By Fred Delkin
Pigskin missed on three of Week 1’s calls, as Utah just edged Utah State, Colorado nipped Colorado State and Oregon State defied all forecasters’ efforts by forfeiting their national ranking with a loss to underdog Eastern Washington. Oregon showed it has lost no luster despite Chip Kelly’s departure and now debuts this Saturday on the national ABC-TV stage 3,000miles from home at Virginia. We expect the Ducks to show the nation how its #2-ranked team is a real national title threat.
Here’s our week 2 forecast:
Oregon @ Virginia–the host Cavaliers proved by beating BYU last week that they will be no pushover, but talent, depth and speed are all on the UO side of the line. Marcus Mariota will again show his Heisman credentials, Black Mamba will dazzle, a Duck defense that never gets enough credit will stuff the rookie Virginia QB and no viewer will doubt the Eugene crew’s title credentials. OREGON by 28.
Hawaii @ Oregon State–the visiting Rainbow Warriors gave USC a battle and their veteran coach Norm Chow is a challenge, but we expect the Beavers to show their displeasure with their sorry debut and show their home crowd there’s still hope remaining for a winning season. OREGON STATE by 10.
Washington State @ USC–the Cougars have an aerial offense that will keep ’em clawing, but the host Trojans have too many horses to keep the kids from the Palouse from prancing very far on the Coliseum scoreboard. SOUTHERN CAL by 21.
San Jose St. @ Stanford–the visiting Spartans have a history of upsetting the form chart when it comes to them facing their cross-Bay wealthy neighbors. However, this Cardinal crew is opening with proven talent desiring to live up to their billing in a delayed season start. STANFORD by 35.
Arizona @ UNLV–the Wildcats have a hurry-up spread offense similar to what Chip Kelly brought to Oregon and have some hope of being a threat for the Pac-12 South title. UNLV has never fielded a football team worthy of promise and we don’t think that’s about to change. ARIZONA by 28.
Both UCLA and Washington have very legitimate plans of going to major bowls this season and nothing in their opening romps indicated otherwise. This week they both take a bye. Colorado and Utah should easily prevail against lowly opposition in, respectively, Central Arkansas and Weber State. However, considering what happened in Corvallis last week, no opposition should be taken for granted as a ‘gimme’. Sacramento St., which whacked Oregon State in a 2011 opener, can’t be anything but a sure loser to Arizona State this Thursday eve.
ROSES & RASPBERRIES–blooms are earned by Portland State for commissioning Dave Hersh to design a promotion program for PSU athletics…Hersh once did an admirable job of promoting the baseball Beavers here over two decades ago and knows the territory after winning kudos since in other markets. Hersh knows full well that Portland is a major market capable of supporting a far bigger Viking fan base than the few folk who now wander into Jeld-Wen Field.