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NCAA Football West; The State of Oregon is Undefeated

Sean Mannion of Oregon State

Mannion's superb play has the Beavers 3-0 in 2012.

When the Oregon State Beavers opened their 2012 season with a 10-7 win over Wisconsin, many thought this was just a bad Wisconsin football team. Now, the Beavers are 3-0 and have won two Pac-12 conference games on the road and suddenly people are taking notice. Last Saturday, OSU went in to Arizona and stunned the Wildcats with a late score to win 38-35. QB Sean Mannion was 29 of 45 for 433 yards and three touchdowns including a late nine-yarder that sealed the win. Now having gone into UCLA and to Tucson, the Beavers look like more than just an average team in the Pac-12.

Stanford 13 at Washington 17 – I desperately wanted to take the Huskies last week but just couldn’t pull the trigger and I paid for it. Stanford was unable to do much of anything offensively struggling to get to 235 yards of total offense. Still, Josh Nunes had the Cardinal in striking distance before turning the ball over in the red zone with under two minutes to play. This was a major win for Washington considering their start to the season and the way Stanford had drubbed them in three previous seasons.

Oregon 51 at Washington State 26 – The Ducks were making their first appearance outside of Autzen Stadium in 2012 and looked like it in the first half leading just 23-19. Then, according to some players, they got lit up by the coaches at halftime and went out and dominated the second half for the win. Kenjon Barner was superb rushing 20 times for 195 yards and three scores, but the Ducks will need better QB play from Marcus Mariota who threw for just 169 yards with one TD and two picks. Oregon’s defense will need to be better as well as they gave up well over 400 yards of offense to Wazzu.

Boise State 32 at New Mexico 29 – Granted, this is not the Boise State Broncos’ teams we are used to seeing, but we must also give credit to Head Coach Bob Davie and his scrappy New Mexico Lobos. This game was 25-0 Broncos at halftime and then the New Mexico triple-option attack went to work scoring 29 points in the second half. BSU Head Coach Chris Petersen admitted afterwards that his team was completely baffled by the UNM offense after halftime. Still, Boise State QB Joe Southwick threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns to get the Broncos the victory. The only pass thrown by the Lobos was their last offensive play of the game which was batted away with two minutes to go.

Looking ahead to this week

USC (-14) at Utah – Have to be honest hear, I really thought this game could potentially alter the course of the Pac-12 title at the beginning of the year yet so much has changed. The Trojans have already lost to Stanford and have shown weaknesses with their lack of depth. Utah has seen senior quarterback Jordan Wynn go down with injury and then decide he was giving up the game altogether. At 2-2 and coming off of a 37-7 loss to Arizona State, the Utes are in trouble here. Yes, the crowd will be vocal in front of a national TV audience tonight and the Utes will hang around but SC has just has too much athleticism on both sides of the ball. I like the Trojans even giving the 14.

Washington State (+15) at Oregon State – I really like Oregon State here for a couple of reasons. First, they are returning home after two huge road wins and they just played a spread offense a little bit similar to what they’ll see from the Cougars. Secondly, the Cougars are coming off back-to-back tough losses to Colorado and Oregon and can’t have a lot left in the tank right now. I love the Beavers to win by more than 15.

Kenjon Barner

Barner and the Ducks return home to play Washington

Washington (+24) at Oregon – After the Huskies solid defensive performance against Stanford, I’d really like to think it will carry over to their game at Oregon. And I’d be wrong. Oregon is a different animal at home and they were not at all happy with their performance against Washington State. My thought is that Oregon will jump out to a big lead and probably even lead by more than 24 but I think the Huskies cover with some late scores against a Ducks’ defense that still has work to do.

Other games I like (My picks in BOLD)

UCLA (-3) at California

Texas State (+3 1/2) at New Mexico

Arizona (+9) at Stanford

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