Prediction time in the Pac-12. My predictions for week nine winners was an ugly 2-4. Once again the USC Trojans failed to win on the road losing a shootout to the Arizona Wildcats in Tuscon. Another surprise was the Oregon State Beavers loss to the Washington Huskies.
What will week ten have in store? Here’s my best guess. As always enjoy the games!
All times Pacific.
Washington Huskies (4-4) (2-3) at California Golden Bears (3-6) (2-4) Friday 6pm
Both Washington and California have been disappointing this season. Each team carried high expectations but niether is above .500 entering week ten. At home the Huskies are 4-1 with two wins coming against ranked opponents. UW’s only loss in Seattle was to USC. Steve Sarkisian’s group has been just flat out bad offensively, scoring over 21 points just once all year. That was against the FCS Portland State Vikings.
Cal could be without star receiver Keenan Allen. Three of the Bears starting four linebackers are questionable. Zach Maynard may not have to lead Cal on too many scoring drives if Washington continues score at their season pace. Neither team is very predictable. Making this the most unpredictable game possible. However, this is a prediction article. Cal placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato puts one through the uprights as time expires. California in the mild upset.
Prediction: Washington 23 Cal 24
Assuming the Cardinal get off the bus, this should be a easy win. In the ultimate show of disrespect David Shaw announced quarterback Josh Nunes will share snaps with backup Kevin Hogan. In other words, the Buffs are being used as an exhibition.
Incredibly, the Buffs are as healthy as can be. Injuries during the season have not been a problem for CU. Talent is the biggest detractor for a Buffs team that is one of the worst in the FBS. CU’s best chance is to play keep away with Christian Powell carrying the rock and Jordan Webb converting third downs. Maybe Colorado can keep it close for a half. Maybe.
Prediction: Stanford 48 Colorado 17
I’m not going to rain on the Cougars parade. Not that they have a parade or anything. It’s been a rough season and I don’t need to pile on the poor performance of head coach Mike Leach in year one at Pullman. Jeff Tuel is back as the starter at quarterback, but it probably won’t matter much. The Cougars have struggled to be any kind of consistent presence on offense.
Even though Utah is down to third string quarterback Travis Wilson, the Utes scored 49 in their win over Cal last weekend. Utah runs the ball and plays solid defense. That should be enough to out last the Cougs in Salt Lake City. This might be WSU’s last best chance at getting a Pac-12 win in 2012.
Prediction: Washington State 17 Utah 26
4 Oregon Ducks (8-0) (5-0) at 17 USC Trojans (6-2) (4-2) 4pm
Before the season began this was supposed to be the game of the century in the Pac-12. Preseason top five squads meeting in the Coliseum with National Championship implications. Oregon has held up their end of the bargain, where the Trojans have not.
USC surprisingly is an underdog at home by more than a touchdown. Troy has incredible talent at the receiver position and a running back in Silas Redd that can pound the Ducks front seven. Sustaining drives is the key for a Trojans squad that must keep the Oregon offense on the sideline. Defensively the Ducks are legitimate only allowing 28% of third downs to be converted.
The way the Ducks are running on all cylinders, I’m not sure anyone can keep up. This might be a defensive battle. Well… relatively speaking.
Prediction: Oregon 45 USC 31
22 Arizona Wildcats (5-3) (2-3) at UCLA Bruins (6-2) (3-2) 7:30pm
Ironically the Wildcats have a losing record in the Pac-12, and are ranked in the BCS, as opposed to the Bruins. However, the AP has UCLA as the 25th best team in the country, and a win Saturday should put Jim Mora Jr.’s squad in the BCS 25.
Arizona is coming off their biggest win this season, and arguably in several seasons. This is what makes me hesitant in picking the Cats. Will there be a letdown? Arizona has played better run defense than I thought they would thus far, but the Bruins bring a more dynamic attack than Stanford or USC. Brett Hundley’s (above) ability to pick up yards with his feel will keep the UA D honest enough to open up the passing game.
I expect a shootout in the Rose Bowl Saturday.
Prediction: Arizona 35 UCLA 38
Arizona State Sun Devils (5-3) (3-2) at 11 Oregon State Beavers 7:30pm
Several factors point to potential problems for the Beavers this Saturday night in Corvallis. One, there is a quarterback controversy. Cody Vaz has been given the keys to OSU offense after Sean Mannion struggled in his return from surgery. How will this affect an offense that averages 25 a game?
The Sun Devils get some much needed help back on defense. Stud lineman Will Sutton was unable to play against UCLA after having to leave the Oregon game in the 1st quarter. Sutton could return to the starting lineup along with end Junior Onyeali and linebacker Steffon Martin. Getting the trio back would be huge as the Devil’s D was nothing like itself the past two weeks.
Smell an upset here? Not so fast. Vaz is plenty capable against this beat up ASU D.
Prediction: Arizona State 27 OSU 29