After taking a week off last week, here are the hottest takes from the Conference of Champions
Stanford (2-0) at Arizona State (1-0)
Stanford continues with a third straight 20+point victory:
Stanford has looked very dominant in their two games so far. A 34-13 win over Utah last week, and a 41-21 win over a Notre Dame team who upset #16 USC in week one give the Cardinal a pair of 20+ point wins this season. Arizona State had a solid 2020 debut in a 31-23 win over Washington, but Sun Devil fans should have concern going into this week. After struggling week 1, Huskies QB Jake Davis looked a lot better against ASU going 16/22 for 230 yards and 2 tds/0 ints. Going up against one of the best QBs in the conference, Nicholas Garland (through 2 games: 640 yards, 5 tds/int), the Sun Devils are going to have to do a much better job of stopping the pass. Look for Garland and Co to keep rolling, and for Stanford to get their third 20+ win of the season.
Washington (0-2) at UCLA (0-1)
Jake Davis gets his first collegiate victory:
Jake Davis and the rest of the Huskies looked very solid in their week 2 performance against ASU, a game that wasn’t decided until late in the 4th. A much younger UCLA secondary should give Davis the opportunity to continue his successes from week 2. UCLA lost a nail biter to Baylor in week 1, and should be able to content with anyone in conference if their offense continues to score like it did (51 points week 1). At the end of the day, I think Davis continues to build on his success and the UCLA offense takes a bit of step back, allowing Washington to get the win.
Colorado (0-1) at #19 Arizona (1-0)*
Sam Parish throws for at least 4 tds:
Sam Parish may not have had the most monster game in week 2 (18/27, 220 yards, 2 tds/0 ints), but the fourth quarter comeback against Ohio State showed how explosive Parish can be. Arizona should have the pieces in place to contend for the South this season, especially after USC showed signs of weakness last week. Colorado looks to have what could be another rough season, after a week 1 blowout loss to USC (14-52). Not only did the Buffaloes struggle, but QB Luke Trickett exploded for 5 TDs through the air and 1 on the ground against them. While Parish may not have the same weapons around him as Trickett, look for Arizona to try to make a statement in conference by blowing out the Buffs.
Texas (1-0) at Oregon (0-1)
Yeldon is held scoreless for a second straight game:
RB Trevon Yeldon fell below expectations in week 1 vs Vanderbilt with 105 yards on 20 carries, but zero tds. Unfortunately look for Oregon’s star man to be held scoreless again for the second time this season. Texas has a very talented front 7, anchored by OLB Jabari Fletcher (5.0/5.0) that should keep Yeldon contained. A weaker secondary might allow Oregon to find success throwing the ball, and may be the Duck’s best chance to score in the red zone. Oregon can keep this close, and perhaps even win, but it most likely won’t be on the legs of Yeldon.
#7 Illinois (2-0) at Utah (0-1)
Donald Culver throws at least 3 ints:
Culver and the rest of Utah’s offense struggled to get anything going vs Stanford last week (Culver went 28/43, 340 yards, 1 td/1 int; just 13 points scored by Utah) and are going to have an even tougher time vs the Illini this week. With a 4.0/4.0 or better at 9 out of 11 defensive spots, Illinois looks to have one of the best defenses in the nation this year. Playmaking athlete Logan Holmes starting at CB1 and Tyler Patino starting at FS, should wreak havoc on Culver and the Utes this week. Culver will most likely have to shoulder the load for the Utes to have any chance in this one, leading him to make bad plays more often than good ones. Lots of mistakes will be made by the Mormon Laser Cannon, and even if there aren’t any, I don’t see Utah winning this one.
San Jose State (1-1) at #16 USC (1-1)
Jesus Cordero outshines Trickett:
After his 6 total td outing in week 1, Trickett exploded into the Heisman race as an early frontrunner, only to fall back after a disappointing week 2 loss to Notre Dame. Most probably expect him to return to form in week 3, but I think Cordero will outperform his QB this week. In that week 1 routing of Colorado, Cordero had 16 carries for 73 yards and 1 td, not bad for a low volume workload. This week USC faces SJSU who starts 3 freshmen in their front 7 and a pair of senior CBs that may be the most talented players on defense they have. Cordero should be to dominate such a young front 7, and experience in the secondary may have Coach Dream thinking twice about passing as much. Don’t be shocked if Cordero, running behind an elite o-line, gets some Heisman talk himself after this one.
California (1-0) at UAB (0-1)
Hakeem Black gives Luke Cobb a run for his money:
While there is no way Hakeem Black looks to duplicate Luke Cobb’s insane performance vs UMASS, he should light up the scoreboard vs UAB. At 6-2, 208 Black (5.0/5.0) poses a matchup nightmare for a much smaller UAB secondary starting 5-10, 165 Ricky Best (2.5/2.5) at CB1. Ultimately I think that UAB is a much better all-around squad than UMASS, and Cal isn’t quite built to air it out like FSU, which will keep Black from fully replicating Cobb’s performance. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if a national debate over which of the two is better comes as a result from this game.