Pac-12 Football Week 11 Breakdown

Pac-12 Football Week 11 Breakdown

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Game of the Week:

#6 Oregon @ #3 Stanford

This game has been on the national radar nearly all season, and will not disappoint college football fans. The outcome of this game will likely determine the Pac-12 representative in the Rose Bowl (barring an upset in the Pac-12 Championship game) and, if Stanford wins, open the door for a National Championship. Oregon’s loss to LSU in week one could very likely have ended any hopes of a National Championship, but they can certainly play spoiler to Stanford on Saturday.

The Ducks’ running back LaMichael James is back on the field and healthy, returning the Oregon offense to its top-notch form. Stanford’s quarterback Andrew Luck has not put up the best numbers in the FBS, but hasn’t needed to as his offense has given him plenty of other weapons to score with. Luck has instead excelled as a game manager, which has become highly touted in NFL schemes, solidifying him as the number one overall selection in 2012.

Expect to see Oregon take their chances downfield, and spread the defense as much as possible. On the other side, Stanford will try to use ball control and their rushing attack to methodically and systematically weaken the Ducks’ defense. Given the styles of offense provide differing levels of ball control, the edge goes to Stanford.

Stanford 42 Oregon 32


Honorable Mention:

Washington @ Southern California

Washington has been unable to stop anyone this year defensively. They currently rank 93rd in the FBS in total defense, which is an improvement from a week ago when they ranked 117th. This could be viewed as a victory considering in the interim the Huskies played one of the top offensive teams in the country in Oregon. Washington was able to give the Ducks a reasonable game until the second half when Oregon displayed its dominance.

Southern Cal played one of the weakest teams in the Pac-12 and came away with an easy victory over Colorado. Matt Barkley, who is quickly moving his way up NFL draft boards, threw for 318 yards and six touchdowns, while top receiver Robert Woods caught one-third of that effort (130 yards with two scores).

On paper this matchup looks like it could be a close one. In reality, the final score will reflect USC’s relative supremacy over the Huskies.

USC 35 Washington 24


Do Not Overlook:

UCLA @ Utah

Both teams are coming off big wins against conference foes. Utah beat the hapless Arizona Wildcats, but managed to put up big offensive numbers, which have been scarce, in the win. UCLA had a huge upset against the Pac-12 South’s powerful Arizona State, and possibly saved the career of head coach Rick Neuheisel. This week either team will become bowl-eligible with a win, not to mention salvaging an otherwise dismal season. Utah is hosting giving them a slight home field advantage. UCLA has been improving each week and looks like a possible contender in years to come.

UCLA 24 Utah 21


Upset Alert:

Colorado over Arizona

Arizona quarterback Nick Foles is putting up great numbers, and is currently ranked fifth in the FBS in regards to passing yards per game with 350. Top wide receiver Juron Criner, a NFL prospect in his own right, has pulled in 50 balls for 607 yards and eight touchdowns. Amazingly however, the Wildcats are struggling to find wins. Back to back losses to Washington and Utah have left Arizona wondering where its problems lie. Clearly it is their defensive unit as they rank 106th in yards allowed per game.

Colorado has been equally as disappointing this year and struggles to win games outside of the state of Colorado (their only win came against Colorado State). With that said, Colorado has played a very difficult schedule and only lost one game against an equal opponent. Their early-season, out-of conference schedule included Hawaii and Ohio State, both formidable opponents.

Arizona will struggle once again defensively, and Colorado will get its second win of the season in Boulder.

Colorado 24 Arizona 20  


Players to Watch:

QB Matt Barkley, Southern California: A weak defensive unit in Washington will allow for Barkley to continue his march toward a great season.

RB Rodney Stewart, Colorado: Has not lived up to season expectations so far, but this week is a great chance to get off the ground.

WR Nelson Rosario, UCLA: The most consistent receiver on the Bruins’ offense. Should find plenty of opportunities in the thin air of Salt Lake City.

DB Damante Horton, Washington State: Has four interceptions and one for a touchdown, despite an otherwise questionable defensive unit. This sophomore will make an impact against a pass-happy Arizona State team.


Week 11 Football Breakdown Page