Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/25/13
The Pac-12 opens its first full slate of conference games this week and college football fans are in for some entertaining matchups.While there will be some blowouts, most of the games are evenly matched and as always in the Pac-12 there will be some surprises this week.Here are this week's Pac-12 games starting with the least competitive matchups and working up to the most exciting game of the week.California (1-2) at No. 2 Oregon (3-0): Oregon will dominate this one. Cal has freshman sensation Jared Goff at quarterback, but that won't be nearly enough against a Duck defense that is only giving up 9 points a game.Goff is averaging 435 ypg passing and has 7 TDs but Oregon's offense is averaging a whopping 672 ypg in total offense. Throw in the fact that Cal is surrendering 42 ppg to opponents, and this game will be over in the first quarter. This will be the only blow out in the Pac-12 this week. Ducks will roll in Autzen Stadium. Arizona (3-0) at No. 16 Washington (3-0): The Huskies will be looking to avenge a 52-17 pounding by Arizona that almost derailed last season. This will be a tough game played by evenly matched teams. Washington's defense is only giving up 10 ppg, but Arizona's is slightly better and is only giving up 9 ppg. Wildcat Ka'Deem Carey is averaging 150 ypg rushing while Washington's Bishop Sankey is rushing for 149 ypg.Arizona's offense has averaged 44 ppg but hasn't face any real competition yet. The difference in this game should be Washington quarterback Keith Price. He is throwing for 293 ypg. Arizona is only gaining 109 ypg passing.This will be a hard fought defensive game with lots of running the ball. The key will be which team can put up some passing yards.USC (3-1) at Arizona State (2-1): This will be a classic matchup of offense (ASU) versus defense (USC). Arizona State's offense is clicking at 469 ypg while USC's defense is only allowing 231 ypg.Tre Madden is rushing for 114 ypg for the Trojans but coach Lane Kiffin is on the hot seat because of a lack of a passing game. The good news for Kiffen is he is out of Los Angeles for the weekend and will probably hear fewer boos on the road then at home.Colorado (2-0) at Oregon State (3-1): In what could be the best game of the night, underachieving Oregon State will take on an improved Colorado team. Both teams have serious question marks. Colorado appears to be much better than last year when they went 1-11. Oregon State started the season ranked but lost to FCS Eastern Washington in the season opener and almost lost to San Diego State (0-3) last week. Oregon State has 475 ypg in total offense, largely behind quarterback Sean Mannion (401 ypg, 15 TDs, 1 INT). But Colorado's defense is only giving up 318 ypg and quarterback Connor Wood is coming into the game with 371 ypg passing. Oregon State is giving up 35 ppg, so this one could be a high scoring affair.No. 5 Stanford (3-0) at Washington State (3-1): The most interesting Pac-12 game will be played in Seattle at CenturyLink Field. This is a home game for WSU, but will be played 286 miles from Pullman. The Cougars play one game a year at CenturyLink to keep their Seattle fan base happy. With only a 5-5 record at CenturyLink, this might not even qualify for home field advantage.WSU and Stanford come into the game with very different styles of play. While both play tough, physical defense, their offenses are as different as night and day. Stanford relies on a rush first, ball control style of play. WSU is led by pass-happy head coach Mike Leach and has the nation's 16th best passing offense. Leach's Air Raid  offense will be tested by Stanford's tough defense, but Washington State also features the nation's tenth ranked defense, only giving up 264 ypg and 12 ppg.Washington State has faced some tough competition in a close loss to SEC opponent Auburn (3-1), and a victory over then No. 25 USC. Stanford has defeated San Jose State and Army, who have a combined record of 2-5. They easily beat Arizona State, but the Cardinal defense is giving up 20.3 ppg and ASU racked up 417 yards of offense.This game has all the makings of a classic upset. Last year Stanford narrowly beat the Cougars 24-17 at home. This game should be a defensive struggle, and if WSU can pull off a couple of big plays the mighty Cardinal could fall.
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