KVAL Predictions: Bay Area battles Part 2
Stanford vs. Oregon
Tom: A month ago, this game didn't look like it would be much of an issue for Oregon. But since then, the Ducks have suffered plenty of injuries on the defensive side the ball. While safety Avery Patterson is done for the season, indications are that Oregon will get back some key pieces up front, including Taylor Hart and Ricky Heimuli. As for Stanford, the Cardinal D is one of the best in the nation, statistically. While I don't think Stanford will, it could give the Oregon offense and freshman QB Marcus Mariota some problems. 'Super Mariota' has been phenomenal in his first year as the Ducks' starter, and is putting up better numbers than Texas A&M QB Johnny Football, Mr. Manziel. Last season in Palo Alto the Oregon offense has had it's way with Stanford's defense, and I don't see any reason to think otherwise this time around. In fact, the Ducks have outscored the Cardinal in the last two meetings 105-61. Can you say 160-89? Stanford: 28 Oregon: 55
Nick: The line has the Ducks favored by three touchdowns and that sounds about right, but I will still call for the over in the regular season home finale which will clinch a second straight year hosting the Pac-12 title game on November 30th. Stanford: 21 Oregon: 51
Dirk: Stanford can win this game. The Cardinal has one of the best defenses in the nation (#1 in sacks and #1 against the run). Stanford also leads the Pac-12 in total defense and scoring defense. The Cardinal have the formula to beat the Ducks. If Stanford can possess the ball, running it with Stepfan Taylor, not turn it over and get turnovers on defense, then the Cardinal WILL win the game. However, Stanford will have to outscore Oregon in order to win the game. I don't see that happening. The Cardinal was able to outscore Arizona in a shootout in Palo Alto earlier this year, but Oregon has the best offense in the nation. If the Ducks can get a couple stops on defense or maybe some turnovers, Oregon will win comfortably. I just don't see Stanford outscoring Oregon in Autzen with a red-shirt freshman quarterback (Kevin Hogan). Stanford: 31 Oregon: 39
Phil: This is a match-up of two opposing styles. Oregon likes to spread it out and play at warp speed. Stanford likes to slow things down, play physical and win the time of possession. Over the past two seasons, Stanford's style hasn't been so successful. It won't be this week either, but I do think the Cardinal will make this a decent game. Stepfan Taylor is a great running back and will be a big threat. Plus Stanford will keep the Ducks' running backs in check. The difference in the game will be Marcus Mariota. He has shown over and over that he can handle pressure and get the job done. Stanford: 31 Oregon: 52
California vs. Oregon State
Tom: The Beavers two losses this season had more to do with lack of execution than it did with the opponent actually taking victory from OSU. In both games, against Washington and Stanford, the win was there for the taking for the Beavers, but they failed to reach out and grab it. This week against Cal, it will be a different story. Sean Mannion once again looks healthy in practice, and Oregon State will look to air it out against a Bears defense that gave up seven TD passes at home against Oregon last week. Throw in some Storm Woods power run game, and this one will be a cruise-fest for OSU in the 4th quarter. California: 16 Oregon State: 36
Nick: Sean Mannion is back and he and the Beavers rip up the Golden Bears. Four touchdown passes and zero picks for Mannion in his return to the starting roll. California: 10 Oregon State: 31
Dirk: The Golden Bears season is lost. They really have nothing left to play for. OSU meanwhile is playing for the best bowl game possible and could end up in the Holiday Bowl or Sun Bowl or Las Vegas Bowl. Cal can run the ball really well at times with Isi Sofele. However, the Bears are playing with a back-up quarterback (Allan Bridgford). It appears Sean Mannion is back at the helm of the Beaver offense. If he can take care of the football and make smart decisions, then OSU will win going away. California: 17 Oregon State: 34
Phil: The return of Sean Mannion. He will prove to everyone that he should have never been benched. Look for him to have a big game, with no turnovers. This could be a blowout, except the Bears will be playing with a lot of emotion. It could be Jeff Tedford's final game as Cal's head coach, and the team will want to win this one for the skipper. I don't think that will be enough though. California: 17 Oregon State: 39
After ten weeks, the standings are as close as they've been in a long time. Tom and Dirk picked up a game last week by picking Stanford. They are now tied with Phil, who has been way off the past two weeks. Nick is still clinging to first place with just a one game lead.
1. Nick: 16-3 (19), 2. Tom: 15-4 (19.5), 3. Dirk: 15-4 (18), 4. Phil: 15-4 (15.5)
What do you think will go down this weekend? You can let us know in a variety of ways.
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