Oregon State @ USC
USC was somehwat exposed a week ago by Washington State. I say somewhat because many of their problems were related to injuries along the starting offensive line. Those issues will not get better this week - except that USC plays perhaps the worst team in the league with Oregon State. This opponent should provide some salve to the festering wounds along the offensive line.
Sam Darnold may not be a Heisman front runner anymore; but he is still one of the best QB's in the conference and nation while Oregon State is just a mess.
USC 48 - Oregon State 14
Arizona @ Colorado
The Buffaloes were the confference darling a season ago, but they have lost some of their edge thanks in large part to the departure of Jim Leavitt and Charles Clark to Oregon. Stephen Montez has been sold and the receiving corps is one of the best units in the nation. Meanwhle, Arizona has looked somewhat better than a season ago.
Brandon Dawkins is hte kind of QB Rich Rodriguez had in West Virginia and the defense has really looked at the very least, capable this season. I still like Colorado at home this game, though.
Colorado 31 - Arizona 27
Stanford @ Utah
Kyle Whittingham is one of the most under rated coaches in the country. I think he does a tremendous job of having his teams ready to play. They are always physical and well disciplined. Stanford has been a bit less stout defensively than in years past and the luster has started to fade some on the Stanford defense.
But the Cardinal have the most electric running back in the nation with Bryce Love averaging 10.3 yards per carry on 98 attempts.He brings that gaudy average to Salt Lake City to face the best rushing defense in the conference. I like the move to KJ Costello at QB and give Stanford the edge.
Stanford 24 - Utah 20
California @ Washington
The Golden Bears built an early season reputation with some solid performances; or at least what looked like solid performances. But the victories over North Carolina and Mississippi quickly became less enthralling when those teams were exposed as vastly over-rated.
They looked good in a 'close' loss to USC - another team which might have been rated higher than deserved. Their loss to Oregon, a game in which they were soundly beaten in all phases, showed the team still has a long ways to go under new head coach Justin Wilcox.
Washington, on the other hand, is still the best team in the league as of now. They have a tedency to start slow and then turn it on over the course of the game which will probably keep this game closer than expected early. Nonetheless, I expect a solid win by the Huskies.
Washington 45- Washington 17
Washington State @ Oregon
What was already a difficult challenge with undefeated Washington State (5-0) coming to town became more so with the injury to Justin Herbert. The Ducks, who have been very balanced on offense, will need their backup QB, either Taylor Alie or Braxton Burmeister, to step into the void and display a calmness beyond their experience to pull the upset.
WSU is a pass happy offense; that plays into the Ducks defensive hands who have exceptional depth at defensive back. The Cougars have given up a lot of sacks with little help from the ground game, but Jamal Morrow is still dangerous. The Cougar defense is talented and very athletic, but also a bit undersized.
Oregon should be able to find some success in the power run game. Will it be enough to offset the loss of Herbert? I see a lower scoring game than expected.
WSU 28 - Oregon 24