The Pac-10 got off to a strong start as a whole last week, collecting six victories (two of which came against Pac-10 foes). The biggest victory of the week was UCLA's triumph over #18 Tennessee, in a game that was nearly impossible to watch in the first half.
This week, BYU rolls into Washington, Oregon State crosses the country to play Penn State, and Stanford takes on the Sun Devils in a battle of unbeaten squads. USC and UCLA have much-deserved off weeks after their victories in week 1.
On to the prognoses...
#15 BYU Cougars @ Washington Huskies. Saturday, September 6, 12:10 PM Pacific.
I was wrong last week when it came to my prediction about UCLA having "no chance" against Tennessee. Dead wrong. Tennessee was not nearly as good as I gave them credit for; it was probably all the SEC bias that gets tossed around on ESPN.
This week, I am willing to make another bold statement. Washington has no chance against BYU. QB Max Hall has looked phenomenal and will throw all over the Husky secondary.
UW QB Jake Locker gives Washington a change to keep this close, but if he falters at all, down they go, like a dogsled team falling into a frozen lake during the Iditarod.
Prediction: BYU 45, Washington 28
Oregon State Beavers @ #19 Penn State Nittany Lions. Saturday, September 6, 12:30 PM Pacific, ABC.
The Beavers take on the Nittany Lions in Beaver Stadium... in Pennsylvania. What a coincidence, huh? Penn State is implementing a new quarterback for 2008, junior Daryll Clark. He looked good against Coastal Carolina, going 11/14 for 146 yards and a touchdown before getting pulled in the blowout victory.
On the other side of the coin is the OSU attack. Led by QB Lyle Moevao and WR Sammie Stroughter, the air game picked up 404 yards against Stanford in week 1's losing effort. The interceptions Moevao threw were backbreakers, and ended up being the difference between victory and defeat.
I can't help but wish for a huge upset, seeing as I think Penn State is perpetually overvalued, but in reality it just won't happen. Oregon State is known for being awful at the start of the year, and they won't go into one of the most hostile stadiums in the country and walk away with a win.
Prediction: Penn State 42, Oregon State 17
Utah State Aggies @ #18 Oregon Ducks. Saturday, September 6, 12:37 PM Pacific.
Allow me to quickly put this game into perspective. Last week, Utah State lost to UNLV 27-17. In 2007, UNLV was 2-10. Need I say much more?
Oregon won 44-10 last week against an overmatched Washington team. The most interesting part of this game will be how well concussed QB Justin Roper plays for the Ducks. He was out last week, and backup Jeremiah Masoli took care of business.
Prediction: Oregon 52, Utah State 7
California Golden Bears @ Washington State Cougars. Saturday, September 6, 3:30 PM Pacific.
California took care of business against Michigan State, and QB Kevin Riley is no longer in a platoon with Nate Longshore. Talk about a bust. Longshore was supposed to be the Golden Boy.
Washington State showed how bad they were in Seattle last week, getting dismantled by a 40-year old man to the tune of 39-13. This game will be in Pullman, so the final result might be closer, but I can't see Washington State winning this game. California is a team with a lot of potential. That doesn't mean it won't be close.
Prediction: California 28, Washington State 17
Toledo Rockets @ Arizona Wildcats. Saturday, September 6, 7:00 PM Pacific.
Arizona subscribed to the theory ASU has been working off of for years: play really crappy teams at the start of the season, and have a head start in the bowl chase. Toledo was 5-7 last year in the MAC, losing to teams like Kansas, Purdue, and Bowling Green.
Anyway, Toledo hasn't played a game this season, and Arizona already took it to Idaho 70-0 last week. I can only imagine more of the same in this match up, as Arizona improves to 2-0 and the polar ice caps begin to freeze over anew.
Prediction: Arizona 58, Toledo 13
Stanford Cardinal @ Arizona State Sun Devils. Saturday, September 6, 7:07 PM Pacific.
Check out "Breaking Down The Stanford Cardinal" for more information about the intruders from Palo Alto.
ASU can exploit the holes in the Stanford secondary with their quick speed at WR and their experience at QB with Rudy Carpenter. I think Kerry Taylor and Chris McGaha will have a field day, whether or not Mike Jones is 100%.
Prediction, Arizona State 42, Stanford 14. No mercy.
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