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Pigskin Pete:
Ducks Now Face
Three Tough Foes

by Fred Delkin
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   Now comes the hard part for those high-flying Ducks...a trip to Husky Stadium this week, then to Stanford the next Saturday and a regular season finale with USC at Autzen.  There are those who will testify that Oregon's 7-1 record looks good, but those wins came against underdog foes...of course, the lone loss was to #1 ranked LSU.  The Quackers' mastery of the second half has given them gaudy statistics and they deserve their #6 national ranking.   Last week, Pigskin rang up a 5-2 record with Cal surprisingly whipping UCLA and the Portland State revival was sustained on a trip to the 2010 national champs, Eastern Washington.  Let's speculate on this week's agenda...
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OREGON @ WASHINGTON--the Dawgs are playing well, with a 6-2 record, and will have extra incentive in this clash, celebrating homecoming, a ceremony for the 1991 national championship squad, and playing their final game in Husky Stadium before the venue undergoes a $250 million restoration.   The Ducks have won seven straight over their Northwest rivals, and we think they'll make it eight on Saturday...but in November, when that icy wind comes off the lake and through the open east end of the stadium, other favored Husky foes have fallen.  OREGON by 10.
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STANFORD @ OREGON STATE--the Beavers are a sorry bunch on offense and too thin in their defensive ranks to halt the Andrew Luck juggernaut, which will be aroused by a three overtime classic win over USC last week.  The Beavers, aka 'Giant Killers', have a repuitation for upsetting heavily-favored foes, but not this time.  STANFORD by 21. 
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WASHINGTON STATE @ CALIFORNIA--the Golden Bears should be ready to maul visitors to their den after failing to live up to their favorite's role last week in their Rose Bowl bash with UCLA.  If the Bears lose this one, the boo birds will be crowing for Cal coach Jeff Tedford's scalp.  CAL by 14. 
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SOUTHERN CAL @ COLORADO--the Pac12's weakest team will have a very bad Friday evening when the Buffs host Troy.  SC showed its rather awesome talent in the Stanford game and will continue to roll in the Rockies.  USC by 42.
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ARIZONA STATE @ UCLA--the Sun Devils look to keep roling toward the Pac12 South division title, and Bruin coach Ricky Neuheisel's fate, temporarily alleviated by beating Cal, will be solidified in this matchup.  ARIZONA STATE by 10. 
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UTAH @ ARIZONA--ever since the Wildcats dumped their wild man coach Mike Stoops in midseason, they've looked like a football team surrounding a briiliant Nick Foles at quarterback  The Utes had no problems last week, entertaining their fans with a rout of Oregon State, but Tucson is often a desert climate for visitors.  ARIZONA by 1.
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SACRAMENTO STATE @ PORTLAND STATE--the PSU coaching staff have certainly called the Viking team's attention to the fact that the visiting Hornets pulled a monumental upset of Oregon State in a season-opener in Corvallis.  Vik coach Nigel Burton's 'Pistol" offense is functioning superbly under the direction of QB Connor Kavanaugh, who is shining at both running and passing.  PORTLAND STATE by 14. 
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ROSES & RASPBERRIES--sorry, Blazer fans, but greed has destroyed the NBA, and no one knows if any competition can be salvaged this season, while your paranoid owner Paul Allen stays silent...a passel of posies to high school boosters across our state who have pungled up private funds to improve athletic facilities in our cash-starved school districts...no plaudits are deserved for dolts who doubt that Chip Kelly is the wisest hire in University of Oregon gridiron history...anda vase full of roses to ex-Duck mentor Rich Brooks, who told an interviewer this past week that Phil Knight's money can't coach winning.  
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