The first week of league play saw the conference go 8-3 of which all 11 games were non-conference. The second week of the Pac-12 Conference schedule will see all 12 teams play and once again as non-conference games.
Oregon State didn't play last week because the affects of Hurricane Isaac forced Nicholls State to close their school temporarily and cancel their matchup with the Beavers in Corvallis. All games this week are on Saturday except for the Utah contest on Friday night. Here's a brief look at week two.
Utah Utes at the Utah State Aggies - The Utes are coming off an easy home opener win over Northern Colorado. The Aggies from the Western Athletic Conference will offer a better test. This rivalry that began in 1892 has been one-sided in favor of Utah but Utah State is a more competitive club recently. This Friday night showcase should be a low scoring close contest in which the Utes will prevail.
Eastern Washington Eagles at the Washington State Cougars - The Cougs lost to BYU and their offense under new head coach Mike Leach didn't look good. Although this games in Pullman and the Eagles are an FCS school, this should be a tough battle because Eastern Washington is very good. If Washington State can get their passing attack going, which I think they will, the Cougs will win by two to three touchdowns. If - as this could be an upset alert.
Sacramento State Hornets at the Colorado Buffaloes - The Buffs lost a tough rivalry game to Colorado State so this is their chance to roll up a nice win against an FCS opponent. The Hornet passing game will keep the game from getting out of hand but in the end, Colorado should win by three touchdowns of more.
Southern Utah Thunderbirds at the California Golden Bears - The Bears are coming off a disappointing upset loss to Nevada at Cal's newly renovated Memorial Stadium. The Thunderbirds have a good quarterback but the Bears are much better and should win easily in a blowout.
USC Trojans at the Syracuse Orange - The #1 team last week blew out Hawaii but this game will be at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey and combined with the Orange's high-scoring offense that mainly depends on senior quarterback Ryan Nassib, this game should be a shootout. This could also be a trap game for the men of Troy but I see a USC win going away (see related articles).
Wisconsin Badgers at the Oregon State Beavers - The Beavs' game last week was cancelled and that will put them at a tremendous disadvantage against the Badgers. Head coach Mike Riley is on the hot seat this year at Oregon State and he needs some big wins this season. Wisconsin will win a low scoring contest by maybe two touchdowns.
Fresno State Bulldogs at the Oregon Ducks - The Bulldogs have a nice looking team this season but they aren't on the same level as the Ducks. The scoreboard will light up on both sides but Oregon will win handily.
Washington Huskies at the LSU Tigers - Think defense when looking at this game. The Huskies defense was a question mark entering this season but looked good in a win over San Diego State. But this isn't San Diego State their playing. The #3 Tigers will be tough to beat in Baton Rouge. LSU's running game will be the difference and therefore the Tigers should win by at least two touchdowns.
Nebraska Cornhuskers at the UCLA Bruins - The Bruins offense looked good on the road versus Rice but the Cornhuskers are not the Rice Owls. This is a hard game to figure. UCLA has a new head coach and they're still rebuilding so I give a slight edge to Nebraska - but by less than a touchdown.
Duke Blue Devils at the Stanford Cardinal - The Cardinal are not capable of blowing out teams anymore so although Duke is proficient at putting points on the board, the Stanford defense will be the difference-maker and the Cardinal win … but by less than 10 points.
Illinois Fighting Illini at the Arizona State Sun Devils - New coach Todd Graham had an easy romp in his first game as the Sun Devil's head honcho. Illini looks improved too over last season and if their quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is healthy enough to play, Illinois should win by a touchdown or more. If he doesn't play, I give Arizona State the slight advantage.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at the Arizona Wildcats - Rich Rodriguez had a wild first game that the Wildcats won in overtime over the Toledo Rockets. The Cowboys defeated a bad FCS opponent 84-0. Yes, they won by 84. That won't happen here but don't expect an overtime game either. Oklahoma State wins by three touchdowns.
There are at least a few of the listed games here where the Pac-12 schools won't be favored. A winning record this week would be a qualified success. Next week will mark the first Pac-12 Conference game when USC travels to Stanford.
Sources - Pac-12 Conference
Daryle lived in Los Angeles Ca. most of his life and has been a longtime fan of USC and the Pac-12, having closely followed the Trojans since he was just a youngster. Fight On!
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