#2 Oregon at Arizona State
Normally, this would be the perfect situation to start talking about a trap game, but I just don’t believe Oregon is going to fall for it. Autzen Stadium can’t be fully responsible for the way they have been clobbering teams lately. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Sun Devils manage to stay competitive, but I would be absolutely shocked if they won. Still, given that, this will be an interesting test of an ASU defense that has allowed opponents to score only 14.2 points per game. Of course the Ducks will score more than that, but if they are held to, say, 30 or so points, it could show that the Arizona State defense really is approaching an elite level. I’m not holding my breath.
Oregon 42, Arizona State 24
#22 Stanford at California
It’s a trap! Well, it could be. Cal suddenly looks like a real team, winning two straight while putting up solid points and holding both teams to only 17 points each. That is solid, with one of those teams being a then-#25 ranked UCLA, but the other was WSU, so take the stats with a grain of salt. Personally, I don’t buy that Stanford will lose, though I do think they will be challenged. Stanford may have lost to Notre Dame, but on the road, almost any team in the country would lose to Notre Dame. Their defense is simply stifling. Cal doesn’t have the means to put up points against the Cardinal, and Stepfan Taylor will be able to make up for Josh Nunes and his general streakiness.
Stanford 31, Cal 21
Colorado at #11 USC
As close to a bye week as the Trojans will get while still playing football. Normally it’s dangerous for a team to look past an opponent, but USC can go ahead. They aren’t WSU, they won’t be upset by the Buffaloes at home. What will be important, though, is for Matt Barkley and the USC offense to use this game to tune things up and fix some of the issues with inconsistency that plagued them in Seattle. A really great statline for Barkley could help get the nitpickers off of his back.
USC 45, Colorado 17
Utah at #8 Oregon State
Hey, why doubt the Beavers? They apparently do not need their starting quarterback with backup Cody Vaz throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns against BYU last week. No reason to think he can’t do that again against Utah, and even if he struggles, it isn’t as if Utah is going to score on that frightening OSU defense. Oh, and this game is in Corvallis. Icing on the cake.
Oregon State 38, Utah 20