This Week in the Pac-10: Week 10

Well, it's time for the rubber to meet the road this coming weekend. As one team will be heading out the backdoor and possibly two others may be the victims of away-game upsets if the Pac-10 gods have a sick sense of humor which, based on some of this year's previous results, isn't entirely out of the question. On to the match ups!

Oregon v. UCLA
Washington v. Oregon State
Washington State v. Arizona State
Stanford v. Arizona
USC v. California
Current Pac-10 Standings

Oregon v. UCLA

The game of the week in the Pac-10, the Eugene Quackers head south to LA to hook up with a stumbling Bruin team desperately in need of some good fortune. They literally had insult added to injury last Saturday, losing to Washington State and losing one of their top receivers, Tab Perry, to broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung. With Brian Poli-Dixon questionable for Oregon, that means whoever is quarterbacking the Bruins - Paus, McEwan or McCann - will have little in the way of reliable threats when they go to the air. Expect BPD to play, but he will certainly be at less than full strength. What that means is that former UCLA DC Nick Aliotti can focus his Gang Green on one person - DeShaun Foster. The Cougs did that last week and held him to 42 yards below his average. That pretty much spells gloom and doom for the Brew Crew, so the only way they have a prayer is by holding the Oregon offense in check. As it usually is with most games, the team with the experienced QB will prevail, and this game will be no different. Harrington will methodically shut down UCLA with a mix of run and pass, and Onterrio Smith will out duel Foster in the Rose Bowl.

Oregon 28-14

Washington v. Oregon State

The Huskies are floating on cloud 9 after pulling out a hard-fought victory over Stanford, but they can't sit on their hands for one second as they head down to the Valley of Salsa for an intriguing match up with a Beaver team looking for answers and a way to regroup after losing a game they shouldn't have against USC. The kicking game let OSU down in a big way, and that's just the type of situation the Dawgs can take advantage of if a field goal attempt is botched, or a snap decides to go over Carl Tobey's head. But the Beavs have a fairly unknown quantity in true frosh Stephen Jackson, and Jackson had quite a bit of success in SoCal and Tim Hundley should be preparing for Ken Simonton, Pat McCall and Jackson to all play. The plus for Hundley is that Oregon State's offensive prowess has been average at best, so he should be able to bring Owen Biddle up to stop the run, forcing Jonathan Smith to win the game through the air. With James Newson as Smith's only reliable target (45 receptions), players like Tim Euhus, Cole Clasen, Seth Trimmer, Josh Hawkins and Shawn Kintner will have to step up. For the Huskies, the key match up will be through the air, where the 13th best pass offense in the country (Washington) will hook up with the 32nd toughest pass defense (Oregon State). This is the same pass defense that held Jason Gesser to less than 100 yards passing and Jeff Krohn to less than 200. A healthy Reggie Williams, the comeback of Jerramy Stevens, and a positive rushing game are all going to have to be in place for the Dawgs to come away with a precious 'W'. Washington wins, but it won't be pretty.

Washington 28-21

Washington State v. Arizona State

Just like the Huskies, the Cougars go into unfriendly territory against a team that is struggling but can be dangerous if not respected. Devil QB Jeff Krohn was held out of most of the Oregon game due to a concussion, but will start against Washington State. How long he can go will be the key - if he can play the whole way and play effectively, ASU has a chance. With skill guys like Delvon Flowers, Tom Pace, Shaun McDonald and Donnie O'Neal, Krohn has weapons. And at almost 37 points per game, they know how to find the end zone. But there's the rub - the defense also lets opposing offenses know where the end zone is with uncanny regularity lately - three weeks ago it was just 24 points, but two weeks ago it was 31 and last week against the Quack Attack the Devils' defense gave up a whopping 42 large ones. Going up against Washington State, the 7th best scoring offense in the country, the task ASU DC Brent Guy faces is not an enviable one. The Cougs know they control a lot of their own destiny if they win out, so Mike Price shouldn't have to work too hard getting his troops ready for this game, but he will need to re-establish some offensive spark early, as the normally potent Cougs toughed out only 276 total yards against UCLA last weekend. That's roughly 180 yards less than what they have been averaging this year. Jason Gesser proved to be a solid threat running the ball against the Bruins, and he'll need to be counted on again, as ASU's Terrell Suggs will be looking for him early and often. Unfortunately for Suggs, the rest of the Devils' D hasn't been as effective as he has this year, and the Cougs shouldn't have much trouble handling ASU on the road, as long as they come in under control.

Washington State 40-27

Stanford v. Arizona

The Cardinal limp down to Tucson with visions of a conference championship dashed but a lot of pride to play for, especially for their fallen warrior, safety Simba Hodari. They can also claim a pretty nice bowl consolation prize if they win out, so Tyrone Willingham will have his guys ready to play. Will the same be said for John Mackovic and the Wildcats? I think so, especially when there's an outside shot at a bowl berth if they win out, but Stanford will make mincemeat of those dreams with a thorough whitewashing in the desert. The 'Cats show up with the 104th best pass defense in the country, music to Tree signal-caller Chris Lewis, a man who has been really beat up of late. Give him some time and receivers like Teyo Johnson, Ryan Wells and Luke Powell to look for, and it will be a very long day for Mackovic and company. One thing Arizona does have going for them is that they just beat up on the conference punching bag, California, so they are feeling good about themselves. That should be worth a few points for the 'Cats, but it won't be enough, as the Trees bounce back with Lewis at the helm. The key match up will be how much success the Cardinal run game against a Wildcat team that surrenders less than 130 yards per game. I think Brian Allen has another 100-yard effort and that will give Lewis time to go downfield with success.

Stanford 38-30

USC v. California

Do I need to talk about this one? If there was ever a game that warranted negative points for value or interest, this would be the one. I guess it does mean something to USC, who at 4-5 need to win out to be bowl eligible. Where would they go at 6-5? The Humanitarian Bowl? Sounds about right to me. And I suppose this game will be of some import to Bears fans, as it will be the last time they'll get to hug their battered and bruised Head Coach, Tom Holmoe, who has announced that he'll resign at the end of the season. That was about as surprising as a non-sellout at Stanford Stadium. What would actually be a shocker is if Cal won, but that's not going to happen and everyone knows it. Cal's defense (if you want to call it that) has been giving up over 41 points a game to the opposition, so even Chris Howard will get yards on Saturday. And while Carson Palmer usually runs like Peyton Manning, I suspect Cal's defense will make Carson look more like Peyton's dad. And it won't matter if Kyle Boller or even Jesus himself showed up in cleats, Al Borges has made enough of a mess of the Cal offense that not even the big guy upstairs could fix it in 60 minutes. Try more like 60 months.

USC 45-7

	        Conference Games       All Games
	        W  L   Pct. Pts. Opp   W  L   Pct. Pts. Opp  Streak
Oregon           5  1  0.833 243  147   8  1  0.889 336  206   Won 2
Washington State 5  1  0.833 215  145   8  1  0.889 345  200   Won 1
Washington       5  1  0.833 177  174   7  1  0.875 253  195   Won 3
Stanford         4  2  0.667 226  201   5  2  0.714 264  223  Lost 1
UCLA             3  2  0.600 171   95   6  2  0.750 245  135  Lost 2
USC              3  3  0.500 167  136   4  5  0.444 210  183   Won 2
Oregon State     2  4  0.333 128  142   3  5  0.375 179  208  Lost 1
Arizona State    1  4  0.200 141  198   4  4  0.500 295  247  Lost 2
Arizona          1  5  0.167 152  245   4  5  0.444 249  305   Won 1
California       0  6  0.000 106  243   0  8  0.000 139  331  Lost 8 Top Stories