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2009 Pac 10 Fearless Predictions - Week 10
Oregon RB LaMichael James
Oregon RB LaMichael James
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 5, 2009


Previews and Predictions for the Week 10 Pac 10 Games.

2009 Pac 10 Fearless Predictions

Week 10 ... Nov. 7 Games

- Arizona | Arizona St | California | Oregon | Oregon St
- Stanford | UCLA | USC | Washington | Washington St

Pac 10 Fearless Predictions
- Week 1
 | USC vs. Ohio State | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5
- Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9

- Week 10, Part 2 (USC at ASU, and more)


Game of the Week

Oregon (7-1) at Stanford (5-3),3:30 EST, Saturday, November 7

Why to watch: Head coach Chip Kelly will be quick to point out that his Oregon program hasn’t won anything yet. Maybe, but no one can deny that the Ducks are now the overwhelming favorite to win the Pac-10 championship after sending USC back to the Paul Hackett era last Saturday night. By ending the Trojans’ seven-year grip on the conference with a seventh straight win, 47-20, Oregon also stamped itself as one of the hottest schools in the country. For Stanford, this could be the biggest game it’s played since Jim Harbaugh took over a couple of years ago. Not only can the Cardinal pull to within a game of the Pac-10 leaders, it can also become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2001. Two weeks removed from a blowout of Arizona State, it’s well-rested and thirsty for a statement win.
Why Oregon might win: Everything is clicking in Eugene. QB Jeremiah Masoli is healthy again, teaming up with freshman sensation LaMichael James to give the Ducks one of the most potent running games in the country. Heck, they just slapped around USC for 391 yards on the ground, which cannot bode well for a Stanford D that ranks in the bottom half of the league in every major category. Defensively, Oregon continues to defy the odds, employing a swath of no-name upstarts, like rover Javes Lewis and DE Kenny Rowe, to lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense and pass efficiency defense. Over the last five conference games, the Ducks have yielded a mere 12 points a game.
Why Stanford might win: If there’s been a hint of a crack in the Oregon D, it’s been in run defense. Bruising 235-pound RB Toby Gerhart is liable to turn that crack into a full-blown opening. Ranked No. 7 nationally in rushing, he’s used the last two weeks to get his ankle healthy, which was nagging before the break. He has a budding complement on offense in redshirt freshman QB Andrew Luck, who is no longer playing like a rookie. Having tossed five touchdown passes and one pick over the last three games, he now leads the Pac-10 in passing efficiency. Don’t discount the intangibles in this spot. Stanford is perfect at home, winning by an average of 18 points, and the Ducks will have a tough time staying focused after being told how great they are for the past week.
Who to watch: John Boyett, in many ways, has been the symbol of Oregon’s unexpected resurgence since the opening day loss to Boise State. The redshirt freshman safety, a complete unknown in August, has emerged as one of the sparkplugs of that stingy Duck D. A terrific open-field tackler and all-around athlete, he was a revelation when starter T.J. Ward was injured. Now that Ward is back, avoiding contact will be a whole lot tougher for Stanford receivers Ryan Whalen and Chris Owusu.
What will happen: Oregon may be ripe for the picking on the Farm, but it’s not going to hit a detour this weekend. Now while the Ducks will be challenged even more than a week ago, they’ll also survive on the strength of that unrelenting ground game. Stanford has faced two decent running teams all year, Arizona and Oregon State, and lost both games. The Cardinal will fall once again, bowing to more than 200 rushing yards that wear it down in the second half.
CFN Prediction: Oregon 33 … Stanford 24 ... Line: Oregon -5.5
Must See Rating: (By The People 5 … The Men Who Stare At Goats 1) … 3
-Free Expert Football Predictions

Washington State (1-7) at Arizona (5-2),3:30 EST, Saturday, November 7

Why to watch: Okay, so Oregon is the new king of the hill in the Pac-10, but shouldn’t everyone at least give Arizona a crack at the crown? The Wildcats are the only other team in the league with no more than one conference loss, and will be hosting the Ducks the following weekend. Oregon may be in the driver’s seat, but Arizona is in the rear view mirror, with visions of turning next Saturday’s showdown into a chance to shock the world. First things first. Washington State. The Cougars travel to the desert looking to snap a five-game losing streak that’s been a steady succession of lopsided games. Wazzu stepped outside the conference and into a bigger spotlight a week ago, getting crushed by Notre Dame in San Antonio, 40-14.
Why Washington State might win: Arizona has proven to be vulnerable on defense, especially when the ball is in the air. Prior to their win over UCLA, the Wildcats gave up eight touchdowns during a three-game stretch with Oregon State, Washington, and Stanford. The Cougars will plan their attack around young QB Jeff Tuel, who’s now five games into his tenure as the franchise guy. He’s raw, but he’s also provided a youthful spark and an ability to scramble for first downs when the pocket collapses. With more reps, he’s been able to develop a greater comfort level with his receivers, especially Jared Karstetter, Johnny Forzani, and Gino Simone.
Why Arizona might win: There’s way too much firepower in Tucson for a Washington State defense that’s allowing more than 500 yards and 37 points a game. The Wildcats come out of the bye week as healthy as they’ve been all season, poised to unleash a balanced attack that averages at least 188 yards on the ground and through the air. A well-rested Nic Grigsby is ready to spark the running game, while QB Nick Foles continues to show why he was the right choice to be the starter. Since earning the job four games ago, he’s thrown nine touchdown passes and dramatically stretched the coverages of opposing defenses with his strong right arm.
Who to watch: One of the most obvious beneficiaries of Foles’ promotion has been WR Juron Criner. Vastly underutilized when Matt Scott was behind center, he’s become the Wildcats’ big play threat in the passing game, catching 16 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games alone. Foles and Criner are both sophomores, and will only get more comfortable with each other as time passes.
What will happen: Coming off a bye week and looking ahead to Oregon, this is an ideal situation for Arizona to get caught in a bear trap. It’s a good thing Wazzu is visiting. Although the Wildcats will not be razor sharp, it won’t cost them a game versus a substantially inferior opponent. The combination of Grigsby and Keola Antolin on the ground, and Foles up top will be too much for a Cougar D that hasn’t stood up anyone this season.
CFN Prediction: Arizona 41 … Washington State 17 ... Line: Arizona -31
Must See Rating: (By The People 5 … The Men Who Stare At Goats 1) … 2
-Free Expert Football Predictions

Washington (3-5) at UCLA (3-5),3:30 EST, Saturday, November 7

Why to watch: For both UCLA and Washington, this is the last chance to reverse recent trends and make a push for bowl eligibility. After starting the season with so much hope and delivering major September upsets, the Bruins and Huskies have sunk to low points in the year. UCLA has dropped five in-a-row, stalling some of the progress Rick Neuheisel appeared to be ushering in with a 3-0 start. U-Dub has been mired in inconsistency, losing four of the last five since stunning USC on Sept. 19 and struggling lately in tight games. The Huskies appear to have bottomed out before the bye week, getting buried at home by Oregon, 43-19. Getting back on track will require a win at the Rose Bowl, the scene of six consecutive regular season losses dating back to 1995.
Why Washington might win: QB Jake Locker has a deep thigh bruise and is a game-time decision. Naturally, the Huskies need him healthy in order to end over a decade of futility in Pasadena. If Locker is Locker, Washington has enough weapons to once again be the team that scored 76 points in consecutive weeks in October versus Notre Dame and Arizona. The young skill position players, namely RB Chris Polk and WR James Johnson, continue to improve as the season progresses. If the Huskies can get into the 20s, that might be enough to get past a UCLA team averaging less than 20 points a game.
Why UCLA might win: Despite working plenty of overtime this fall, the Bruin defense continues to perform in the upper half of the Pac-10. There’s all-star talent at each level, beginning in the front seven with DT Brian Price and LB Reggie Carter, and ending in the secondary with CB Alterraun Verner and S Rahim Moore. Yeah, the unit’s been showing signs of wear-and-tear, but getting back home and getting Locker at somewhere less than 100% should provide a much-needed boost.
Who to watch: The UCLA offense has labored all season, making a visit from the league’s ninth-ranked defense rather timely. The Bruins did show some life toward the end of last week’s loss in Corvallis. The key, as always, will be redshirt freshman QB Kevin Prince, who’s coming off the best game of his brief career. He went 22-of-34 for 323 yards and two touchdowns, doing a nice job of getting 6-5 WR Nelson Rosario involved in the passing game.
What will happen: This is a good spot for UCLA to finally end almost two months of futility. Washington is having nearly as many problems on both sides of the ball, and even if Locker plays, his trademark mobility will be hampered. The Bruins will continue taking baby steps on offense, getting 100 yards on the ground from RB Johnathan Franklin and a steady effort from Prince.
CFN Prediction: UCLA 24 … Washington 17 ... Line: UCLA -4
Must See Rating: (By The People 5 … The Men Who Stare At Goats 1) … 2
-Free Expert Football Predictions  

- Week 10, Part 2 (USC at ASU, and more)