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Miscellany

Saturday Night Football: Oregon vs. USC, Oklahoma at Baylor.

Saturday night’s alright for a fight and, fortunately, the nightcap games look a little more exciting. All five of my picks for today going at once. With the wife out, I’ll be enjoying them alone with pizza, in sweatpants. Reconnecting with my single days. Good Times.

Oregon vs. USC: Could the Trojans give Oregon a better game than Stanford? It’s conceivable. Luck was hampered by pedestrian receivers, but Barkley suffers from no such affliction. He has the speed to attack Oregon’s young secondary down the field, especially if Robert Woods can be a reasonable percentage of his normal self. The line of scrimmage will be pivotal for both teams. USC must decipher and handle Nick Aliotti’s craziness up front to get Matt Barkley time. Oregon needs to hold back USC’s physical front and get LaMichael James to the second-level against the Trojan’s freshman linebackers. This is a tough task for USC and I’m not sure Lane Kiffin is up for it. USC has not won a game in the state of Oregon since 2005.

Big Balls” Pete did predate “Big Balls” Chip, though Pete exchanged his balls when he left through the back door and the proprietary rights rest with “Big Balls” Kurkjian.

Oklahoma at Baylor: Both teams are ranked, but this should be a decisive mismatch. Both have explosive offenses: Baylor is No. 3 in yards per play, Oklahoma No. 8. There is, however, a great disparity on defense. Oklahoma is No. 20 in yards allowed per play. Baylor is No. 99. Moreover, the Bears have been flippant with the football, losing 15 fumbles on the year, eight in the last three games. Robert Griffin will need to have a monster day to keep this close. If the Sooners come out motivated, they should win comfortably. Oklahoma is 12-0 against Baylor under Stoops, only two of the games within three touchdowns.

Texas vs. Kansas State: The line seems nonsensical. Vegas, trying to bait KSU bets, must know something. Texas has a number of running back injuries. Even though Kansas State has a porous defense, the Longhorns have no quarterback who has thrown for more than three touchdown passes this season. Most of the picks still going for Kansas State, big.

Not so Big Game: Cal returned 2,000 tickets from its allotment. That says about all you need to know about this rivalry’s intensity. A BCS bid is at stake for Stanford and a better bowl game for Cal. The Bears are 1-3 on the road, 0-3 in Pac 12 play. Stanford should be rebounding after a tough loss. Cal’s athletic wideouts could present a challenge for Stanford’s secondary. Unfortunately, Zach Maynard, lower passer rating than Taylor Martinez and Denard Robinson without the running ability, will be throwing to them.

[Photo via Getty]

 

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