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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 3, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Pac-10 picks

Only two non-Husky games left in the Pac-10 regular season.
One, I think, involves the Oregon schools tonight and may have some importance. Maybe I can find something in one of the Oregon papers about that game that might let me know.
OREGON STATE AT OREGON (Ducks by 10): Okay, being a little facetious there. This is the game heard ‘Round the Willamette, if not quite the world, as the Ducks and Beavers do the once-seemingly-unthinkable — play each other with a spot in the Rose Bowl on the line. (By the way, here’s an entertaining all-day running game thread from The Oregonian.)
I’m assuming most UW fans are rooting for Oregon State as the lesser of two evils. The oddsmakers see a relatively easy Oregon win.
There are a lot of intriguing matchups here — OSU leads the Pac-10 in rushing defense, Oregon in rushing offense. OSU leads the Pac-10 in passing offense, leads the Pac-10 in pass defense efficiency (a better stat than passing defense itself, based solely on total yards, to determine the worth of a pass defense).
Hard to discount the home field advantage in this one as it’s often been key in this game — though the visitor has won the last two, including a year ago when the Ducks killed the Beavers in Corvallis to dash OSU’s Rose Bowl dreams.
I think it may come down simply enough to QB play — can Sean Canfield make enough plays with his arm to overcome what Jeremiah Masoli can do with both arm and feet?
My guess here is no. I think Masoli and Oregon are a more balanced team — plus, I always favor teams that have significant rushing edges when so much else seems even, as is the case here as the Ducks average 5.5 yards per rushing attempt, OSU 4.2. So I see an entertaining and tight game, but ultimately a win for the home team. OREGON 31, OREGON STATE 27.
ARIZONA AT USC (Trojans by 7): With a loss here, the Wildcats could end up in the Poinsettia Bowl, a pretty swift drop from the dream of Roses just two weeks ago. With a win, USC likely goes to the Holiday Bowl, which would be the dream scenario for that bowl, which has never had one of the two SoCal teams. Arizona has some injury issues with RB Nic Grigsby still out and QB Nick Foles playing with a broken bone in his non-throwing hand. Arizona hasn’t been running as well lately, in part due to the injury issues at the running back spot. USC, meanwhile, is as healthy as its been all year and may have as much momentum as its had all year after the win over UCLA. USC 27, ARIZONA 17.

LAST WEEK — 4-0 straight up, 2-2 against the spread.
SEASON RECORD — 52-20 straight up, 29-37-1 against the spread.

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