Thursday, September 25

Pac 10: Week 5 preview

USC @ Oregon State
Oregon State has had serious difficulty on defense stopping the run, and that doesn't bode well for a team who averaged better than 5 yards per carry against Ohio State. (Buckeye... yes, we're still doing that.) Expect McKnight & Co to have big days and USC to rack up yet another decisive victory.

Fresno State @ UCLA
Fresno State got beaten at hom by Wisconsin, then had a crazy 2OT game against a Toledo team most expected they'd handle easily. (Then again, Steele called the upset, so frankly I'm impressed that the Bulldogs even won.) UCLA has been downright awful in 11 of 12 quarters this year. This may be a Bulldogs statement game, although by now they have little chance of making the BCS.

Colorado State @ Cal
After being run out of Invesco by their rival Colorado, CSU has rebounded for a pair of close wins over Sacramento State and Houston. Meanwhile, Cal is looking to get back on the track they were on after two games, when they outscored Michigan State and Washington State 104-34. The tale of the tape shows that CSU is getting outgained both on the ground and in the air; meanwhile Cal has a +117 rushing ypg edge over their opponents - which, by the way, includes Javon Ringer. Cal managed to lose to Maryland despite a +164 yardage and +1 turnover advantage. Both teams missed one FG and Cal was +100 in return yardage. Penalties swung 50 yards in Maryland's favor, but that doesn't seem like it'd offset everything else... frankly, I'm still puzzled by this loss. But there should be no puzzlement here, Cal wins easily.

Oregon @ Washington State
Both teams have suffered major injuries at the QB position, and with new signal-callers running both offenses, this one could get ugly. Oregon has talent at RB and WR though, and one of the better-performing offensive lines in the conference. Washington State hasn't really performed well at any position. Expect the Ducks to walk... er, waddle... here.

Stanford @ Washington
Washington is the last remaining team in the Pac 10 without a victory, and I expect them to get that W at home against the Trees! Stanford does not have the firepower to outscore Jake Locker and they do not have a defense that can deal with this kind of threat at QB.