Friday, September 30, 2011

PAC-12 Shootouts in the Desert

PAC-12 is once again a conference with shootouts week after week. A combined 152 points were put up in the desert last Saturday night, with Oregon running away from Arizona, and Arizona State rebounding nicely against USC. Here are the recaps...

USC 22 @ ASU 43
Although I didn't believe ASU could rebound from their loss at Illinois, the Sun Devils controlled the game from the start. Maybe they got a little help from a dust storm in the opening minutes...but hey, I did say their fighting chance was Sun Devil Stadium! I just didn't realize it was in the form of blowing and swirling sand. Tempe enjoyed watching the once-questionable Cam Marshall...who ran for a 70-yard score to get the Sun Devils rolling in the 1st...and put up a total of 141 yards with 3 TDs. That's only 12 yards shy of his 3-game season total of 153 going in. I guess the ankle's feeling better.

Oregon 56 @ Arizona 31
It's understandable that LaMichael James could rush for over 200 yards against the Bears of Missouri State. It's just sick watching James go for 288 against a conference opponent. Breaking both a single-game school rushing record and the all-time rushing TD record, James has the Ducks flying high. Ask the Oregon defense just how lightning-quick the Ducks are. 6-out-of-7 drives took less than 3 minutes. Enjoy your bye week D...cause it's not looking like you'll be getting much of a rest from here on out.

California 23 @ Washington 31
Washington continues to find their way through the air, with sophomore QB Keith Price throwing for 292 yards and 3 TDs. Price has 12 TDs on the season and a paaser rating of 176. The only question for Washington is their defense...siting at 104th and allowing 33+ points per game. That's what will keep them from being the favorite against Utah.

UCLA 27 @ Oregon State 19
Somebody had to win the conference opener. Luckily for the Bruins, they didn't hand Oregon State their first win of the season.

Colorado 17 @ Ohio State 37
Maybe next year Buffs.

PAC-12 Matchups and Picks for this week (all times EST)

Arizona +13.5 @ USC (3:30p)
USC pulls out the victory...but Foles and the Wildcats cover in another high-scoring game. If you're feeling crazy lucky, Arizona's Money Line is +400.

Washington State +3 @ Colorado (3:40p)
The Cougars have the 4th best passing offense in the FBS...averaging 380 passing yards per game. I'm not sure how Colorado is favored, because the Buffs defense knows how to give up points. It must be the Folsom Field effect.

Washington @ Utah -7 (7:00p)
Two evenly matched teams in my eyes. Utah's defense is 15th in the FBS...but only has USC to boast on their resume. This should be a tight one if the Huskies' defense can show up. I'm staying away from this one at the 'book...but putting it on my watch list at the bar. For giggles I'll say Washington.

Oregon State @ Arizona State -18 (10:30p)
Although the Sun Devils have dropped their last 3 meetings to the Beavers, ASU will cover and hand Oregon St. their first 0-4 start since '96.

UCLA @ Stanford -20.5 (10:30p)
Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck, and the Cardinal, is coming off of a bye week. Although the rest of the nation is ready to hand Andrew Luck the Heisman trophy...I'm not. The Cardinal hasn't needed to be overly explosive to date, and I'm looking forward to see how dynamic he can be during conference play. Shayne Skov will be missed dearly, and it's safe to say that the defense is not the same without him. Having a bye week and UCLA to work out the new defense is fortunate for the Cardinal. I just don't see them covering a 20.5 spread.

BYE WEEK: California, Oregon

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Dear Sun Devils,
It looks like you discovered the miracle for champagne hangovers...Milk Thistle! Good for you.

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