Oregon Magazine

Pigskin Pete:
Ducks Roll On, Viks Accomplish Revival ooo By Fred Delkin
ooo Oregon's Ducks followed a now familiar pattern in whipping California...use the first half to analyze the opposition, even if it means falling behind, then make an informed retaliation in the closing quarters. Meanwhile, we witnessed a revival of Portland State, thanks to the performance of homegrown talent. Then there was a return from the dead accomplished by Oregon State. A fine week for gridiron frolics in our fair state. Pigskin's forecasts went 5-1, with OSU's unexpected recovery our lone slipup. Now, UO faces another natrionally televised headliner with Arizona State: ooo ARIZONA STATE at OREGON this evening matchup pits respective leaders in the North & South divisions of the Pac12. The Sun Devils lone loss was at a still undefeated Illinois, while the Ducks only mishap was losing to the # 1 team in the land, LSU. National rushing leader LaMichael James will sit this one out due to injury, but the Ducks have plenty of swift ground gainers to feature with the veteran Kenyon Barner and frosh sensations DeAnthony Thomas and Tra Carson. Devil Coach Dennis Erickson will have the edge on defense. And UO defenders will be burned by ASU's 6-8 throwing sensation Brock Osweiler, but there's just too much firepower in the Webfoot attack and Autzen fans will roar happily. OREGON by 7. ooo STANFORD at WASHINGTON STATE the Cardinal destroyed Colorado 48-7 last week to remain unbeaten, and while the Cougars have shown some life (narrowly losing to UCLA while outplaying the Bruins), Stanford is more than just the Andrew Luck show. STANFORD by 21. ooo COLORADO at WASHINGTON the Buffalos should stay home on the range. The Huskies are playing well on both sides of the ball and QB Keith Price is a worthy replacement for the venerated Jake Locker, while RB Chris Polk is the real deal and the young Dawg defense corps is learning quickly. HUSKIES by 28. ooo USC at CALIFORNIA this should be close, with both squads well stocked with offensive and defensive talent. We'll give the Trojans' veteran QB Matt Barkley the edge over Cal's Zach Maynard and that should prove the difference. SOUTHERN CAL by 3. ooo BYU at OREGON STATE the Beavers surprised us all by dumping Arizona for OSU's first win, but the Mormon brigade has the horses to return the Beavers to reality. Nonetheless, we'll predict the Bevos will notch another win on their home turf. OREGON STATE by 3. ooo UTAH at PITTSBURGH the Utes were title material before losing QB Jordan Wynn to serious injury. Pitt has performed like a yo-yo, should be at the top of their game on their home field PITT by 7. ooo PORTLAND STATE at MONTANA the Vikings played their best game in several years while challenging Montana State for the Big Sky lead, but this is a trip to the traditional seat of Big Sky power, and the Grizzlies should narrowly prevail. PSU coach Nigel Burton has effectively erased the doldrums conjured up by the Jerry Glanville realm. He is playing local rep stars such as QB Connor Kavanaugh and RB Cory McCaffrey and successfully recruiting current high school stars in our area...a brilliant move when you consider that Oregon & Oregon State rely upon talent from far afield. This has given rise to hopes that PSU will apply for Division I status in the near future, with the new Jeld-Wen field in an urban location as an argument. We deem the Western Athletic Conference (Nevada, Fresno St., Hawaii, Idaho, Utah St., San Jose St., New Mexico St.) as a likely place to land a Viking upgrade. MONTANA by 3. ooo ROSES & RASPBERRIES: a splendiferous bouquet to Portland State fans whose abuse in recent seasons is being alleviated and who,if they continue their support and find companions, may yet realize the long held dream of playing with the big boys...a big Phooey! to the NBA for a labor dispute unworthy of the overpaid hooligans in uniform and their millionaire bosses...a passel of plaudits for a Boise State football program that continues a long term residence among squads from traditional sources of power (and how about Bronco QB Kellen Moore from backwater Prosser WA, who is bound for NFL stardom)...if it can happen in Boise, it could certainly occur in Portland.

© 2011 Oregon Magazine