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Pac-12 Football: Week 7 Preview and Predictions

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Pac-12 play is in full swing as we take a look at this week’s matchups

Stanford v Utah Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Not a blowout, but not close

Utah (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) vs No. 13 USC (5-1, 3-1 Pac-12)

Sat. 10/13, 5:00 PM MT

ABC

ESPN Matchup Predictor: USC 86.9%

USC outmatches Utah in every aspect except total defense, which is mostly due to Utah’s weak schedule. The Utes faced their toughest opponent of their season last week against Stanford and will face their toughest test this week against No. 13 USC. Sam Darnold and Deontay Burnett have been almost unstoppable through the air this season and Ronald Jones II has provided tremendous support on the ground. Utah’s quarterback situation is still up in the air, however, the Utes started senior Troy Williams over sophomore Tyler Huntley last week against Stanford, so it should be interesting to see who the Utes give the nod to on Saturday.

Final Prediction: No. 13 USC 38 - Utah 17

Don’t even think about it

No. 8 Washington State (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) vs California (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12)

Fri. 10/13, 7:45 PM MT

ESPN

ESPM Matchup Predictor: Washington State 78.6%

The Cougars are off to the program’s best start since 2003 and head coach Mike Leach has already lead his team to an upset win over a then-ranked No. 5 USC team. Washington State quarterback Luke Falk has torched its opponents through the air and will more than likely do the same against Cal’s defense which is ranked No. 116 in the country in passing defense. The Cougars will have a challenge of their own with Cal quarterback Ross Bowers who has thrown 13 touchdowns compared to only three interceptions. However, Falk is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the country and already has 2,000 passing yards and not to mention he already has 19 touchdowns, which is outstanding considering we’re only halfway through the season.

Final Prediction: Washington State 42 - California 20

Colorado (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) vs Oregon State (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12)

Sat. 10/14, 1:00 PM MT

PAC12

ESPN Matchup Predictor: Colorado 77.3%

The Buffaloes’ season has not gone the way they imagined after they finished the 2016 regular season ranked No. 10. Although Colorado hasn’t had a fulfilling first half of the season, the Buffaloes shouldn’t have a problem taking care of the Beavers solely because of running back Patrick Lindsay. This season has not been kind to Oregon State. On top of a 1-5 record, the Beavers are on their second string quarterback Darrell Garretson after Jake Luton suffered a spine fracture against Washington State. Wide receivers Noah Togiai, Jordan Vilamin and Isaiah Hodgins have been weapons through the air for the Beavers and they will have to go to them early and often if the Beavers want a chance at winning this game. Colorado will win this game behind the freight train that is Phillip Lindsay, the No. 5 running back in the country with 810 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns. Quarterback Steven Montez and wide receivers Bryce Bobo, Shay Fields and Devin Ross will complement Lidsay’s efforts on the ground. Colorado should have no problem moving the ball against Oregon State’s defense which is No. 126 in the country.

Final prediction: Colorado 45 - Oregon State 10

UCLA (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) vs Arizona (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12)

Sat. 10/14 6:00 PM MT

PAC12

ESPN Matchup Predictor: UCLA 53.5%

Josh Rosen is having a career year and is the No. 1 passer in the nation with 2,135 yards along with 17 touchdowns and only five picks. Rosen will probably have his way against the Wildcats defense who have had trouble stopping teams through the air and are ranked No. 79 in passing defense. However, this should be another big game for Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate on the ground because the Bruins, who have the No. 126 rushing defense, has struggled against the run all season.

Final Prediction: UCLA 42 - Arizona 17

No. 5 Washington (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) vs Arizona State (2-3, 1-1 Pac-12)

Sat. 10/14, 7:45 PM MT

ESPN

ESPN Matchup Predictor: Washington 86.3%

The No. 5 Huskies heads to Tempe to take on the Sun Devils and there’s no reason why Washington shouldn’t blow out ASU. Now one thing that people rail on Washington about is its non conference scheduling which is a valid point, regardless the Huskies are still winning games with ease. Outside of Washington’s game against Rutgers the Huskies have won every game by 27 points or more. Quarterback Jake Browning, running back Myles Gaskin and wide receiver Dante Pettis are unstoppable forces on offense for the Huskies this season and are complemented by a stellar top-10 defense. Browning has 1466 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions which is a very good ratio at this point in the season. Gaskin has helped open up the passing game for Browning, rushing for 559 yards (No. 19 in the country) and eight touchdowns. Dante Pettis isn’t only a threat on offense, but also in punt return game as he’s returned three punts for touchdowns this season on top of setting the all-time Pac-12 record for punts returned for touchdown. ASU will need to be flawless on offense and bring pressure on defense if it wants a chance to win this game. Quarterback Manny Wilkins needs to play like he did the first five games, Kalen Ballage needs to excel in the run game in order to open up the passing game and most of all, the Sun Devils need to get the ball to N’keal Harry. Arizona State has had some problems with injuries including linebacker Koron Crump who is out for the season. Washington out matches ASU on both sides of the ball.

Final Prediction: No. 5 Washington 56 - ASU 24

The Most Entertaining Game of the Week

Oregon (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) vs No. 23 Stanford (4-2, 3-1 Pac-12)

Sat. 10/14, 8:00 PM MT

Live Stream: Fox Sports Go

ESPN Matchup Predictor: Stanford 71.6%

Injuries have headlined Oregon’s season this year and the road doesn’t get any easier against the Cardinal. Running back Bryce Love is a man on a mission to win the Heisman Trophy. Love is arguably the best running back in the country and has yet to be held under 150 yards rushing in a game. The Ducks have only allowed 562 yards on the ground (No. 20 in the country), but Oregon’s front seven will have their work cut out for them to try and contain Love. Stanford head coach David Shaw said Keller Chryst will start on Saturday according to sfgate.com after Chryst and K.J. Costello have been battling over the past two weeks for the job. Wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside will be back in the lineup for the Cardinal after he missed the Utah game last week with an undisclosed injury. Stanford’s defense led by Justin Reid who already has five interceptions this season, tied for first in the nation, will dodge a bullet with quarterback Justin Herbert out of the lineup, but will have to find a way to stop “Rolls Royce” Freeman. Freeman was injured in the game against Cal two weeks ago, but did play last week against Washington State. The Ducks will have to rely on Royce Freeman and Tony Brooks-James to exploit the Cardinal’s weak rushing defense which is No. 103 in the country.

Final Prediction: No. 23 Stanford 35 - Oregon 24