Pac-12 Picks

Pac-12 Picks: UCLA, Washington’s Sarkisian in must-win situations


Note: I do not pick non-conference games and those involving Arizona (since this is an Arizona-based Web site).

Javier Morales 2013 Overall Record: 23-9 (.719).

Javier Morales Against the Spread: 21-11 (.656).




When: Today, 7 p.m., Tucson time. Where: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif. TV: ESPN2.

Spread: UCLA by 3.

Why Washington will win: Its talent on offense with quarterback Keith Price and running back Bishop Sankey, who third in the nation at 145.0 rushing yards per game. Sankey has totaled 384 and three scores in his last two games. He’ll face a UCLA defense that allowed Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, the country’s second-leading rusher, to run for 149 yards and a touchdown.

Why UCLA will win: Have you heard of Myles Jack? When he’s not leading the Bruins in tackles as a linebacker — or leading them in rushing — he is also selling popcorn. Seriously, Jack’s versatility ties in to Jim Mora’s ingenious coaching ways, which relate to UCLA having the talent to get things done. Also, Steve Sarkisian has beaten only one ranked team on the road, a last-second victory over USC in 2010. The Huskies are 7-19 on the road in the Sarkisian era, and 11 of those losses have been by 17 points or more.

Outcome: UCLA by 10.

Reason: Two significant pushes for both sides: UCLA must win to keep pace with ASU and set up a significant showdown for the Pac-12 South No. 1 spot next weekend against the Sun Devils at the Rose Bowl, and Washington needs a win to get to a possible eight-win season. That is something they’ve yet to do under Sarkisian, now in his fifth season. The seat will get hotter for Sarkisian if Washington loses. The Bruins have more to play for, they’re at home and they got their mojo back in a fun win over Arizona last week. 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


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