Coming into Autzen Stadium this Saturday Wyoming is 2-0, and galloping high with confidence with their last minute win last week against Air Force. But if Wyoming comes out the gate dumbstruck against Oregon’s up-tempo offensive attack like they did against Air Force, they could find themselves down big before halftime, and there will not be any last minute miracles 5th year Senior QB Colby Kirkegaard can pull out of his holdter. The Ducks are primed and ready to lay waste to the Cowboys after their huge win against Michigan State. Marcus Mariota proved again why he is one of the top Heisman candidates, and the defense quieted doubters that Oregon can’t play hard tough-nose defense against teams with an aggressive offensive line.
There’s always a team who has to take the brunt of the punishment or the team who gets frustration taken out on them. Unfortunately for Army they are going to the next study case, and Stanford is going be the one who hammers out the punishment. After a heart-breaking lost to the USC Trojans on their own field last week; the Cardinal will come out with a fire in their eyes. Allowing a game to get away from them with the chance to pull out a win fuels you to want to get back out on the field and prove that isn’t the team we are. Kevin Hogan played well, but didn’t put any points on the board. Marred by penalties and a USC defense that would bend but not break, Stanford’s offense will be looking to reestablish their passing that was so effective against UC-Davis.
Questionable before the game against Stanford with a gimpy ankle, defensive tackle Leonard Williams was name the PAC-12 conference Player of the Week, having 11 tackles and a sack last week. Williams and the Trojans are taking their momentum across country to Boston College and dual-threat quarterback Tyler Murphy, who are looking to upset the Trojans after their lost to Pittsburgh at home last Friday. If the Eagles want to shock the country, Murphy has to come with a better performance both in the air and on the ground. USC showed last week that they can control the line scrimmage by containing Stanford’s run game to just being a minimal run game allowing only 128 yards rushing. Boston College needs Tyler Murphy to spread the wealth and Myles Willis has to run amuck against the Trojans front seven.
How high is the confidence in Boulder? Probably not as high as the elevation, but their hopefulness to pull out a win against Arizona State has to be higher the Pikes Peak of the Rocky Mountains. If the Buffaloes allow Junior RB D.J. Foster to have 200 yard performance and Taylor Kelly to spread the ball around to his playmakers; the Sun Devils will bring Colorado’s high hopes back down to sea level. Sophomore QB Sefo Liufau has to embrace the energy of the home crowd and get off to a good start getting the ball into the hands of his big play receiver Nelson Spruce, who had 10 receptions for 145 yards with 2 touchdowns last week against UMass. But the offensive line has to protect Liufau against the blitz that defensive coordinator Keith Patterson plan to do to keep the young quarterback rattled.
With two lackluster wins against Virginia and Memphis last week, UCLA goes into this week against Texas having to wonder, are they not as good as we thought? Or are we they not played up to their full potential? Either way they need to figure it out quick going into AT&T Stadium to play the Longhorns, who will be coming into the game looking to bounce back after getting throttled by a very good BYU team. Texas Head Coach Charlie Strong will not allow the same defensive performance the Longhorns displayed last week against BYU, allowing 248 yards on the ground and 5 rushing touchdowns. Considering UCLA’s inconsistency, not knowing which team will show up, just the offensive or just the defense. Against Virginia the defense had to do the bulk of the scoring to get the win. Last week against Memphis the offense had to have a stellar performance to keep in front of Paxton Lynch and the Memphis offense, which the Bruins’ defense couldn’t get off the field. UCLA needs a complete game from all aspects of the team’s games; offense, defense and special teams. Anything short of that the Longhorns can UCLA back to Pasadena dropping even further in the rankings.
It’s apparent that the Washington offense is more explosive when sophomore QB Cyler Miles is under center putting up 59 points on board against Eastern Washington. Cyler Miles was responsible for 4 touchdowns (3 rushing and 1 passing). But the defense is another question; they allowed Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams, Jr to throw 475 yards in the air and 7 TD passes; a Heisman-like performance if playing for a power conference school. If Washington can’t get sophomore quarterback Wes Lunt off the field, and allow him to have another 400 yard game like he did last week against Western Kentucky, I don’t see the Huskies coming up with a repeat offensive performance to keep up with the Illini.