California v. Oregon State
USC v. Oregon
Stanford v. UCLA
Washington State v. Arizona
The Washington schools go down to do some damage in the desert, but ironically enough it's the Cougars who have the shoe-in game while the Huskies will struggle mightily to hang in with ASU and get a highly-coveted road win. Make no mistake about it; when a team tied for first in the league plays the team that's dead last, the cellar-dweller should get squashed like a vat full of grapes during fall crush, and the Wildcats will get crushed. Let me count the ways; they are dead last in scoring offense, dead last in turnover ratio, dead last in rushing defense and they give up more sacks than any other team in the conference. Add to that the promotion of Jermaine Green on offense for the Cougs and you've got an Onterrio Smith-like back who will punish and punish an already weak Arizona D. Jason Gesser will have all day to throw and Mike Levenseller can pretty much call any play he wants with a fair amount of certainty that it will succeed. Jason Johnson, Bobby Wade and Andrae Thurman will make a big play or two, but with Clarence Farmer out it makes things pretty elementary for WSU DC Bill Doba - rush 4, sit back and go to town.
Washington State 41-7
California v. Oregon State
What to think of this one...well, it's true that Oregon State has basically collapsed all over themselves, but why? Derek Anderson hasn't totally flopped, but the end of the Arizona State game did expose him for what he is - a young, talented, but inexperienced signal-caller. The Beavs basically shut ASU's potent offense down, but that game put the 'ug' in ugly. Then there's Cal - brimming with confidence after another improbable victory - this time over bumbling and stumbling UCLA. Somebody get Bob Toledo a chair, perhaps a La-z-boy, because he's just working far too hard for these losses. There are a couple of things going in OSU's favor. First, they are playing in the friendly confines of (Reser) Bean Dip Stadium, and that place has a way of making good things happen for the Beavs. Secondly, they got a much-needed week off to heal and prepare. But is that going to help? Probably not.
The last thing Jeff Tedford wants to do is stop playing when his team is on a roll. But here's something that's odd. How can a team (Cal) be looking for a 'W' when they have the worst offensive output and give up the most yards of any team in the league? Simply put - turnovers. They are averaging 2 more than the other guys every game, and that's where they come up big. Tedford will put together a gameplan they can execute minus putting the ball on the turf, and the Golden Bears will be opportunistic on D, picking off Anderson late to seal the win.
USC v. Oregon
This one will be a no-holds-barred war to the death...and then some. Oregon needs to re-establish themselves as the team to beat in the Pac. I would venture a guess that ASU will come back down to earth sooner, rather than later, so Duck fans can find just a little bit of comfort in the fact that I doubt they'll be coming up against the Sun Devils in any sort of tie-breaker when it's all said and done. USC has already used up their one loss, and another one here at the hands of the quackers just might seal the Trojans' fate for a Marty Robbins-style New Year's ('Out in the West Texas town of El Paso...'). And just when you think the might new and improved Autzen Stadium is impervious to sleet, snow, wind, rain and all manner of disaster they end up having a devil of a time against a kid with two names. Who'd thunk it? Well, word around the league is that the Duck's D was a train wreck waiting to happen, and so it did wreck - to the tune of 590 yards total offense, and only 31 of those given up on the ground.
But give Mike Bellotti some credit - he's only lost back-to-back conference games at home once - in 1996 to UCLA and Washington, so I doubt it happens again this Saturday. When it comes down to it, Jason Fife will have to show that that nationally-ranked efficiency rating through the air is no joke. He'll have to prove it to guys like Mike Patterson. Bernard Riley. Troy Polamalu. But the key will be USC's young corners. If Samie Parker, Keenan Howry and George Wrighster can make life miserable on guys like Darrell Rideaux and Marcell Allmond, Fife can give the Ducks enough of an air attack to give Onterrio Smith the creases he needs to explode. And he's a time-bomb waiting to go off. He's been biding his time, racking up the 110, 120, 130-yard efforts, but this Saturday Onterrio Smith introduces himself to a national audience as a legitimate Heisman contender. He goes for 200 and three touchdowns and Oregon hangs on to see a 50+yard field goal attempt by Ryan Killeen go by the wayside as time expires.
Stanford v. UCLA
Wow, this game has quickly been relegated to the role of 'has-been special of the week'. UCLA - so much promise, so much talent, so much...Toledo. With Cory Paus out for the year, that means Drew Olson will get his first career start - not too shabby for a true freshman. It'll be in the friendly confines of the Rose Bowl, but also against an opportunistic Cardinal defense. Stanford is tied for third with 13 takeaways through the air. Buddy Teevens got what he wanted last weekend - a conference win at home. Now that he's tasted victory for the first time in-conference, he's hungry for more. But hold the phones a second. Stanford is giving up yardage on defense at a league-worst 5.6 yards a clip, and that's where Tyler Ebell fits into the picture. Since making his presence felt against Oregon State, Ebell has ripped off three-straight games of 100 yards rushing or more. He'll run for 200 against the Cardinal, as Toledo tries to make Olson's load as light as possible. I expect Craig Bragg and Tab Perry will come up big for the Bruins in a situation that calls for big-time players to step up, and Drew Olson will get his first win as a Bruin starter, but if he's smart he'll give the game ball to Ebell.
This Week in the Pac-10
Dawgman.com Top Stories
Week Seven INTERNal AffairsEach week, our intrepid UW intern Luke Mounger goes deep into the heart of the Husky to tackle the latest issues. This week, Luke reflects on the buzz around campus before the…
Visit List - Oregon StateWashington will host one official visitor and a handful of unofficial visitors this weekend when they take on the Oregon State Beavers...
Dawgman Predictions - Oregon StateIt's time for the Dawgman predictions. The staff has had two weeks to mull over how they see this game between the Washington Huskies and Oregon State Beavers, and to a man they…
Dawgman.comYesterday at 10:36 PM
By-The-Numbers: Oregon StateBy-The-Numbers is tan, rested and ready to get back to work! The bye week was nice and all, but I'm only happy when I'm crunching the numbers. And when looking at this Oregon State…
Dawgman.comYesterday at 10:14 PM