Thursday, September 8, 2011
Pac-12 predictions: Week 2
By Ted Miller
The Pac-12 went 8-4 last week. I went 9-3.
This week I'm going to try harder.
Oklahoma State 38, Arizona 24: Even without wideout Juron Criner's uncertain status, this was going to be a tough trip for the Wildcats. The Cowboys look like a better team than the one that blew Arizona out in the 2010 Alamo Bowl.
Arizona State 30, Missouri 24: Both teams have injury issues, but the Tigers' are more recent, therefore more taxing for their preparation. The Sun Devils will make a statement on both sides of the ball, with quarterback Brock Osweiler and linebacker Vontaze Burfict both stepping up.
Wisconsin 48, Oregon State 20: A week after losing to an FCS team, the Beavers head to Madison to play a national title contender. Oregon State wants to put in a respectable performance, get home in one piece and get healthy for Pac-12 play.
Colorado 24, California 21: This week's upset special! The Bears look better on paper, and they whipped the Buffs 52-7 in Berkeley last year. But think about it: This is EXACTLY the type of game in which Cal throws up on itself.
Oregon 44, Nevada 27: I suspect the Ducks will start a bit flat and this one won't be in the bag until the fourth quarter. So much was invested in the LSU game, it seems likely the Ducks won't be at their best on either side of the ball. But, most important, they will survive.
Washington 33, Hawaii 30: Warning! Warning! Huskies, warning! Hawaii shut down Colorado's running game, and quarterback Bryant Moniz is one of country's best playmakers. The difference should be Husky Stadium. And the poor performance last weekend versus Eastern Washington should help the focus.
Stanford 48, Duke 13: The Blue Devils already lost to Richmond, an FCS powerhouse best known for producing awesome college football bloggers. Will quarterback Andrew Luck get to play in the fourth quarter? Will he put up Heisman-worthy numbers after a solid but unspectacular performance in Week 1? Do the Blue Devils have any say in this one?
Washington State 33, UNLV 21: The Cougs improve to 2-0 -- just four wins away from bowl eligibility -- as backup quarterback Marshall Lobbestael does a solid job replacing Jeff Tuel.
Utah 27, USC 24: Upset special No. 2! Don't like the Matt Barkley-Robert Woods matchup with the Utes secondary, but do like the Utes D-line vs. the USC O-line? Utah is going to come in hungry and well-coached and I don't know if the Trojans will match that intensity. Utah announces itself to the Pac-12 WITH AUTHORITY!
UCLA 35, San Jose State 17: The Bruins will bounce back from the Houston loss with a victory, playing better on both sides of the ball.