Thursday, September 29, 2011
Predictions: Pac-12 Week 5
By Ted Miller
Went 3-2 last week -- missed on UCLA and Washington wins -- and the season record stands at 28-9.
It's all about home teams this week.
All games are Saturday.
Utah 27, Washington 24: Utah hasn't lost after a bye week since 2002; coach Kyle Whittingham is 6-0 coming off regular-season byes. The Utes have won four consecutive homecoming games. The Utes are 59-17 in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which opened in 1998. This is their first Pac-12 home game. This feels like a big deal for the Utes, and the extra time to prepare should pay off.
USC 33, Arizona 27: Both teams are coming off bad losses in the state of Arizona. It should help the Trojans that they are home. And that the Wildcats defense has been playing poorly. If USC doesn't make mistakes in bunches -- as it did at Arizona State last weekend -- it's a pretty good football team.
Colorado 31, Washington State 28: The Cougars receivers have an advantage against the Colorado secondary. But the Buffaloes' defensive front seven has an advantage against the Washington State offensive line. I see Cougars quarterback Marshall Lobbestael under relentless pressure. Can he find an open man and get rid of the ball quickly? Ultimately, though, home field is the difference in this game.
Arizona State 36, Oregon State 21: This will be Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion's first road start, but he played nearly the entire game at Wisconsin. The Sun Devils might be flat -- and sloppy -- after last weekend's big win over USC, but they will recover in time to overwhelm Oregon State.
Stanford 38, UCLA 17: Not good that the Bruins' secondary is injury-riddled with Andrew Luck playing at home. Or that the Cardinal is coming off a bye, with extra time to prepare for the Bruins' pistol offense.