Week 2 Pac-12 - SJSU at Stanford & More
Week 2 Pac-12 Fearless Predictions - San Jose State vs. Stanford & More
Central Arkansas (1-0) at Colorado (1-0) Sept. 7, 8:00, Pac-12 Network
Why You Should Give A Hoot: Colorado is coming off a solid victory over in-state rival Colorado State, where the Buffs threw for 400 yards. Putting up 41 points is more than respectable and we should expect the same type of output.
Why Central Arkansas Might Win: Coming off 523 yards of total offense in its 58-7 victory over Incarnate was a great start, but they get a major step up in play this weekend. Still, they had several huge plays on offense that should keep a Colorado defense on its toes.
Why Colorado Might Win: This team can surprise America by putting 100 points on the board combined after the first two games. Not only is it possible, but very likely with the way it performed this past weekend. New head coach Mike MacIntyre is a great underdog story with the way he carried San Jose State to national relevancy. He may need some time to do to the same for Colorado, but bank on some success as they go through the growing pains. This should be the easiest victory of the season by far for the Buffs.
Who To Watch Out For: Colorado WR Paul Richardson.
Richardson played like a man possessed against Colorado State and do not be shocked to see him post gaudy numbers through one half of football in the second week. He came off a torn ACL last season and had to miss the majority of the year, so to see him go nuts in the first weekend of the season was great. Colorado was unstoppable when passing the ball and nothing will change in this matchup thanks to the blazing speed of Richardson.
What Will Happen: This game will be a blowout at halftime, so there is nothing out of the ordinary in this matchup. Colorado will be fighting for a bowl bid this season if they can upset a few teams in the Pac-12. The must win this game first and expect nothing short of a beatdown.
Prediction: Colorado 49 … Central Arkansas 10
Line: Line: Colorado -13.5 o/u: 60
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann … 1 Total Divas) … 1
Hawaii (0-1) at Oregon State (0-1) Sept. 7, 8:00, Pac-12 Network
Why You Should Give A Hoot: It was a solid opening week in the Pac-12 … unless you reside around Corvallis. Oregon State suffered arguably its lowest point in the Mike Riley era, falling to Eastern Washington of the FCS on a touchdown with 18 seconds left. The Beavers were in the same position two years, losing to Sacramento State, and never recovered in what would become a 3-9 campaign. Riley needs to avoid a repeat with a swift recovery in September. Hawaii will be playing its second straight game against a Pac-12 opponent, dropping last Thursday's opener to USC, 30-13.
Why Hawaii Might Win: The Warriors showed a lot of heart and grit against the Trojans, keeping things competitive into the second half. Their defense, led by LB Art Laurel and DT Siasau Matagiese, prevented Troy's quarterbacks and skill players from taking the game over. Hawaii now faces an Oregon State team whose defense and psyche are in shambles.
Why Oregon State Might Win: Okay, deep breath. Yeah, it was bad, but the Beavers aren't as futile as they looked on Saturday. This is a program with plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, and a chance to regroup. Lost in the final score was the performance of the passing. QB Sean Mannion went 37-of-43 for 422 yards, three touchdowns and no picks, hitting three different receivers at least eight times.
Who To Watch Out For: Oregon State couldn't stop athletic EWU QB Vernon Adams. Hawaii QB Taylor Graham doesn't present the same problems.
- The Beavers are getting back one of the Pac-12 top centers, Isaac Seumalo, who missed the opener with an injury.
- Mannion to Brandin Cooks is going to be one of the most dynamic pitch-and-catch combos all season long. Cooks was unstoppable last week, making 13 grabs for 196 yards and two scores.
- LB Michael Doctor was everywhere for the Beavers last weekend, but where was DE Scott Crichton? Oregon State needs more production from its best pass rusher.
What Will Happen: Oregon State is set to restore some order after the opening week debacle at Reser Stadium. The good news is that Hawaii presents fewer challenges for the Beavers D than Eastern Washington did. Mannion and the offense will take care of the rest, strafing the Warriors with an array of pretty passes to the wide receivers and tight ends.
Prediction: Oregon State 45 … Hawaii 17
Line: Oregon State -27 o/u: 53.5
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2
Arizona (1-0) at UNLV (0-1) Sept. 7, 10:30, CBS Sports Network
Why You Should Give A Hoot: While not a thing of beauty, Arizona is happy to get that first win in the books, blanking Northern Arizona, 35-0. The opener gave head coach Rich Rodriguez and the staff to review where the Wildcats need to improve in September, beginning with a passing game that produced just 87 yards. Arizona's gradual step up in competition continues with this week's visit to Las Vegas. UNLV was a Week 1 microcosm of the Mountain West, losing at Minnesota, 51-23. The pressure continues to mount on head coach Bobby Hauck, who won just two games in each of his first three seasons.
Why Arizona Might Win: The Wildcats figure to execute much better on offense this week. They've got four quarters of work behind them, and, oh, the return from suspension of RB Ka'Deem Carey is going to help as well. The nation's reigning rushing champ is itching to get back on the field to face a Rebels defense that just got done allowing 221 yards rushing and 5.8 yards per carry to the Golden Gophers.
Why UNLV Might Win: Don't be fooled by the shutout pitched by Arizona last week. The defense is still a work in progress in Tucson. The Rebels opened with more than 400 yards versus a Big Ten D, and they're capable of balancing their attack with the passing of Nick Sherry and the running of Tim Cornett and Shaquille Murray-Lawrence. The ‘Cats remain suspect at the point of attack.
Who To Watch Out For: Arizona could labor all season to move the ball through the air. QB B.J. Denker is a better runner, plus the receiving corps sorely misses injured Austin Hill and David Richards.
- Carey has first-round NFL talent, but a free agent head at times. This is a different team when No. 25 is on the field, bringing optimism to the entire program.
- S Tra'Mayne Bondurant is a special player for Arizona and an ideal fit for coordinator Jeff Casteel's 3-3-5 alignment. Bondurant earned Pac-12 Player of the Week, returning one of his two picks for six.
What Will Happen: Arizona would win at Sam Boyd Stadium without Carey. With the junior, the Wildcats ought to win comfortably. Still lacking balance, the Wildcats will lean heavy on Carey, Daniel Jenkins and the balance of the ground game. The inconsistency of the turnover-prone Sherry will feed into Arizona's aggressive nature, resulting in a spate of costly turnovers.
Prediction: Arizona 41 … UNLV 21
Line: Arizona -10 o/u: 61
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2
San Jose State (1-0) at Stanford (0-0) Sept. 7, 11:00, Pac-12 Network
Why You Should Give A Hoot: After sitting out the opening weekend of the 2013 season, No. 5 Stanford gets its first chance to advertise its potential as a Pac-12 and national championship contender in the Bill Walsh Legacy Game. The Cardinal has gone a staggering 35-5 over the past three seasons, evolving into one of college football's powerhouse programs. San Jose State opened its first season under head coach Ron Caragher with a ho-hum 24-0 victory over Sacramento State. The Spartans, fresh off a remarkable 11-2 campaign, have predictably struggled versus rival Stanford, losing nine of the last 10 meetings.
Why San Jose State Might Win: The Spartans have had a knack for playing the Cardinal tough, losing to last season's Pac-12 champs by just a field goal. San Jose State boasts difference-makers on all three units, from future NFL QB David Fales and CB Bene Benwikere to P Harrison Waid. This is a grown-up squad, with the parts and the demeanor to hang with one of the nation's premier programs.
Why Stanford Might Win: What makes the Cardinal so tough is that it's rugged and physical in the trenches, and it has no obvious weaknesses. This is close to a complete team, with a rock-solid D and a stable of 215-pound backs to keep the chains moving. San Jose State's biggest concern late Saturday night will be keeping Fales clean. The Spartans don't have nearly enough talent up front to slow down the wave of Cardinal that includes Ben Gardner, Trent Murphy, Shayne Skov and Henry Anderson.
Who To Watch Out For: San Jose State has Fales behind center. Stanford has Kevin Hogan. There's hope that Hogan will begin evolving as a passer in 2013.
- The Spartans' run defense is underrated, but Stanford presents all kinds of challenges. Not only is the Cardinal line among the toughest in America, but backs Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson are pile-drivers.
- This is obviously a crucial game for Fales' future. Accurate and polished in his mechanics, he'll need to avoid the kinds of mistakes that Stanford DBs Ed Reynolds and Alex Carter can turn into momentum-killing turnovers.
What Will Happen: This is a tricky opener for Stanford, which doesn't have the luxury of a game under its belt. Plus, San Jose State houses enough veteran leaders to keep this game competitive past halftime. However, the Cardinal has the ability to wear down opponents from both sides of the ball. It'll bully the Spartans on the ground, and it'll win the turnover battle en route to a hard-fought win.
Prediction: Stanford 32 … San Jose State 16
Line: Stanford -26.5 o/u: 49
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 3