NCF Nation: Nic Grigbsy

Who's going to win? Week 14 Pac-10 picks

December, 3, 2009
Went 4-0 last week to improve to 54-17 for the season.

Clearly, I've blown all my luck before my annual Vegas trip.

Oregon 31, Oregon State 28: Obviously, since I’ve been projecting Oregon in the Rose Bowl for weeks, I’ve been favoring the Duck. They have been the most consistently good team in the Pac-10 this season, and my feeling is they’d have a pretty fair shot against any team in the country. But this isn’t any team. It’s Mike Riley’s Beavers. There’s a pang in my gut that whispers upset. But not enough of one (and that may just be a bad breakfast burrito). I will say that if this game isn’t close, I’ll be surprised (and disappointed after all the build-up).

USC 24, Arizona 20: If Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles were healthy -- that non-throwing hand injury certainly bothered him vs. Arizona State -- and running back Nic Grigsby were starting, I’d pick Arizona. But that poor second half vs. the Sun Devils is stuck in my craw. And USC in the Coliseum remains hard to pick against.

California 35, Washington 21: The Bears have steadily -- and quietly -- risen in the Pac-10 since suffering those embarrassing consecutive losses to Oregon and USC. It seems like things are clicking on both sides of the ball, and the Bears certainly have the athleticism on defense to handle a scrambling Jake Locker. Moreover, Cal seems to have an advantage coming off a bye week while the Huskies might not be focused after winning the Apple Cup last weekend.

Posted by's Ted Miller\

TUCSON, Ariz. -- There was Jacquizz. And now there is Keola.

They are Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers and Arizona's Keola Antolin, the diminutive freshmen running backs with unusual names and unusual ways to make defenses looks silly.

Rodgers, at 5-foot-6, 180 pounds, sliced and diced top-ranked USC in the Beavers 27-21 upset victory on Sept. 25.

And Antolin did the same to No. 25 California in a shocking 42-27 domination of the Bears on Saturday.

Antolin, listed at 5-8 -- right! -- 180 pounds, gashed Cal for 149 yards on 21 carries -- 7.1 yards per pop -- and scored three touchdowns, including a 59-yard scamper that gave the Wildcats the lead for good at 28-27.

Antolin, who's been bothered by a toe injury much of the season, entered the game with just 66 yards on 25 carries.

"We didn't see anything of Keola on tape," Cal linebacker Anthony Felder said. "He's smaller and hard to defend."

Which is sort of what the Trojans said about Rodgers.

"I hide behind the linemen all day -- just like [NFL players] Darren Sproles and Maurice Jones-Drew," Antolin said. "It's the exact same. I stay low and hide and explode through the hole."

Guess who's coming to dinner next Saturday in Tucson?

Yup. The Trojans.

Antolin's eyes lit up when asked about Rodgers.

"He gave me hope right there," he said.

Antolin entered the game after starter Nic Grigsby fumbled in the first quarter. Grigsby ranks third in the Pac-10 with 102 yards rushing per game, but his tendency to lose hold of the football understandably rankles his coaches.

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