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Pac-12 Report - Week 2

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Editor's Note: Don't miss out on college football winners in Week 2 from Joe Williams. Click to win!

Saturday - Nebraska at UCLA (FOX, 7:30 p.m. ET)
Matchup Five-Star Game
Nebraska at UCLA
This could be a dangerous trip for the Cornhuskers, especially if RB Rex Burkhead (knee) is unavailable. He suffered a sprained left knee in the opening game win against Southern Mississippi last weekend. If Burkhead cannot play, RB Ameer Abdullah would get the starting nod. The passing game is in good hands with QB Taylor Martinez, who grew up in Southern California. However, Martinez will be without WR Tim Marlowe (clavicle), too. For the Bruins, they opened with an impressive 49-24 win at Rice last Thursday. They are rested, more healthy, and they have an explosive offense which Nebraska better not take too lightly. The Huskers are 0-3-1 ATS in their past four road games against a team with a winning record.
Saturday - Oklahoma State at Arizona (Pac-12 Network, 10:30 p.m. ET)
Matchup Four-Star Game
Oklahoma State at Arizona
Oklahoma State absolutely annihilated Savannah State by an 84-0 score last weekend, but bettors should basically toss that game out. The FCS opponent was certainly no obstacle, and that game was nothing more than a scrimmage. We'll get a true idea of how good OK State is in their first road game. Arizona struggled last weekend against Toledo, needing overtime to dispatch the pesky Rockets. In fact, a few mental lapses by Toledo likely cost them a win. The Wildcats are still finding their way, trying to make it back to elite status. They are just 1-5 ATS in their past six home games, and 0-4 ATS in their past four games following a straight-up win. For the Cowboys, they gained an awful lot of confidence in their impressive run last season, and it should spill over into Saturday's contest. The Cowboys are 7-3 ATS in their past 10 games against a team with a winning record.
Saturday - Wisconsin at Oregon State (FX, 4:00 p.m. ET)
Matchup Three-Star Game
Wisconsin at Oregon State
The Badgers looked terrible trying to close out FCS opponent Northern Iowa last weekend. They slinked past the Panthers 26-21. The good news is that RB Montee Ball recorded a rushing touchdown, his 21st straight game finding the end zone. The Beavers are playing their first game of the season, and they might have a difficult time trying to contain Ball. The Beavers start a redshirt freshman at tailback, so Oregon State could get off to a very slow start on offense, too. Last week, the one good thing the Badgers did was on rushing defense. They held NIU without a rushing first down, and just 41 yards on the ground. The last time Oregon lost a regular season road non-conference game came at Oregon in 2001. If you're not comfortable with the Badgers on the road to cover, the over might be good for you. The over has cashed in 13 of the past 18 road games for Wisconsin, and has come through in five of the past six non-conference games for Oregon State.
Saturday - Southern California at Syracuse (ABC/ESPN2, 3:30 p.m. ET)
Matchup Two-Star Game
Southern California at Syracuse
The Orange still have to be smarting after a track meet loss to Northwestern, 42-41, at the Carrier Dome. Their reward - a matchup with No. 2 USC at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The Trojans make the cross-country trip after destroying Hawaii in the Coliseum by a 49-10 score. The Orange defense allowed 337 total yards vs. NW, with most of the damage coming through the air. QB Matt Barkley and WR Marquise Lee should shine yet again this weekend. The national championship contenders from SoCal are 4-0 ATS in their past four neutral site games, and 28-13 ATS in their past 41 non-conference games. Meanwhile, the Orange are simply trying to get back to respectability. They are 0-6 ATS in their past six games overall, and 2-5 ATS in their past seven against team's with a winning record. For that, USC certainly qualifies. The Trojans have scored 30 or more points in eighth consecutive games, which is good to know if you plan to test the over of 65.
Saturday - Washington at Louisiana State (ESPN, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Matchup One-Star Game
Washington at Louisiana State
The Washington Huskies slipped by visiting San Diego State by a 21-12 score in Seattle. This week's test will be much more monumental. The Huskies head to Baton Rouge, and they will be without RB Jesse Callier (knee), who is done for the season after an opening game injury. With their starting tailback down, they turn to RB Bishop Sankey to carry the mail. It is likely QB Keith Price will pass early and often, and that might be Washington's only chance to keep it somewhat close. The Bayou Bengals pounded North Texas 41-14 in their home opener in Death Valley, with RB Kenny Hilliard rolling up a career-high 141 rushing yards with two scores. The Tigers were dumped to No. 3 in the coaches' poll despite their win, so they are likely to have a chip on their shoulders. The Tigers are 7-3 ATS in their past 10 games, while the Huskies are 0-4 ATS in their past four road contests, and 1-5 ATS in their past six overall. Geaux with the Tigers!
Other Games to Watch
Matchup Notes
Duke at Stanford
Duke looked like a legitimate FBS conference team with a convincing 46-26 victory over Florida International last weekend at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham. In fact, it might have been the most impressive victory in David Cutcliffe's tenure as head coach. QB Sean Renfree was impressive, throwing for 290 yards and two scores. WR Conner Vernon is one of the most dangerous, and underrated, players in the nation. He rolled up 180 yards and a score in the win vs. FIU. Meanwhile, Stanford posted an uninspiring 20-17 win over San Jose State in the first game of the post-Andrew Luck era. The Cardinal, still nationally-ranked, are not expected to be as prolific on offense, but they will still be a force. The biggest threat to Duke's somewhat leaky defense will be RB Stepfan Taylor, who gouged SJSU for 116 yards and a score last weekend. A few things to note - Duke scored two defensive/special teams scores last week to make their total more impressive than perhaps it was. Duke has not won consecutive games to start a season since 1998, and their last win against a ranked team came in 1994. Duke's last win on the road against a ranked team, oddly enough, came against Stanford way back in 1971. The Cardinal will be a popular pick among those looking to recoup some lost funds from the afternoon, and the public is still giving Duke no love despite their impressive opening game win.
Fresno State at Oregon
You have to respect Fresno State, who has been a mid-major unafraid to play teams any time, anywhere. However, lately they have fallen on somewhat hard times, and are no longer striking fear into the hearts of their more recognized opponents. Last weekend, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota shredded Sun Belt visitor Arkansas State, leading his Ducks to a 50-3 lead before Oregon took their foot off the gas pedal. Bettors collectively said 'smh', as Ark State picked up garbage points in the second half to make the score somewhat respectable, and in doing so they ended up busting through the swinging gate for a backdoor cover. Will that happen again this weekend? Oregon certainly has the offense to score early and frequently. However, if they get out to an early lead and subsequent rest, Fresno has a solid offense with the triumvirate of QB Derek Carr, RB Robbie Rouse and WR Davante Adams. They won't necessarily hang with Oregon, but they could score into the 30's like Arkansas State did. The heavily favored Ducks are 1-4-2 ATS in their past seven home games, while the Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their past six road games. However, the over might be more up the alley of bettors. The over is 6-1 in the past seven road games for Fresno State, and 7-1 in their past eight games against Pac-12 opponents. The over is 23-5-1 in the past 29 home games for Oregon.
Illinois at Arizona State
The big thing to keep an eye on heading into this game is the health of Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase (ankle). He suffered a sprained ankle against Western Michigan last weekend early in the second half. If Scheelhaase cannot go, the less experienced Reilly O'Toole would start. As such, it might be a monumental task to ask a backup QB for a road victory in a difficult venue. It will be strength against strength when AZ State has the ball, as they intend to run the football. The Sun Devils scorched NAU for 305 rushing yards in their 63-6 win last week, but they'll now face an Illinois defense which ranked second in the Big Ten last season. The under looks like a mighty attractive play, as it has cashed in 13 of the past 16 games for Illinois. The under is also 7-0 in the past seven non-conference games for the Illini. For the Sun Devils, the under is 7-2 in their past nine games against Big Ten opponents, and 10-4 in their past 14 non-conference games.

  
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