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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 30, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Pac-10 picks, week five

Finally, the kind of weekend I like the most — nothing but Pac-10 games, the conference season kicking into full gear.
The fortunes of a team can change rapidly this time of year, with everyone (or eight times, in the case of this weekend) all playing in the conference. By Saturday night, Stanford or Oregon will be viewed as the team to beat, and teams such as ASU, Oregon State and UW could all suddenly have a new lease on lease — or sitting on the brink before the end of September.
As for your humble correspondant, I really didn’t do all that bad despite what seemed like some surprising results. I fully expected Stanford to go into Notre Dame and dominate, so I got that one right. And I ended up being on the right side of the Arizona game when Cal imploded.
I was 5-1 straight-up, and 2-3-1 against the spread (Oregon won by 11, which was the exact spread I was using).
On with the picks (though as always, I’ll save the UW game for its own separate entry later):
WASHINGTON STATE AT UCLA (Bruins by 27): Only question here is whether UCLA can cover. The Bruins’ version of the pistol hasn’t been super explosive yet, in terms of ripping off a lot of points quickly, though it’s obviously been really effective the last two weeks in grinding out wins. But that could change against a WSU team that was simply horrid defensively last week. WSU’s only real “strength” is its ability to throw the ball. But UCLA is pretty good against the pass. Only a collosal letdown by the Bruins will keep this one close, but that’s hard to figure given the momentum the team has after the Texas win and coming home. UCLA 38, WSU 6.
ARIZONA STATE AT OREGON STATE (Beavers by 3.5): Okay, now that the easy one is over with, on to one of the more intriguing games of the weekend. I stated in my rankings I was more impressed with ASU during its loss to Oregon last week than I thought I might be in terms of ASU’s athleticism and speed, if not execution. OSU, meanwhile, has played a tough schedule, but hasn’t necessarily looked great — Jacquizz Rodgers is averaging just 4.2 yards per carry, for instance, and QB Ryan Katz has yet to hit his stride. I think Dennis Erickson is building something in the desert, and there will be some good karma for him in the building with OSU hosting a reunion for the 2000 Beaver team he led to the Fiesta Bowl. ARIZONA STATE 31, OREGON STATE 27.
STANFORD AT OREGON (Ducks by 7): The Pac-10’s game of the week could turn out to be the game of the year. Stanford would sit particularly pretty if it can win this one as it would already have two conference road victories. At its core, this looks to be a matchup of maybe the most physical team in the conference (Stanford) against the fastest and quickest (the Ducks). Stanford also has the confidence from knowing it beat Oregon a year ago. But that was in Palo Alto. And there are some rumblings that Stanford is a little beat up after laying the lumber on Notre Dame last week. The home field and a few big plays will propel the Ducks. OREGON 34, STANFORD 24.
LAST WEEK: Straight up, 5-1; against the spread, 2-3-1.
SEASON TO DATE: Straight up, 28-6, against the spread, 13-13-1.

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