(4-1) No. 21 Colorado vs. (2-3) USC 1:00 MT, Oct. 8, PAC12 --- ESPN Matchup Predictor: USC 60.1%
Colorado is ranked for the first time in 11 years, but the Buffaloes are 0-10 all-time against the Trojans and are coming into the LA Memorial Coliseum to face one of the most underrated teams in the nation.
USC paraded in a 41-20 victory last Saturday against Arizona State and its offense looked fully prepared to dominate the rest of the way in the Pac-12. The Trojan quarterback freshman Sam Darnold’s ability to maneuver around pass rushers and use his talented wide receiver core to its full capability has been the recipe of success for him. He hit junior Juju Smith-Schuster seven times last week for 123 yards and three TD’s and has yet to get sacked this season.
Colorado’s quarterback situation is a wild one. Senior Sefo Liufau, after a great start, went down with an injury against Michigan and redshirt freshman Steven Montez has been almost flawless replacing him. Now, Liufau is nearly healthy enough to start. Whether it is Liufau or Montez, both can achieve great numbers offensively.
As weird as it is, the unranked Trojans with a losing record will defend their house in an all-around team victory against Colorado.
Final Prediction: USC 38, Colorado 27
(3-2) UCLA vs (4-1) Arizona State 7:30 MT, Oct. 8, ESPN2 --- ESPN Matchup Predictor: UCLA 66.8%
Two very different quarterbacks will face off in this one. Redshirt freshman Brady White will be making his first ever start, while Josh Rosen is in his 18th start as a Bruin.
White struggled in his first time taking meaningful snaps last week at USC. It took him five sequences to get a first down as the Sun Devil offense went three and out their first four times with the ball in the second half. The good news for White is he completed four of his last six passes for 79 yards in two drives that both ended in touchdowns.
For UCLA, Rosen has been on fire as of late. He combined for four pass touchdowns and four interceptions in his first four starts, but in his last two, he’s converted four pass TD’s with no picks. Rosen led an offense against Arizona last week with 350 passing yards and three touchdowns that ended up with 45 points.
The more experienced Bruins should improve to 10-5 all-time in Tempe after Saturday.
Final Prediction: UCLA 35, Arizona State 23
(3-2) California vs. (1-3) Oregon State 6:00 MT, Oct. 8, PAC12 --- ESPN Matchup Predictor: California 78.9%
Senior Davis Webb is putting up insane numbers this year with 22 touchdowns and an average quarterback rating of 72.6. The Golden Bears already have two signature home wins against ranked teams this season, but have yet to win on the road as they venture into Corvallis, OR.
The Beavers’ lone win this season came against FCS opponent Idaho State and they have not scored a touchdown since two weeks ago against Boise State. A load of offense is needed to keep up with Webb and the high-flying Golden Bears, and the Beavers just do not posses the fire power to do so.
Final Prediction: California 45, Oregon State 21
(5-0) No. 5 Washington vs. (2-3) Oregon 4:30 MT, Oct. 8, FOX --- ESPN Matchup Predictor: 78.1%
The Huskies are as confident as ever after their 44-6 rout over the Stanford Cardinal last Friday. Oregon, on the other hand, is angry, unhappy, motivated, and in dyer need of a win. A home game against a courageous Washington squad is the perfect recipe for success for the Ducks.
Washington outplayed Stanford in every aspect of the game. The Huskies shutdown arguably the best running back in the nation, junior Christian McCaffrey, and scored 44 points on a top-tier defense. What most of the nation didn’t realize, was that the Cardinal were without their two starting cornerbacks and senior wide receiver Francis Owusu.
Oregon has beaten Washington in 12 straight games and can’t afford to drop a fourth consecutive game this Saturday at home. Washington may have stopped McCaffrey, but are facing a dynamic Duck rush offense like no other.
The Ducks have a trio of running backs who have all ran for over 220 yards and have at least two touchdowns each. Junior Royce Freeman, the Oregon leading rusher who averages 8.3 yards per run, will have to be extra flashy against a tough Husky defense.
Final Prediction: Oregon 31, Washington 27
(2-2) Washington State vs (3-1) Stanford 7:30 MT, Oct. 8, ESPN --- ESPN Matchup Predictor: Stanford 70.6%
An embarrassing loss to Washington will force this week to serve as a redemption game for the Cardinal. The Cougars just picked up an immaculate win against Oregon scoring 51 points as they improved to 1-0 in league play.
Stanford will be without corner’s Alijah Holder and Quenton Meeks for a second week in a row. The Cardinal defense proved they cannot successfully defend the pass without them as the Huskies launched three TD’s in the air against them. Junior quarterback Luke Falk is poised to have a great performance against this Stanford defense, but junior running back Christian McCaffrey might be too much for the Cougars to handle.
Final Prediction: Stanford 27, Washington State 20
(2-3) Arizona vs. (4-1) No. 24 Utah 7:00 MT, Oct. 8, FS1 --- ESPN Matchup Predictor: Utah 68%
The Utes fell to California on the road last week and now come home to where they haven’t lost a game all season. Utah’s defense that ranks third in the Pac-12 couldn’t even halt Webb and the Golden Bears.
Arizona might be starting 17-year-old true freshman quarterback Khalil Tate. Junior Anu Soloman is out and sophomore Brandon Dawkins is questionable. Tate would be making his first start as a Wildcat.
In his first performance, Tate shined at UCLA as he threw for 72 yards with two touchdowns. Utah should be able to figure out Tate with a week of film to watch, but the freshman could surprise.
Regardless, Utah is far more experienced than the Wildcats and rarely has any trouble at home.
Final Prediction: Utah 35, Arizona 17