The PAC-12 kicked off its season last weekend with both Stanford and Oregon State taking the field. Stanford beat Rice 62-7, and is now off till September 9th, when they will be taking on USC. Oregon State started their season off 0-1 after their defense had no answer for Colorado State. They’ll look for their first win on the season this week, as they take on Portland State. The rest of the PAC-12 starts their seasons this week and like most Week 1’s, the schedule isn’t too impressive, but there will be some gems.
With 5 teams taking on an FCS opponent, the level of competition is low this week, but one team must be on the lookout for an upset. That team would be Oregon State who looked dysfunctional at best against Colorado State and has a worthy opponent in Portland State. Oregon State turned the ball over 5 times last week, 3 coming on picks, and if these mistakes continue into Week 2 for the Beavers, then they may find themselves sitting at 0-2. The Beavers’ defense is bad and not very conditioned, so if Portland State can capitalize on turnovers and keep it close through 3 then they have a great shot at winning. Oregon State could be looking at a long road ahead of them for the rest of the season.
The PAC-12’s top ranked teams (USC, Washington, Washington State) have fairly easy games this week with USC playing the toughest game against Western Michigan. This will be a decent test for the Trojans as they get ready for Stanford next week, but without PJ Fleck coaching or Corey Davis at receiver, this is nowhere near the same Western Michigan team they have been the past 3 years. Washington will be taking on Rutgers while Washington State has Montana State, both easy games that should let their respective QBs start out their Heisman campaigns on a high note.
The game I’m most excited for this week is UCLA vs. Texas A&M, where Josh Rosen will be taking the field for the first time since his injury. While neither teams are ranked, they carry serious talent on their rosters and will be looking to run up the score. Kevin Sumlin’s seat has been heating up, so starting off with a win could be crucial, while Rosen looks to surpass Darnold as the top QB prospect and get back in good graces with NFL scouts. Rosen’s biggest issue has been accuracy but facing a porous secondary such as Texas A&M will give him an opportunity to put up monster numbers and he’ll have more than enough time in the pocket, something that has not been a constant throughout his young career. This game should be close but I like the Bruins in a last second win.
Utah vs North Dakota: Utah
Arizona State vs New Mexico State: Arizona State
Washington vs Rutgers: Washington
Colorado vs Colorado State: Colorado
Cal vs North Carolina: North Carolina
Oregon State vs Portland State: Portland State
USC vs Western Michigan: USC
Oregon vs Utah State: Oregon
Washington State vs Montana State: Washington State
Arizona vs Northern Arizona: Arizona
UCLA vs Texas A&M: UCLA