This weekend’s full conference schedule is highlighted by matchups between USC and Notre Dame, Washington and Arizona State and Stanford and UCLA. After correctly picking 5-of-6 games last week, I’m now at 42-10 on the season. Here are my Pac-12 Football Predictions for Week 8:
Colorado vs. Charleston Southern
The Buffaloes and Buccaneers face off in a game that wasn’t on their schedules until Sept. 30. Charleston Southern is undefeated through seven games and is ranked No. 24 in the NCAA FCS Poll. Meanwhile, the Buffaloes have lost their last three games by a combined 109 points, and will start true freshman Sefo Liufau for the first time. I like the Buccaneers to stay undefeated.
Pick: Charleston Southern
Stanford vs. UCLA
The Bruins are still undefeated, but their offense hasn’t been as explosive as expected through their first five games. UCLA failed to reach their per-game averages in yards against Utah and California, who are ranked 73rd and 123rd in the country in total defense, respectively. I think Stanford, who have the 48th-best defense in the country, gets back on track in this one.
Arizona State vs. Washington
After starting the season 4-0, the Huskies suffered back-to-back losses to Stanford and Oregon, losing by three and 21 points, respectively. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils lost two statement games (Nebraska, Notre Dame), and won two (USC, *cough* Wisconsin *cough*). This matchup is possibly a must-win for both teams, but I’ll pick Washington to avoid a three-game losing streak.
Notre Dame vs. USC
The Trojans – and their fanbase – seem to have new life after the dismissal of Lane Kiffin. They’ll get even more energized with the presumptive returns of wide receiver Marqise Lee and defensive lineman Morgan Breslin, combined with nearly fully healthy running back Silas Redd. The Fighting Irish have won three of their four games by less than a touchdown, so I think they’re due to lose a close game.
Oregon vs. Washington State
After starting the season 4-1, the Cougars have come back down to earth, having been outscored 129-85 in their last three games and losing two of three. Things don’t get any easier for Washington State, as they face a Ducks team that ranks second in the country in yards per game, second in points per game and 17th in total defense. Oregon should have no problem in this one.
Arizona vs. Utah
This is a make-or-break game for the Wildcats, as a win puts them into the discussion to finish in the top-half of the conference, while a loss might mean no bowl game. On the other hand, Utah has to go on the road after an emotional win, which is never an easy task. I don’t think that Arizona will lose three in a row, so I’ll pick the Wildcats by a touchdown.
California vs. Oregon State
The Beavers continue to fly below the radar despite extending their win streak to five with a blowout of Washington State last week. The Oregon State duo of quarterback Sean Mannion and wide receiver Brandin Cooks rank first in the country in passing yards and receiving yards, respectively, and have connected for 11 touchdowns through six games. Meanwhile, Cal has lost their last four games by an average of 29 points. The Beavers should win their sixth in a row.
Pick: Oregon State
In case you missed them, click here for last week’s picks.
Topics: 2013 Football Predictions, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Brandin Cooks, California Golden Bears, Colorado Buffaloes, Follow, Index, Lane Kiffin, Marqise Lee, Morgan Breslin, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Sean Mannion, Sefo Liufau, Silas Redd, Stanford Cardinal, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, Utah Utes, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars