By ANDREW GARDA - PAC-10 INSIDER
#23 Cal @ Maryland
The Cal Bears head to Maryland off an impressive win over Washington State, to face a Terrapin team trying to rebound off a disappointing loss against Middle Tennessee. Jahvid Best will lead a dynamic running attack, while De’Rel Scott has been the lone bright spot for Maryland. But Cal’s D is a rougher test than the Terps have seen this season and the Golden Bears should overwhelm the Terrapins and solidify their top 25 ranking.
UCLA @ #18 BYU
UCLA looks to send another top team amongst the unranked (see Tennessee). BYU is coming off a close win, in which many feel they won on a questionable penalty by Washington. They will have to leave no doubt in a win that they belong. UCLA QB Kevin Craft needs to get the offense going before half – and avoid the plethora of mistakes that plagued him early against Tennessee.
#16 Oregon @ Purdue
Oregon has scored early and often and will bring their assault to West Lafayette as they continue to make people say ‘Dixon and Stewart who?’ Purdue’s QB Curtis Painter will continue to lead an offense, which last year was easily as dynamic as Oregon’s is this year. The game will be decided by whose defense steps up in the big moments.
Stanford @ TCU
As Stanford heads to Texas, the Cardinal are just trying to keep their heads above water. Literally, as it should be raining hard due to Ike. While the beating Arizona State delivered last week is still fresh in their minds, the defensive line hit ASU QB Rudy Carpenter Rudy Carpenter often. If they can bring that intensity against TCU and contain Joseph Turner they can beat the Horned Frogs. Last year TCU QB Andy Dalton lit the Cardinal up, but in the rain and if the Stanford D-line keeps the pressure up, it’s unlikely he’ll get another chance.
#3 Oklahoma @ Washington
Washington would love to play spoiler as they host the #3 team in the nation, but have to bounce back from a crushing loss to BYU. The Huskies will need to find a way to contain Sooner QB (and Heisman hopeful) Sam Bradford and his receiver tandem of frosh Ryan Broyles and senior Manuel Johnson. Washington’s Jake Locker is dangerous in his own right -- either his arm or his feet. The Huskies should be hungry, but the Sooners are a team that’s tough to beat.
Arizona @ New Mexico
The Wildcats will look to go 3-0 against the Lobos this Saturday and should outplay a winless New Mexico team in every aspect of the game. QB Willie Tuitama has been solid so far and faces a defense that just gives up too much across the board.
#5 Ohio State @ #1 USC
No Beanie Wells, could mean a long day for the Buckeyes, though they have some solid running backs behind him and a great core of veteran defensemen. The secondary is a little undersized and Trojan QB Marc Sanchez with his receiving core will try to take advantage of it to gain an advantage through the air.
UNLV @ #15Arizona State
If the Sun Devils could keep QB Rudy Carpenter upright more often, who knows what the prolific, hard-nosed signal caller could do. Even though that struggle continues, expect Carpenter (733-4-1) to unleash an assault on the Rebel defense. As long as ASU isn’t looking ahead to #2 Georgia, UNLV will find themselves another team on the wrong end of a Carpenter yard-fest.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
By ANDREW GARDA - PAC-10 INSIDER