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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Staff picks

    Arizona at Brigham Young

    Returning 10 members of the Pac-10’s No. 4 defense last year, expect the Wildcats to shut down the BYU offense, especially with the departure of Cougars quarterback John Beck to the NFL. Red zone execution will be critical for Arizona after Nick Folk’s graduation. Despite being on the road in Provo, Utah, expect an Arizona victory.

    Arizona 21, BYU 10

    Michael Fitzpatrick
    staff writer


    This is a game that should answer many questions about both teams. BYU lost its starting quarterback, running back and top three wideouts. Arizona will launch its new “”high-scoring”” offensive scheme. BYU’s talented and experienced D-line should test the young UA O-line, but after the dust settles, the UA receiving corps should run past the unproven BYU cornerbacks.

    Arizona 27, BYU 13

    Brian Kimball
    staff writer


    Bottom line: The team with 19 returning starters escaped BYU last season with a 16-13 victory. That gives them no excuse this year with a returning core of that magnitude. It’s a crucial game for both squads, and experience will prevail in this matchup.

    Arizona 24, BYU 17

    Bryan Roy
    staff writer


    Tennessee at California

    Last season, California was run out of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium, losing 35-18. This season, expect the game to be much closer. Cal returns 16 starters, including preseason Heisman candidate DeSean Jackson, and despite the Vols returning a veteran defense including three senior defensive backs, they lost their playmaker Robert Meachem to the NFL. Plus, quarterback Erik Ainge is questionable with a broken pinky on his throwing hand.

    California 24, Tennessee 14

    Michael Fitzpatrick
    staff writer


    Last year, Tennessee’s wide receivers stole the show. Expect Cal’s wideouts to do that this year. DeSean Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins and Robert Jordan caught at least 46 balls last year and combined for 12.4 yards per reception and 18 touchdowns. Add that to the injury Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge sustained to his throwing hand earlier this week and the absence of starting running back LaMarcus Coker, and the Golden Bears should have the Volunteers on their heels all game.

    California 31, Tennessee 13

    Brian Kimball
    staff writer


    ACollege football is about to undergo a year of epic battles between the SEC and the Pac-10. The two big factors in this one: Can Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge compete after missing most of spring and coming off knee surgery? Not with revenge-seeking Cal looking to erase last year’s 35-18 loss.

    California 27, Tennessee 24

    Bryan Roy
    staff writer


    BCS Champion

    Unlike the “”experts”” at ESPN, I refuse to jump on the USC bandwagon. My BCS champion hails once again from the SEC East. In a disastrous season last year, Georgia meshed toward the end, whipping Auburn on the road and coming from behind to beat Virginia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. With sophomore quarterback Matthew Stafford leading the way, expect Georgia to win its first championship since 1983, when Herschel Walker wore the silver britches.

    Georgia Bulldogs

    Michael Fitzpatrick
    staff writer


    This year is the year for coach Stoops. That’s right, coach Bob Stoops will lift his second BCS Championship trophy on Jan. 7. The Sooners’ schedule sets up well for them this year, with only three true road games (one road game is at Tulsa). If Oklahoma can get past Miami in Norman early on and then Texas in the annual Red River Shootout in Dallas, then the Sooners just need to hold serve at home. Boomer Sooner!

    Oklahoma Sooners

    Brian Kimball
    staff writer


    The defending Sugar Bowl champions will prevail in a deep conference this year and go on to top USC. Let this be a prime example of the aforementioned Pac-10/SEC season battle. There’s something about preseason polls that screams “”jinx.”” Maybe it’s just my dislike for Pete Carroll from back in his New England Patriots days.

    Louisiana State Tigers

    Bryan Roy
    staff writer

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