Jason O. Watson
Our picks for this week in the Pac-12 - can Brett Hundley (above) and the Bruins kick the Sun Devils while they're down? Can Arizona follow-up their impressive win last week, or will USC stay on track to win the South? Does WSU stand a chance at Stanford? Will Oregon crack 100 points against the lowly Buffs? Which team will keep a glimmer of hope alive for a bowl game - Utah or Cal? Read on for my picks...
Saturday, Noon, P12N: @ Oregon 56, Colorado 10
It should be a "name your own score" kind of game for Oregon at home against the woeful Buffs. Colorado is really, really bad, and Oregon is really good. That's about as much analysis as this game requires.
Saturday, Noon, FOX: UCLA 27, @ ASU 24
I would favor the Sun Devils in this one except for a couple of factors that tip it towards UCLA - no Will Sutton for ASU, and the Bruins are coming off a bye week and have had extra time to prepare. I also suspect that Mazzone's offense and Brett Hundley at QB would be one that ASU would have some difficulty with even if Sutton weren't hurt. Hard to know how last week's blowout will affect the Sun Devils - will they come back fired-up to prove last week was a fluke, or will they suffer a hangover effect? I'm guessing the latter, and those factors should overcome their homefield advantage and the youth of the Bruins.
Saturday, 12:30PM, ABC/ESPN2: @ USC 42, Arizona 30
Arizona and USC have played some really good games over the last 5 years, and the Wildcats clearly have the offense to get into a shootout with the Trojans. But I think the Trojans have the talent and execution on defense to slow down the Arizona attack, and they certainly have the talent on offense to make a bad Arizona defense pay. Kiffin will have studied the UW gametape and I'd expect him to give the Wildcats a steady dose of Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal to soften them up for some deadly play-action by Matt Barkley to Marquise Lee and Robert Woods.
Saturday, 3:15PM, P12N: @ Stanford 30, WSU 13
I suppose there's always a chance that Leach's crew will rise up and play like you'd expect a Mike Leach offense to play and knock off an unsuspecting team, but I really don't think it'll be this game. Stanford's defense is just too good; the Cougars won't even try running because it won't work, and while they may get a few nice gains in the air, Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday will be getting well acquainted with the Stanford turf courtesy of the Cardinal defense. Josh Nunes is still no better than a mediocre QB, but he's home in this one and his running game is starting to round into shape.
Saturday, 6:45PM, P12N: @ Utah 20, Cal 13
The numbers would say that Cal should probably win this one, but in a battle of teams trying to get to bowl eligibility, I'm going with Kyle Whittingham's crew at home over Jeff Tedford's. The Ute defense is good enough to slow down Cal's run game, and they should be able to put a lot of heat on Zach Maynard. While the Utah running game has really struggled this year, their true frosh QB Travis Wilson has shown signs he could become a pretty good one, and he's gaining confidence by the week. I also can't shake the feeling that the Golden Bears are just about ready to pack it in for the year, and with it Tedford's job.