Pac-12 Football Week 9 Breakdown

Pac-12 Football Week 9 Breakdown

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Game of the Week:

#5 Stanford @ #22 Southern California

This game doesn’t need much hype, as both teams have been playing well. Stanford, in fact, may be playing better than any team in the country right now. The Cardinal displayed their power this past weekend with a 62-point performance against a 22nd-ranked Washington team. Stanford has not lost a game this year, and hasn’t had a game where the opponent was within 25 points at the final whistle.

Southern Cal is coming off a 31-17 win over a strong Notre Dame team in South Bend. Matt Barkley threw three touchdowns, two of which were to top wide receiver, Robert Woods (which can be attributed to the prediction made on this very site a week ago). USC is still looking to squash their Pac-12 opponents’ National Championship aspirations. This week is a good opportunity to show their conference, and the country, that they will survive the recent NCAA sanctions. However, the final results will not support the belief that they “belong” amongst the elite.

Stanford 38 USC 28


Honorable Mention:

Arizona @ Washington

The Huskies showed their defensive weaknesses this past week by giving up 62 points to Stanford. In fact, the Huskies have struggled all year to slow down opposing offenses. FCS member Eastern Washington put up 504 yards of total offense in week one against the Dawgs. Washington ranks 104th in points against and tends to give up big yardage week after week. Luckily for them, they have offensive weapons that will keep them in games. Quarterback Keith Price and running back Chris Polk have shown All-American type talent and have the numbers to prove it. Price has thrown 22 touchdowns this year, and Polk has been in the top five of FBS running backs, statistically, all season.

Arizona finally had a decisive win on Saturday over the struggling UCLA Bruins. Quarterback Nick Foles continues to destroy opposing defenses, and his top target, wide receiver Juron Criner, is beginning to live up to his preseason expectations. The Wildcats bring a frighteningly potent offense to Seattle on Saturday night, and should put up fantastic numbers against the Huskies. However, in a high scoring battle, an inspired Washington team squeaks one out.

Washington 35 Arizona 32 (OT)


Do Not Overlook:

California @ UCLA

California got a win in Salt Lake City on Saturday against the overwhelmed Utes of Utah. It was hardly a quality win as Utah has been embarrassed by the Pac-12 so far this season. However, Cal has some key players, specifically in quarterback Zach Maynard and wide receiver Keenan Allen, that always offer them the chance to win.

UCLA took a 48-12 loss to the previously 1-5 Arizona Wildcats. The Bruins were never in the game and it almost appeared the defense cashed it in against a powerful Arizona passing attack. The 19th-ranked passing attack of the Golden Bears will cause problems for the Bruins.

California 28 UCLA 17


Upset Alert:

See Game of the Week. The best opportunity for an upset this week, goes against everything written under the Game of the Week. However, if one believes in week-to-week momentum, the Trojans could have an edge after the solid win against the Fighting Irish. There was a question whether Barkley and the Trojans could win in South Bend, and now the same question prevails against Stanford. Motivation will be high, and if we’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s to not count out a champion.


Players to Watch:

QB Nick Foles, Arizona: A weak Washington defense opens doors for opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers.

WR Juron Criner, Arizona: Same as above.

RB Isi Sofele, California: Picking up yards against the 95th-ranked rush defense should not be a problem.

LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis, Washington State: Leads the Pac-12 in tackles and has been all over the field this year. Playing a highly potent Oregon team will offer opportunities to make plays.


Week 9 Football Breakdown Page