After going 3-6-1 opening weekend, yours truly improved with a 4-4 record in week two despite the Oklahoma Sooners failing to cover 30 ½ points against UCLA. I’m still fuming over that result, but the show must go on. Herm Edwards and the 23rdranked Sun Devils face their first road test. Washington takes on Utah at Rice-Eccles Stadium. And the Trojans look to right the ship with a win in Austin. Six games are on the docket in week 3 and I’m “nervously” riding with Pac-12 teams in each. Hey, at least I haven’t steered you wrong with my LOCK OF THE WEEK... YET.
OVERALL RECORD: 7-10-1
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
San Jose State (0-2) vs. 20 Oregon (2-0)
3:00 PM MT, Pac-12 Networks
Line: Oregon -41 (o/u 67 ½)
Oregon has outscored their opponents 120-38 thus far. San Jose State, on the other hand has been outscored 75-38 in losses to UC Davis and Washington State. It is possible the Ducks could be looking ahead to their September 22ndmatchup against No. 9 Stanford, but I still like them to cover the 41 points against the Spartans.
Oregon State (1-1) vs. Nevada (1-1)
5:00 PM MT, ESPN3
Line: Nevada -3 (o/u 69)
Tailback Artavis Pierce (22 rush, 259 yards, 3 TD) suffered an elbow injury in Oregon State’s 48-25 win over Southern Utah last week. Freshman Jermar Jefferson, who leads the Pac-12 with 142.5 rush yards per game, will get the start against the Wolf Pack. It’s still unknown who the Beavers (1-1) will trot out at quarterback however. Sophomore Conor Blount (27-41, 395 yards, 3 TD) has played well in replace of senior Jake Luton, who suffered a concussion in Oregon State’s 77-31 loss to Ohio State. After opening the season with a convincing win, Nevada’s offense fell flat in a 41-10 loss at Vanderbilt last week. The Wolf Pack are 15-60-5 all-time against current Pac-12 teams, with their last win coming in 2014. Despite the injury to Pierce, and the questions at quarterback, take the Beavers and the three points on the road.
22 USC (1-1) vs. Texas (1-1)
6:00 PM MT, Fox
Line: Texas 3 ½ (o/u 47)
This is one of the more intriguing matchups in Week 3. Both teams are 1-1 overall and will be looking to turn the corner with a big win Saturday in Austin, Tex. USC’s offense looks to get back on track after a 17-3 loss at Stanford last week. The Longhorns are coming off a hard-fought 28-21 win over Tulsa. The Trojans (1-1, 0-1 Pac-12) rallied to beat the Longhorns 27-24 in double overtime last season in Los Angeles. Despite suffering a bruise to his throwing hand against Stanford, USC’s freshman quarterback JT Daniels (37-69, 497 yards, TD, 2 INT) is on track to play this week. I like Daniels to have a breakout game against a weak Longhorns pass rush. Take the Trojans and the 3 ½ points.
10 Washington (1-1) vs. Utah (2-0)
8:00 PM MT, ESPN
Line: Washington -5 (o/u 47)
Utah (2-0) is coming off a 17-6 road win over a tough Northern Illinois team. Washington (1-1) rebounded from their season-opening loss to Auburn with a convincing 45-3 victory over North Dakota. The Huskies are 10-1 all-time against the Utes, with their lone loss coming in 2015. Last season in Seattle, the Huskies scored 10 points in the final 58 seconds to stun the Utes 33-30. Rice-Eccles Stadium is always a tough place to play, but Chris Peterson’s bunch should be ready for this one. It’ll be close, but I like the Huskies to cover the 6 ½ points.
Fresno State (1-1) vs. UCLA (0-2)
8:30 PM MT, Fox Sports 1
Line: Fresno State -2 ½ (o/u 50)
The Bulldogs a 2 ½ point favorite in the Rose Bowl? The Chip Kelly era hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts in Westwood. Kelly still hasn’t named his starting quarterback for this week’s matchup, but judging by his comments after the Oklahoma game, I think it’ll be Dorian Thompson-Robinson. ”I was really impressed with him,” Kelly said of his true-freshman. “Again, he doesn’t get rattled out there. Got banged around, but I thought he did a really nice job competing all the way to the end, so I was impressed with Dorian.” Fresno State is coming off a 21-14 heartbreaking loss at Minnesota thanks to this miraculous Antoine Winfield Jr. interception. Jeff Tedford’s gang is solid this year, but I just don’t see UCLA starting 0-3 this season. I’m taking the Bruins and the points.
23 Arizona State (2-0) vs. San Diego State (1-1)
8:30 PM MT, CBS Sports Network
Line: Arizona State -6 (o/u 48)
“You play to win the game!” Herm Edwards famously once said. After knocking off a ranked Michigan State team last week, Edwards’ Sun Devils are 2-0 and ranked 23rdin the nation. Junior Ryan Agnew will be making his first career start at quarterback, replacing Christian Chapman who suffered an MCL sprain in the Aztecs 28-14 win over Sacramento State. Aztecs tailback Juwan Washington will have a tough time running the ball against a Sun Devils defense that is only allowing 32.5 rush yards per game, which leads all FBS schools. I’m taking Arizona State in what is my LOCK OF THE WEEK.
UC Davis (2-0) vs. 9 Stanford (2-0), NOON MT, Pac-12 Networks
New Hampshire (0-2) vs. Colorado (2-0), 3:00 PM MT, Pac-12 Networks
Idaho State (1-0) vs. California (2-0), 4:00 PM MT, Pac-12 Networks
Eastern Washington (2-0) vs. Washington State (2-0), 6:00 PM MT, Pac-12 Networks
Southern Utah (0-2) vs. Arizona (0-2), 9:00 PM MT, Pac-12 Networks
*Lines as of Thursday, September 13 per the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook*