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Mr Pac-10’s Weekly Review
Erik Lorig
Mr Pac Ten
Posted Oct 12, 2008


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

This was an incredibly unimpressive week of Pac-10 play. Honestly, I don’t think a single team played particularly well. Oh well, on to the summaries:

Rising:
Stanford: Ugly win, but hugely important.
Oregon St: Yeah it was ugly at times, but this was still dominant.

Hovering:
USC: Ugly performance on offense, but the defense was fantastic.
UCLA: A win would have been nice, but this was a very competitive loss.
Washington St: They were close for a half. That’s a positive step.

Falling:
Arizona: A close final score masked how poorly they played.
Oregon: Winning was nice, but they really didn’t play well.
Arizona St: They did nothing on offense and not all that much on defense.

@ Stanford 24, Arizona (-7) 23
my pick: @ Stanford 31, Arizona 28

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

How could this team be +3 in turnovers, including a pick six from deep in their territory, be up by three with the ball late in the fourth quarter on first and goal, and lose? This wasn’t New Mexico, where the team simply made too many mistakes to overcome. The run defense was a huge problem, and it became very clear in this game that the offense can’t consistently turn red zone opportunities into touchdowns. That has to change or this will turn into a three-game losing streak with the Pac-10’s best two teams coming to Tucson the next two weeks.

If you’re Stanford:
So much for turnovers and mistakes deciding this game. With all of the offensive screwups, Arizona could have, maybe should have won, but Stanford’s defense had other ideas. Time after time, they made big plays, turned touchdowns into field goals, and kept the game close, until the offense could finally put it together with a last-second drive. On offense, the running game was fantastic as usual, but the passing game was mediocre and there were just too many turnovers. Until proven otherwise, teams that can focus on stopping the run and forcing Stanford to pass will have success in forcing turnovers and will more often than not make the Cardinal pay. Next week’s must-win at UCLA is starting to look very interesting, especially after the Bruins were so competitive at Oregon.

@ Oregon (-18.5) 31, UCLA 24
my pick: @ Oregon 34, UCLA 20

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

This was a tough loss for the Bruins, but the fact remains that they were very competitive in this game. If a few plays went the other way, then maybe they actually win. Of course, the fact remains that Kevin Craft made a number of bad throws that could have (maybe should have) been picked, but this game was still a positive step for the Bruins. They were competitive against a legitimately good team, and on the road no less. No, this doesn’t mark the start of a turnaround that sends this team to a bowl game, but it may mark the start of a series of games where they’re at least consistently competitive. For a team that had gotten badly beat by BYU and Arizona, that’s an improvement.

On the flip side, an injury to Terrence Austin is the last thing this team needed. They may be improving, they may be playing with heart, but at this rate they’re losing players as fast as they can develop them. This is an injury that will hurt them.

If you’re Oregon:
Barely beating UCLA at home is not a positive. There’s no way to sugarcoat things: Oregon is 4-0 against Utah St, UCLA and the Washington schools, and 1-2 against everyone else (and Purdue isn’t exactly impressive these days). There were numerous missed opportunities, and the Duck defense got torched by a mediocre passing game. A bye week might help them get healthier, and the rest is certainly a positive, but the fact remains that this level of effort isn’t going to get it done. The closing five games are all against teams good enough to beat the Duck team we’ve seen the past two weeks. They’re capable of doing more, but now they need to get it done on the field.

@ USC (-28) 28, Arizona St 0
my pick: @ USC 41, ASU 3

What to take from this:
If you’re Arizona St:

This was really not a good performance. Take away some bad throws by Sanchez, and generally bad execution by the USC offense, and this would have been a truly massive beating. ASU needs to get healthy during the bye week, and to come out playing much better. They desperately need a split against the Oregon schools before the schedule gets light, which means that next the upcoming home game against Oregon is a must-win game.

If you’re USC:
They’ll take it. The offense played well on some drives, but overall was mediocre. The defense was fantastic, though, and they have to feel great about that part of the performance. They’ve now made it through the nastiest stretch of their schedule, down only one loss, and very much in the national title hunt. They still have a road game at Arizona, and home games against Cal and Notre Dame, but they’re all spread out. If they play to their potential, they should run the table. Now they just have to do it.

@ Oregon St (-30) 66, Washington St 13
my pick: @ Oregon St 45, Washington St 7

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

They actually were close at halftime, down only 24-13. They made a couple of big plays on defense, and had a decent drive on offense. Unfortunately, that was all they did, as they got flat-out destroyed in the second half. When they turnovers stopped coming, this team stopped competing. They simply can’t make things happen.

If you’re Oregon St:
Four interceptions by Moevao, three of them on consecutive drives. No, Wazzu wasn’t nearly good enough to make the Beavers pay for those mistakes, but everyone else will be. This team simply isn’t good enough to overcome those sorts of screwups, and must execute better if they want to stay out of trouble.

Pac-10 Games Record:
This Week: 6-0 SU, 2-3-1 ATS
Season: 30-10 SU, 17-20-1 ATS

National Games of the Week:

Texas 45 , Oklahoma (-6.5) 35
my pick: Oklahoma 31, Texas 14

@ Florida (-6.5) 51, LSU 21
my pick: @ Florida 21, LSU 17

Penn St (-6) 48, @ Wisconsin 7
my pick: Penn St 28, @ Wisconsin 20

Oklahoma St 28, @ Missouri (-14) 23
my pick: @ Missouri 42, Oklahoma St 24

National Games Record:
This Week: 2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS
Season: 14-10 SU, 9-14-1 ATS

Bad Lines

Virginia +6.5
Covered by 21.5 points and outright upset

Iowa -5
Covered by 31 points

Baylor -5
Covered by 23 points

Central Michigan -7.5
Covered by 2.5 points

Toledo +16.5
Covered by 19.5 points and outright upset

Arkansas +17
Covered by 20 points and outright upset

Cincinnatti -7
Missed by 4 points

Idaho +34
Covered by 23 points

Southern Miss +10.5
Missed by 6.5 points

Bad Lines Record:
This Week: 7-2
Season: 26-17-1

Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog

Questions, comments or suggestions? Email me at cfn_ms@hotmail.com

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