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Pac-12 Football Picks: Will Cal Finally Win? And What Happens When USC Visits WSU?

How long will we watch Stony Brook at No. 4 Oregon before the game is out of hand?

Every Pac-12 team plays Saturday, and for most of them this will be the end of their nonconference schedule. That means starting week we don’t have to endure Stony Brook at Oregon.

Hey, the Ducks went to Columbus, Ohio and took down then-No. 3 Ohio State. So maybe they deserve a game they can lock up by the end of the first quarter.

The only Pac-12 matchup this week features USC visiting Washington State, just five days after the Trojans dumped coach Clay Helton. WSU has beaten USC just 10 times since they first met 99 years ago, but two of those victories have come in the past five meetings.

Cal, after a pair of frustrating losses by a combined eight points, will welcome back former star quarterback Troy Taylor, then try to run roughshod over his FCS-level Sacramento State team.

All picks against the spread

Consensus betting line from

Last week: Jake 6-4, Jeff 6-4

This season: Jake 15-8, Jeff 12-11


MINNESOTA (plus-2.5) at COLORADO, 10 a.m. Pac-12

Jake: Despite the Buffaloes’ strong showing against Texas A&M I’m not convinced they have enough offense. Pick: Minnesota

Jeff: The Golden Gophers can score points. This should be close. Pick: Minnesota.

IDAHO (no line) at OREGON STATE, 12:30 p.m. Pac-12 Oregon

Jake: Chance Nolan has established himself as the Beavers’ starting quarterback. That alone should be enough against a team that gave up 56 points to Indiana. Beavers by 24. Pick: Oregon State

Jeff: The Beavers will not be lulled to sleep by an FCS opponent. More likely, they score big. Pick: Oregon State

USC (minus-8.5) at WASHINGTON STATE, 12:30 p.m. FOX

Jake: It’s the Trojans’ first game under interim coach Donte Williams, and it’s hard to know what to expect from them. Will they be in shock, or excited to play? I’m guessing the latter. Pick: USC

Jeff: If the Trojans are in disarray over the firing of Clay Helton, WSU and quarterback Jayden de Laura could be ready to take advantage. Getting 8.5 points in Pullman is enticing. Pick: Washington State

SACRAMENTO STATE (no line) at CAL, 1 p.m. Pac-12 Bay Area

Jake: Bears have been close in their two losses, and that was against much better competition. Pick: Cal

Jeff: Cal will not look past Troy Taylor’s Hornets. My guess is there will be lots of points scored in this one. Pick: Cal

ARKANSAS STATE (plus-16.5) at WASHINGTON, 1:15 p.m. Pac-12

Jake: Arkansas State gave Memphis a tough time before losing 55-50, and Washington seems to be in free fall. But this is Arkansas State’s first road game, and the Huskies might break loose. Pick: Washington.

Jeff: The Red Wolves have scored 90 points and totaled 901 passing yards in two games. Can they beat UW? No. But can they score enough to make fans at Husky Stadium squirm? Maybe. Pick: Arkansas State

UTAH (minus-8) at SAN DIEGO STATE, 4 p.m. CBSSN

Jake: Kyle Whittingham will have his team ready after the loss to BYU. San Diego State (2-0) will be at home, but its home stadium is in Carson, Calif., about 100 miles from San Diego. Pick: Utah

Jeff: Amazingly, the Aztecs have won six of their past seven matchups vs. Pac-12 teams, dating back to 2016. Not sure they win this one, but I like the point spread. Pick: San Diego State

STONY BROOK (no line) at OREGON, 4:30 p.m. Pac-12

Jake: Why would a team from Long Island Island travel across the country to get beaten to a pulp. I hope the financial guarantee is huge. Pick: Oregon

Jeff: Stony Brook? Really? Pick: Oregon

STANFORD (minus-12) at VANDERBILT, 5 p.m. ESPNU

Jake: This is a sizable spread for a road game two times zones away, but I am convinced Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee will handle it well. Pick: Stanford.

Jeff: The Cardinal beat USC on the road. You have to think they’ve got an edge over a team that lost to East Tennessee State. Pick: Stanford

NORTHERN ARIZONA (no line) at ARIZONA 7 p.m. Pac-12

Jake: There are no sure wins for Arizona, and I wouldn’t want to pick against a spread in this game. But with no spread . . . Pick: Arizona

Jeff: The Lumberjacks beat Arizona once, back in 1932. In three meetings since, the Wildcats have prevailed by a combined margin of 106-0. Pick: Arizona

ARIZONA STATE (minus-3.5) at BYU, 7:15 p.m., ESPN

Jake: BYU has already defeated two Pac-12 teams (Arizona and Utah), and the Cougars are good at home. We don’t know how good Arizona State is yet after beating two overmatched teams. Pick: BYU

Jeff: BYU is joining the Big 12 in a couple years, but the Cougars are playing five Pac-12 teams this season as an independent program. They’re 2-0 far. It’s temping, but . . . Pick: Arizona State

FRESNO STATE (plus-11.5) at UCLA, 7:45 p.m., Pac-12

Jake: If this game had been played a week after UCLA’s win over LSU, I’d pick Fresno State. But with a bye week to regain their focus, the Bruins should be ready. Pick: UCLA

Jeff: This will be a fascinating measuring stick considering that Fresno State put a legit scare into Oregon in Eugene. But UCLA has had an extra week to come back down to earth after beating LSU and should be primed for this game. Pick: UCLA

Cover photo of Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura by Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo