Cougs seeing pink, Beavers in the Bay

Cougs seeing pink, Beavers in the Bay


WASHINGTON ST. vs. OREGON

Tom WardTom Ward
 

Pink or no pink, the Cougars are in trouble at Autzen.  The Ducks are favored by nearly 40 points, and I believe it could be even worse than that for the Cougs.  While Oregon averages more than 630 yards per game on offense (2nd nationally), the Washington State defense gives up more than 400 yards per game--a deadly combination for WSU.  After playing four quarters against 16th ranked Washington, Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota will undoubtedly be able to rest in the second half Saturday night.  The UO defense will pick off WSU QB Connor Halliday two or three times, adding to his 13 interceptions thrown so far this season.  Prediction: Oregon 58  Washington St. 19

Craig LoperCraig Loper
             

The Ducks are coming off their best win of the season against Washington and UCLA comes to town next weekend. Could this be a trap game for the Ducks? Not even. The Cougars are over matched at every position on the field and the Ducks will dominate in every phase of the game. If I'm the Oregon coaching staff, I continue to sit the lightning rod that is De'Anthony Thomas. They don't need him for this game and are perfectly able, as last week proved, to get the job done without him. What will be interesting to watch is how the Ducks' secondary covers the quick-hitting passing attack of Washington State. Expect two or three turnovers and the defense to score a touchdown or two. The Oregon offense will continue to roll and Marcus Mariota's heisman campaign doesn't suffer any setbacks.  Prediction: Oregon 59  Washington St. 14
Collin Harmon
Collin Harmon

Coming off their big win over Washington, and with UCLA and Stanford looming on the schedule, it would be easy for the Ducks to overlook the Cougars much like the Cardinal did Utah. However, Oregon is too talented all over the field to slip up against WSU. Ducks will get back over 50 points against a below average Cougs defense and have this one wrapped up by halftime. Prediction: Oregon 58   Washington St. 13

John FranchiJohn Franchi
 

Red hot Oregon will think "pink" Saturday when the Ducks host Washington State. The team will wear pink gear, including helmets, to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. This newest fashion statement will inspire the Ducks, especially the players who in some way have been affected by cancer. Meanwhile, Washington State is struggling. The Cougars could not hang on to the ball against Oregon State a week ago. If those turnover woes continue, this could be a long night for the Cougs. Even if Washington State doesn't turn the ball over, this should be a long night for the Cougars. Oregon will use this game as a tune up for it's showdown against UCLA next week. The Ducks offense will put up big numbers again.  Prediction: Oregon 63  Washington St. 17

 


OREGON ST. vs CALIFORNIA

Tom WardTom Ward
 

While the Beavers continue to get healtheir through the middle part of the season, California is in a tough spot injury wise.  11 Golden Bears are out for this game, including seven players who are done for the season.  Much of the attritiion has come on the defensive side of the ball, where the Bears can least afford it.  They'll be going up against QB Sean Mannion, who is on an absolute tear, and is coming off a 4 TD, 493 yard passing performance in the Palouse. Furthermore, California's pass defense is the worst in the Pac-12, giving up 321 yards per game this season, and 14 TD's.  Interceptions? The Bears have only picked off opposing QB's FOUR times.  Oregon St. 55, California 23  Prediction: Oregon St. 55  California 23

Craig LoperCraig Loper
 

The Beavers are coming off a dominant fourth quarter performance against Washington State last Saturday and I think that confidence rolls into this game. California is struggling, to say the least, to stop anyone on defense. They're dealing with multiple injuries and it's not likely Sonny Dykes' squad finds inspiration for this one. Who will be inspired, however, is Oregon State's Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks. Both Mannion and Cooks are from the Northern California area and both expressed during the week they were happy to get back to the area and play in front of friends and family. No one has been able to stop the passing attack of OSU and it will be a lot more of the same on Saturday. Expect four touchdowns out of Sean Mannion. The Cal passing attack will be another great test for the Beavers but it helps they just saw a pass-happy offense the previous week. If the Beavers secondary plays like it did in the fourth quarter against Wazzu, it's going to be a long day for true freshman quarterback Jared Goff.  Prediction: Oregon St. 49   California 21
Collin Harmon
Collin Harmon

Winners of five straight games, the Beavers now find themselves in the mix at 3-0 in conference play. Sean Mannion, Brandin Cooks and the rest of the OSU passing attack has been virtually unstoppable all year long, and now the run game is slowly starting to improve. Cal's defense has struggled all year long and the Bear Raid offense has regressed since entering Pac-12 play. The Beavers will win their sixth straight in blowout fashion.  Prediction: Oregon St. 48  California 24

John FranchiJohn Franchi

The second hottest team in the Pac-12 just might be Oregon State. The Beavers should continue rolling this week at California. Oregon State has improved every week, and facing this rebuilding Golden Bear team offers the perfect recipe for that trend to continue. Cal will gain plenty of yards in the air. That is what that team does. But can they keep up with the marvelous Sean Mannion and company? Not a chance. The Beaver defense will shut down the Golden Bears. The Beaver offense will be explosive again. Oregon State keeps pace in the Pac-12 North race.  Prediction: Oregon St. 56  California 35


THE STANDINGS

Last week, everyone but Collin correctly picked the Ducks and Beavers both winning in the Evergreen State.  Craig also nailed Oregon's 45-24 score against the Huskies, earning him the bonus point for the week.  John continues to lead the overall standings, but Tom has earned the most bonus points this season.

John Franchi
John Franchi

11-1
(12)

 

Tom Ward
Tom Ward
10-2
(13)

 

Craig Loper
Craig Loper
10-2
(12)

 

Collin Harmon
Collin Harmon
8-4
(9)

 

 

E-mail: sports@kval.com

On Twitter: Tom Ward, Collin Harmon, John Franchi, Craig Loper

Or on facebook: Tom Ward KVAL Craig Loper