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Star Lotulelei will terrorize Pac-12 offensive lines this season

With the way things are shaping up, it looks a lot like 2005 in Troy as the Trojans are atop the AP Poll to start the season.  Much like the ’05 squad, the team is loaded with talent from the top of the roster to the bottom.  Resembling the players of the ’05 team are QB Matt Barkley (Matt Leinart), RBs Curtis McNeal and Penn State transfer Silas Redd (Reggie Bush and LenDale White), and WRs Robert Woods and Marqis Lee (Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett).  As you see, the possibilities for this USC team are endless.  The defense took a tough blow losing defensive end Devon Kennard to a torn pectoral muscle so look for T.J. McDonald and Hayes Pullard to step up big.

Chip Kelly’s high octane spread offense in Eugene continues to receive praise as they have averaged over 520 yards a game for the past two seasons.  Redshirt Freshman QB Marcus Mariota has received the nod to start week one for the Ducks after an intense seven month battle with sophomore Bryan Bennett.  Though Mariota is young, look for him to step in right away and make an impact taking over for Darron Thomas.  While Thomas had LaMichael James to help him lead the offense, Mariota will have Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas to share the load.  If the defense can hold strong for the whole season, USC better not blink because this team of olympic sprinters will blow by them if the Trojans aren’t at the top of their game.

The big question surrounding Stanford: Can they survive without Luck?  Coach David Shaw wasn’t very enthusiastic about naming Josh Nunes the starting quarterback earlier this week.  The offense that once relied on Andrew Luck seems to be focusing towards a run heavy style placing much of the load on running backs Stepfan Taylor and Anthony Wilkerson.  Stanford’s strength is definitely on the defensive side of the ball led by linebackers Chase Thomas and Shayne Skov.

Washington has great potential this season with an offense run by dual-threat QB Keith Price.  In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Price is the QB who went toe-to-toe with RG3 in the Alamo Bowl last season where the two offenses combined for 123 points.  Though RG3 came out victorious, it was Price that played the better game completing 23 of 27 passes for 438 yards and four touchdowns.  Not only did Price throw four touchdowns but he ran for three more, accounting for seven total.  Expect to see “Teeth” (as his teammates call him for his award-winning smile in interviews) in New York within the next two years as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.  The Huskies may not win the conference this season, but they will be highly competitive and could play the spoiler roll for the Pac 12.

The main question posed by The Ninja:  Will this conference play any defense?  Last year’s numbers were quite ugly as half of the Pac 12 ranked 82nd or lower in total defense.

North South
Oregon 8-1 Southern Cal 8-1
Washington 7-2 Arizona State 5-4
Stanford 5-4 Utah 5-4
California 4-5 UCLA 4-5
Oregon State 2-7 Colorado 3-6
Washington State 1-8 Arizona 2-7

Keith Price will lead the Huskies into Oregon on 10/6

Games to Watch:

Sept. 15:  USC @ Stanford

Sept. 27:  Stanford @ Washington

Oct. 6:  Washington @ Oregon

Oct. 13:  USC @ Washington

Nov. 3:  Oregon @ USC

Nov. 17:  USC @ UCLA

Nov. 17:  Stanford @ Oregon

Nov. 24:  Oregon @ Oregon State

Championship:  Oregon vs. Southern Cal

Ninja Sports Preseason All-Pac-12 Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Robert Woods, USC DE Dion Jordan, ORE K Andre Heidari, USC
WR Marquess Wilson, WSU DE Wes Horton, USC P Jackson Rice ORE
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WASH DT Star Lotulelei, UTAH KR De’Anthony Thomas, ORE
T Matt Summers-Gavin, CAL DT Justin Washington, ARIZ
T David Bakhtiari. CU LB Chase Thomas, STAN
G Carson York, ORE LB Patrick Larimore, ARIZ
G Sam Brenner, UTAH LB Shayne Skov, STAN
C Khaled Homes, USC CB Aaron Hester, UCLA
QB Matt Barkley, USC CB Nickell Robey, USC
RB Stepfan Taylor, STAN S T.J. McDonald, USC
RB Kenjon Barner, ORE S Marquis Flowers, ARIZ

Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year: Robert Woods, WR USC

Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year: Star Lotulelei, DT UTAH

2012-13 Pac 12 Football Preview

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One thought on “2012-13 Pac 12 Football Preview

  1. […] Pac-12 Preview Big 12 Preview Big East Preview ACC Preview Big 10 Preview […]

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