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Pac-12 Football: Week two preview and predictions

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Preview and picks for week two in the Pac.

2017 US College Football Sydney Cup Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

We take you through week two of Pac-12 football with previews and predictions.

Upset of the Week

No. 14 Stanford (1-0) vs No. 6 USC (1-0) 5:30 p.m. MT Sept. 9 FOX -- ESPN Matchup Predictor: Stanford 60.4%

USC managed to escape Western Michigan last week, as the Trojans didn’t pull away from the Broncos until they took an 11-point lead with 2:49 left in the fourth quarter. USC quarterback Sam Darnold had a bad performance against the Western Michigan, as he threw two interceptions and no touchdowns. USC beat Western Michigan by a score of 49-31.

Stanford had no problems last week as they easily defeated rice 62-7. Stanford starting quarterback Keller Chryst played well against the Rice Owls as he completed 14 of 24 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Cardinal running back Bryce Love also played well as he had 13 carries for 180 yards and one touchdown.

Final Prediction: Stanford 45, USC 31

Saturday Close-Ones

Oregon (1-0) vs Nebraska (1-0) 1:30 p.m. MT Sept. 9 FOX — ESPN Matchup Predictor: Oregon 87.1%

The Oregon Ducks and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are not ranked inside the Top 25 for the second week in a row: however, both teams did receive votes in week one as well as week two. Oregon had no problems taking care of Southern Utah as the Ducks defeated the Thunderbirds 77-21. Oregon sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert played very well in his first start, as he completed 17 of 21 passes for 281 yards and one touchdown. The freight train that is Royce Freeman had an outstanding performance on Saturday as he carried the ball 23 times for 150 yards and four touchdowns.

Nebraska junior quarterback Tanner Lee is a Tulane transfer who was very efficient against Arkansas State on Saturday. Lee completed 19 of 32 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns

Final Prediction: Oregon 45, Nebraska 38

Utah (1-0) vs BYU (1-1) 7:15 p.m. MT Sept. 9 ESPN 2 — ESPN Matchup Predictor: BYU 52.1%

BYU is led by junior quarterback Tanner Magnum. Magnum played the backup role last year to Taysom Hill. Magnum led the Cougars to a 20-6 win over Portland State in Week one but then lost to LSU 27-0.

Utah Sophomore quarterback Tyler Huntley is in his first year as a starter for the Utes and looks to get his first win against their in-state rivals on Saturday. In his first start against North Dakota, he threw for 227 yards, onetouchdown, one interception and earned his first win as a starter. However, Huntley will face a much tougher opponent this week as he looks to lead Utah to a 2-0 start.

Final Prediction: Utah 24, BYU 14

Oregon State (1-1) vs Minnesota (1-0) 7:00 p.m. MT Sept. 9 FS1 ESPN Matchup Predictor: Oregon State 51.9%

After getting walloped by Colorado State in week one, Oregon State’s struggles continued as they only defeated Portland state by three points, 35-32. This is a winnable game for the Beavers and they will need to make tremendous improvements from last week if they want to avoid going 1-2. For Oregon State junior quarterback Jake Luton, this is his first year as a starter after not playing last year and had limited playing time his freshman year. Luton has three touchdowns and four interceptions and is going to need to step it up soon to avoid another losing season.

Minnestoa senior quarterback Conor Rhoda is also a first-year starter and helped Minnesota to a 17-7 win over Buffalo on Thursday. Rhoda threw for 176 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Final Prediction: Minnesota 28, Oregon State 17

Arizona (1-0) vs Houston (0-0) 7:30 p.m. MT Sept. 9 ESPNU — ESPN Matchup Predictor: Arizona 59.6%

Arizona rolled over Northern Arizona on Saturday, as the Wildcats defeated the Lumberjacks 62-24. The Arizona rushing attack was in full force as six different Wildcats scored a touchdown.

This will be Houston’s first game of the season and Texas A&M transfer Kyle Allen will make his first start for the Cougars this Saturday.

Final Prediction: Arizona 34, Houston 31

Arizona State (1-0) vs San Diego State (1-0) 8:00 p.m. MT Sept. 9 Pac-12 ESPN Matchup Predictor: ASU 66.7%

ASU got off to a strong start against New Mexico State last Thursday, but then ASU looked like the Sun Devils of last year when ASU let NMSU come back and nearly tie the game before halftime. The offensive line and defense as a whole need to step it up this week if the Sun Devils want a shot at beating San Diego State.

The Sun Devils are already under scrutiny because of their 6-point victory over a program from the Sun Belt Conference. San Diego State’s run-powered offense could very well cause some big problems for Arizona State.

Manny Wilkins, Kalen Ballage, N’Keal Harry, and John Humphrey will have to continue to produce for this offense if they want a chance at beating San Diego State on Saturday.

Final Prediction: San Diego State 45, ASU 35

IT’s Not Even Close

California (1-0) vs Weber State (1-0) 2:00 MT Sept. 9 Pac-12 ESPN Matchup Predictor: Cal 94.7%

Sophomore quarterback Ross Bowers made his California debut against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Bowers completed 24 of 38 passes for 363 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions as he led the Golden Bears to a 35-30 win over the Tar Heels.

This will be Weber State’s second game of the season after beating Montana Western 76-0, but it will be a tall task for the Wildcats to knock off the Golden Bears.

Final Prediction: California 62, Weber State 10

No. 7 Washington (1-0) vs Montana (1-0) 5:00 p.m. MT Sept. 9 Pac-12 Network — ESPN Matchup Predictor: Washington 98.9%

Washington had an underwhelming 30-14 win over Rutgers. In his third year as a starter for the Huskies. Jake Browning completed 17 of 30 passes and threw for 284 passing yards and two touchdowns on Friday night. Dante Pettis also put on a show against the Scarlet Nights with three receptions for 85 yards and electrified the crowd with a punt return for a touchdown right before halftime.

This should be an easy game for the Huskies considering this is Montana’s first game of the season.

Final Prediction: Washington 72, Weber State 14

Colorado (1-0) vs Texas State (1-0) 11:00 a.m. MT Sept. 9 Pac-12 — ESPN Matchup Predictor: Colorado 98.6%

Colorado finally became relevant in the Pac-12 once again last year. The Buffaloes were led by running back Phillip Lindsay and gave Steven Montez a decent amount of time at quarterback. With both of them back this year, Colorado could make another run at a Pac-12 South title. Colorado kicked off its season on a good note after the Buffaloes defeated the Colorado State Rams 17-3 last Friday.

Texas State also got off to a 1-0 start as they defeated Houston Baptist last weekend 20-11. The Colorado Buffaloes will have the advantage going into this game and it’s their game to lose.

Final Prediction: Colorado 49, Texas State 17

No. 20 Washington State (1-0) vs Boise State (1-0) 7:30 p.m. MT Sept. 9 ESPN ESPN Matchup Predictor: Washington State 81.9%

Washington State senior quarterback and likely future NFL draft pick Luke Falk began his season right where he left off last season. Falk had a fantastic outing vs Montana State as he completed 33 of 39 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns.

Boise State also has a solid gunslinger in junior quarterback Brett Rypien. Rypien is a three-year starter for the Broncos and will look to lead his team to a 2-0 start over a ranked Washington State team.

The Boise State Broncos won this matchup last year so the Washington State Cougars will look to avenge last year’s defeat.

Final Prediction: Washington State 41, Boise State 24

UCLA (1-0) vs Hawai’i (2-0) 2:00 p.m. MT Sept. 9 Pac-12 ESPN Matchup Predictor: UCLA 96.7%

UCLA is coming off one of the most miraculous comebacks in college football history. For three quarters Josh Rosen, who was extremely hyped in the preseason, did not play well. But then Rosen woke up and he threw four touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lead the Bruins to a 45-44 win over the Texas A&M Aggies on Sunday.

Hawai’i junior quarterback Dru Brown is in his second year starting for the Rainbow Warriors. Brown has played well through his first two games but will need to bring his A game against UCLA.

Final Prediction: UCLA 45, Hawai’i 10