Pac-12 Week 6 Breakdown

Pac-12 Week 6 Breakdown

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Game of the Week:

California @ #9 Oregon

Oregon running back LaMichael James is leading the FBS with 153 rushing yards per game. Cal is only allowing 78 rushing yards per game, ranking them ninth nationally. Something will have to give in this Thursday night matchup.

In last season’s matchup, The Golden Bears missed a chip shot field goal for the potential win before falling 15-13 in Berkeley. The statistics barely favored Oregon, as a punt return for a touchdown would be the eventual difference between a win and a loss. Where Cal must improve from last year is in the passing numbers. They only amassed ten completions for 69 yards a year ago and will need a greater effort if they hope to pull off the upset this year.  Expect to see Oregon rely more heavily on the arm of quarterback Darron Thomas and take some of the workload off of James. California will be caught off guard in the defensive backfield and surrender no less than 250 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Oregon 31 California 10


Honorable Mention:

#18 Arizona State @ Utah

Utah is coming off a tough loss at home to the Washington Huskies last week. This week doesn’t get any easier as the Arizona State Sun Devils come to town with a 4-1 record and two wins against top-25 teams. ASU’s defensive unit has not quite performed up to expectations to this point in the season, but that should turn around this week against Utah.

Utah’s lone offensive bright spot, John White IV, was virtually shut out last week against the Huskies with only 35 yards rushing. The Sun Devils’ Vontaze Burfict will not allow White to get rolling in this game either and will force Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn to make plays through the air. Last week Wynn only completed 12 passes on 17 attempts for less than 150 yards and a score. This game should not be close.

Arizona State 35 Utah 13


Do Not Overlook:

Washington State @ UCLA

Washington State is off to a great start at 3-1 after beating Colorado last week in Boulder. Quarterback Marshall Lobbestael is ranked in the top-25 of all FBS quarterbacks, with 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions. His main target is Marquess Wilson who is averaging 137 yards and one touchdown per game.

UCLA touts the 73rd ranked pass defense and have given up 38 or more points in three of their five games. However, UCLA does have a powerful running game with Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman. These two backs have helped the Bruins average nearly 200 rushing yards per game.

The difference between these two conference foes will be the ability for the opposing defense to stop the other team’s main weapons. Considering UCLA’s overall defensive rank is 98th and they are allowing over 400 yards of total offense per game, WSU has the advantage in this matchup.

Washington State 28 UCLA 24


Upset Alert:

*See Game of the Week with this caveat:

Sometimes a coach understands an opponent’s formula and can always give them trouble, regardless of perceived mismatches. If Cal can find an answer, as they did in 2010, to Oregon’s big guns, do not be surprised to see a motivated and revengeful team ruin Oregon’s run for a major BCS game.


Players to Watch:

KR Jamal Miles, Arizona State: Averaging 28 yards per kick return, he is on the verge of breaking a big one every time he touches the ball.

TE Coby Fleener, Stanford: Only has ten catches this season, but five of those have been touchdowns. He’s had at least one catch per game over 20 yards an that should not change on Saturday against Colorado.

DB Trevin Wade, Arizona: Facing a weak passing attack in Oregon State, he will continue to have opportunities to take passes away from receivers. He has one interception and eight passes defended this season.

WR Lavasier Tuinei, Oregon: This should be the first week that Oregon will be forced to rely on their passing game. Quarterback Darron Thomas will find Tuinei as much as possible in Eugene on Thursday night.

Week 6 Football Breakdown Page