SportsPac12: 2018 Pac-12 Football - Week 13 Predictions
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2018 Pac-12 Football - Week 13 Predictions

November 22, 2018

Oregon's Justin Herbert throws the ball vs. Washington State | Getty Images

Week 13 Pac-12 Football Predictions


Oregon (7-4, 4-4) at Oregon State (1-7, 3-8)
Friday, November 23, 1:00 p.m. PT, FS1
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR

Straight-Up: Oregon in a Comfortable Win
Against the Spread: Oregon  (-17.5)

Unless the Ducks get off to another slow road start, they should be able to exploit Oregon State's struggling defense. OSU might have the offensive weapons to keep it interesting in an all-out shootout, but the Duck defense won't likely let that happen. Whether or not the Civil War turns out to be Justin Herbert's last game at Oregon, he should have a career day passing against the Beavers. All bowl possibilities, except the Rose Bowl, remain available to the Ducks if they withstand the intensity of the rivalry.

Notes: Oregon leads the all-time series 64-47-10 after blasting the Beavers 69-10 last year in Eugene. Herbert continued his nation-leading streak of throwing a touchdown pass in consecutive games to 26. Jermar Jefferson claimed the OSU freshman rushing record last week with his 115-yard performance, his seventh 100-plus-yard game of the year.


#16 Washington (8-3, 6-2) at #8 Washington State (2-8, 2-5)
Friday, November 23, 5:30 p.m. PT., FOX 
Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA

Straight-Up: Washington in a Close Win
Against the Spread: Washington  (+2.5)

The game of the year in the North should live up to its hype. Mike Leach's Cougars have never defeated a Chris Petersen-coached Husky team, but with Gardner Minshew cranking out 300- yard games like first downs, this might be the year. The playoffs remain an outside possibility for WSU, but a New Year's Six bowl is more likely, win or lose. Washington could return to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2001 if it pairs a win over Wazzu on Friday with a victory over Utah in the Pac-12 Championship game.

NotesWashington leads the all-time series 72-32-6, defeating the Cougars 41-14 in Seattle last season. Jake Browning became the winningest quarterback in Conference history last week, surpassing Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Stanford's Kevin Hogan with 37. Browning also ranks sixth in career passing yards, total offense, and touchdowns. WSU put up a season-high 605 yards last week. Minshew extended his streak of 300-yard games to 11.

Stanford (6-4, 4-3) at UCLA (3-8, 3-5)
Saturday, November 24, 12:00 p.m. PT, Pac-12
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

Straight-Up Pick: UCLA in a Close Win
Against the Spread: UCLA (+7)

It doesn't seem possible for the Bruins to top last week's season-altering upset of the Trojans. But they can launch themselves into a positive off-season by beating the Cardinal for the first time since 2009. Stanford provides UCLA a prove-it test of their improvement, and a litmus test for the Cardinal's status heading into the bowl season. The Bruins have the advantage of momentum as Chip Kelly's culture and system begin to take hold.

Notes: UCLA leads the all-time series 45-41-3, but lost its 10th straight to the Cardinal last year, 58-34, at Stanford. K.J. Costello has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 14 straight games, and has thrown for 300-plus yards in six times this season. Bruin running back Joshua Kelley rushed for a career-high 289 yards last week, the third-most single-game total in UCLA history, and the most in the history of the USC-UCLA series. He became the first Bruin to surpass 1,000 yards in a season since Paul Perkins in 2015.


Arizona State (6-5, 4-4) at Arizona (5-6, 4-4)
Saturday, November 24, 12:30 p.m. PT, FS1
Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ

Straight-Up Pick: Arizona State in a Close Win

Against the Spread: Arizona Sate (-1.5)

What could have been a battle for the South Division title has devolved into a battle for pride and the lesser remaining opportunities: The Wildcats are fighting for bowl eligibility and a .500 record; the Devils are angling for a better bowl and the winning mark some considered unachievable in preseason. The losers may feel like they've lost more than the winners have won in this rivalry game, given the high expectations that were piled upon both teams along the way.

Notes: Arizona leads the all-time series 49-41-1, but lost last year's contest 42-30 in Tempe. With a reception against the Wildcats, ASU wideout N'Keal Harry will have caught a pass in all of his 37 games at the school. Eno Benjamin's 1,444 yards rushing is the most by a Sun Devil in the Pac-10/Pac-12 Era. UA receiver Shawn Pointdexter has had two touchdown catches in each of his last four games. Linebacker Colin Schooler has 21.5 tackles for loss, second-most in the FBS.


Colorado (5-6, 2-6) at California (6-4, 3-4)
Saturday, November 24, 4:00 p.m. PT, Pac-12
Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA

Straight-Up Pick: California in a Comfortable Win

Against the Spread: California (-11)

Losing a coach before the end of the season is never easy. Mike MacIntyre's departure isn't likely to help Colorado's chances, especially after a six-game slide. Quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper will have his hands full motivating the Buffs as their interim head coach. Cal's status couldn't be more opposite; the Bears have a hot, up-trending coach and a shot at a respectable bowl. Big wins over Washington and USC moved the Bears into the middle tier of the Conference, and their future looks even brighter.

Notes: Colorado leads the all-time series 5-4, and won last year's meeting 44-28. Buffs running back Travon McMillian needs just 49 yards to reach 1,000 yards for the season. Laviska Shenault Jr.'s 79 receptions is fourth-most in a CU season. Cal has allowed just 12.5 points per game over its past four contests, and have allowed less than 100 yards rushing five times this year.

#3 Notre Dame (11-0) at USC (5-6, 4-5)
Saturday, November 24, 5:00 p.m. PT, ABC
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

Straight-Up: USC in a Close Win
Against the Spread: USC (+11) 

USC transformed Cal's and UCLA's seasons in back-to-back weeks. Now the Trojans have a chance to spoil Notre Dame's perfect run, while also disrupting the CFP rankings. They might even save their head coach's job in the process. To do so, JT Daniels can't play like a freshman, and USC needs to be more patient in its play-calling, relying less on the deep ball. The odds are long, but the Trojans have the talent to make it happen.

Notes: The Irish lead the all-time series 47-36-6, and won last year's meeting 49-14 at Notre Dame. Daniels has thrown nine of his 13 touchdown passes in the last five games. Michael Pittman Jr. ranks among the nation's top 20 in yards per catch this season at 19.62. USC linebacker Cameron Smith has 349 career tackles and is on pace to become the first player to lead the Trojans in tackles in three consecutive seasons since Dennis Johnson in 1977-79.

BYU (6-5) at #17 Utah (8-3, 6-3)
Saturday, November 24, 7:00 p.m. PT, FS1
Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT

Straight-Up: Utah in a Comfortable Win
Against the Spread: Utah (-11.5)

Short of an inexplicable letdown, the Utes should handle BYU without much challenge. In the best case scenario, the Cougars provide a chance for redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Shelley to get some extra experience in advance of Utah's Conference championship game with either Washington or Washington State. All rivalry games are dangerous, however, and the Utes need to maintain their poise and stay focused.

Notes: Utah leads the all-time series 60-34-4, and won last year's meeting 19-13 in Provo. The Utes held Colorado to just 34 yards rushing last week, posting a season-best 16 tackles, six for loss. Quarterback Jason Shelley had his second straight 200-yard passing game with 221 on 11 completions with two touchdowns. Matt Gay broke his own school record for consecutive field goals before his 56-yard miss in the fourth quarter.