403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
Follow us:
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx

Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

October 20, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Pac-picking, week 8

It’s the third straight week ESPN has a Thursday-night offering from the Pac-12, and the Worldwide Leader has to be hoping for better than it got in the Oregon-Cal and USC-Cal matchups.

Thursday night

UCLA (plus 4) at Arizona – Conventional wisdom is that Arizona comes ready to play, energized by a new coaching staff led by Tim Kish. The dynamic on the other side is interesting: UCLA (3-3) would be 3-1 in league games with a victory, and yes, in the Pac-12 South race. Or, with a loss, Rick Neuheisel is squarely in the crosshairs – he’d be losing to a team that just fired a coach in mid-season. I can’t ignore the fact Arizona (1-5) is 116th in total defense nationally, and 100th in run defense (196 yards a game). Pick: UCLA: 27-26.

Saturday

Washington (plus 20.5) at Stanford – I watched the first half of the Pitt-Utah game last week, and what I saw helps build a case for Washington; Utah absolutely stuffed the Panthers’ offense, which (although Pitt doesn’t throw very well) leads me to be more impressed with what the Huskies (5-1) did Oct. 1 in Salt Lake City. So Washington should put up some points in Palo Alto. I just don’t see the Huskies having much success stopping Stanford. The Cardinal (6-0) has a crunching running game, and oh yeah, Andrew Luck at quarterback. Pick: Stanford, 45-27.

Oregon State (plus 3)-Washington State at CenturyLink Field – Look at what’s happened in the short span since fall camp: Oregon State (1-5), presumed to go with Ryan Katz at quarterback, turned to Sean Mannion in a clumsy transition, and he’s throwing it all over the place. WSU’s (3-3) Jeff Tuel went down after a couple of snaps against Idaho State, and only now is getting back into the flow. How smoothly he operates Saturday night might be the most critical factor here. Pick: Washington State, 31-29.

Oregon (minus 30.5) at Colorado – The Ducks’ offensive stars are beat up. LaMichael James is likely still out with a dislocated elbow and Darron Thomas has a banged-up knee. Thomas says he can play, but indications are he hasn’t practiced much if at all, so Oregon (5-1) likely leans on Bryan Bennett, who acquitted himself fine against Arizona State. Colorado (1-6) is a mess physically and probably mentally as well. Still, it’s at home, and I don’t see an astronomical score here. Pick: Oregon, 41-20.

USC (plus 9) at Notre Dame – Seemingly a high spread here, which probably indicates a sense that the Irish may be more ready for this one than the visitors; USC has won four straight in South Bend and eight of the last nine overall, having dropped one a year ago (literally, on a muffed touchdown pass in the late going) in LA. Tailback Marc Tyler (shoulder) says he’s feeling fine. I have a hunch the Irish are primed to put a hurtin’ on the Trojans. Pick: Notre Dame, 34-17.

Utah (plus 3)-California at AT&T Park – Getting to be late October, and both teams are winless in the Pac-12, and both playing quarterbacks trying to get traction – Utah’s Jon Hays and Cal’s Zach Maynard. Cal linebackers Mychal Kendricks (shoulder) and Chris McCain (leg) may be out, or slowed, which augurs well for the Utes’ hard-running John White. His 36 carries at Pitt tied for third-most in Utah history. Pick: Utah, 24-23.

Last week — 5-1 (4-2 vs. spread). Season — 43-10 (24-21 vs. spread).

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx