Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pac-10 Preview - Week Thirteen

Oregon State (7-3, 6-1) @ Arizona (6-4, 4-3)
The road to the Rose Bowl for Oregon State continues through Arizona and the Wildcats are not ones to be taken lying down.

Quarterback Willie Tuitama has played well this season compiling 2,321 yards and 18 touchdowns to only seven interceptions. Sophomore running back Nic Grigsby has been streaky, one week topping 180 yards and the next unable to get more than 50 or finding himself benched. The Wildcats will need to their ‘A’ game if they are to keep up with the dynamic Beaver offense.

The Oregon St. offense is led by the Rodgers brothers, with freshman running back Jacquizz getting it done on the ground to the tune of 1,233 yards and 11 touchdowns and his older brother wide receiver James is a threat both through the air (603 yards and four touchdowns) and on the ground (250 yards and four touchdowns). Between the two of them, the Wildcats’ defense will certainly have its hands full. Jacquizz Rodgers has topped 100 yards in seven of his last eight games.

If the ‘Cats can knock off the Beavers, they may get a nice note and a Rose bouquet from the Los Angeles area.

Washington (0-10, 0-7) @ Washington State (1-10, 0-8)

It’s been a rough year for the lovely state of Washington, with both schools struggling badly throughout the season. While the Cougars have managed a single victory, neither team has put one in the “W” column in conference play.

Washington has been unable to get much going in the way of offense in part because of their issues at quarterback position. Neither offense is effective – it won’t be pretty. But expect the passion to be as high as ever.

Stanford (5-6, 4-4) @ California (6-4, 4-3)
The Cardinal need just one more win to become bowl eligible, however there is no guarantee they will get it against their rival Bay Area school. Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard continues to struggle protecting the ball, which not only hurts the offense, but the defense as well – too often the opposing team finds itself with good field position.

If they turn the ball over to the Cal offense they will surely regret it. Running back Jahvid Best has played well since he returned from a one game absence due to injury, topping 100 yards in three out of his last five games. Nate Longshore and Kevin Riley have split starts at quarterback for the Golden Bears to middling effect with Riley getting the last start against Oregon State. Both signal callers have had their troubles protecting the ball just like Pritchard and as is often the case with the Stanford Cardinal of late, this game will likely turn on who can protect the ball best.