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Previewing The PAC-12 For Week Seven

The PAC-12 has featured three Top-10 AP teams for the last month. That hasn’t happened since 2011. The PAC-12 isn’t going down without a fight or without its 15 minutes in its final year before disbandment. With six games featuring the PAC-12, including the national Game of the Week, it is time to preview a big PAC-12 weekend ahead. We are going to enjoy it while it lasts in this house.

Stanford (1-4, 0-3) vs. Colorado (4-2, 1-2)

Can Stanford keep up on the scoreboard against Shedeur Sanders and the Buffalos? If the Cardinal’s 19.2 points per game is any indication, then no. The Stanford defense is giving up 34.6 points per game on the other side of the ball. This team isn’t ready for an aerial attack passing for 337.2 yards per game in Colorado. Prime high steps to a W Friday night.

California (3-3, 1-2) vs. #16 Utah (4-1, 1-1)

Utah’s recent loss to Oregon State featuring a starting quarterback stat line of 8/23, 101 yards, and 1 touchdown was the inevitable reminder that Cam Rising isn’t here. Cal will aim to make Utah one-dimensional. Here’s the stat line that grabs me: Utah’s tough run defense is only allowing 67 yards per game versus Cal’s 217-yard average. Who wins that battle? An interesting perspective is the fact both teams’ most recent game is Oregon State. Utah lost 21-7. Cal lost 52-40. Can Utah hang around? The Utes' great defense has to bail them out Saturday.

#8 Oregon (5-0, 2-0) vs. #7 Washington (5-0, 2-0)

Game of the week. Geek out and get up early to start for this one. Husky Stadium is going to be rocking buddy. You don’t think there’s going to be a million recruits at this battle in the conference? Let’s gawk at these two First Round NFL Draft prospect quarterbacks’s stat lines real quick:

Bo Nix - 131/163 (80.3%), 1459 yards, 15 TDs, 1 INT

Michael Penix Jr. - 133/178 (74.7%), 1999 yards, 16 TDs, 2 INT

Another duo, who has the better night of the #1 wide receivers?

Troy Franklin - 32 receptions, 535 yards (16.7 yards per catch), 7 touchdowns

Rome Odunze - 32 receptions, 608 yards (19 yards per catch), 4 touchdowns

The Over/Under is set at 67. The Washington offense currently ranks second in FBS for expected yards added per pass and 68 percent of Washington's drives turn into quality possessions, which is #1 in the country. On the other hand, Oregon has only allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for more than 150 yards just once this season, and no, it was not Shedeur Sanders. Give me the home team in a shootout of this caliber.

Arizona (3-3, 1-2) vs. #19 Washington State (4-1, 1-1)

What Arizona team are you going to get after a Triple Overtime heartbreaker to Southern Cal and a one-touchdown loss to Top 10 Washington the week before that? Hell, the other loss the Wildcats have is in overtime as well. This team is so close. Meet your Washington State opponent who is also hungry for a win after a loss to UCLA last week. The Cougars’ Cam Ward is one of the most underrated players in the country. 365.6 passing yards per game is why he came to Washington State and air it out. His 14:2 touchdown/INT ratio is the advantage of note versus Arizona’s Jayden de Laura’s 9:5.

#10 Southern Cal (6-0, 4-0) vs. #21 Notre Dame (5-2)

Notre Dame is due, right? You know this USC defense is going to give up points. The Captain Obvious question: can the Irish stop Caleb Williams and not make it a shootout? Or will Marshawn Lloyd just continue his rising surge averaging over 7 a carry? The yards per game allowed gap of USC’s 421.3 to Notre Dame’s 279.4 has to be the logic for the Irish to be the betting favorite here, right? This win could help Lincoln Reilly in the “he’ll blow one he shouldn’t” category and help soothe the Irish’s hangovers. Don’t let this be overshadowed by Washington/Oregon.

#18 UCLA (4-1, 1-1) vs. #15 Oregon State (5-1, 2-1)

There truly are some great games on this PAC-12 slate. Oregon State is coming off two really nice conference wins against Utah and Cal. UCLA fell to Utah 14-7. Oregon State won by 2 touchdowns. These teams are nearly identical in offensive production (UCLA 459 yards per game vs. Oregon State’s 449) and bolsters very strong run defenses (UCLA’s 64.6 yards per game allowed vs. Oregon State’s 96.2). Can the young 5-star stud Dante Moore take down the vet D.J. Uiagalelei on the road? Keynote: watch the matchup between future 1st Round picks UCLA Edge Laiatu Latu and Oregon State’s Right Tackle Taliese Fuaga, Jr. That tape will get played a million times between now and April in NFL Draft rooms.


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