Canzano: Week 5 thoughts, picks and predictions
Utah-Oregon State... USC-Colorado... Oregon-Stanford and more.
I’ve tried to explain to people how energized and intense things felt before kickoff of the Oregon-Colorado game last Saturday. Not Dan Lanning and that pre-game speech. I’m talking about the Autzen Stadium crowd itself.
The building… was… amped.
A couple of seasons ago I traveled to Salt Lake City for the Utah-Oregon game in late November. The home fans there were in a similar frenzy. It was their big night and they knew it. The Utes took the field and dominated the Ducks for the first two quarters. In fact, when Britain Covey took a punt return 78 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the half I thought the stadium might topple over.
It was 28-0 Utah at the intermission.
An absolute ambush.
It was 35-zip at halftime of the Oregon-Colorado game.
I asked Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham this week about home-field advantages and game atmosphere. The Beavers have lost only once at home in the last 14 games. Utah has won 17 straight games at Rice-Eccles Stadium. They’ll meet this week — fortunately for OSU — at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.
Both head coaches talked about the burden of travel, particularly on a short week. They discussed the advantage of players sleeping in their own beds and being in normal rhythm and routines. Whittingham joked that it’s no easier to plan his annual family trips to Maui with nine grandchildren than it is to bring a football travel party of 200 on the road. But both coaches eventually got around to the actual energy of the home field.
“Oregon State has had really good support,” Whittingham told me.
“We need the crowd to be big-time this week,” Smith said.
My 2023 season record vs. the spread: 18-13 (.580)
My 2023 straight-up record: 36-4 (.900)
My Week 5 thoughts, picks and predictions…