With the Ducks enjoying a bye week, this gives the fans (along with our staff) the chance to closely watch other Pac-12 action across the country. 10 teams in the conference will be playing, with two of them playing against non-conference opponents.
At a glance, the biggest game is 17th-ranked Stanford going on the road to take on seventh-ranked Notre Dame. The Irish defense has been labeled as brilliant, coming in ranked 13th in total defense in the nation and excelling at stopping teams from scoring (ranked second only to Alabama). Stanford survived an overtime shootout against Arizona a week ago.
Oregon State goes on the road against BYU in the other non-conference matchup. The full preview of this weekend’s slate can be found here. What game is our staff looking forward to the most?
Mike: Without a doubt for me its Stanford at Notre Dame, I want to see how the Cardinal bounce back from the last time they played on the road. Has ND seen a physical offense like Stanford runs (I’d count Michigan State but they didn’t try that against the Irish) yet this season? In terms of teams I want to see play the Beavers at BYU with Vaz at QB in a hostel environment plus Southern Cal at Washington interests me due to how the Huskies have played in Seattle and on the road. UDub has been a different team depending on where they are in my opinion and a 3-0 home/0-2 road record shows this.
Brian: Stanford at Notre Dame is definitely a big matchup to watch, I don’t believe the Irish’s schedule is as strong now as how we saw it before the season. The Cardinal could be the biggest test for them yet. But the game getting most of my focus will be USC at Washington. The Huskies for some reason lack defense on the road, but they’ve been able to defend the pass well at home and shut down opposing quarterbacks. Can they do the same against Matt Barkley?
Raymond: The best game involving a Pac-12 team this week is obviously the Stanford-Notre Dame game since both teams are ranked in the top 17 in the country. Everyone seems to think Notre Dame is back so it’s a good opportunity for the Pac-12 to knock them back down. Another interesting game to me is Oregon State visiting BYU to see how they recover from the loss of Sean Mannion.
Ricky: Honestly, the only game I’d watch in the Pac-12 this week is Stanford and ND. I feel like we will get a good look at both teams. We will see if Stanford is really to play like last year or if ND is finally ready to step up and be a great football team.
The Autzen Zoo staff includes lead editor Brian Spaen along with staff writers Joe Soriano, Mike Vamosi, Raymond Mencke, Jr., and Ricky Widmer.