Oregon vs. Washington State
Tom: The Ducks have averaged 46 points per game in the last three meetings against the Cougs, and will likely surpass that figure in this game. The Cougs give up, on average, 473 yards per game, and so far this season have given up 16 touchdowns in four games. Compare that to Oregon's total defense numbers, which rank 49th in the nation at 351 yards per game, but the Ducks have given up just 8 TD's in four games. Furthermore, we witnessed a star in the making last Saturday night against Arizona, as CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu intercepted Matt Scott twice, returning the second one for a 'nail in the coffin' score. QB's Connor Halliday and Jeff Tuel beware: get sloppy throwing the ball and Ifoor another member of Oregon's secondarywill house one. Oregon: 59 Washington State: 17
Nick: Prior to last weeks debacle against Mile High Milani's Buffs, I may have thought the alma mater could have at least put up a decent fight against the Ducks, then the ultimate 'Cougin' It' happened, and I have lost all hope in the Cougars. Only if some NFL replacement refs suit up for the Pac-12, would Wazzu have a chance at the 'Clink'. Ducks have fun 'on the road' in front of a crowd that will be about 60% clad with green and yellow. Grab a can of Cougar Gold on your victorious way back down I-5 Sunday morning. Oregon: 44 Washington State: 17
Dirk: The Ducks have won five straight and seven of the past eight against the Cougars. This is the first meeting between the two in Seattle. Will it matter? No. Can Oregon improve upon its impressive defensive performance against Arizona where the Ducks shut out the Wildcats while forcing five turnovers? Probably not. That's a tall task. Will Wazzu throw the football a lot (maybe 60+ times)? Oh yeah. Does it matter which quarterback plays for the Cougs (Tuel or Halliday)? No. They're very similar. Can Oregon stop that Mike Leach "Air Raid" attack? No, but the Ducks can contain it. Will Oregon win? Definitely. Oregon: 46 Washington State: 17
Phil: Oregon's defense was all over the field in last week's shutout against Arizona, wreaking havoc and forcing turnovers. Meanwhile, Washington State was re-defining the term 'Cougin' It.' WSU couldn't hang on to a 17 point fourth quarter lead against the mighty Colorado Buffaloes. Knowing that, I say Oregon puts up at least 30 points in the first half and cruises to an easy victory. DAT regains his form. Oregon: 52 Washington State: 17
Oregon State vs. Arizona
Tom: This is a bellwether game for the Beavers. Right now, lots of people believe OSU is for real, including myself. But go to Tucson and lose to a Wildcats squad which seemed in a daze a week earlier, and all of a sudden, all bets are off. Now, if the Beavs defense replicates the performance against UCLA, and QB Sean Mannion takes care of the ball and puts it on the money to WR's Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton, the Beavs will be 3-0 and looking good with games at home vs. WSU, at BYU (which lost to 2-2 Utah), and homecoming vs. Utah. Oregon State: 29 Arizona: 20
Nick: Scrubbing through postgame audio in the edit bay from Jordan Poyer after the game in UCLA, you would think the kid doesn't watch KVAL Sports or read this prediction blog. Poyer said no one gave them a chance. Philly and I felt good enough about the Beavs season opening performance against Wisconsin to pick them to win down in Pasadena. Thanks to the guys, I am in first place. Can they keep me there? Winning back-to-back weeks on the road in the conference isn't each for any team, but I owe the Beavers for having my back. Oregon State: 31 Arizona: 28
Dirk: The Beavers confused me all last year. When they played well one week, I expected them to continue it the next week. OSU has won its first two games over ranked opponents in impressive fashion, especially on defense. The Beavs rank first in the nation in third down defense. However, both wins came with an extra week to prepare. Oregon State doesn't get an extra week to prepare for Arizona which is coming off that tough shut out loss to Oregon. This could be a similar game to the UCLA contest and that's how OSU is going to have to win its game this season. I'm going with the Beavers based on their first two games and their defense. Oregon got decent pressure on the Wildcats' quarterbacks, and I think the Beavs can do the same while limiting Arizona's run game. The 18th ranked Beavers may move up again. Oregon State: 27 Arizona: 24
Phil: After this game, we'll really know a lot more about the Beavers. This is their second game in a row on the road, and this will be the first time they don't have a bye week advantage. If OSU can go to Tucson and come away with a victory, then I'm sold on the Beavers. I think Arizona is a good team that made too many mistakes and couldn't convert in the red zone against the Ducks. They will be hungry this week. But I think the Beavers defense will once again rise to the occasion. Jordan Poyer will have at least one interception and Sean Mannion will do just enough to help the Beavers get to 3-0 for the first time since 2002. Oregon State: 31 Arizona: 21
*Each person in the KVAL Sports department makes his pick independently, without any knowledge of what the other person is thinking.
After four weeks, there is finally some separation. Nick and Phil were the only ones to correctly predict that Oregon State would beat UCLA. They were also the two closest to the correct score. That's why they now sit atop the standings.
1. Nick: 5-1 (6), 2. Phil: 5-1 (5.5), 3. Tom: 4-2 (5.5), 4. Dirk: 4-2 (5)
What do you think will go down this weekend? You can let us know in a variety of ways.
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