It was evident after Week One in the College Football season that the USC Trojans and the Cal Bears are the two best teams in the Pac Ten Conference. The Trojans defeated San Jose State 56-3 and California beat Maryland 52-13. Oregon got out played and out coached in a 19-8 loss at Boise State. Another team must step up and prove that they can compete for first place in the Pac Ten. There are a number of good OOC match-ups this week such as UCLA at Tennessee and Stanford at Wake Forest. There are a number of players that must step up this week for their teams if they expect to get a victory in Week Two.
First year Trojan QB Matt Barkley had a very solid game going 15/19 and passing for 233 yards. One thing that will make life easier for Matt this year is the experience of USC’s offensive line. With players like C Kristopher O’Dowd (6-5 300), G Jeff Byers (6-4 285) and T Charles Brown (6-6 295) the o-line will provide more than adequate protection for Barkley and open up holes for RB’s Stafon Johnson and Joe McKnight. Scott Wolf of the L.A. Daily News reports that O’Dowd should be ready for the game at Ohio State. RB Joe McKnight averaged 10.4 YPC against San Jose State and USC hopes to keep the running game going at Ohio State this week.
One of the question marks for the Bears coming into this season was there receiving core. With the Maryland defense concentrating on Jahvid Best that allowed QB Kevin Riley to pass for 298 yards and 4 TD’s. The WR’s stepped up against the Terrapins with Marvin Jones averaging 24.7 YPC, Verran Tucker 16.7 YPC and Nyan Boateng catching 2 passes for 22.0 YPC. The Bears have an easy opponent this week with E. Washington coming to Memorial Stadium. The Bears are now ranked #10 (AP) in the country. If California can win at Minnesota on September 19th they can put themselves in a very good position Nationally and in the Pac Ten.
One of the teams that most people are not talking about is the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford is 1-0 in conference after beating Washington State 39-13. Redshirt Freshmen QB Andrew Luck had a very solid game against the Cougars. Luck went 11/23, passed for 193 yards and 1 TD. This Saturday Stanford travels to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are coming off a 24-21 home loss to Baylor. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh will rely on RB Toby Gerhart to have a big game to take the pressure off Andrew Luck. Gerhart ran for 121 yards and 2 TD’s against Washington State. A victory at Wake Forest would be huge for the Stanford Program.
The UCLA Bruins started off slowly last Saturday against the Aztecs. San Diego got off to a 14-10 first quarter lead. The Bruins out scored the Aztecs 23-0 the last three quarters of the game. QB Kevin Prince got an opportunity to get a game under his belt before the Bruins take on the Tennessee Volunteers this Saturday. When the Bruins travel to Knoxville they will need RB Derrick Coleman to have a big game and the UCLA defense will need to play well to keep this game close going into the 4th quarter. BlueReign of Bruinsnation.com talked about the importance of a good defensive performance by UCLA. With the Oregon Ducks in trouble, a win by UCLA at Tennessee would prove that they are one of the teams that could have a tremendous year in the Pac Ten this season.