Thursday, September 16, 2010
Pac-10 predictions: Week 3
By Ted Miller
Went 8-0 last week but it was an 8-0 that felt like USC's 2-0. Sorta "neh."
Season record is 15-3. To the picks.
California 38, Nevada 30: Warning, warning, warning, Cal Bears! Nevada is not a push-over, particularly not at home. The Wolf Pack has averaged 592 yards and 50 points in its first two games. Cal fans, if you want my advice, you should feel nervous about this one.
Iowa 28, Arizona 24: Arizona is better on offense and Iowa is better on defense, but the Hawkeyes are better-er on defense than the Wildcats are on offense. That said, this one should be far more competitive than the game in Iowa City last fall.
Wisconsin 27, Arizona State 17: Expect Wisconsin to have a significant advantage in time of possession, and that's why I think the Sun Devils defense will wear down in the second half. I also think the Sun Devils earn respect on the road in a tough venue and feel pretty good going forward about their chances of surprising some folks in the Pac-10.
USC 41, Minnesota 17: I am picking USC to roll for a third week in a row. Why do I think I might be correct this time? Well, for one, as in the previous two games, USC has a lot better players. And, second, I think the Golden Gophers are about as uninspired as a team can be, see a narrow victory over Middle Tennessee and a loss to South Dakota.
SMU 41, Washington State 24: What the Cougars need is a soft nonconference schedule that helps them build confidence. What they've got is a road game at a good SMU squad that will be highly motivated after its mistake-filled loss last year in Pullman.
Nebraska 28, Washington 21: The Huskies are going to challenge the Cornhuskers. But they aren't going to beat them.
Oregon State 35, Louisville 24: Beavers QB Ryan Katz will be comfortable at home, and that means distributing the ball to his playmakers, the Rodgers brothers, who are going to hang up some big numbers.
Oregon 1,000, Portland State 3: And then the second half starts. No, actually, my guess is Chip Kelly doesn't want to play his starters much after halftime.
UCLA 27, Houston 24: Just when you think the Bruins are going to go belly-up, they will rally and win. It will make a huge difference that Kevin Prince got a full week of practice. Not to mention that Houston QB Case Keenum is questionable with a concussion.
Stanford 45, Wake Forest 24: The Wake Forest defense gave up 48 points and 487 yards to Duke. Duke isn't terrible or anything, but you'd think QB Andrew Luck will represent a slight step up from sophomore Sean Renfree. And the Cardinal should be pretty salty based on how things went in the second half last year in Winston-Salem.