Pac-12 Picks

Pac-12 Picks: Trying to continue the hot streak


Javier Morales 2013 Overall Record: 13-4 (.765).

Javier Morales Against the Spread: 12-5 (.706).




When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Tucson time. Where: Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, Calif.. TV: ABC/ESPN2.

Spread: Stanford by 4.

When does UCLA play Arizona?: Sat., Nov. 9, Arizona Stadium

When does Stanford play Arizona?: The teams are not scheduled to play in the regular season.

Why UCLA will win: UCLA’s defensive front and linebacker crew is developing into one of the best in the Pac-12. The Bruins allowed Cal only 105 yards on 37 carries. They have athletic linebackers in Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt, and an aggressive front that includes freshman standout Eddie Vanderdoes and Keenan Graham. Barr has 26 tackles, 10 of them for lost yardage. Graham has five tackles behind the line, all of them sacks.

Why Stanford will win: The Cardinal are coming off a loss and need a victory to stay close to Oregon in the competitive Pac-12 North standings. Also, Stanford’s Ty Montgomery is a big-play threat who can change the outcome of a game. He has returned a kickoff for a touchdown each of the past two games.

Outcome: Stanford by 7

Reason: UCLA has a potent offense behind Brett Hundley, but in the last three games against New Mexico State, Utah and Cal, he has made his share of misreads and questionable passes. A lot of pressure will be placed on Hundley if running back Jordon James misses another game with an ankle injury. He is doubtful. Hundley attempted 41 passes against Cal last week in 27-point win. That’s far too many attempts in a lopsided loss. Shows UCLA’s reliance on him.




When: Saturday, 3 p.m., Tucson time. Where: Sun Devil Stadium. TV: Pac-12 Networks.

Spread: ASU by 3.5.

When does Washington play Arizona?: The Huskies beat the Wildcats 31-13 in Seattle on Sept. 28.

When does ASU play Arizona?: Sat., Nov. 30, Sun Devil Stadium

Why Washington will win: The Huskies are coming off two difficult games at Stanford and against Oregon. They were driving late to beat the Cardinal on the road. Stanford handled ASU relatively easily earlier in the year. Also, the nation’s leading running back Bishop Sankey goes against an ASU run defense that ranks 75th nationally (168.8 yards per game).

Why ASU will win: Although he is no Marcus Mariota, ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly can beat teams with his scrambling and ability to throw off the run. Mariota rushed for 88 yards and passed for 366 in last week’s 45-24 victory over the Huskies in Seattle. Expect Kelly to mix it up as well.

Outcome: Washington by 3.

Reason: Sankey and quarterback Keith Price can lead the Huskies to a victory over any team not called Oregon. Washington’s defense is understated ranking No. 20 nationally. The Huskies have the ability to shut down ASU’s running game, applying more pressure on Kelly.




When: Saturday, 7 p.m., Tucson time. Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore. TV: Fox Sports 1.

Spread: Oregon by 38.5.

When does Washington State play Arizona?: Sat., Nov. 16, Arizona Stadium

When does Oregon play Arizona?: Sat., Nov. 23, Arizona Stadium

Why Washington State will win: The Cougars’ once-meager running game is improving. They had 22 carries for 113 yards against Oregon State last week. Jeremiah Laufasa led the way with nine carries for 54 yards, and Marcus Mason also carried nine times for 49 yards. Each should get plenty of touches against Oregon.

Why Oregon will win: M-a-r-i-o-t-a … He ranks second in the nation with 358.3 total yards per game by throwing for 287.3 and rushing for 71 per game. He is fifth in the country in pass efficiency with a 182.4 rating. On top of that, he embodies the characteristics of a winner that any coach wants in a quarterback.

Outcome: Oregon by 30.

Reason: Wazzu coach Mike Leach will not allow this game to get too much out of hand. He is in the midst of a quarterback controversy and his running game has improved. Look for a good mix of run and pass to try to keep Oregon’s offense off the field. Also, Washington State was in the game last week against Oregon State before allowing 28 fourth-quarter points. The talent disparity gives Oregon the 30-point edge.




When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Tucson time. Where: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, Calif. TV: ESPN2.

Spread: Oregon State by 11.

When does Oregon State play Arizona?: The teams are not scheduled to play in the regular season.

When does Cal play Arizona?: Sat., Nov. 2, Berkeley, Calif.

Why Oregon State will win: The numbers produced by quarterback Sean Mannion (nation’s best 2,511 yards and 25 touchdowns) are impressive and now he gets to throw against a Cal pass defense that allows 321.8 yards per game, a number exceeded only by Troy in the latest NCAA statistics.

Why Cal will win: The Bears’ defense, which has been decimated by injuries, particularly in the secondary, played its best game of the season against UCLA and kept Cal in the game through the first half. UCLA, however, hurt itself with blown opportunities inside of the red zone.

Outcome: Oregon State by 22.

Reason: Mannion, who has more of a passing touch than UCLA’s Hundley, should capitalize on opportunities in situations where Hundley struggled last week. Mannion is coming off 493 passing yards against Washington State, breaking the Oregon State single game record. publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and


To Top