2009 Pac 10 Fearless Picks - Week 11
Stanford QB Andrew Luck
Stanford QB Andrew Luck
Posted Nov 11, 2009

Previews and Predictions for the Week 11 Pac 10 Games

2009 Pac 10 Fearless Predictions

Week 11 ... Nov. 14 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

- Week 11, Part 2 (ASU vs. Oregon, Arizona at Cal)

Game of the Week

Stanford (6-3) at USC (7-2),3:30 EST, Saturday, November 14

Why to watch: Stanford returns to the Coliseum, site of its Herculean upset of USC two years ago. Yet, last week's 51-42 defeat of sizzling Oregon probably had more long-term meaning to the program and head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Cardinal, having stunned the Ducks, is now bowl-eligible for the first time since 2001 and has made a rare appearance in the AP Top 25. It's all happening very fast for the resurgent program, which is also just a half-game behind the Ducks in the Pac-10 race. The Trojans regrouped from its lopsided loss to Oregon two weeks ago, but were hardly impressive in escaping Arizona State with a 14-9 victory. Was it a hangover and the Sun Devil defense, or is this team even another rung lower than everyone thinks? Troy will close with three home games, and still has a chance to win 10 games and earn a BCS bowl bid.
Why Stanford might win: RB Toby Gerhart has been a constant for the Cardinal over the last two seasons, but ever since the light went on for rookie QB Andrew Luck, the offense has become unstoppable. The combination of the two, plus the big-play ability of WR Chris Owusu, will cause all kinds of problems for a USC defense that was eminently average in October. Diverse attacks, like the ones from Oregon and Oregon State, gave the Trojans fits in recent weeks. The Stanford defense, on the other hand, is getting a USC offense that's struggling badly and could be without two primary receiving threats, WR Damian Williams and TE Anthony McCoy.
Why USC might win: Location, location, location. While the Trojans are unbeaten at home, the Cardinal has lost 3-of-4 away from The Farm, only beating lowly Wazzu on opening day. A visit from Stanford gives USC a legitimate opportunity to get back on track offensively. The Cardinal is eighth in the league in scoring and total defense, and will play the rest of the year without leading tackler Clinton Snyder. Jeff Byers, Charles Brown, and the rest of the Trojan line will win the battles up front, freeing backs Joe McKnight and Allen Bradford to have huge days on the ground. As good as the Stanford offense has been, this is the most physical defense it'll face all year, locking horns repeatedly with next-level defenders, like DE Everson Griffen, S Taylor Mays, and CB Will Harris.
Who to watch: Has USC rookie QB Matt Barkley hit the wall? Although no one seems too concerned by his recent play, he's thrown just seven touchdowns and six picks over the last five games. The toll of playing a full season at this level could be having an impact on the teenager. The Trojan offense needs more from its hurler, even though his top receiver, Williams, is likely out with a high ankle sprain.
What will happen: The gap between USC and Stanford hasn't been this narrow since Tyrone Willingham was in Palo Alto. It'll show. In a game that can go either way, the Cardinal will not be unnerved by playing in the Coliseum. However, actually knocking off the Trojans in Los Angeles is always tougher than it might seem. They'll win the battles in the trenches, springing McKnight and Bradford for 150 yards and a couple of scores in a win that requires all 60 minutes.
CFN Prediction: USC 28 … Stanford 24 ... Line: USC -10.5
Must See Rating: (The Legend of Jimmy the Greek 5 … 2012 1) … 3.5
-Free Expert Football Predictions

Washington (3-6) at Oregon State (6-3),3:30 EST, Saturday, November 14

Why to watch: Here we go. Oregon State, overlooked and seemingly outmanned before the season began, is once again climbing up the Pac-10 ladder. It's becoming a perennial thing around Corvallis since Mike Riley returned. The Beavers delivered a turning point victory a week ago at Cal, thoroughly outplaying the Bears, 31-14. One of five teams with no more than two conference losses, even a share of the league championship can't be ruled out at this stage. Washington, on the other hand, is headed down the opposite lane on the highway. Since shocking the world with a win over USC on Sept. 19, the Huskies have lost five of the last six to squander all of its early-season equity. Only an unlikely three-game winning streak will bring a bowl invitation that appeared to be within reach two months ago.
Why Washington might win: Throughout the season, Oregon State has been a vulnerable team through the air. The secondary has never fully adapted to a new set of starters from a year ago and the pass rush has been non-existent, getting to the quarterback just 10 times in nine games. It'll be up to Husky QB Jake Locker to take advantage of his surroundings, pitching the ball around to top receivers Devin Aguilar, James Johnson, and Jermaine Kearse. U-Dub won't have any success running the ball on the nation's 15th-ranked run defense, so there's no secret how it'll try to attack the Beavers on Saturday afternoon.
Why Oregon State might win: The Beavers upset Cal last week without getting an inordinate amount of support from its top weapons, RB Jacquizz Rodgers and WR James Rodgers. That should be a warning to future opponents that this is no longer a two-dimensional attack. Now, the Rodgers will remain the focal points, but QB Sean Canfield has taken on a bigger role, getting the ball in the hands of other playmakers, like WR Damola Adeniji and TE Joe Halahuni. A more diverse Oregon State offense is going to be a problem for a Washington defense that's ninth in the Pac-10 in every major category .
Who to watch: The pillars of that stingy Oregon State run D are DT Stephen Paea and LB Keaton Kristick, who do a terrific a job of sealing off running lanes and occupying multiple blockers. Paea possesses an uncommon blend of strength and quickness, which allows him to fight through double-teams and disrupt a play before it can develop. Kristick is a veteran, with the range and instincts to string out plays before they get beyond the second level.
What will happen: Two schools headed in opposite directions will continue on those divergent paths. Oregon State is playing its best football of the season, getting balance on offense and gradual improvement on defense. The Rodgers brothers, combined with the passing of Canfield, will be too much for a Washington team skidding to the finish line.
CFN Prediction: Oregon State 35 … Washington 21 ... Line: Oregon State -12
Must See Rating: (The Legend of Jimmy the Greek 5 … 2012 1) … 3
-Free Expert Football Predictions

UCLA (4-5) at Washington State (1-8),5:00 EST, Saturday, November 14

Why to watch: For the first time in almost two months, UCLA tasted victory, lending a shred of hope that a bowl game might still be in its future after all. The Bruins rallied behind a backup quarterback to slip past Washington in the Rose Bowl, 24-23. In an otherwise disappointing year, a bonus game and 15 additional practices in December would be a welcome springboard into 2010 for Rick Neuheisel and the staff. Washington State returns to Pullman after a hideous three-game road trip that included one-sided losses to Cal, Notre Dame, and Arizona. For the Cougars, the offseason can't come soon enough after very little progress has been made from the 2-11 debacle of a year ago.
Why UCLA might win: The Bruin defense is back to playing well again and poised to dominate a feeble Washington State attack. The Cougars are pulling up the Pac-10 rear in every major category, and could be without starting QB Jeff Tuel. Who is going to contain disruptive DT Brian Price and DE Datone Jones, who's blossoming into a dangerous edge rusher in his second season? Others, like LB Reggie Carter, CB Alterraun Verner, and S Rahim Moore, bring too much speed and athleticism for a Wazzu offense painfully shy of playmakers.
Why Washington State might win: Considering the Cougars' hurdles to putting points up, their best chance for a second win is if the other team stumbles on offense. UCLA is capable of being that team. Unable to generate much of a ground game or keep Kai Forbath from piling up the field goals, the Bruins house the Pac-10's second worst offense. Of 120 teams, they're No. 118 at turning red zone visits into touchdowns. Washington State will look to generate pressure against a weak UCLA offensive line, counting on DE Travis Long and occasionally turning loose linebackers Andy Mattingly and Jason Stripling.
Who to watch: Although UCLA QB Kevin Prince didn't finish last week's game with Washington, he is hoping to play this will week at Martin Stadium. That's a good thing for the Bruins since he's begun to approach expectations in the second half of his first full season as the starter. Over the last two games, the redshirt freshman has thrown three touchdown passes to one pick and has been more consistent with his reads and throws.
What will happen: With a chance to get back to .500, UCLA will play with a sense of purpose and far more motivation than its host. The Bruins, like everyone else on the schedule, will dominate the Washington State offense, preventing any chance for the upset. While the offense won't explode, it'll have its best performance in weeks behind Prince and the backfield by committee.
CFN Prediction: UCLA 31 … Washington State 13 ... Line: UCLA -18.5
Must See Rating: (The Legend of Jimmy the Greek 5 … 2012 1) … 2
-Free Expert Football Predictions

- Week 11, Part 2 (ASU vs. Oregon, Arizona at Cal)