Thursday, September 5, 2013
Pac-12 predictions: Week 2
By Ted Miller and Kevin Gemmell
Kevin went 9-1 last week. Ted went 8-2.
The difference was Ted incorrectly picking California to upset Northwestern. And everyone knows Cal would have won if Ted had picked Northwestern because that's what Cal does to Ted. It ignores him.
Cal, why can't I quit you?!
Sacramento State at Arizona State
Kevin Gemmell: Tougher games loom in the coming weeks. But I don’t see being shocked by a Football Championship Subdivision team on ASU’s agenda. I’m predicting an Oregon-esque efficiency and dismantling. Get in, get out, take care of business and stay healthy. Arizona State 42, Sacramento State 7.
Ted Miller: What Kevin said -- dominate, then get the key starters on the bench and get some backups valuable playing time. Arizona State 45, Sacramento State 10.
Weber State at Utah
Kevin Gemmell: I like what Kyle Whittingham did earlier this week. He put all the scores of the FCS teams beating Football Bowl Subdivision teams up on the board for the whole team to see. The Utes are coming off an emotional win. And it’s a reminder that anyone can be vulnerable. They'll move to 2-0. (And a special thank you to my new Utonian friends for explaining to me that it’s pronounced WEE-ber State. Message received.) Utah 35, Weber State 10.
Ted Miller: Is that "WEE-ber wobble but it don't fall down"? Well, it will Saturday. Utah 30, Weber State 17.
Oregon at Virginia
Kevin Gemmell: In the final year of the BCS, this is where Oregon wants to be, in the top two. Now all the Ducks have to do is keep winning. And while Virginia will provide a little more pop than Nicholls State, it won’t be enough to slow the Ducks. Oregon 42, Virginia 14.
Ted Miller: The Ducks have been a model of efficiency the past few years, and that's been most notable on the road, a characteristic of national title contenders. The next measure of new coach Mark Helfrich is maintaining that efficiency. Oregon 38, Virginia 17.
Portland State at California
Kevin Gemmell: If you can hang at home against a top-25 team while using a true freshman quarterback, you can beat an FCS team. Jared Goff showed some mettle and should continue to improve. Cal 35, Portland State 13.
Ted Miller: I feel comfortable my Cal jinx will take the weekend off. Maybe. Cal 44, Portland State 20.
Hawaii at Oregon State
Kevin Gemmell: Don’t see any issues with the Oregon State offense, which was efficient and productive with Sean Mannion at the helm. Fortunately for the Beavers, Vernon Adams has not transferred to Hawaii in the past week, so they should be good. Oregon State 38, Hawaii 17.
Ted Miller: The loss to Sacramento State in 2011 was followed by a visit to Wisconsin. That 35-0 beatdown didn't help lift the Beavers out of their post-FCS-loss embarrassment malaise, obviously, and an 0-4 start ensued, as well as a 3-9 finish. I think the Beavers will open up a can of whip-butt and show us they aren't going to wilt. Oregon State 41, Hawaii 20.
Central Arkansas at Colorado
Kevin Gemmell: Even though it added former Heisman winner Ricky Williams to its coaching staff, the University of Incarnate Word couldn’t hang with Central Arkansas in Week 1. The Buffs, however, have a taste for winning. And I think they like it. Colorado 33, Central Arkansas 21.
Ted Miller: If the Buffs improve to 2-0, as most expect they will, how many Colorado fans are going to start reviewing the schedule closely with a magnifying glass, trying to find four more wins and bowl eligibility? Colorado 38, Central Arkansas 24.
Arizona at UNLV
Kevin Gemmell: Arizona is looking to build on a 35-0 win that didn’t include Ka’Deem Carey. The Pac-12 has owned the Mountain West thus far. That should continue against a Las Vegas team that hasn’t had a .500 record since 2003 and hasn’t beaten a BCS-level opponent since ASU in 2008. Arizona 38, UNLV 17.
Ted Miller: Vegas, baby! This is enough of a step up in competition -- not to mention a road game -- that we might get a better idea of the Wildcats on both sides of the ball, particularly QB B.J. Denker. Will the passing game open up a bit? Or is this just going to be the "Ka'Deem is Back" show? Arizona 35, UNLV 24.
Washington State at USC
Kevin Gemmell: Despite a good effort last week from the Cougars, turnovers continue to be an issue. And USC’s defense looked pretty opportunistic. The chance of getting Silas Redd back boosts a running back corps that looks pretty good with Justin Davis and Tre Madden. USC 31, Washington State 21.
Ted Miller: This game definitely gives me pause. The Cougars showcased an Air Raid revival at Auburn, and the Trojans' secondary is vulnerable. Also, the status of USC's best pass-rusher, Morgan Breslin, is questionable, as he has a bum ankle. Still, this is a Pac-12 defense, a big step up from last weekend. I also suspect we'll see more from the Trojans' offense this week than it showed at Hawaii. USC 35, Washington State 28.
San Jose State at Stanford
Kevin Gemmell: SJSU boasts a good wide receiver in Noel Grigsby and a very good quarterback in David Fales. But I don’t see it as anything Stanford’s veteran defense can’t handle. The Cardinal, once again, probably won’t be a team that blows people out. But wins are wins, and Stanford should get plenty of them this year. Stanford 27, San Jose State 13.
Ted Miller: I like Fales. He will give the Stanford defense a good test, although he's learning a West Coast offense that's different than what he ran under Mike MacIntyre. It's supposed to be more physical, which might not be a great plan against the rugged Cardinal. I also think the Stanford offense might have a nice opening night, seeing as the Spartans welcome back just five defensive starters and changed coaching staffs, switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4. Stanford 35, San Jose State 17.