Pac-12 Football Week 7 Breakdown

Pac-12 Week 7 Breakdown

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Game of the Week:

#15 Arizona State @ #9 Oregon

On Thursday night, Oregon lost their top offensive weapon, LaMichael James, for an undisclosed amount of time. Considering the injury, we can expect not to see James for at least 3-4 weeks. Oregon must host a very strong defense in Arizona State this weekend if they hope to preserve any chance at a BCS game.

ASU is coming off a strong win over Pac-12 newcomer Utah in Salt Lake City. The Sun Devils are outscoring their opponents by an average score of 35-19. NFL prospect linebacker Vontaze Burfict is living up to expectations by effectively stopping the run and the pass. The 6’7” Brock Osweiler has played well in throwing for over 1600 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Oregon will be forced to rely on Darron Thomas for the majority of their offensive threats. Thomas has thrown for 1040 yards and rushed for 100. He will need to rely on backup running back Kenjon Barner to fill James’ shoes.

Oregon will win this game, but it will be close. Oregon 24 ASU 21


Honorable Mention:

Southern California @ California

Since their NCAA violations have been punished, USC’s goal has been to play spoiler for the rest of the Pac-12, and consequently have an affect on the BCS games. So far they have not been the team that would accomplish these goals, but still have time. Beating California will not likely have much of an affect on the Pac-12 standings, but it’s always nice to beat a conference foe that has been on the upward move.

Cal’s schedule resulted in a 3-0 start before they played Washington to a tight finish in Seattle, although coming up on the losing end. They were beat soundly on Thursday night by an Oregon team that will be contending for a possible Pac-12 Championship game. Now it is time to shine against a top-tier conference opponent and show that their 3-2 record reflects their abilities. Their defense is ranked in the top third in the FBS, even taking into consideration that they’ve played the #5-ranked offense in Oregon.

This is an opportunity for The Golden Bears to show they are starting their return to the top. This win may be a year away for them. USC 27 Cal 17


Do Not Overlook:

Colorado @ Washington

Colorado steps into the Pac-12 at a tough time in their program’s history. The once powerful Buffs have been reduced to a team that battles to stay off the bottom of a quickly improving conference. With three teams ranked in the top-25 and another receiving votes, the Pac-12 is beginning to show the promise of producing another National Champion very soon.

Washington has produced a surprising athlete quarterback in Keith Price. Price has completed 68 percent of his passes, thrown 17 touchdowns, and a mere four interceptions. Running back Chris Polk, with limited work in week one, has amassed 611 rushing yards and established himself as a reliable receiver to boot.

Washington wins this game easily. Washington 31 Colorado 14


Upset Alert:

Utah @ Pittsburgh

The Big East Conference is not what it was a mere three years ago, and Utah is not as bad as their record would show. Utah running back John White IV should find himself in open space often, and make the plays necessary to beat Pittsburgh’s 68th-ranked defensive unit.

The Panther’s biggest offensive threat, running back Ray Graham, will have trouble getting started against Utah’s 19th-ranked rushing defense.

Low scoring game that yields Utah its third win of the season. Utah 17 Pittsburgh 13


Players to Watch:

RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon: Stepping in for the injured LaMichael James, he should find plenty of opportunities to excel in the backfield and returning kicks.

WR Jermaine Kearse, Washington: Leading the Huskies in receptions and touchdowns, he is the go-to guy against a weak Colorado defense.

S Alden Darby, Arizona State: His three interceptions tie him for the Pac-12 lead, and against a possibly pass-happy Oregon squad, he will have his chances to add to that number.

DL Scott Crichton, Oregon State: Has an impressive eight tackles for loss in five games this year. BYU will have trouble keeping this freshman blocked.


Week 7 Football Breakdown Page