Oregon at Stanford
The Ducks have rolled through the Pac 10 this year in dominating fashion and now take thoer show on the road to Palo Alto play a tough Stanford team. We all know that it is pretty tough to stop the Stanford running game and QB Andrew Luck is becoming more proficient each week as a passing threat. A track meet against Arizona two weeks ago shows that the Cardinals know how to score against a good defense. Defensively Stanford is a scrappy and physical group. Coming off a bye week that Cardinal should be pretty fresh for this game. The question is of course can they slow down the Oregon offense? It all starts with the running game and Stanford faces a pretty good one each week in practice. This one is going to be closer than people think but the Ducks have too many tools in all three phases of the game to not win this one.
Oregon by 10
Oregon State at California
This is going to be a real fun game to watch. California has won its past three games but they didn't look very good at all against ASU last week. The Beavers on the other hand struggled against UCLA at home. Cal is listed as a seven point favorite at home but I have to give an edge to the Beaver offense. Both teams have put up questionable results defensively but I think the Beavers have enough speed up front to minimize damage by the Cal running game. If you control the Cal running game you control Cal.
Oregon State by 3
USC at Arizona State
The Trojans try to bounce back after the blowout in Eugene with a road game in Tempe. The ASU defense leads the league in penalties this season. Erickson uses that aggressive and quali legal play as an equlizer which forces offenses to lose their heads. ASU's offense on the other hand is going up against a USC defense that can certainly answer in the cheap shot department. The USC defense will have no problem with the ASU offense and the USC offense will be able to put up enough points on the board in this one to win going away.
USC by 14
WSU at Arizona
It is tough to be a Cougar this year and it doesn't get any better this week. While all the talk out there is about Oregon at this point the Wildcats are also firmly in the race for the Pac 10 championship. Like most WSU games this season this one will get ugly quickly be over at the half.
Arizona by 31
Washington at UCLA
Washington has not won a regular season game in Pasadena since 1995. This time they are going up against a Bruin squad that is 0-5 in conference and 3-6 on the year. UCLA is favored by 4 and a half in this one for obvious reasons. Washington has a 15 game road losing streak and as mentioned above hasn't won in Pasadena since 1995.
Another point in UCLA's favor is the health of Jake Locker who is questionable to play this weekend. If you take Jake out of the equation UW is in serious trouble if you look at the results from last season. I am pretty sure Jake will play and I am also pretty sure they won't risk his health by running him much. That means the running load firmly falls on the shoulders of Chris Polk and he needs to have career day this weekend for Washington to win this game. Washington needs balance to tame the UCLA defense. If everything falls on the shoulders of a less than mobile Jake Locker the Huskies will have problems pulling that off.
Offensively the problems with UCLA's offense have been well documented. They have a suspect offensive line and inexperience at QB. That inexperience combined with health issues has led to UCLA using as many as three different QB's in games this season. Washington needs to put pressure on the the UCLA QB and take away the UCLA running game. Washington also needs to address matchup problems with the taller UCLA WR's.
This one really comes down to how well Washington will execute on offense and how many turnovers we can pick up against the woeful UCLA offense. The bye week has helped the Huskies get fresh for this one and the Bruins onthe other hand don't have the advantage of that. As of today it looks like Jake should be fine for Saturday so I have to go with Washington.
Huskies by 7