Pac-12 football is back and we at EDN Sports will do a weekly Pac-12 Pick’em. Each week we’ll give you our picks and track how we’ve done so far.
Season Pick’em Standings:
- Alex Shoemaker: 53-11 (5-0 last week)
- Ryan Beltram: 50-14 (5-0)
- Isaac Rosenthal: 50-14 (4-1)
- Corey Buchanan: 49-15 (4-1)
- Franklin Bains: 48-16 (4-1)
- David Saez: 47-17 (3-2)
Arizona State (5-2, 3-1) at Washington State (4-4, 2-3) 7:30 p.m. (ESPN 35)
Both teams have a lot riding on this game. With a win the Sun Devils maintain ts one-game lead over Pac-12 South foe UCLA. For the Cougars, a win moves them closer to bowl eligibility – needing six wins to reach that mark. ASU has dominated this series of late, winners of eight of the last nine. But this Cougs offense might just have enough fire power to keep it close.
X-factor: Connor Halliday. Halliday and Mike Leach can start to breath deeply. After taking a 24-17 lead against Oregon State, the Cougs saw the full power of the Beaver State’s secondaries and threw 7 interceptions over the course of the next 5 quarters. Now they get a Thursday date with the Sun Devils and can put some distance between themselves and Steven Nelson, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Terrance Mitchell. That’s not to say that Halliday can’t throw picks to the Sun Devil defense, just that it’s not as likely as it would be against the Beavs and Ducks (first and second, respectively, in the conference in interceptions).
Alex: Arizona State Isaac: Arizona State Corey: Arizona State Franklin: Washington State David: Arizona State Ryan: Arizona State
USC (5-3, 2-2) at Oregon State (6-2, 4-1) 6 p.m. (ESPN2 36)
Friday’s showdown between the Trojans and Beavs is the best game of the week in the Pac-12 by most analysts. Oregon State looks to bounce back from a hard-fought loss to No. 5 Stanford on Saturday, while USC is 2-1 since the firing of then head coach Lane Kiffin and only a four-point loss away from being undefeated in that stretch. While neither one of these teams is out of the running for a conference title, it’d take a great stretch of luck in November. A win on Friday is a must.
X-factor: OSU O-Line vs. USC D Front. Oregon State’s offensive line hasn’t exactly impressed through nine weeks. The holes haven’t been there for Storm Woods and so while the rushing game has gone away, the passing game has flourished. That’s not to say, however, that Sean Mannion hasn’t been running for his life at times. He has been. And USC has the athletes throughout the forest of its front 7 to get in Mannion’s head. For OSU to win, they’ll need their own forest to step up and protect.
Alex: USC Isaac: Oregon State Corey: Oregon State Franklin: Oregon State David: Oregon State Ryan: Oregon State
Arizona (5-2, 2-2) at California (1-7, 0-5) 12:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network 420)
The Golden Bears and Arizona Wildcats have had one of the most competitive matchups in the league for years. At 14-14-2 all-time and 2-2 over the past four meetings, it wouldn’t be crazy to expect a close game. However, this may be the worst Cal team in a decade while the Wildcats are winners of their last two games and have an outside shot of winning the Pac-12 South. This could be close early, but Rich Rodrigues’ high powered running attack should tear apart the Bears’ defense.
X-factor: B.J. Denker. The senior QB has the same amount of rushing and passing TDs (8) this year, and is starting to come into his own as the Wildcats field general. Against the Cal rushing defense though, his job early will be just to hand off to the conference’s best RB in Ka’Deem Carey. If the conference’s worst team by a margin makes a push for its first FBS win this season though, Denker has the ability to tuck and run and will use it.
Alex: Arizona Isaac: Arizona Corey: Arizona Franklin: Arizona David: Arizona Ryan: Arizona
Colorado (3-4, 0-4) at No. 20 UCLA (5-2, 2-2) 4:30 (Fox Sports 1 408)
On paper, the top-25 Bruins should have every advantage against a still rebuilding Buffaloes squad still looking for its fist conference win. However, with the Bruins looking to keep up energy after two loses to Stanford and Oregon its hard to say just what mindset the team will be in. This has textbook upset alert written all over it.
X-factor: Brett Hundley. The last two weeks haven’t exactly been kind to the sophomore quarterback. Stanford (219) and then Oregon (136) held him to his lowest total yardage output of his career. Before the Stanford game, he had never been held to less than 250 yards in a game, and in 10 of 19 career games, he recorded over 300 yards. Colorado has nothing to lose this week, but they also don’t have the athletes to compete with UCLA’s skill position players.
Alex: UCLA Isaac: UCLA Corey: UCLA Franklin: UCLA David: UCLA Ryan: UCLA