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Pac-12 Football: Week 10 preview and predictions

Holy cow it’s November?

USC v Arizona State Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Grab your popcorn

No. 22 Arizona (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) vs. No. 17 USC (7-2, 5-1 Pac-12) Sat. 11/4 7:45 PM MT ESPN

ESPN Matchup Predictor: USC 74.8%

The Arizona Wildcats are arguably the hottest team in the Pac-12, but they face their toughest test on Saturday against the USC Trojans. Khalil Tate has officially put himself into the Heisman conversation as he ranks No. 6 in the latest ESPN Heisman Watch. Sam Darnold and the Trojans found the their juju last week, as the three headed monster of Sam Darnold, Ronald Jones II, and Deontay Burnett rolled the Sun Devils in Tempe last week. This game should be a shootout because of the high-powered offenses that will be on display and because of poor defense from Arizona (No. 102 total defense) and USC (No. 97 total defense).

Final Prediction: USC 42 - Arizona 38

It’s anyone’s game

UCLA (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12) vs. Utah (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12) Sat. 11/4 6:30 PM MT FS1

ESPN Matchup Predictor: UCLA 58.8%

This game truly is a toss up. Now you may think UCLA should win this game without even a second thought, but despite Josh Rosen leading UCLA on offense, the Bruins have stunk it up on defense and are ranked No. 119 in total defense in the country. The Bruins still may win this game, but it’s not the no-brainer it appeared to be at the beginning of the season. Utah is led by Tyler Huntley who has the job for now, and if the Utes want a shot at going bowling this season they need to put stop to their losing streak (four games) by finding a solution at quarterback first and foremost. The Utes have the third best total defense from the Pac-12 and rank No. 41 in the country, but the Utes need consistent quarterback play if they want to end their losing streak. Despite inconsistent quarterback play, there are positives to the Utah offense with sophomore running back Zach Moss, who has 587 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and standout senior wide receiver Darren Carrington II who has 779 rushing yards and five touchdowns so far this season.

Final Prediction: UCLA 24 - Utah 17

No. 21 Stanford (6-2, 5-1 Pac-12) vs No. 25 Washington State (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12) Sat. 11/4 12:30 PM MT FOX

ESPN Matchup Predictor: Stanford 65.0%

Stanford heads into Pullman as the favorites in the ESPN matchup predictor, but Washington State is actually favored to win by two, which is why this game is under the “it’s anyone’s game” category. The Cardinal had a near-scare last week in Corvallis, as Stanford only defeated Oregon State by one point and saw its hopes of reaching the Pac-12 title game flash before its eyes. However, Bryce Love did not play in last week’s contest and is reportedly a ‘game time decision’ this week.

There is also a change under center as K.J. Costello will take over the reins once again this season and replace Keller Chryst this week, according to mercurynews.com. Luke Falk and the Cougars are coming off a tough loss to the Arizona Wildcats and Falk was benched for the second time this season during the loss. Falk will start this weekend according to kitsapsun.com and despite being benched twice this season in the third quarter or earlier, Falk is still among the top-10 passers in the country in yards and touchdowns. There’s a lot of offense, but there are plenty of questions on defense for both teams, as this has all the makings of anther offensive shootout in the wild west.

Final Prediction: Stanford 45 - Washington State 41

Arizona State (4-4, 3-2 Pac-12) vs. Colorado (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) Sat. 11/3 6:00 PM MT PAC 12 Networks

ESPN Matchup Predictor: ASU 65.0%

Colorado is coming off of a somewhat surprising victory over the Cal Golden Bears who appeared to outmatch the Buffaloes on paper, but the Buffs silenced the doubters with a 16-point win. Colorado quarterback Steven Montez had his best game of the season last week, as he threw for 347 yards, three touchdowns without an interception. Running back Phillip Lindsay also had one of his better games of the season, rushing for 161 yards against Cal.

Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins is having a career season, as he’s thrown for 2096 yards, nine touchdowns and only three interceptions. The biggest threat to Colorado’s weak pass defense, ranked No. 111 nationally, is sophomore receiver N’Keal Harry. Harry is having spectacular sophomore season with 713 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Running backs Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard will help open up the passing game. ASU can’t go wrong with running or passing, but it was evident last week that no matter how many weapons the Sun Devils have, if they can’t move the ball, then the they’ll lose at home twice in a row. Although ASU has a lot of offensive weapons, like Colorado, the Sun Devils don’t have a good defense which is ranked No. 95 in the country. Yes, the Sun Devils upset then-ranked No. 5 Washington and went on to defeat Utah the next week, but the Arizona State was brought back to earth last week against USC. This will be another offense-dominated game and should make for great entertainment.

Final Prediction: ASU 38 - Colorado 28

Oregon schools have their work cut out for them

Oregon State (1-7, 0-5 Pac-12) vs. California (4-5, 1-5 Pac-12) vs. Sat. 11/4 2 p.m. MT PAC 12 Networks

ESPN Matchup Predictor: 82.5% California

If you’re an Oregon State senior on the team or a fan these past four years have been rough for you. The Beavers haven’t had a winning season since 2013 and 2017 has been more of the same. You can feel bad for the Beavers all you want, but the only time opposing teams have sympathy for a team as bad as Oregon State is when the score is 66-3 or worse. This game shouldn’t be that lopsided, but there’s no reason why Cal shouldn’t come out on top. Now, Oregon State almost upset Stanford last week, but as the saying goes “almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” Quarterback Ross Bowers along with the rest of the Golden Bears should pull off the win on Saturday.

Final Prediction: Cal 30 - Oregon State 10

Chalk Talk

No. 12 Washington (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) vs. Oregon (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) Sat. 11/4 7:00 PM MT FS1

ESPN Matchup Predictor: Washington 88.4%

After they were upset two weeks ago by the Sun Devils, Washington got back in the win column after its 21-point victory over UCLA. Jake Browning and the high-octane Huskies will host the Oregon Ducks. Justin Herbert could return to the Ducks lineup for the first time since he broke his collarbone against Cal in week five. Whether Herbert returns or not, Browning, Myles Gaskin, and Dante Pettis are no match for Oregon’s offense and Washington has the No. 2 defense in the country. Washington has every weapon to make this a blowout, all the huskies have to do is execute.

Final Prediction: Washington 49 - Oregon 20