Pac-10 Week Two: Penn State, BYU Are Biggest Challengers

Travis RiceCorrespondent ISeptember 4, 2008

Finally!  The college football season is underway, and we look ahead to Week Two with great anticipation—but not before we take a look back at how the Pac-10 fared in Week One.

Week One featured USC throttling Virginia on the road, Oregon blowing out an under-prepared Washington team, and Stanford surprising many with their win over Oregon State.

Arizona and Arizona State beat up on Idaho and Northern Arizona respectively, and Oklahoma State took care of Washington State convincingly.

California beat Big Ten visitor Michigan State, and UCLA provided an amazing end to what was a very successful week one for the Pac-10, beating No. 18 Tennessee in the Rose Bowl.

The Pac-10 went 5-1 in non-conference matchups, a very good start considering the competition.

Week Two won't be as glamorous as Week One.  BYU and Penn State are the biggest names on the schedule.  BYU is tied at No. 15 in the AP with Arizona State, while Penn State is right behind them at No. 19.

Utah State and Toledo round out the Week Two opponents, while USC and UCLA get a well-deserved bye.

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Here's a look at the matchups we'll be seeing come Saturday.

Stanford @ No. T15 Arizona State: 10:00 pm ET on FSN Arizona

While Stanford picked up a big win in Week One, this week will be much more difficult.  Arizona State returns Rudy Carpenter, arguably the best quarterback in the Pac-10.  Stanford will have to play a near flawless game to come out of Tempe 2-0.

Arizona State will again expose Stanford's secondary following OSU's 404-yard performance through the air.  Stanford will find no success on the ground, and it's a reality check in week two for the Cardinal.

Arizona State 35, Stanford 17

No. T15 Brigham Young @ Washington: 3:30 pm ET on FSNW-HD

BYU was not tested in their 41-17 Week One win against Northern Iowa.  Washington will be an upgrade in speed but not necessarily execution.  Washington stayed in the game through the first half at Oregon, but the Huskies faded fast and lost big at Autzen Stadium. 

BYU walks into Husky Stadium with a potent passing attack.  Quarterback Max Hall completed 34 of 41 passes for 486 yards and two TDs.  BYU will look to expose the young and inexperienced Husky secondary late.  Look for BYU to work their ground game early in preparation for next week's matchup with 1-0 UCLA.

Washington's Jake Locker keeps it close through the first half with his legs, but just like versus Oregon, the defense will be exposed through the air.  BYU extends their nation-best winning streak to 12.

BYU 41, Washington 28

Oregon State @ No. 19 Penn State: 3:30 pm ET on ABC

This is Week Two's most exciting Pac-10 game in my opinion—even without the fact that I'm a Beaver at heart.

After a heartbreaking loss to Stanford full of turnovers, penalties, and mental mishaps, Oregon State's road doesn't get any easier as they travel to Happy Valley to face Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions.  Penn State had a cupcake in Week One, putting up 66 points against Coastal Carolina. 

Penn State is not taking OSU lightly.  This team will be ready but could stumble out of the gates with the difference in speed and talent from Week One to Week Two.  Oregon State will need to run the ball more consistently and limit mistakes that killed them in Week One if they want to be in position to win come the fourth quarter.

The atmosphere proves too much for the Beavs, with 107,000 white-clad screaming Lion fans. 

Penn State 38, Oregon State 30

Utah State @ No. 18 Oregon: 3:30 pm ET on OSN (Oregon Sports Network)

Oregon struggled at times on offense before putting away Washington 44-10 last week.  Utah State looks for an upset on the road in their third year in the WAC.  The Aggies lost to UNLV in Week One and will need an Appalachian State-like miracle to win at Autzen in Eugene.

Oregon uses this game to fine-tune the offense for next week's match up at Purdue.  Oregon walks all over the Aggies and improves to 2-0.

Oregon 55, Utah State 13

California @ Washington State: 6:30 pm ET on CSN West

After a thrilling win against Michigan State, California carries momentum into Pullman for their Pac-10 opener versus Washington State.  Cal surprised many with their offensive production and balance after the loss of key wide receivers and running back Justin Forsett, thanks to the emergence of young QB Kevin Riley.  Cal had 203 yards rushing and 264 yards passing.

Washington State is in rebuilding mode and will have a tough go this year.  The Cougars were awful in all facets of the game against Oklahoma State.  They failed to gain over 200 total yards, netted 25 yards a punt, and gave up a kick return for touchdown.

Washington State's Paul Wulff will begin to wonder what he got himself into.  Cal runs away and gets their backups playing time.

California 40, Washington State 20

Toledo @ Arizona: 10:00pm ET (No Broadcast)

Here's a comparison for you: 521 yards to 112, 70 points to zero, and 27 first downs to seven.  The disparity between Arizona and Idaho last week was remarkable.  The high-powered Wildcat offense showed its true colors and should do the same against the MAC's Toledo Rockets.

Toledo has yet to play and could have a long night in the desert.  Nick Moore and Stephen Williams are All-Conference caliber wideouts, but the question will be whether junior QB Aaron Opelt has time to throw.  The Rocket defense also returns starters at free safety and defensive tackle from their 2006 team that missed all of last year.

Toledo must have been scared to death after watching Arizona's Week One performance, and rightfully so.  Arizona remains on top of the nation offensively after Week Two.

Arizona 56, Toledo 21

Barring upsets, the Pac-10 struggles a little against their favored Big Ten and Mountain West opponents.  Week Two brings a 2-2 record in non-conference games and the Pac-10 improves to 7-3 through Week Two.


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