Things are heating up in the “Conference of Champions” and are only going to intensify week after week as we begin to find out who are the true contenders for the final PAC-12 Championship game.
Week 5 has two spotlight games that will draw nationwide attention while UCLA and Washington State are currently on bye weeks.
#10 Utah (4-0, 1-0) @ #19 Oregon State (3-1, 0-1)
The game of the week in the PAC-12 will take place in Corvallis, Oregon on Friday night as Utah travels to take on Oregon State. The Utes are coming off a 14-7 gritty win over UCLA without starting quarterback Cam Rising for the fourth game in a row and, now Rising is in jeopardy of missing this game too. Meanwhile, Oregon State was down early to Washington State and trailed 35-14 late in the fourth quarter before a comeback fell just short in a 38-35 road loss. Now we get these two PAC-12 contenders facing off in what should be a physical and low scoring game.
My pick: Oregon State – 24 Utah – 17
#8 USC (4-0, 2-0) @ Colorado (3-1, 0-1)
The game that will certainly draw the most amount of eyeballs will be when the Trojans take on the Buffaloes early on Saturday morning. USC has continued its impressive offensive performance week after week, but their defense has people questioning whether or not they can be taken seriously as a national title contender. Meanwhile, Colorado went on the road in a hostile environment in Eugene and got blown out and are returning home looking to bounce back in a big way even while two-way superstar Travis Hunter is out for another game. I think this is another game that USC wins in the end, but Colorado will make it closer than people think.
My Pick: USC – 48 Colorado – 31
Arizona State (1-3, 0-1) @ California (2-2, 0-1)
Two teams off to a sluggish start to their seasons that would love nothing more than a jolting win to ramp up their season face off in Berkeley on Saturday afternoon. Arizona State played a formidable game against USC last week, but the team is absolutely decimated by injuries on both sides of the ball in Kenny Dillingham’s first season in Tempe. Meanwhile, Cal was blown out on the road in Seattle against Washington and seems like they are kind of in “no man’s land” when it comes to trying to figure out how to project this Golden Bears team.
My pick: California – 27 Arizona State – 17
#9 Oregon (4-0, 1-0) @ Stanford (1-3, 0-2)
A game that used to be the talk of the country about a decade ago will take place in Palo Alto for the final time as Oregon travels to take on Stanford. College football playoff contender Oregon looked the part as they dismantled Colorado last week. On the other side, Stanford has lost three straight games including a one point heartbreaker at home against Arizona last week. I don’t think we can expect the same kind of fireworks during this game compared to years past.
My pick: Oregon – 49 Stanford – 14
#7 Washington (4-0, 1-0) @ Arizona (3-1, 0-1)
PAC-12 after dark in the desert with Washington visiting Tucson to square off against Arizona. Washington has proved to be the most prolific offense in the country through the first four weeks of the season as Heisman hopeful Michael Penix has put up video game numbers. Meanwhile, Arizona is dealing with some injuries including quarterback Jayden de Laura missing part of last week’s game with an ankle injury, so if he is unable to go this week, backup Noah Fifita will get the start. Arizona’s offense is definitely respectable this year, but their defense will have a tough time trying to stop the Huskies.
My pick: Washington – 52 Arizona – 28
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