We’re bringing you the gameday in a new, easier-to-handle format that combines most PAC 12 games into one article. We’ll still do in-depth analysis on a game or three every week, but focus on the most competitive and highest-interest contests. This week’s Games of the Week are Stanford at USC and Utah at BYU. Look for those articles to go live on Friday morning.
Texas State at Colorado:
12:00 pm Mountain, 11:00 Pacific.
G.A.W.P. : Colorado at 94.85% to win.
Texas State may be the worst FBS team in the country. Colorado did not look as sharp as hoped against Colorado State, but this game shouldn’t present a challenge.
Look for a good showing from the Buffs defense, but watch the offense for signs of trouble.
Against the Rams, Colorado struggled to move the ball for most of the game. If those miscues continue against a team as hapless as Texas State, there’s cause for concern on offense.
Prediction: Colorado 34, Texas State 6
Oregon at Nebraska
2:30 pm Mountain, 1:30 Pacific.
G.A.W.P. : Oregon at 87.1% to win.
Oregon looked pretty much flawless blowing out FCS foe Southern Utah, but has a much more legitimate test this week against the ‘Huskers. Nebraska is in a down stretch, but a win over this team still carries a certain amount of national credibility with it. Nebraska recruits well, and Oregon won’t be able to control the game through sheer athleticism the way they did against the Thunderbirds. If they continue to perform at the level they did last week, it may be time to start talking about Oregon as a contender in the North, rather than a spoiler.
Oregon over performed against SUU. That may mean they are ‘back’, but until we see more it’s safer to continue to lean on the preseason expectation. Oregon should comfortably handle Nebraska, but they won’t blow them out.
Prediction: Oregon 42, Nebraska 30
Hawaii at UCLA
3:00 pm Mountain, 2:00 Pacific.
G.A.W.P. : UCLA at 94.45% to win.
UCLA is riding high after an extraordinary, historic comeback over Texas A&M. Here’s the thing, though: you don’t get to make a 35 point comeback unless you fall into a 34 point hole. A&M fell asleep at the switch, bafflingly chose not to run the ball in the second half, and generally gave this one away. Credit to UCLA, but the flaws in this team will be exposed again.
Probably not this Saturday, though. Hawaii is 2-0, but they haven’t looked terribly impressive in either W. Star running back Diocemy Saint Juste has been tearing up inferior competition, with 5.8 yards a carry for 280 and a score, so the Bruins D-Line will need to have their heads on straight, but the Rainbow Warriors won’t have an answer for Josh Rosen.
Prediction: UCLA 45, Hawaii 27
Weber State at Cal
3:00 pm Mountain, 2:00 Pacific.
G.A.W.P. : UCLA at 94.7% to win.
Cal represented the conference well in a close victory over UNC, and now heads home to welcome FCS Weber State. These Wildcats aren’t usually much competition, but they looked excellent in their FCS opener. Cal’s defense will be tested at the very least, and it’s possible that Weber State might at least give the Bears something to think about.
While the Bears shouldn’t take this team lightly, Cal fans certainly can. This has all the makings of a typical FCS-FBS matchup, and should be a tune-up game for the Bears before they run into the teeth of their schedule next weekend.
Prediction: Cal 48, Weber State 17
Montana at Washington
6:00 pm Mountain, 5:00 Pacific.
G.A.W.P. : UCLA at 98.65% to win.
Washington came to life late in game one against Rutgers, and looks to improve on that shaky performance against FCS Montana. With no legitimate reason to be concerned about the result in this game, Washington will focus on cleaning up execution and finding the trademark precision that makes them such a dangerous opponent.
The Huskies will be hard at work on fine-tuning for the conference schedule, and may not scheme as efficiently to Montana’s weaknesses. Montana is a strong program, and they consistently field a well coached team. Still, Washington should sleepwalk through this matchup.
Prediction: Washington 37, Montana 9
Minnesota at Oregon State
8:00 pm Mountain, 7:00 Pacific.
G.A.W.P. : Oregon State at 48.4% to win.
We’ve dubbed this one the #VarmintBowl as the Golden Gophers look to hang a Beaver pelt on the wall. Two bad teams have made this game among the most competitive of the week, where it’s mostly tomato cans visiting PAC 12 stadiums. Oregon State has looked worse than projections. If they don’t improve, their last chance at an easy W this year slips away.
Gary Anderson has consistently improved his team year to year, and while there have been some issues at quarterback in particular, Jake Luton looks to be rounding into form and the Beavers have added packages for Darell Garretson to add a new running threat. The Beavers will defeat this Big 10 foe.
Prediction: Oregon State 24, Minnesota 20
Boise State at Washington State
8:30 pm Mountain, 7:30 Pacific.
G.A.W.P. : Washington State at 84.4% to win.
This game is surprisingly devoid of intrigue following a weak debut by the Broncos and a nearly flawless first game for the Cougars. Boise’s defense was stiff against Troy, but were bailed out by swing plays, only scoring 10 points on offense. It’s hard to see how they keep up with the fast-rising Cougars.
Boise will be better prepared and is almost certainly better than they showed, but WSU looks to be on another level this year and the Broncos won’t be able to keep up. It’s unlikely their defense, though successful against Troy, will be able to meaningfully contain the Washington State passing attack.
Prediction: Washington State 41, Boise State 24
Houston at Arizona
8:30 pm Mountain, 7:30 Pacific.
G.A.W.P. : Arizona at 62.6% to win.
Houston postponed their first game of the season in the wake of the massive hurricane and horrific flooding that nearly wiped out the city. Arizona has no such distractions on their mind, and are just looking to refine their game after laying a whooping on NAU, and notch another win or two before they head into conference play.
‘Distractions’ don’t typically factor into predictions at the PAC12 Blog. These kinds of factors are usually overblown; after a snap or two it all goes out the window. This one is different. Houston’s distractions are both emotional and practical, as the deeply traumatic events of the last few weeks have no doubt made practice a struggle. They likely won’t be ready for this game.
No Prediction. Donate to Houston Relief.
San Diego State at Arizona State
8:00 pm Mountain, 6:00 Pacific.
G.A.W.P. : Oregon State at 72.45% to win.
G.A.W.P. is high on the Sun Devils’ chances in this game, but their performance last week left a great deal to be desired, particularly on defense. While SDSU has lost some talent, they are still the same well-coached, run it right between your eyes football team they have been for a while now. New RB Rashaad Penny picked up 197 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. He could make trouble for the ‘Devils.
Arizona State can score in bunches, though, and likely will against this San Diego team. We’re projecting a hard fought back and forth battle where ASU ultimately outpaces the Aztecs.
Prediction: Arizona State 48, San Diego State 38