It’s week eleven of the college football season. Both Oregon and Oregon State head to the Bay Area as the Ducks and Bears clash and the Beavers face the Cardinal in a Top 20 showdown. Time for PREDICTIONS.
California vs. Oregon
Tom: Coming off a performance that included the most points ever scored on USC, and the most yards ever put up against a Trojans squad, expect the Ducks to continue lighting up the scoreboard in the newly renovated Memorial Stadium. Oregon is number two in the nation in rushing offense (341.2 ypg), and leads the nation in scoring at 54.3 points per game. Conversely, California ranks in the bottom half of the Pac-12 in both rushing defense (giving up 165.2 ypg), and scoring defense, allowing opponents to put up more than 27 points per game. Kenjon Barner will once again only have to play a couple of quarters, as Oregon will jump out to a big lead again. The Oregon defense will also add to its conference-leading total of 17 interceptions so far this season, as the Bears continue to battle offensive ineffectiveness. With temperatures in the mid 50's and sunny on gameday, the Ducks will feel right at home. California: 13 Oregon: 59
Nick: The Ducks are more than a four touchdown favorite, and the Ducks will likely have at least a 28-point lead before the end of the first quarter. No need for the starters to play a full four quarters again, go ahead and start planning for the final two games of the season with Stanford and the Beavs. California: 52 Oregon: 10
Dirk: This has the look of a trap game. The Ducks are coming off a big 62-51 victory over USC and next week Oregon hosts Stanford. HOWEVER, Cal is not what is was in 2010. This will not be a 15-13 game. The Ducks are focused and will not let down against the Golden Bears. In fact, it could get ugly quickly for Cal. The Bears are beaten up and lack both talent and depth. Jeff Tedford is on the hot seat and this game won’t help his chance of returning as the head coach. The Ducks will dominate. It could be over by halftime which is good with a 7:30pm kick-off. California: 13 Oregon: 53
Phil: After seeing Oregon’s performance last week, I now believe the Ducks are truly unstoppable. They are a fine-tuned machine on a mission. At this point, the only team that might stand a chance is Alabama. Cal will get destroyed by the Oregon machine, as it’s on a path of destruction. The Bears will be without Zach Maynard, and they might be without his half brother, Keenan Allen. Lucky for them. California: 7 Oregon: 55
Oregon State vs. Stanford
Tom: The Beavers are somewhat of an enigma. I picked them to win last week, but was nervous about it, especially after watching them fall behind in the first half against Arizona St. However, this week is different. Oregon State will go to Palo Alto to face a Stanford squad that leads the Pac-12 in total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense and sacks. And it doesn't end there. The Cardinal has been very opportunistic in forcing turnovers as well, leading the Pac-12 with a +11 turnover margin. As Mike Riley put it, the Cardinal without Andrew Luck at QB are still a very good football team. They got the short end of a call that would have kept them alive against top-5 ranked Notre Dame in South Bend in overtime, and are still very much alive in the race for the North Division of the Pac-12. With either former starter Sean Mannion or current starter Cody Vaz running the offense, the QB play has been shaky as of late. Stanford will take advantage of that this week, and will use heavy doses of Stepfan Taylor and the ground game to put this one away. Oregon State: 20 Stanford: 31
Nick: Back to health, the Beavers will gladly welcome the return of Jordan Poyer and Storm Woods. I don’t know how good Stanford is or how good freshman QB Kevin Hogan can be, and I do believe the Beavers are the better team, but something is giving me that funny feeling. Wouldn’t surprise me either way but so far the Beavers haven’t failed me in the picks (except for UW). A Trevor Romaine field goal late is the difference. Oregon State: 24 Stanford: 21
Dirk: This is a tough one to pick. This game could go either way. I think these teams are very even. The Cardinal have the nation’s number one rush defense and lead the conference in scoring defense and total defense. And if you think you can just throw the ball against Stanford, the Cardinal lead the Pac-12 in sacks with 40. OSU’s offense will have its hands full. Remember though that BYU had a top five defense nationally and the Beavers routed the Cougars. This is almost a coin flip game for me. I’ll give the edge to Stanford because the Cardinal will be the home team. I would not be surprised if the Beavs rose up and got it done though. Oregon State: 23 Stanford: 24
Phil: I was wrong last week. I admit it. I’m still not completely sold on Cody Vaz, but with those wide receivers, who cares? Much like last week, Vaz will be under pressure all game long as Stanford leads the Pac-12 in sacks. Unlike last week, the Beavers will not be able to get the running game going. The Cardinal has the best rush defense in the nation and will be the most physical team the Beavs play. But so far Oregon State has had success against physical teams. I think Vaz will regain his BYU form, and the Beavers defense will hold Kevin Hogan in check. Oregon State: 30 Stanford: 21
After ten weeks, Nick is all alone in first place. Phil was way off in his Beavers prediction last week and dropped back to second place. Tom and Dirk aren’t far behind, just a game. Looks like this race could come down to the wire.
1. Nick: 15-2 (18), 2. Phil: 14-3 (14.5), 3. Tom: 13-4 (16.5), 4. Dirk: 13-4 (16)
What do you think will go down this weekend? You can let us know in a variety of ways.
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