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Sunday, October 24, 2010
What we learned in the Pac-10: Week 8

By Ted Miller

What did we learn this week?

Oregon can handled the pressure of No. 1 (so far): After earning a No. 1 ranking in the major polls for the first time in program history, Oregon bombed UCLA 60-13 on Thursday. It was a performance that indicated the Ducks aren't going to be bothered by the national championship chase hype. Of course, a visit to USC on Saturday is a bigger test.

Kevin Riley
Kevin Riley and Cal are 4-0 at home, outscoring opponents 189-34 this season.
Cal and QB Kevin Riley are just better at home: Cal is 37-6 (.860) in Memorial Stadium over its past 43 home games. The Bears are a perfect 4-0 at home this season, outscoring foes by a combined score of 189-34. Riley has thrown 10 TDs with no interceptions at home. Don't ask what happens on the road. This is a happy note. Of course, the Bears visit Oregon State on Saturday.

Arizona State is on the brink: The Sun Devils didn't put up much of a fight at California, and there are issues on both sides of the ball. At 3-4, they need to win four of their final five games to earn certain bowl eligibility. That's going to be hard to do. And watch out for the visit from Washington State on Saturday. Which team will be hungrier?

Arizona can survive without Nick Foles: Arizona averages 31.3 points with its starting quarterback, Nick Foles. It scored 44 against Washington with backup Matt Scott. The Wildcats look perfectly capable of riding out Foles' knee injury with Scott leading the offense.

Washington State is getting closer: The Cougars were down 31-7 and they kept fighting against Stanford. And a final 38-28 score indicates clearly that the Cougs aren't going to wave a white flag this season, no matter the margin they face. This team has fight. And you wonder if every foe will play with the same fire. Because if it doesn't, the Cougs are going to end a 14-game Pac-10 losing streak.