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UCLA running back Joshua Kelley (27) runs for a first down against Arizona in the second half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated UCLA 20-17.
UCLA running back Joshua Kelley (27) runs for a first down against Arizona in the second half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated UCLA 20-17.|Rick Scuteri | Associated Press
NCAAF

Pac-12 Football picks from Madwed: Arizona vs Colorado, California vs Oregon, Oregon State vs UCLA, and Washington vs Stanford

Madwed went 3-2 last week and is 8-3 over the last two weeks

Jesse Madwed

Jesse Madwed

Arizona +4 over COLORADO, 4:30 PM EDT

This game is likely the most difficult to predict this week. Part of that is due to the inconsistency of Colorado, but it’s also partly a result of uncertainty for Arizona. They have been relatively quiet about whether or not Khalil Tate will be the quarterback, but freshman Grant Gunnell held up quite well in a win against UCLA. But UCLA has the worst defense in the league(!), you might say. True, but Colorado isn’t too much better. They rank 10th in both rush and pass defense thus far. The Wildcats have held up surprisingly well on defense this year, holding UCLA and Texas Tech under 20 points in their last two games. Steven Montez was on his game for Colorado against Arizona State last week, but I still see this one as a toss-up. I might stay away from this one, but I am taking the points.

(13) OREGON -18 over California, 8 PM EDT

This has been a somewhat disheartening year so far in the Conference of Champions in terms of College Football Playoff hopes. While it never seemed like Cal really had a shot to get there, they were a team that had the most control over their future. Just when it looked like quarterback Chase Garbers might start to lead an offense to match the teams defense, he comes down hard on his right shoulder and is out indefinitely. Devon Modster came in for the rest of that loss to Arizona State and went 5/14 for 23 yards and an interception. Unfortunately, Cal doesn’t have much of a ground game to lean on. Leaving any talk of Oregon’s offense aside, it is difficult to see Cal’s offense scoring more than 10 points on Saturday. The Ducks lead the Pac-12 in ypg allowed by a 20 yard margin, and they are in the top two in both rush and pass defense. I see Oregon winning big here because Cal’s defense will be on the field so much that they will inevitably bend and break a few times. I could also see Oregon forcing multiple turnovers on defense. An exciting start to the season goes further down in flames for the Golden Bears.

Oregon State +6.5 over UCLA, 9 PM EDT

Oregon State has not been good this year, but they have been consistent. Taking out their blowout win against Cal Poly, they have lost every game in high scoring fashion. They were able to keep it close against Hawaii and Stanford, losing both games 31-28. UCLA slowed down against Arizona after their wild shootout with Washington State two weeks ago. Dorian Thompson-Robinson continued with his inconsistent ways, and now he might not get the start after injuring his leg. Austin Burton would take his place and suffice it to say that I do not trust the guy who lost the competition to DTR. UCLA still has a porous defense and Oregon State will be able to keep up with whatever points they put up. This could also be Oregon State’s best shot at a Pac-12 victory this season. The schedule doesn’t get any easier from here. I expect the Beavers to, at the very least, keep this one close. I am taking the points.

(15) Washington -16.5 over STANFORD, 10:30 PM EDT

It’s been an unusually tough year for Stanford in the David Shaw era. They escaped Corvallis with some semblance of pride after three demoralizing blowout losses in a row. Davis Mills had a solid game at quarterback, but they continue to be unable to get the running game on track. On the other hand, Oregon State ran AND threw on them all night. That’s a bad sign when you have a team like Washington coming to town that is firing on all cylinders. The Huskies are coming off a surprisingly ho-hum win at home against USC. The Trojans might not be as good as some thought after beating Utah, but they did blowout Stanford a few weeks ago. Jacob Eason’s numbers don’t look impressive, but it was clear that the coaches realized they could run all over USC. Washington has a pass defense that will stop the only good thing Stanford had going for them against OSU, and they should win in a blowout. Stanford doesn’t have a particularly strong home field crown when they are winning, expect a quiet setting for this week’s version of Pac-12 After Dark.

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