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Pac-12 picks: Recognizing our mistakes and ‘playing the next play’

Southern California's Chase McGrath (40) kicks the game-winning field goal from the hold of Wyatt Schmidt, left, while Texas defensive back Holton Hill tries to block in overtime of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Los Angeles. USC won 27-24 in two overtimes. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) ORG XMIT: LAC119 (Mark J. Terrill / AP)
Southern California's Chase McGrath (40) kicks the game-winning field goal from the hold of Wyatt Schmidt, left, while Texas defensive back Holton Hill tries to block in overtime of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Los Angeles. USC won 27-24 in two overtimes. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) ORG XMIT: LAC119 (Mark J. Terrill / AP)

If you took a few minutes to browse through last week’s picks, you probably noticed a large, bold headline at the top of the screen before anything else. It’s meant to catch your eye, the headline, and chances are it did. Or maybe you glazed right over it. Let’s hope that was the case.

‘USC, Texas meet again, but don’t expect another frenetic finish.’

And what happened next? Well, a walk-on kicker nailed a field goal to force overtime, then won it for the Trojans with a 43-yarder that sent the LA Coliseum into a state of hysteria. I suppose it was frenetic after all.

As far as the Pac-12 picks go, we’ll do what Mike Leach would tell us to do: “Play the next play.”

Utah at Arizona

Utah by 3.5 – Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins was responsible for six touchdowns against UTEP. Do the Wildcats have a QB, or do the Wildcats just have a QB who can light up UTEP? We’ll know Friday night. The pick: Utah 28, Arizona 24.

USC at California

USC by 16.5 – Credit Justin Wilcox for what he’s done so far, but no, I don’t imagine we’ll be talking about that unbeaten 2017 Cal team 20 years down the road. USC? It’s possible. The pick: USC 42, Cal 31.

Nevada at Washington State

WSU by 28 – One of these Air Raid offenses has had six years to develop. The other has had three games. The pick: will be in Saturday’s paper.

Washington at Colorado

UW by 10.5 – If the Buffaloes can avoid kicking it within 100 square miles of Huskies returner Dante Pettis, they at least have a shot at covering. The pick: Washington 28, Colorado 21.

Oregon at Arizona State

Oregon by 15 – Oregon has the running backs who rank No. 1 and 2 in the FBS in touchdowns scored. I think Arizona State has at least one player who would qualify as a “running back.” The pick: Oregon 55, ASU 35.

UCLA at Stanford

Stanford by 7.5 – The Cardinal have a run game the Bruins can’t match and I can’t imagine three straight losses to the Trojans, Aztecs and Bruins would sit well with Stanford’s recruiting prospects in southern California. The pick: Stanford 31, UCLA 27.

Theo Lawson’s records

Last week: 9-2 straight up, 4-6 against the spread

Overall: 26-6 straight up, 9-17 against the spread

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