Thursday, November 14, 2013
Pac-12 predictions: Week 12
By Ted Miller and Kevin Gemmell
Kevin went 4-1 last week, missing on Oregon over Stanford. Ted went 3-2, missing on Oregon-Stanford and Arizona-UCLA.
They are now both 61-12 for the season.
WASHINGTON at UCLA
Kevin Gemmell: Washington's hit-and-miss mentality on the road gives me pause here. The Bruins have slowly regained traction from their back-to-back losses to Stanford and Oregon and last week's win in Tucson was a huge confidence builder. The linebackers are playing as well as any in the league -- if not the country. And the Myles Jack factor gives Washington yet another weapon to prepare for -- even if UCLA never runs the package again. UCLA 31, Washington 27.
Ted Miller: To pick Washington to win on the road against a tough foe, you've got to see it happen first. The Huskies have the players to win this game. But, again, let's see it first. UCLA 28, Washington 24.
WASHINGTON STATE at ARIZONA
Gemmell: Washington State's early-season momentum has officially burned out. The Wildcats hung with a very talented UCLA team and getting the Cougars at home will help. There will be some points in this game. But it stands to reason that Arizona's defense will make a play against a WSU team that leads the league with 20 interceptions thrown. Arizona 38, Washington State 31.
Miller: The Cougars need to win two of their final three games to become bowl eligible. We don't see that run starting in Tucson. Expect Wildcats RB Ka'Deem Carey to have a big night against a flagging Washington state run defense. Arizona 35, Washington State 30.
OREGON STATE at ARIZONA STATE
Gemmell: The Sun Devils are nasty at home. And with next week's showdown with UCLA looming, it's hard to imagine them coughing one up. The potential for potency is there for Oregon State. But the results haven't been the last couple of weeks. Coming off a bye helps. But ASU's defense has been playing extremely well. Arizona State 41, Oregon State 31.
Miller: Arizona State gutted out a tough win at Utah last week, but it almost always brings its best at home. The Sun Devils are playing well on both sides of the ball. Opponents are completing on 51.1 percent of their passes against the Sun Devils, the lowest percentage in the conference. That doesn't bode well for the one-dimensional Beavers. Arizona State 35, Oregon State 24.
STANFORD at USC
Gemmell: This one is dicey simply because of the history between these two teams. I think Stanford wins because its defense will rattle USC's passing game and plug the run. USC's strength plays right into Stanford's strength. And I think Stanford's strength is stronger. The Cardinal have won four in a row in the series and have the maturity to put last week's Oregon win behind them. Stanford 28, USC 24.
Miller: Stanford is too veteran a team to allow complacency to creep into the locker room after a big win over Oregon. Yet, be forewarned, if the Cardinal doesn't bring its A-game to the Coliseum, they will get upset by the resurgent Trojans, who are going to play hungry in front of their biggest home crowd of the year. Stanford 20, USC 17.
CALIFORNIA at COLORADO
Gemmell: Someone will get a conference win. And because the game is in Boulder, I'm going with the Buffs. The Bears continue to suffer injury after injury and they've turned the ball over 25 times. The true freshmen quarterbacks for both teams makes for an interesting storyline, and both teams have explosive wide receivers. With a lot of things being equal, go with the home team. Colorado 28, California 27.
Miller: Both teams are bad on defense, but the Bears seem better equipped to punish the Buffs. Of course, picking against the home team is a kiss of death in the Pac-12. Not sure if my Cal curse still exists, but this might tell me. California 40, Colorado 38.
UTAH at OREGON
Gemmell: Like Stanford, Utah provides a similar physical challenge on the line and in the front seven. The difference is the Utes haven't been able to get it done on the road. And trying to do it in Autzen -- after an Oregon loss -- doesn't bode well for the Utes. The Ducks need to make a statement, and my gut says it will be at Utah's expense. Oregon 49, Utah 28.
Miller: I'm with Kevin. I expect Oregon to play with some anger. Of course, the Ducks' offense isn't the same with Marcus Mariota not a true running threat because of a sprained knee. Might we see backup Jeff Lockie? Oregon 45, Utah 17.