Pac-12 Week Eight Predictions

A look at the five Pac-12 games this week and Scout's predictions for those conference clashes...

On the brightside, we got one game right last week, Stanford over Washington State.

On the flip side, that brings the last two week's predictions to 1-9. So whatever the pick is below, go the other way.

Here are Scout's predictions for the five Week 8 conference games:

Utah at Oregon State, Thursday, 7 p.m. on FOX Sports 2

Utah is coming off an impressive road win at UCLA two weeks ago, a game in which they sacked Brett Hundley an eye-popping 10 times.

What should worry Oregon State is that Sean Mannion is nowhere near the mobile quarterback that Hundley is. What should give them peace is the fact their line is better than UCLA's and they also have a quarterback with better pocket presence.

The real big question here is who will play quarterback for the Utes.

Travis Wilson started and was ineffective against UCLA so the Utes put in Kendyl Thompson and he frustrated the Bruin defense with the read option.

Kyle Whittingham has been coy about his starter against Oregon. The Beavers make no bones that Sean Mannion is their man and after a rough game against USC, he looked like the Mannion of old against Colorado.

This game is a toss-up without a quarterback being named, but we'll go road team since they seem to have all the mojo in the Pac-12 this year.

Prediction: Utah 21, Oregon State 17

UCLA at California, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. on ABC/ESPN2

UCLA had come back down to earth after a 4-0 start. Cal came back down after a 4-1 start.

Both lost at home a week ago to Pac-12 North teams, though Cal's was even worse since they had the momentum from wins over Colorado and Washington State.

The Bears reverted to the bad Cal of 2013 on offense and on defense and were never in the game against Washington. UCLA hung with Oregon but blew some chances and then the Ducks ran away in the third quarter before UCLA showed some life in the fourth.

UCLA hasn't won in Berkeley since 1998 and probably the worst loss of Jim Mora's career at UCLA was in Strawberry Canyon two years ago, when then freshman Brett Hundley was frustrated and picked off a number of times.

Still, you look at Cal last week against Washington and the flatlined effort and UCLA showing a little bit of punch, and the overall talent being greater for the Bruins, not to mention UCLA playing better on the road this year than at home, and for whatever reason, we're picking the visitors and UCLA snaps their streak in Berkeley.

Prediction: UCLA 34, Cal 28

Colorado at USC, Saturday, 3:00 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

Colorado has been more competitive in Pac-12 play this year, but still doesn't have a conference win.

USC, on the other hand, is 3-1 in the conference, the best record of any Pac-12 school and just beat Arizona on the road last week, holding on in the end.

On talent alone, this game should be a blowout. And given the game is in the Coliseum, makes it even more likely it will be a blowout.

But aside from Fresno State, USC has played to their competition. And Colorado can make it interesting for a brief bit.

Still, we think USC wins relatively easy and restores some home team pride for the conference.

Prediction: USC 41, Colorado 17

Washington at Oregon, Saturday, 5:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 1

The last time Washington beat Oregon, it was 2003 and Chris Petersen was coaching at Boise State. As their offensive coordinator.

Of course, in that time, Petersen beat Oregon twice, knocking off Mike Belotti in his last season and beating Chip Kelly in his first game.

The Huskies are hoping that magic helps. And they're coming off an impressive win over Cal in Berkeley.

Oregon's last game in Autzen Stadium was a stunning home loss to Arizona. But a week ago on the road at UCLA, the Ducks looked like they got their swagger back and are right back in the mix for the CFB Playoff and still the Pac-12's best bet for it.

Plus, the Ducks are wearing throwbacks to the 20-year anniversary of "The Pick", the interception by Kenny Wheaton that sealed the Ducks win over the Huskies and propelled them to a trip to the Rose Bowl.

We'll go with the Ducks here because while the Huskies should make it competitive, the Marcus Mariota factor will be tough for them to overcome.

Prediction: Oregon 30, Washington 21

Stanford at Arizona State, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN

The last time the Cardinal visited Tempe, they were thumping the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 Championship Game and earning a spot in the Rose Bowl.

In fact, the Sun Devils lost to the Cardinal twice a year ago, once in Palo Alto and once in Sun Devil Stadium.

The Sun Devils had a bye last weekend while Stanford shut down a high-scoring offense in Washington State.

Arizona State can score points and put up yards. Stanford is the conference's best at keeping teams from doing both, and showed against Washington State, just how effective they are at slowing teams.

Michael Bercovici has been good in replacing Taylor Kelly. Kevin Hogan has been up and down this year. So the advantage goes to the Arizona State quarterback.

But in the Pac-12, better defenses always seem to flourish, and the Sun Devils rarely play any while the Cardinal live for the kind of games where it's up to their defense to win it.

Given that, we'll go with the Cardinal on the road.

Prediction: Stanford 27, Arizona State 24


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