I’ll quickly review last week’s four highlighted players from the Michigan State – Notre Dame game. Coming off of an injury WR Mark Dell finished with 6 receptions for 121 yards. He looked a little rusty as he dropped what I believe to be two passes but still had a solid game. LB Greg Jones didn’t shine like I thought he would but finished with 9 total tackles. QB Jimmy Clausen showed composure late in the game by connecting with Golden Tate for what was the game-winning touchdown. His stock is rising and could emerge as the top QB this year as he finished 22 of 31 with 300 yards and 2 touchdowns. Clausen has thrown for nearly 1,000 yards in 3 games and has a TD to INT ratio of 9-0. WR Golden Tate played very well with 7 receptions, 127 yards and a touchdown. None of the players hurt their draft stock, they only helped it last weekend. Alright, what’s done is done, so let’s preview this week’s matchup.
No. 6 California Golden Bears @ Oregon Ducks 3:30 PM ET ABC
Last year, California won this contest 26 – 16 at home. California has won the past 3 meetings by an average of 12 points. A week after scoring 5 touchdowns against Minnesota, RB Jahvid Best looks to continue his march towards Cal’s first ever Heisman Trophy winner. Cal should be able to contain Oregon with their experienced defense led by senior shutdown CB Syd’Quan Thompson. Although, all eyes will be on Best, Cal has a legitimate shot at their first Rose Bowl in over 50 years after a USC loss last week.
This was going to be one of the best games of the year, showcasing two of the nation’s top running backs but RB LeGarrette Blount ruined it for us when he decided to punch a Boise State player in the face on opening weekend. In my opinion, 1st year coach Chip Kelly is in for a long season after losing Blount. Freshman LaMichael James has filled in nicely for him at running back but it’s not enough because of their inability to throw the ball. Some actually like quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, but he has a completion percentage less than 50%. WR Jamere Holland was once clocked at 10.36 in the 100-meter dash, but unfortunately for him, he doesn’t have a quarterback to get him the ball. If Masoli learns how to throw, keep an eye out for Holland, as he could be the next big thing in Oregon. The defense is led by stud CB Walter Thurmond and a few others but lost a handful of players that were starters last year. It may seem that I’m not a big fan of the Ducks and that is because I’m not, but many experts still believe they are a top 25 team after losing to Boise State and beating a bad Big 10 team and an overrated Utah team. There must be a reason that Cal is only a 5.5 point favorite though, so who knows but I got Cal covering the spread even though playing in Autzen Stadium is tough for opposing teams. Although, the Ducks have a slight edge on craziest uniforms. Prediction: California 31, Oregon 20.