This weekend marks the first time this season that Pac-12 teams only play conference games. It was another productive week for me last week, as I picked 6-of-7 games correctly to move to 29-7 on the season. Here are my Pac-12 Football Predictions for Week 5:
Oregon State vs. Colorado
While it hasn’t been pretty, the Beavers have won three games in a row after an opening-season loss to FCS-level Eastern Washington. Quarterback Sean Mannion has put himself into the Heisman conversation after throwing for 1,604 yards, 15 touchdowns and only one interception through the first four games. Even though the Buffaloes are 2-0, they likely still will be one of the bottom-dwellers in the Pac-12. Oregon State should have the edge playing at home.
Pick: Oregon State
Washington vs. Arizona
After three out-of-conference games against NAU, UNLV and UTSA, the nation will finally be able to tell just how good the undefeated Wildcats are. Quarterback B.J. Denker, who has struggled with his arm early in the season, will be making his first career Pac-12 road start at newly-renovated Husky Stadium. While the Wildcats defense is vastly improved, they don’t have enough weapons to slow down the 16th-ranked Huskies.
Washington State vs. Stanford
The Cougars surprised the Pac-12 when they upset USC on the road a couple weeks ago. But can they do it again? They face a Cardinal team that is coming off 42-28 drubbing of Arizona State. The Cardinal are one of the best all-around teams in the country, so I’m not sure if the Cougars have enough talent to pull off the victory.
Arizona State vs. USC
It would be premature to say that Arizona State is overrated after one bad game, but all indications are that the Sun Devils are nowhere close to UCLA in the Pac-12 South. They have a lot of weapons on offense and defense, but teams have effectively schemed around their star players. Meanwhile, the underachievement of USC quarterback Cody Kessler has shifted attention away from running back Tre Madden, who has quietly ran for 455 yards and two touchdowns in four games. I have trouble picking against the Trojans defense, so I’ll say they pick up a much-needed victory on the road.
Oregon vs. California
The Ducks offense ranks second in the nation with 672.0 yards per game, while the Bears defense ranks 121st in the nation by giving up 556.3 yards per game. Oregon averages 61.3 points per game, while Cal gives up 42.0 points per game. This game shouldn’t be close.
In case you missed them, click here for last week’s picks.
Topics: 2013 Football Predictions, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, B.J. Denker, California Golden Bears, Cody Kessler, Colorado Buffaloes, Follow, Index, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Sean Mannion, Stanford Cardinal, Tre Madden, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, Utah Utes, Washington Huskies