Picks, Predictions and Prognosis for Every Week 10 Pac-12 Football Game
The Week 10 Pac-12 Conference slate is light this week, as Oregon, Stanford, Utah and Washington all have byes.
Stakes are high in the South division. Arizona State holds a one-game advantage in the loss column over Arizona, USC and UCLA, but the Sun Devils' edge is on the line Halloween night at Washington State.
An Arizona State loss, coupled with wins for the other three, sends the division into chaos for the season's final month.
USC at Oregon State is the week's other marquee matchup. The Trojans remain in the divisional chase, but a loss effectively removes them from competition.
There are just two Saturday games: Arizona at Cal and UCLA returning home to face Colorado.
Week 10 is something of a tease before the most highly-anticipated matchup of the 2013 Pac-12 season, Oregon at Stanford on Nov. 7.
Record Last Week: 4-1 (2-3 against the spread)
Record This Season: 55-8 (38-25 against the spread)
Arizona State (-13.5) at Washington State
Thursday, Oct. 31, 10:30 p.m. ET
The last time Arizona State visited Washington State on the Palouse, the Cougars stole a 37-27 win. That was quarterback Connor Halliday's first career start, and he set a conference record for freshmen with 494 yards passing.
Halliday's coming off another record-setting performance in the Cougars' last game, throwing an NCAA-high 89 passes in a 62-38 loss at Oregon. Beyond that performance, though, it's been tough sledding for Halliday.
He's thrown nearly as many interceptions (17) as touchdowns (18). Against a secondary with Osahon Irabor and Alden Darby, and with the front of Will Sutton, Davon Coleman and Carl Bradford bringing pressure, it could be a long night.
Prediction: Arizona State 45, Washington State 24
USC at Oregon State (-2)
Friday, Nov. 1, 9 p.m. ET
Reser Stadium has been a house of horrors for USC in recent years.
The Trojans' last win there came in 2004. Since, they dropped decisions in 2006 and 2008 that effectively kept USC out of the BCS Championship game each of those seasons.
The stakes are different this time around, but the challenge no less for USC.
Stanford demonstrated how to slow down Oregon State's potent aerial attack last week: Get to quarterback Sean Mannion, and do so frequently. The junior was sacked eight times, and pressured on nearly every throw.
USC's defense is built on bringing similar pressure, and it's quite adept at it with Leonard Williams, J.R. Tavai, Jabari Ruffin and others. The Trojans secondary needs to make the most of the pressure.
Freshman standout safety Su'a Cravens could play Friday, per The Los Angeles Times. His presence is crucial to contain the Beavers' explosive-play potential.
If Brandin Cooks can get behind the secondary for a few such plays, the Beavers will continue their winning ways at home against USC.
Prediction: Oregon State 27, USC 21
Arizona (-14.5) at Cal
Saturday, Nov. 2, 3:30 p.m. ET
This one has all the ingredients of a trap game for 5-2 Arizona.
Berkeley, Calif. has not been the friendliest of destinations for the Arizona Wildcats. They haven't won there in over a decade.
The young Golden Bears come in with the longest losing streak in the conference at six games, and no wins against Pac-12 competition. Thus, they'll be desperate for a win—and with just one other home date left on the schedule, the window is closing.
Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey quietly reclaimed the nation's lead for rushing yards per game, which is bad news for a Cal run defense ranked No. 91 in the country.
A vastly improved Wildcats defense has 10 interceptions on the season, including four for touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Jared Goff has cut down on his turnovers, but will get a test from the Arizona secondary.
Prediction: Arizona 41, Cal 20
Colorado at UCLA (-24)
Saturday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. ET
FOX Sports 1
After consecutive road games at Top 5-ranked opponents Stanford and Oregon, UCLA comes back to the Rose Bowl for some much-needed home cooking.
The frustration of two losses should have the Bruins ready to feast on the Buffaloes.
UCLA head coach Jim Mora praised Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau on Tuesday's Pac-12 teleconference call. The Buff offensive line has done an adequate job protecting Liufau—he's been sacked just once—but he'll be under consistent pressure from Anthony Barr and Co.
On the other side of the ball, the Buffs have given up at least 44 points in each of its first four Pac-12 games.
After scoring 10 and 14 points in their last two outings, Brett Hundley and the Bruins offense should break out in a big way against the hapless Colorado defense.
Prediction: UCLA 52, Colorado 21