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Mr Pac-10’s Weekly Review
Sack by Korey Bosworth and Alterraun Verner
Mr Pac Ten
Posted Sep 2, 2008

Collegefootballnews’ Matthew Smith Reviews all the Pac-10 Games, Week One

UCLA: This simply wasn’t supposed to be a good team, and yet they picked up a huge upset over Tennessee. Huge first win for the Neuheisel era.
Arizona: It’s just Idaho, but for one week this team looked great.
USC: Major beatdown at Virginia. Nice work.
Cal: This was a much better performance than the score indicated.
Oregon: Nice game by the Ducks.

Stanford: Winning a game is very important for this team, but there’s plenty of work left to do.
Arizona St: An unremarkable game.

Oregon St: A very bad performance, but there were some good signs.
Washington: Yuck.
Washington St: Yuck against a mediocre team.

@ Stanford 36, Oregon St (-3) 28
my pick: @ Stanford 24, Oregon St 21
What to take from this:
If you’re Oregon St:

There are some very serious issues that came out in this game. Moevao hurt this team time and time again with too many bad decisions. The run defense got shredded early and often. The interior running game got shut down. And the pass defense wasn’t tested (Stanford beat themselves through the air me than the Beavers shut them down). That said, the receivers looked great, which is a big deal. But the big thing to take from this game was how hard they fought, over and over again. There were many points in this game where they could have simply given up and moved on to the next game, but they kept fighting and nearly pulled off the comeback. Especially given how tough their early schedule will be, that’s a very big deal.
If you’re Stanford:
Certainly not a pretty win, but at this point, the most important thing was that it WAS a win. The defense needs to do better against good receivers and against the outside running game. And they need to figure out how to effectively throw the ball, because they basically did nothing through the air. But the running game looked very good, the run defense was strong, and now they only need five more wins to get a 13th game.

@ Oregon (-14) 44, Washington 10
my pick: @ Oregon 37, Washington 27

What to take from this:
If you’re Washington:

It’s back to the drawing board. Offense was Jake Locker through the air and Jake Locker through the ground, and it was obvious that it simply wasn’t enough. But the real problem was defense. For the first half it wasn’t bad, but once Oregon got going the Huskies simply couldn’t do anything to stop them. BYU won’t be as tough as the Ducks, but they’re going to be a very tough team to knock off, and now the Huskies really need to get a win and soon.
If you’re Oregon:
This was a solid win for the Ducks. The offense produced very well, with Jeremiah Johnson running well and the passing game putting up good numbers under both quarterbacks. Just as importantly, the defense shut down Jake Locker and the Husky offense except for a short period during the second quarter. It may just be that Washington isn’t good, but this is a very good first sign.

@ Cal (-5) 38, Michigan St 31
my pick: @ Cal 24, Michigan St 14

What to take from this:
Despite all the yards and points, I was really impressed by Cal’s defense. They basically shut down the Spartans until early in the fourth. On offense, the Bears also played very well. Obviously after Longshore’s awful performance they need to figure out a backup QB because right now he’s not the answer. Still, the passing game worked, the running game worked, and the defense worked (except late). This was a much more dominating performance than the scoreboard indicated. A very good sign for the weeks to come.

@ UCLA (+7) 27, Tennessee 24 (OT)
my pick: Tennessee 31, @ UCLA 10

What to take from this:
Before you get too excited, remember that Tennessee lost this game just as much as UCLA won it. The Vols had too many dropped or missed passes and defensive breakdowns (plus a red zone fumble and missed FG to end the game), and basically just couldn’t seem to play well on either side of the ball. That said, this was a heck of an effort by the Bruins. This was a game they weren’t even supposed to compete in; a Volunteer team that was far more experienced was supposed to win easily.
And yet, they found a way. Even after Kevin Craft totally self-destructed in the first half, somehow he turned it around and led his team on multiple drives down the field in key moment after key moment. There are plenty of landmines ahead for this team, and they suffered injuries that they simply could not afford, but it really feels like this team will find a way to compete. Six wins is still not guaranteed, but it looks like these guys are going to be a very tough out, every week they play.

Oklahoma St 39, @ Washington St (+7.5) 13
my pick: @ Washington St 35, Oklahoma St 31

What to take from this:
Yuck. Really poor performance by the Cougars. The defense wasn’t that bad, though they got burned me often than they’d like through the air. But the offense was really poor, both through the air and the ground, against a Cowboy team that is well-known for consistently playing poor defense. And the special teams was a flat-out disaster. They need to figure things out real quick, because right now there’s not a guaranteed win on their schedule except for Portland St.

USC (-19) 52, @ Virginia 7
USC 34, @ Virginia 10

What to take from this:
This was an absolutely dominating win over the Cavs. It’s possible that Virginia simply isn’t good, but this is still a very good performance in a cross-country road trip in a hostile environment. At the least it was a great warmup for Ohio St, and could very well be a prelude to a great season.

@ Arizona (-27) 70, Idaho 0
my pick: @ Arizona 42, Idaho 10

What to take from this:
They beat the heck out of a terrible team in Idaho. Good first step, but we won’t know much until they get some stiffer competition. That said, if they can keep up this play they might not get seriously tested until they hit six wins and bowl eligibility.

@ Arizona St (NL) 30, NAU 13
@ Arizona St 45, NAU 3

What to take from this:
Nothing. They got what they need in controlling it early, and found out that their second team wasn’t as good as NAU’s first team. Whatever.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 5-3 SU, 4-3 ATS
Season: 5-3 SU, 4-3 ATS

National Games of the Week:

Alabama 34, Clemson (-4.5) 10
my pick: Clemson 28, Alabama 13

Fresno St 24, @ Rutgers (-5.5) 7
my pick: Fresno 21, @ Rutgers 17

Colorado (-11) 38, Colorado St 17
my pick: Colorado 31, Colorado St 28

Utah 25, @ Michigan (-3.5) 23
my pick: Utah 24, @ Michigan 21

Missouri (-8.5) 52, Illinois 42
my pick: Missouri 38, Illinois 17

National Games Record:
This Week: 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS
Season: 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS

Bad Lines

TCU -6.5
Covered by 16.5 points

South Carolina -13.5
Covered by 20.5 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 2-0
Season: 2-0

Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog

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