Time for more Pac-12 predictions as we enter week nine of the 2012 college football season. Last week yours truly kept it real going 5-0 at predicting winners. The feat is not that impressive when one considers most of the match-ups were decidedly one-sided.
Week nine promises to offer a more difficult prognostication. I’m up for the challenge.
As always, enjoy the games! All times Pacific.
Las Vegas is spotting the Buffs a solid 45 points this weekend which might get them through the 1st quarter. This contest in Eugene has ugly written all over it. How CU keeps this game within 50 depends entirely on how kind Chip Kelly wants to be in the second half, and whether or not CU can steal a couple garbage scores late.
Colorado comes into the game averging 42 points against. Combine that with Oregon’s 51 points scored a game and you can see why the broadcasting team will be talking about their favorite local food items for the entirety of the second half.
Prediction: Colorado 17 Oregon 65
Tempe hosts an important Pac-12 South meeting with the Bruins and Sun Devils. After being plastered and embarrassed by Oregon, ASU could get back on track with a win against a quality opponent. Unfortunately for the Devils, star defensive lineman William Sutton is doubtful.
Without Sutton, the Bruins will find everything to be a just a bit easier as the junior tackle has been a beast creating havoc in the backfield. Johnathan Franklin is the key for UCLA. If the star back can keep ASU’s potent offense off the field, expect a tight ballgame.
Prediction: UCLA 27 Arizona State 31
9 USC Trojans (6-1) (4-1) at Arizona Wildcats (4-3) (1-3) 12:30pm
While USC was hurt by the loss to Stanford, everything is still on the table provided Troy can keep winning. Arizona has the firepower on offense to make the game interesting or even pull off an upset. Defense is where the Cats are most vulnerable.
In terms of points allowed there is a huge discrepancy between the two programs. The Trojans are giving up a mere 16 a game while their counterparts this Saturday are sitting at 30. What makes the Trojans so difficult to defend is their balance between a physical run attack and passing game that involves two future NFL receivers.
Prediction: USC 34 Arizona 24
What do you and Mike Leach have in common? You both have zero Pac-12 wins this year. If this Saturday is going to be the day that the first year Cougars coach gets in the conference win column, he’ll need a considerable effort. While Stanford has not been scoring an impressive amount of points, the Cardinal can create plenty of issues with a stout run game and two excellent tight ends to pass to.
Leach has had trouble deciding who his starting quarterback is as he has vacilated between Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday. Either way, the Cougars have yet to keep defenses honest with the Air Raid offense. Ranked a dismal 123rd in the FBS at running yards a game, WSU is incapable on paper of scoring much on this solid Stanford front seven.
Prediction: Washington State 17 Stanford 37
Coming into Saturday, the Bears are pretty beat up, especially in the linebacking corps. Cal leading running back C.J. Anderson is probable after a knee injury last weekend, which is good news for coach Jeff Tedford who needs every win he can get this year. Offensively Cal has plenty of talent and depth in the skill positions but it’s been the defense that has let the Bears down.
For Utah to take advantage of Cal’s 9th ranked Pac-12 D, true freshman quarterback Travis Wilson must avoid costly mistakes. A huge QB standing at 6’6″ 230 pounds, Wilson’s two TD passes compared to his three interceptions are holding the Utes back. The future is bright for Wilson but for the moment, the signal-caller is building experience on the fly.
Prediction: Cal 28 Utah 17
Breakout quarterback Sean Mannion is expected back for this weekends game. If that is case, the Beavers are incredibly healthy with virtually no injuries to hold them back from continuing their undefeated 2012 run. A healthy Mannion spells doom for UW as he has terrorized opposing defenses in the passing game.
Washington will need their largely disappointing offense to pick up the pace. Quarterback Keith Price has been dealing with injuries to the offensive line, and currently has four starting underclassman providing protection. Oregon State has been excellent at third down defense allowing conversions at just 25.3%; good for best in the Pac-12 and third in the nation. Something has me worried about this game for the Beavers. Could the Huskies pull the upset this weekend? How rusty will Mannion be?
Prediction: Oregon State 24 Washington 17