The EDN sports team makes their picks for the final week of the Pac-12 season.
Season Pick’em Standings:
Isaac Rosenthal: 62-17
Corey Buchanan: 61-18
Ryan Beltram: 59-20
The second most heated rivalry game in the Northwest should be relatively interesting this year. Both teams moved the ball up and down the field with ease last week against their opponent. But while Washington State QB Conor Halliday threw for nearly 500 yards,the Huskies had their second greatest rushing performance in team history, wracking up an eye popping 530 yards and 7 TD’s.
If WSU wants to tie its longest winning streak in the Apple Cup since 1982(2 games), they will have to force turnovers. This is because I don’t see the 77th ranked rush defense stopping Bishop Sankey and the Huskies explosive rush attack. But it’s going to be tough as they rank 101 in the nation in turnover margin. The Huskies rank a modest 39th in the nation.
Corey: Washington Isaac: Washington Ryan: Washington
Oregon State(6-5,4-4) vs. Oregon(9-2, 6-2) 4 p.m., Fox Sports 1
The 117th Civil War may not have the hype as some of the last few, but it could be an interesting matchup between two teams coming off of embarrassingly atrocious losses. Not only did OSU play ole defense against the Huskies, but Sean Mannion continued to play below his high early season level. Mannion threw three picks and completed less than 50% of his passes during the drubbing.
X-factor: Motivation If both team’s are motivated mostly by awards, accolades and positioning than this games should be uninspired. However, if they are motivated by self and team pride, than we should have a physical and well played game for our viewing pleasure. From the hokey name to the its relative meaninglessness, this game feels oddly like a bowl game. And like most bowl games, whichever team plays more inspired football has a great chance at getting the win….even the Beavers.
Corey: Oregon Isaac: Oregon Ryan: Oregon
Colorado(4-7,1-7) vs. Utah(4-7,1-7), 11 a.m., Pac-12 Network
Hats off to the dedicated college football fans outside of Colorado and Utah who sit down for this one. This game should be hard on the eyes and the sleep schedule.Throughout the season Utah has been proclaimed underrated. But after last week’s loss to Wazzu, they may be so underrated they’re overrated. The Buffaloes have oddly not played in a close game this year. I think that will change this week.
X-factor: Sacks and Interceptions
Everyone who has watched Utah knows it can rush the passer. The team is second in the nation with 36 sacks on the year. But oppositely, the Utes are second to last in the nation in interceptions, only catching two this year. The Buffaloes have 20 less sacks and 7 more interceptions than the Utes. The winner will have the most points in a completely arbitrary made-up game where sacks are worth one point and interceptions are worth two.
Corey: Utah Isaac: Colorado Ryan: Utah
No. 25 Notre Dame(8-3) vs. No. 8 Stanford(9-2,7-2), 4 p.m., FOX
Notre Dame and the seemingly Van Wilder-esque Tommy Reese are not talked about as much as most Notre Dame squads. Though not great at anything, this team is one of the more balanced in the nation and they have solid wins over Arizona State, USC and Michigan State. Stanford is sitting pretty headed to an inevitable Pac-12 title game after it steamrolled California behind WR Ty Montgomery’s five touchdown performance.
Both teams success hinge’s on their starting quarterback’s ability to control the offense, make a few big plays and not turn the ball over. In the Fighting Irish’s three losses, Rees has 7 interceptions. In Stanford’s two losses, Hogan is averaging 186.5 ypg and 1.5 turnovers. The team with the struggling QB will be hard pressed to win this game.
Corey: Notre Dame Isaac: Stanford Ryan: Stanford
No. 22 UCLA(8-3,5-3) vs. No. 23 USC(9-3,6-2), 5 p.m., ABC
This game doesn’t have nearly as must luster as if UCLA had comeback against Arizona State, but it is still a rivalry game between ranked teams. Plus, UCLA WR Shaq Evans will finally have the chance to back up his declaration that UCLA would embarrass the Trojans.
X-factor: Anthony Barr vs. USC Defensive line
UCLA LB Anthony Barr may be the first name called by Roger Goodell in the NFL Draft for his ability to rush the passer, but USC is the team with the collectively superior pass rush. The Trojans have compiled 10 more sacks on the season than the Bruins. But if Barr can rock USC QB Cody Kessler’s world like he did Matt Barkley’s last year, UCLA should get the victory.
Corey: UCLA Isaac: USC Ryan: USC
Arizona(7-4,4-4) vs. Arizona State(9-2,7-1), 6:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network
After demoralizing the Ducks like no other team since 2008, Arizona will face the Pac-12 South champions and inner-state rival Arizona State. But the Wildcats aren’t the only team in this matchup likely brimming with confidence. The Sun Devils dismantled all Pac-12 foes this year besides Stanford and will be hosting the Pac-12 title game against the Cardinal… that is if they win this game.
Ka’Deem Carey is an absolute beast and will punish you whenever he gets the chance. You can’t help but feel bad for the Duck defense, especially the linebackers, who had to tackle the guy 48 times. This week he will face the no. 2 ranked rush defense in the Pac-12. The unit held the most comparative back to Carey, Washington’s Sankey, to only 22 yards on the ground. However, they allowed 250 rushing yards to USC and Wisconsin speedster Melvin Gordon almost broke the 200 yard mark against the Devils. How well ASU can bottle up Carey will determine the outcome of this game.
Corey: Arizona Isaac: Arizona Ryan: Arizona State