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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 4, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Pac-12 picks, Week Six

I’ve got to get used to these Thursday night games, don’t I?

It’s another week where I suddenly realized it’s about two hours to the first game and the picks are not done (sad, weepy music playing here at the thought of readers missing out).

Alas, like Andy Kaufman, I have come to save the day with my picks. So here they are (and as always, with lines taken from the Daily Line in the Seattle Times):

USC AT UTAH (Trojans by 14): Time for the Trojans to start looking like the national title contender everybody expected — and obviously no room left for slip-ups if they want to get to the Pac-12 South. Utah’s defense and running game — which observers such as yours truly thought might make the Utes a sleeper in the conference this year — have been a disappointment. Utah is ahead of only WSU — which basically doesn’t even try to run — in rushing. That won’t cut it against the Trojans. Here’s to thinking Matt Barkley might re-enter the Heisman race tonight with a big game on national TV. USC 35, UTAH 14.

ARIZONA AT STANFORD (Cardinal by 9): For those who like read things into the lines, considering that this one started at 12.5 and has dropped steadily. The question with Stanford is obviously whether UW exposed something in the Cardinal that everyone else can take advantage of, or if that was just one bad game against a fired-up team on the road. Likely, it’s some of both — no doubt, Josh Nunes is not Andrew Luck, though he’s got to be better than he was against UW, as does Stanford’s running game. Arizona was a surprise at 3-0 but a tough opening to the conference schedule has the Wildcats at 0-2 in Pac-12 play. Arizona might have to be resigned to being the best 0-3 team in its conference in the nation after this one. STANFORD 31, ARIZONA 27.

WSU AT OREGON STATE (Beavers by 16:) Here’s another line that’s changed a bit during the week, the Beavers beginning as 13.5-point favorites — bettors obviously jumping on board with one of the hottest teams in the country. Given the way the Beavers have been playing defense against the run, the Cougars could end up with minus-yards in that category. And it’s just hard to see winning on the road doing that. Oregon State, meanwhile, leads the Pac-12 in passing while WSU is among the worst pass defense teams in the nation (11th in the conference). Beavers should roll. OSU 42, WSU 17.

UCLA AT CAL (Bruins by 2.5): UCLA hasn’t won at Cal since 1998, often getting just thumped, such as a 35-7 loss in Berkeley in 2010. But the Bears are turning into one of the disappointing teams in the conference, off to a 1-4 start that has the heat hotter than ever on coach Jeff Tedford (good stuff on that here from Jon Wilner). The key matchup here may be a disappointing Cal run defense that is last in the Pac-12 (allowing 174.8 yards per game) against a UCLA run offense that is second in the conference at 243.4. UCLA has just two road games left after this one (WSU, Arizona State) making this a key contest to get to stay in the Pac-12 South race. For some reason, I think Cal’s desperation gets it done and the Bears continue their home dominance of the Bruins. CAL 31, UCLA 24.

And as always, the UW pick will come in a separate entry Friday.

RECORDS
LAST WEEK
STRAIGHT-UP: 3-2
AGAINST THE SPREAD: 2-3

SEASON TOTALS
STRAIGHT-UP: 30-13.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: 13-25.

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