Pac-12: Week 6 Preview and Point Spreads
Things are wide open in the Pac-12 this season as No. 13-ranked USC continues to struggle in big spots. On Thursday night against Utah, USC had one of their worst starts ever before rebounding to win 38-28. But if they are truly going to contend for a National Championship, they’re going to have to play at a higher level more consistently than they have.
However, that was only an appetizer for the Pac-12 action to come this weekend. We’ve got several marquee match-ups on the docket, including Arizona at Stanford, Washington at Oregon and UCLA at Cal. Let’s take a look at some of the spreads in Week 6’s biggest Pac-12 clashes.
Game of the Week
Washington Huskies (+24) at Oregon Ducks
The Huskies are coming off a huge, emotional win over Stanford last week, but they won by the skin of their teeth. Washington’s offensive line has suffered a rash of injuries, and Huskies QB Keith Price was under heavy pressure last week. Oregon, meanwhile, has showcased a newfound aggressiveness in their defense, returning three interceptions for touchdowns in the last two weeks. If Oregon can get to him, this game could get out of hand very quickly for the Huskies. Well, look at the spread: everyone anticipates this to get out of hand for Washington.
Still, Washington is a feisty team with a lot of pride and an underrated running game and defense. If they can grind it out on the ground on their offensive possessions, they could conceivably control the clock and keep Oregon off the field. I don’t think they’ll win outright, but I would anticipate the Huskies at least keeping this within a three touchdown margin. The Washington D is coming together under coach Steve Sarkisian, and I like the Huskies at +24.
Washington State (+15.5) at Oregon State
Oregon State may be the most surprising unbeaten team in college football. Washington State has been struggling lately, but could be uniquely suited to take down this Oregon State squad. Both teams have fantastic passing attacks- Oregon State is the number one passing attack in the Pac-12 and Washington State is number three. However, both teams have dismal pass defense – they’re the bottom two teams in the Pac-12. As much as I love what Oregon State is doing this season, this game has all the classic ingredients of a crazy shootout. I think Washington State, for all of their many flaws, keeps this one close. Take Mike Leach’s run and gun squad at +15.5.
Arizona (+9) at Stanford
Everyone seems to love Arizona in this game, and the line reflects that; +9 seems wildly generous to me. However, Stanford is coming off a tough loss against the Huskies, and I’m sure the line is reflecting that fact. However, how does anyone think that Arizona is going to keep this one close? Stanford dominates the ball in the trenches, an area that is a glaring weakness of Arizona, to say the least. Stanford is going to flat out get afterArizona’s Matt Scott of defense, and will outbully Arizona’s weak defense with their running game. Stanford is simply too big, too powerful and too rugged for this finesse Arizona team to handle. Put it another way: Arizona got severely outmuscled by Oregon, a team commonly regarded as the most finesse team in college football. How the hell will they be able to cope with Stanford’s wrecking crew? In a rugged game of field position, Arizona will be forced into a lot of tough third-and-long situations, and when they force the ball, they turn it over a lot (see the two pick-sixes against Oregon). I know a lot of people are high on the Wildcats here, but I definitely am not. Take Stanford at -9.