Thursday, October 11, 2012
Pac-12 predictions: Week 7
By Ted Miller
Welcome to Week 7. The season is flying by, eh?
Kevin went 4-1 last week and stands at 33-15 for the season. Ted went 5-0 and is 36-12.
Arizona State at Colorado (Thursday)
Kevin Gemmell: There is minor concern that the Sun Devils will be looking ahead to their game against Oregon the following week, but not enough to warrant calling an upset. The true test for this team comes a week later. Arizona State 35, Colorado 14.
Ted Miller: Nice test for Todd Graham to get his team ready for the Buffaloes without their looking ahead to you-know-who next week. So far, Graham and the Sun Devils have passed just about every test. Arizona State 42, Colorado 20.
Stanford at Notre Dame
Kevin Gemmell: The only data we have on Josh Nunes on the road is Washington, and the data isn't good. Plus, Notre Dame is probably looking for some vengeance in the post-Andrew Luck era. At Stanford, I like the Cardinal. At Notre Dame, I like the Irish. Notre Dame 24, Stanford 17.
Ted Miller: It's possible that Notre Dame is overrated. It's possible that the Irish offense won't be able to do much against Stanford's defense. And it's possible that Nunes had his breakthrough game in the comeback win over Arizona. But I still like Notre Dame, feasting on momentum and playing at home. Notre Dame 24, Stanford 20.
USC at Washington
Kevin Gemmell: I'd imagine Steve Sarkisian rallies the troops nicely. He knows USC as well as any coach in the conference. But that doesn't make up for the superior skill-position players of the Trojans, who seem to be getting back on track. USC 38, Washington 21.
Ted Miller: This will be the Trojans' fourth road game, so they are either road-weary or road-tested. They had extra days to get ready, though, after playing last Thursday, and I think that will make a difference. USC 35, Washington 20.
Utah at UCLA
Kevin Gemmell: A curious game. UCLA really looked young against Cal on offense -- which it is. But the mistakes UCLA made seemed to compound, whereas before, it was able to brush them off. John White seems to be back to form. But I still prefer the home team when all things are almost equal. UCLA 28, Utah 21.
Ted Miller: I sense you guys out there who aren't Utah fans are getting lured into a false sense of security with the Utes. That feels like a potential mistake. Lots of Pac-12 teams would be 0-2 in conference play if they had played Arizona State and USC. Last year, Utah stomped the Bruins 31-6. I'm going with the road dog. Utah 28, UCLA 27.
California at Washington State
Kevin Gemmell: At this point, the Washington State defense is outperforming the offense -- and we saw what Cal is capable of when it actually puts it together. Something finally clicked, and I don't think the Bears shut it off this week. Cal 27, Washington State 21.
Ted Miller: It's a simple question, really: Can Cal reproduce the focused performance it had against UCLA? If so, the Bears win big. If not, they flop. We like the New Fighting Tedfords to continue their reclamation of the season. Cal 35, Washington State 24.
Oregon State at BYU
Kevin Gemmell: If Cody Vaz is even three-quarters as efficient as Sean Mannion was, then I don't think the drop-off will be too significant. I think the Beavers rally around Vaz, and the defense is playing very good ball. There is also enough offensive firepower that Mannion's absence doesn't have to be a deal breaker for OSU. Oregon State 17, BYU 7.
Ted Miller: If Mannion were playing, the Beavers would be the pick. But he's not. I think winning at BYU, which is very good on defense, is too much to ask of a young guy making his first career start. BYU 20, Oregon State 10.