It wouldn’t have been totally unreasonable to think a couple of Pac-12 teams could start the season 0-2. You might have expected those would be the ones coached by Jonathan Smith and Herm Edwards, not by Kevin Sumlin and Chip Kelly.
Arizona and UCLA have faced stiff competition, but both have chances to finally get into the win column this week – one maybe more so than the other. We predict Arizona vs. Southern Utah, UCLA vs. Fresno State and nine other games taking place throughout the Pac-12 Conference this week.
UC Davis at Stanford
No line – Stanford will sit star running back Bryce Love, but it’d be more interesting – and more competitive – if the Cardinal actually loaned him to UC Davis for this game. The pick: Stanford 40, UC Davis 3.
San Jose State at Oregon
Oregon by 41 1/2 – The Ducks have scored 120 points at Autzen Stadium this year, after games against Bowling Green and Portland State. I like the chances of that number reaching 180 come Saturday night. The pick: Oregon 62, SJSU 10.
New Hampshire at Colorado
No line – New Hampshire, a team that scored 10 points against Colgate and Maine, visits a Colorado team that dropped a combined 78 points on Colorado State and Nebraska. More stat-padding for Steven Montez, Travon McMillian and Laviska Shenault Jr. The pick: Colorado 45, New Hampshire 10.
Idaho State at California
No line – A few years ago, Cal took wide receiver Chad Hansen from Idaho State. The Bengals don’t have anyone the Bears would be interested this year, if that gives you some insight into what will go down Saturday in Berkeley. The pick: Cal 45, Idaho State 7.
Oregon State at Nevada
Nevada by 3 1/2 – There’s more uncertainty at the quarterback position for Oregon State, so the Beavers may need another big day from running back Jemar Jefferson if they hope to keep pace with a Nevada attack that scored 72 points in its season opener. The pick: Nevada 41, Oregon State 38.
USC at Texas
Texas by 3 1/2 – Part III of Trojans-Longhorns couldn’t be more entertaining than Part I or Part II, could it? Anything seems possible when these two knock heads. The pick: Texas 31, USC 30.
Eastern Washington at Washington State
No line – Maybe Wyoming wasn’t the Cougars’ toughest nonconference challenge after all. Gage Gubrud has some fond memories of Martin Stadium, but how will the Eastern Washington QB operate without Cooper Kupp, Kendrick Bourne and Shaq Hill? The pick: will be in Saturday’s paper.
Washington at Utah
Washington by 6 1/2 – A preview of the Pac-12 championship here in week three? It’s possible, especially after seeing Utah’s top challengers in the South, USC and Arizona, stumble the first two weeks. Both defenses are elite, but the Huskies are more talented and experience on offense. The pick: UW 27, Utah 21.
Arizona State at San Diego State
ASU by 5 – Manny Wilkins and N’Keal Harry are emerging as one of the top quarterback-wide receiver combos in the country and expect to see big numbers from both against a SDSU team that surrendered 226 receiving yards to JJ Arcega-Whiteside a couple of weeks ago. The pick: ASU 38, SDSU 28.
Fresno State at UCLA
Fresno State by 1 – Chip Kelly has never started a college season 0-3, but the Bruins have conceded 75 points in two games and face a Fresno State that’s two weeks removed from hanging 79 on Idaho. Upset special! The pick: Fresno State 34, UCLA 31.
Southern Utah at Arizona
No line – A bottom-dweller from the Big Sky Conference is just what Khalil Tate and Kevin Sumlin needed after early-season losses to BYU and Houston. This one shouldn’t be close. “Shouldn’t.” The pick: Arizona 55, Southern Utah 21.
Theo Lawson picks
Last week: 8-2 straight up, 4-3 against the spread
Overall: 17-5 straight up, 9-9 against the spread
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