We’re at the halfway point in the 2022 season and yet we still have plenty of questions about the PAC-12 and most of the teams in this conference.
Cal (3-2, 1-1 in PAC-12) and Colorado (0-5, 0-2 in PAC-12) are both on bye weeks this weekend.
Through the first five weeks of the season, my own personal predictions for PAC-12 teams are 39-9.
#11 Utah (4-1, 2-0 in PAC-12) @ #18 UCLA (5-0, 2-0 in PAC-12)
The biggest game in the PAC-12 through the first six weeks of the season and possibly the biggest game in all of college football will be when Utah takes on UCLA in the Rose bowl. Two explosive offenses that are each averaging over 40 points per game with two of the best quarterbacks in the conference going head to head. I believe this game will come down to which defense steps up when it’s needed to the most and makes key stops. I think that the Utes defense has the experience and the ability to step up in clutch moments during this game and Utah comes out on top. I’m predicting Utah to beat UCLA 35-31.
#21 Washington (4-1, 1-1 in PAC-12) @ Arizona State (1-4, 0-2 in PAC-12)
Two teams that are trending in opposite directions face off in Tempe this Saturday when the Huskies play the Sun Devils. Washington has certainly been one of the biggest surprises in the PAC-12 this year while Arizona State is still recovering from the aftermath of firing Herm Edwards and figuring out where they turn to next. Washington is coming off a frustrating loss when they played UCLA and will look to back bounce in a strong way versus Arizona State. The Huskies still have one of the most explosives offenses in the country led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr and I expect them to cruise to a fairly easy win. I’m predicting Washington to beat Arizona State 42-17.
Washington State (4-1, 1-1 in PAC-12) @ #6 USC (5-0, 3-0 in PAC-12)
Possibly a sneaky good game in Southern California will take place on Saturday afternoon when Washington State visits the coliseum to go up against USC. Two of the best passing attacks and quarterbacks in the PAC-12 with Cameron Ward bringing in a Cougars squad looking to steal a road win versus Caleb Williams and the superstar Trojans. Ward currently has 7 interceptions on the season so if he can limit the turnovers and can be consistent with putting points on the board, Wazzu may be able to keep things interesting until the fourth quarter. However, I believe that USC is on another level on both sides of the ball right now and their momentum carries them to a shootout win at home. I’m predicting USC to beat Washington State 49-35.
#12 Oregon (4-1, 2-0 in PAC-12) @ Arizona (3-2, 1-1 in PAC-12)
Another game that I believe may be going a little bit under the radar in most people’s eyes is when Oregon travels to Tucson to take on Arizona. The matchup I’m really looking forward to watching is Arizona’s stellar passing attack led by quarterback Jayden de Laura going up against Oregon’s defense, specifically their secondary. The Wildcats have one of the best wide receiver cores in the PAC-12, but their defense is allowing 31 points and 400 yards per game. On the other side, the Ducks have a balanced offense averaging 499 yards per game, but their defense themselves are allowing 30 points per game. I believe the Ducks are able to escape the desert with a narrow win. I’m predicting Oregon to beat Arizona 45-38.
Oregon State (3-2, 0-2 in PAC-12) @ Stanford (1-3, 0-3 in PAC-12)
If you’re looking for the definition of “PAC-12 after dark” this is the perfect game to describe it. A 8:00PM PST start time will host Oregon State versus Stanford late on Saturday night in Northern California. Stanford is in a weird place this season that we’re not used to seeing them in as the Cardinal are currently on a 10 game losing streak versus Power 5 opponents. Meanwhile for the Beavers, after starting the season 3-0, they’ve dropped their last two games to arguably the best two teams in the PAC-12 in USC and Utah and are looking to get back on the winning side of things. Stanford’s defense is allowing 429 yards per game, while Oregon State has one of the best rushing attacks in the conference. I believe the Beavers find a way to win late at night on the west coast. I’m predicting Oregon State to beat Stanford 33-23.
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