The Spokesman-Review’s Theo Lawson picks Week 9 of the Pac-12 Conference football season.
USC at Colorado
USC by 13 1/2 (Fri. 6 p.m., ESPN2): The Buffaloes have been outscored 86-13 in their past two games. I have a feeling the offense will bounce back against the Trojans – at least enough to make it competitive – but USC’s Air Raid offense, same as Washington State’s, will be too much for Colorado to handle. The pick: USC 38, Colorado 31.
Arizona at Stanford
Arizona by 1 (Sat. 12:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks): There’s been nothing pointing to a return for either of Stanford’s top two quarterbacks, K.J. Costello or Davis Mills, and it looks like the Cardinal might have to ride their third-stringer, Jack West, this Saturday against the Wildcats. That makes this an easy choice. The pick: Arizona 28, Stanford 21.
Arizona State at UCLA
ASU by 4 (4:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks): Jayden Daniels (4 of 18, zero touchdowns, one interception) struggled in Salt Lake City, but Arizona State’s defense did enough to prevent a 21-3 loss from getting too ugly. That defense has carried the Sun Devils this year when their freshman quarterback has struggled. I think it’ll carry ASU past the Bruins in Westwood. The pick: ASU 34, UCLA 21.
Cal at Utah
Utah by 21 (7 p.m., FS1): Even with G-Prep’s Evan Weaver piling up 20 tackles every game, the Golden Bears still won’t do enough on the offensive side of things to outscore most of their Pac-12 opponents. Will they score at all against the defensive-minded Utes? The pick: Utah 31, Cal 7.
Washington State at Oregon
Oregon by 14 (7:30 p.m., ESPN): For all intents and purposes, the Ducks, who’d need to lose at least three of their final five games to surrender the division title, have wrapped up the Pac-12 North. Could that lead to something of a letdown, especially with a big road game against USC on deck? It’s a question worth asking. The pick: Will be in Saturday’s paper.
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