10-0... WILL IT LAST?
Oregon barely got past Cal in Berkeley last night 15-13, but they did what they had to win the game. Cal controlled the game at the line of scrimmage, which is something that has not happened to the Ducks all season. And Oregon got lucky when Cal's kicker Tavecchia stutter-stepped during his approach on a successful field goal that put Cal ahead 16-15... but Cal was penalized for the missteps and the field goal didn't count. Tavecchia missed his second attempt and the score remained 15-13. Then the Ducks masterfully ran off a huge chunk of time at the end of the game to preserve the win.
Oregon's detractors are going to salivate because this game exposed some of Oregon's vulnerabilities and to them, this will mean Oregon will lose its last two games. To them, I say a win is a win. Oregon won at Cal, and they are still unbeaten. And they still need to take things one week at a time.
I wish I could say the Oregon State Beavers won yesterday too, but they were beaten in Corvallis by the Pac-10 Conference doormats, Washington State, 31-14. Oregon State's season seems to be going in the opposite direction from Oregon's. The Beavers are now 4-5, with three very difficult games ahead. They play USC next weekend in Corvallis; somehow they always seem to upend the Trojans at Reser Stadium, so I'll go with them to pull off the upset. In two weeks though, they have to go to Palo Alto to play Stanford. Then December 4, it is the Civil War game against Oregon.
While there is a very chance Oregon could end the regular season 12-0, Oregon State could very well end the year 4-8 and with no bowl appearance. I am hoping the Beavers can win their next two games against USC and Stanford to make themselves bowl-eligible with 6 wins, but then of course I hope they get stomped by Oregon in the season finale.
Again, like everyone else, Oregon needs to take things one week at a time. They don't play next weekend, which allows them lots of time to prepare for Arizona on 11/26. It will be a good game, as Arizona has a good defense and also has QB Nick Foles back from a knee injury. It will be higher-scoring than 15-13, but it might be as close as a couple of points!
That is the same day Boise State plays perhaps its toughest conference opponent, Nevada, in Reno. That ought to be a good game too.