SportsPac12: 2018 Pac-12 Football - Week Four Predictions
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2018 Pac-12 Football - Week Four Predictions

September 20, 2018

Week Four Predictions


Washington State (3-0) at USC (1-2)
Friday, September 21, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Los Angeles Memorial Stadium, Los Angeles, CA

Pick: USC (-4.5) in a Close Win

USC seems more vulnerable than it did before last year's loss to WSU, and the Cougars look better than expected. Other than that, what do we really know about either team? Not much, considering the disparity in the strength of their first three opponents. We do know this: Playing on Friday night for the second straight year only adds to the uncertainty. Losing a third straight game would be a stunning development for the Trojans, indicative of far greater problems, given their talent. Wazzu will get their points, and it won't be easy, but USC finds a way to win.

NotesUSC holds an 8-2 edge over the Cougars in the last 10 games, but WSU has won 2 of last 3. The Trojans lead the all-time series 59-10-4. USC has won its past 17 games in the Coliseum, and own a 12-game home winning streak over Pac-12 teams. Cougar QB Gardner Minshew II threw for a career-high 470 yards against Eastern Washington. Freshman QB JT Daniels has connected with his former high school teammate, freshman WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, 18 times for 304 yards.

Arizona (1-2) at Oregon State (1-2)
Saturday, September 22, 1:00 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Network
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR

Pick: Oregon State (+6.5) in a Close Win

From their first series against Ohio State, the Beavers have shown signs of being an explosive offensive team. Defensively, Oregon State has given up a half-season worth of yards and points in three games. A lack of consistency has plagued OSU on both sides of the ball. Nonetheless, we saw flashes of what the Beavs could do in the clutch against Nevada, making key stops late, and showing poise during a last-minute drive. The Wildcats seemed to find themselves offensively in the second half last week, if only against Southern Utah, and have struggled on defense as well. With a few less mistakes in front of their home crowd in Corvallis, the Beavers appear ready to finally upset a Pac-12 opponent, in what could be a close and entertaining shootout.

Notes: Arizona holds a 23-15-1 lead in the all-time series. OSU is 8-9-1 in Corvallis against Arizona, but has won seven of the last nine at Reser dating to 1999. UA QB Khalil Tate compiled a career-high passing yards for the second straight week, netting 349, while also throwing a career-high five TD passes. OSU WR Isaiah Hodgins tied the Beavers' single-game receiving record vs. Nevada with a career-high 14 catches. Wideout Timmy Hernandez  pulled in a career-high 11 receptions as well, marking the first time OSU has had two receivers with 10 catches in the same game since 2008.

#7 Stanford (3-0) at #20 Oregon (3-0)
Saturday, September 22, 5:00 p.m. PT, ABC
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR

Pick: Oregon (+1) in a Close Win

Ranked and undefeated Stanford and Oregon on national TV with GameDay in Eugene . . . Sound familiar? This contest congers memories of the five big games between the two schools from 2009-2014, which ultimately decided the North Division title. Could Saturday's game prove just as pivotal? We won't know for another few weeks, but we should learn a lot more about where the Ducks stand in their quest to reascend. We may also see how dominant the Cardinal can be with a healthy Bryce Love. The Tree fought off USC and SDSU without stellar performances from him, but lacked the edge he typically gives them. Oregon's defense, which ranks fifth nationally in yards allowed per carry at 1.96, could cause him problems as well. Stanford won't allow the Ducks to completely have their way on offense, but the Cardinal won't stop them often enough to win in Autzen.

Notes: Stanford leads the all-time series 48-32-1. The teams have split the last 10 games, and are 2-2 in the last four at Autzen. UO has won 23 of last 25 games as a ranked team in Eugene. The Cardinal's 42-point margin of victory last year was the largest in series history. Stanford has limited three straight opponents to 10 points or fewer for the second time in three seasons.


Arizona State (2-1) at #10 Washington (2-1)
Saturday, September 22, 7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN
Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA

Pick: Washington (-18.5) in a Comfortable Win

Never mind that the Sun Devils have won 11 of their last 12 games with Washington since 2002. Forget, too, that ASU seems much-improved under Herm Edwards. The oddsmakers expect the Huskies to run away with this one. And they might just be right. Washington is 14-1 at home since 2016, and has as many weapons as any team the Devils will face this season. But after the fight ASU showed in the final four minutes against SDSU, a lopsided outcome seems unlikely. Look for the Dawgs to win comfortably on the strength of their defense, and the rushing of Myles Gaskin, who is due for a breakout game. 

NotesOnly Oregon has more wins (12) against the Huskies than ASU has compiled since 2002. Washington has been ranked three times in the past five contests between the two teams, with ASU going 2-1 in those games. WR N’Keal Harry's nine receptions vs SDSU moved him into fifth place in school history in career receptions with 161. Husky RB Myles Gaskin tied the UW career record with his 21st career 100-yard game vs Utah, while also extending his school records for career rushing yards, rushing TDs, and total TDs.