Pac-12 Week Nine Predictions

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

Finally getting some of the mojo back last week, going 4-1, we're extremely confident this week our picks will be perfect.

Here are Scout's predictions for the five Week 9 conference games:

Oregon vs. California, Friday, 7 p.m. on FOX Sports 1

Cal almost kept their Berkeley winning streak over UCLA alive.

Oregon did keep their winning streak over Washington alive (it's 11 games and counting).

This game takes place in Santa Clara at Levi's Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers and on a Friday night. So you can essentially throw the home field advantage out the window (and you can probably expect a good contingent of Oregon fans to make the trip, since they had a whole slew of them for a Thursday night game in the Bay Area last year).

On the field, you have two of the best quarterbacks in the conference in Marcus Mariota for Oregon and Jared Goff for Cal.

The difference will be Oregon's running game giving them more balance and more weapons to utilize, with the continued emergence of freshman Royce Freeman becoming key in the Ducks last two wins.

Cal's running game has pretty much been invisible, with their insistence on throwing the ball.

And the best cornerback in the Pac-12 will be in the Oregon secondary against Cal in Ifo Ekpre-Olumu and with the Ducks getting their groove back the past two weeks, we think they roll over Cal and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Prediction: Oregon 41, California 21

UCLA at Colorado, Saturday, 11:00 a.m. on Pac-12 Networks

UCLA ended their two-game losing streak with a road win over Cal last week, a place they hadn't won since 1998.

Colorado went on the road and was beaten badly by USC, making them 0-7 against the Los Angeles schools since they joined the Pac-12.

The Buffs gave the Bruins a bit of a first-half scare last year, but there is no Paul Richardson to help them this year. UCLA moved the ball well against Cal last week and Colorado's defense is arguably worse than Cal's.

Sefo Liufau is a tough quarterback and the kind that could give UCLA some problems (like he did a year ago), but UCLA just has too much talent and Colorado isn't quite there.

Prediction: UCLA 38, Colorado 20

Oregon State at Stanford, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. on ESPN2

Oregon State lost a winnable home game last week against Utah and now goes on the road to play the best defense in the Pac-12 in Stanford.

The Cardinal may have had their worst showing in the past five seasons on Saturday against Arizona State, their offense sputtering pretty much the entire game against a Sun Devils defense that had been a gift for opposing offenses.

But the Stanford defense should be the difference back in Palo Alto and will probably get to Sean Mannion and the Oregon State defense doesn't inspire a whole mess of confidence, especially against the run, which, while they've struggled in that facet, Stanford will still try to establish.

We'll go with the Cardinal here in a low-scoring game.

Prediction: Stanford 17, Oregon State 13

Arizona at Washington State, Saturday, 3:00 p.m. on Pac-12 Network

This is an intriguing game with both schools coming off a bye.

Arizona went in to Eugene and beat Oregon, an Oregon team that struggled to put the Cougs away.

The Wildcats have been good on the road while the Cougs have been just ok at home.

Washington State will put up a ton of yards, but so will Arizona, who will put up a lot of points too.

And the Wildcats still have a lot to play for, like the Pac-12 South. We think WSU will make it close, but the Wildcats ultimately will pull it out.

Prediction: Arizona 35, Washington State 31

USC at Utah, Saturday, 7:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 1

Easily the game of the week in the Pac-12, this game has major Pac-12 South implications, with the winner sitting in a good position in the division.

The Utes rallied to beat Oregon State last week in Corvallis in overtime, thanks to the legs of Devontae Booker. Their quarterback situation is still cloudy, with neither Travis Wilson or Kendyl Thompson looking all that spectacular against Oregon State.

The Trojans rolled against Colorado in the Coliseum, but Utah is a much better team than Colorado.

While the Trojans aren't the highest ranked team to come to Salt Lake City since the Utes joined the Pac-12 (they beat a Top Ten Stanford last year in Rice-Eccles), this may be the most significant home game for the Utes in the last four seasons and one of the biggest games in Kyle Whittingham's career.

A win here and the Utes sweep the Los Angeles schools, a huge accomplishment for the still somewhat-new Utes.

But Steve Sarkisian never lost to Utah while he was at Washington, and he didn't have the talent on those teams that he does on this USC team.

So we'll go with the road team in this one (because, isn't that what the Pac-12 is all about this year?) and the Trojans will eke one out.

Prediction: USC 24, Utah 21

Arizona State at Washington, Saturday, 7:45 p.m. on ESPN

Taylor Kelly is a three-year starter, helped the Sun Devils win the Pac-12 South a year ago, and is a major cog in the Sun Devils.

But his return to the starting lineup is why we think the Huskies will win this one.

The Huskies didn't look good against Oregon, save for a late touchdown drive by Troy Williams.

Cyler Miles is day-to-day, and if he's healthy, he'll start for the Huskies. Williams looked good in his time in the lineup.

So why are we picking the Huskies to win?

The weather should be to the Huskies liking (think wet and cold).

But more importantly, though Kelly has been so important to Arizona State, the offense has been chugging along with Mike Bercovici, and while the starter deserves to get his job back when healthy, the Sun Devils offense really seemed to come alive under Bercovici.

And the Huskies defense, with its tough front seven, is back home and angry about the Oregon game, and will get to Kelly and neutralize his running threat and give the Huskies a mild upset win.

Prediction: Washington 31, Arizona State 28

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