Picking the Pac: Week Three
Matt Barkley
Matt Barkley
CalSportsDigest.com
Posted Sep 13, 2012


USC quarterback Matt Barkley will win his last Pac-12 opener, while Arizona State is set to continue its impressive start under new coach Todd Graham in SEC country.

Last week: 8-4 straight up, 4-5 against the spread
Season to date: 16-7 straight up, 10-10 against the spread

Friday
Washington State (-8.5) 30, UNLV 13 –
The Air Raid has yet to take off, as the Cougars have only two passing touchdowns this season. If playing hapless UNLV can’t get Mike Leach’s offense on track, consider it time to worry.

Saturday
Ohio State (-16.5) 31, California 13 –
The Bears are 2-11 on the road the last four seasons against teams with winning records. It’s not the Pistol, but quarterback Braxton Miller running the spread option will shoot holes through Cal once again.

Oregon 66, Tennessee Tech 6 – The only drama will be how many touches, and touchdowns, De’Anthony Thomas gets before taking a seat ahead of next week’s conference opener against Arizona.

Washington 55, Portland State 14 – The Huskies haven’t scored an offensive touchdown in the last seven quarters. Maybe head coach Steve Sarkisian should spent more time worrying about his offensive line, which has allowed seven sacks, and less worrying about the media reporting injuries.

Arizona State (+6.5) 38, Missouri 34 – The Sun Devils have committed five penalties for 35 yards in two games. Somewhere Dennis Erickson is driving his golf cart into a volcano wondering what Todd Graham has done to his team.

USC (-8.5) 31, Stanford 20 – In nail-biting wins over the Trojans the past two seasons, Andrew Luck was 49-of-64 for 615 yards and six touchdowns against one interception. Luck does not have eligibility remaining, while Matt Barkley (56-of-90 for 674 and six touchdowns against one interception in those last two meetings with the Cardinal) does.

Fresno State (-15.5) 31, Colorado 14 – Remember when somebody predicted the Buffs would go 3-0 against an easy non-conference schedule and build some confidence? That guy is clearly an idiot.

BYU (-4) 28, Utah 20 – I would start freshman quarterback Travis Wilson in the Holy War because he gives the Utes the best chance of winning in Pac-12 play, even if it decreases their chances of winning their rivalry game. Then again, I don’t have to explain picking Jordan Wynn’s replacement to mammoth defensive tackle Star Lotulelei.

Arizona 48, South Carolina State 7 – Rich Rodriguez gets one more game to prepare his defense for the inevitable shootout with Oregon next week at Autzen. First team to score 50 wins? Or should it be 60?

UCLA (-17) 45, Houston 20 – Can Johnathan Franklin top 200 rushing yards for the third straight week? Considering the Cougars are allowing 246.5 yards on the ground per game, it doesn’t take a Magic 8-Ball to answer that one.

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.


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