Dame comes to town on November 28?
Grade:
A-

********** ********** **********

PAC-12 PICKS

Oregon @ Arizona State (-2.5) (Thursday). The Sun Devil defense is well-equipped to deal with the Ducks' offense. But how much Royce Freeman can it take? And which QB will make the clutch throws? I like Oregon by 9.

USC (-6) @ Cal. I expect this game to come down to the wire. Then again, I had that same thought heading into Cal's game last week, too. I like Cal by 6.

Colorado @ UCLA (-21). No reason for me to pick the Buffs here, so I won't. I like UCLA by 25.

Oregon State @ Utah (-24). No reason for me to pick the Beavers here. So I won't. I like Utah by 21.

Arizona @ Washington (NL). The Husky defense will keep UW in it. But can their offense win it? I like Washington by 7.

Last week: 2-2 (straight-up), 2-2 (ATS).
This year: 12-8 (straight-up), 12-8 (ATS).

********** ********** **********


The 2015 season marks Troy Clardy’s 23rd year of following the Cardinal as a columnist, broadcaster, and announcer. Troy also calls baseball, softball, and soccer games for the Pac-12 Network. In its 14th season of Cardinal commentary, Clardy’s Corner appears Wednesdays during the college football regular season on TheBootleg.com. His “TreeCast with Troy Clardy” podcast is available for download via the Cardinal Sports Radio app from VSporto on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can also check him out online at TroyClardy.com, follow him on Twitter @TroyClardy, or Like him on Facebook.






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