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Mr Pac-10’s Weekly Review
(AP Photo/Dean Hare)
Mr Pac Ten
Posted Sep 11, 2008

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

Cal: Just an utterly thorough beating of Washington St

Oregon: A very convincing win, but not exactly the toughest opponent.
Arizona St: A decent performance, though far from perfect.
Arizona: An OK performance against a mediocre opponent.
Stanford: Despite the final score, it wasn’t all that bad.
Washington: They really couldn’t afford a loss here, but at least they were very competitive.

Oregon St: A very bad performance. Again.
Washington St: A very bad performance. Again.

@ Arizona St(-14) 41, Stanford 17
my pick: @ Arizona St 38, Stanford 13

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

Despite the final score, this wasn’t that bad of a performance. They ran the ball decently well, they did a good job against ASU’s running game except for a few big runs late, and they had some very nice kick returns. However, their secondary is still obviously bad, and their passing game is terrible. At this point I think their coaches have given up on trying to emphasize coverage and instead will just bring pressure against opposing QB’s, because their corners are simply overmatched right now. Other than a game against Arizona, they won’t face passers nearly as good as Carpenter at least until they face USC in November, so this might actually work out.
What doesn’t look to work itself out, however, is the passing game. Quarterbacks are bouncing passes or overthrowing receivers, and receivers are dropping balls. This game made it obvious that unless they can throw the ball with at least slight effectiveness, they simply will not be able to win games just by running against decent defenses. And since all of their quarterbacks and receivers have gotten time, and none looked good, there simply may not be an answer this year.
If you’re Arizona St:
The Sun Devils got a fairly comfortable win against a potentially decent team in Stanford. For me, the most impressive thing I saw in this game was Carpenter. He stood tall against pressure all game long, and made good decisions and accurate passes, with only one real mistake.
That said, there were some real issues elsewhere. There were far too many penalties in this game, many of them stupid. They can get away with all those dumb penalties in a September home game against Stanford, but I don’t think that they can get away with them when they host Georgia, or visit Cal and USC, or host Oregon, which means that either they fix things or they’re looking at three losses in those four games at best. Also, the defense wasn’t particularly impressive; the run defense was merely OK, and the pass defense numbers looked good more because Stanford’s passing game is lousy than because of anything good the Sun Devil D did. Better quarterbacks will have much more success against the Sun Devils than what Stanford could put together.

Cal (-13) 66, @ Washington St 3
my pick: Cal 28, @ Washington St 17

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

The competition obviously wasn’t very strong, but this is a fantastic sign for this team. They played really well in pretty much all phases of the game, and looked like a very legitimate challenger for the league title. Tougher competition will tell us more, but right now you simply have to be optimistic about this team.
If you’re Washington St:
Home field didn’t help this team at all. In fairness, this was just one of those games where a much more talented team really took it to them, getting some huge early plays to build a quick lead and just never letting up. That said, the Cougars were pretty much helpless to do anything about it the whole game long. What’s going to happen when they have to actually take their show on the road? They’re about to find out against a crummy team in Baylor, and right now that’s looking like a fairly easy win for the Bears.

@ Penn St 45, Oregon St (+16) 14
my pick: @ Penn St 27, Oregon St 17

What to take from this:
There’s really nothing positive to take from this game. They got thoroughly whipped in Happy Valley, and there’s no qualifier on it. If Wazzu wasn’t looking so bad right now, this would be the favorite for last place in the league.

BYU 28, @ Washington (+9.5) 27
my pick: BYU 48, @ Washington 41

What to take from this:
This was a hard-fought game by the Huskies, and an absolutely devastating loss. If they were to make a serious run at a bowl game, they really needed this game, and now they’re 0-2 with an almost certain loss coming up next week against Oklahoma. Just as worrying is that this was the Jake Locker show the whole way, as the defense did little to stop BYU (a red zone turnover notwithstanding), and the offense relied almost entirely on Locker; even worse, when push came to shove it was his running and not his throwing that they leaned on in the key moments. Right now this simply does not look like a team that is capable of even finding four wins, much less six.

@ Arizona (-23) 41, Toledo 16
my pick: @ Arizona 48, Toledo 13

What to take from this:
Arizona won pretty handily in this game, which has to be a good sign. That said, it’s really odd that they didn’t get in some work for their backup QB’s. You’d think with Tuitama’s injury history they’d be worried he could get hurt in garbage time and that they could really use some game-time experience for the other guys. It’s a nice win, but I’m just really starting to wonder what these guys are thinking.

@ Oregon (-36) 66, Utah St 24
@ Oregon 38, Utah St 10

What to take from this:
Aside from a couple of moments in the second and fourth quarters, the Ducks dominated this game. No injuries, and they got a few guys some work, so it’s a success under any measurement, though obviously it wasn’t much of a test.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS
Season: 11-3 SU, 7-6 ATS

National Games of the Week:

@ East Carolina 24, West Virginia (-8) 3
my pick: West Virginia 31, @ ECU 21

@ Vanderbilt 24, South Carolina (-10) 17
my pick: South Carolina 21, @ Vandy 13

South Florida (-13.5) 31, @ Central Florida 24 (OT)
my pick: USF 31, @ UCF 13

National Games Record:
This Week: 1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS
Season: 5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS

Bad Lines

Central Michigan +24
Missed by 17 points

Ohio + 34.5
Covered by 22.5 points

Wake Forest -7.5
Missed by 5.5 points

Wisconsin -20.5
Covered by 16.5 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 2-2
Season: 4-2

Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog

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