Arizona State v. USC
Oregon State v. Stanford
Arizona v. California
Gee, just when it looked like it could get any more desparate down in the desert, the Wildcats pull a mutiny on John Mackovic. Big Mack will stay at least long enough for the season to end, where the chances of him keeping his job are about as good as Vin Baker getting a double-double. And they find themselves in Jeff Tedford's crosshairs, the mad scientist that took care of Arizona State like it was no big deal. This has the makings of a REALLY UGLY scene in Berkeley. Mackovic has to be thanking his own personal god that this game is away from Tucson, because if they get shut out 60-0 he might as well just spin a globe, close his eyes and play 'Wherever my finger lands, that's where I'm going'. They are last in total offense, averaging 1.5 yards per carry on the ground. They've scored FOUR touchdowns via the run this year. FOUR. They have three interceptions to their credit defensively. THREE. Think about this. Washington, for all their ineptitude in snatching away passes, has 12. Heck, they had almost double the Wildcats' season total LAST WEEK. They could be playing anybody and it's going to be 60-0, but since it's Cal, and since they beat the Sun Devils last week - it's a mortal lock.
Arizona State v. USC
If the Sun Devils had taken care of business last week this game could have been a real showdown. As it stands, ASU can still play spoiler, but their shot at a big post-season payday are gone. Both the Devils and Bruins are staring El Paso straight in the face, and if they lose in LA this weekend that's the best they'll be assured of, even if all the teams in front of them have a Husky Stadium-type collapse. But Lost Wages isn't a bad consolation prize. For the Men of Troy, they are on a roll, especially on offense. Mike Williams has done the number one proud for true freshman everywhere, picking right up where Reggie Williams left off. In fact, the Florida frosh is battling the super soph from Washington when it comes to receptions per game and yards per game. Carson Palmer has finally hit his stride and is making the most of his talented receiving corps. He's playing so well right now, he's even made Malaefou MacKenzie look good. Dirk Koetter will put his own super soph to the test, and Andrew Walter will be able to throw for some yards against USC's inexperienced corners. But Koetter and DC Brent Guy don't have an answer for Palmer. He'll go anywhere he wants all day long, and the Trojans will only need a few three and outs to turn this one into a laugher.
Oregon State v. Stanford
All I can say here is YUCK. Oregon State is motivated to come out and play strong, especially QB Derek Anderson. I'm sure he feels he has a lot to prove in the wake of a 5-pick effort against the Washington Huskies. And the Cardinal are giving up 255 yards per game against the pass, so there's room for Anderson to get his yards. But the scarier proposition for co-DC's Tom Williams and Mark Banker is what OSU could do to them on the run. There's only two teams in the Pac-10 who give up more yards per carry than Stanford - UCLA and Arizona. Steven Jackson and Dwight Wright will get 200 yards combined rushing against this defense. With that much ground gained via the run, that should allow Oregon State OC Tim Lappano to give Anderson the confidence he needs with a short, low-risk passing attack. That gameplan should allow the Beavers to slowly push the Cardinal around and grind out a workmanlike win. With Stanford dead last in third-down conversions, Richard Seigler and Nick Barnett should be able to work from side to side and take away any run game Buddy Teevens tries to establish. Kenneth Tolon's rolled ankle isn't going to help Teevens' cause. That will force Kyle Matter to win the game with his arm, and who does that favor? You guessed it.
Oregon State 38-13
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