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Pac-12 Report - Week 3

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Editor's Note: Don't miss out on college football winners in Week 3 from Joe Williams. Click to win!

Saturday - Southern California at Stanford (FOX, 7:30 p.m. ET)
Matchup Five-Star Game
Southern California at Stanford
Stanford roughed up Hawaii in the opener, and a loss was never really in doubt in East Rutherford, N.J. last weekend against Syraucse. However, the Trojans failed to cover in each of their first two games. Now, they'll hit the road for Palo Alto, and they are installed as a 7-1/2 point favorite. The road team is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings in this series, but USC is 1-4 ATS in the past five matchups. The trends are a bit mixed if you are looking at USC, as the Trojans are 4-0 ATS in their past four conference games, and 5-1 ATS in their past six against a team with a winning record. Those type things are all in the past, however. The fact is, the Trojans haven't covered this season. On the other hand, Stanford is 1-1 ATS. They were abysmal against San Jose State in the opener, but they thumped a Duke squad 50-13. The first game was not indicative of what the Cardinal can do. RB Stepfan Taylor got going last weekend, and he'll be instrumental in Stanford's success, if they are to have any.
Saturday - Arizona State at Missouri (ESPN2, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Matchup Four-Star Game
Arizona State at Missouri
The Tigers have a difficult schedule. This is a sandwich game between conference matchups with Georgia and South Carolina. Ouch. Mizzou is licking their wounds after getting handled at home by Georgia last weekend, 41-20. The offense needs to be more consistent, and the defense needs to tighten up. Both should happen against an Arizona State squad which is good, but not great. Look for QB James Franklin to give the Sun Devils headaches. AZ State has been clicking, posting 108 points through their first two games, while allowing just 20. However, Missouri is far and away the best team they've seen all season, and might be the best team they see until mid-November when they travel to USC. The Tigers will have revenge on their minds after losing a seesaw shootout 37-30 in Tempe last season. The Sun Devils are 0-3-1 ATS in their past four road games, and 1-4-1 ATS in their past six games on fieldturf. Mizzou, on the other hand, is 4-1 ATS in their past five games following a straight up loss.
Saturday - Brigham Young at Utah (ESPN2, 10:00 p.m. ET)
Matchup Three-Star Game
Brigham Young at Utah
The Utes are back at Rice-Eccles Stadium, and they're still smarting after a rare loss to in-state rival Utah State last Friday. Now, it's another rivalry game, but at least it's in their backyard. BYU comes to town looking to kick the Utes while they're down. Remember, QB Jordan Wynn was not only injured in Logan last Friday, but he suffered a career-ending fourth shoulder injury which will require surgery, leaving the offense under the stewardship of either backup QB Jon Hays or freshman Travis Wilson. BYU has been decent, but not great. They already have win over a Pac-12 team this season, knocking off Washington State 30-6 in their opener, and they handled Weber state 45-13 last week. This will be their first test on the road. The Cougars look like the slam dunk here, as they are 4-0 ATS in their past four road games, 4-1 ATS in their past five against Pac-12 opponents, and 8-1 ATS in their past nine overall. Meanwhile, Utah is 1-4 ATS over their past five, and 2-7 ATS in their past nine at home.
Saturday - California at Ohio State (ABC, 12:00 p.m. ET)
Matchup Two-Star Game
California at Ohio State
The big news in this one is the fact the Buckeyes are expected to be without RBs Jordan Hall (foot) and Carlos Hyde (knee), both of whom are officially listed as doubtful. That might mean more pressure on QB Braxton Miller to not only use his feet, which he has done well this season, but also make some passes. As such, the Buckeyes are just a 17-point favorite. That might seem like a big number given the information above, but Cal is also a very mediocre club. They lost to Nevada 31-24 in Berkeley in the team's opener, and then allowed FCS opponent Southern Utah to post 31 points against them last week. Cal has no problem putting up points. Their major issue is stopping people, and facing a versatile player like Miller will be a monumental task. However, a healthier Ohio State team scraped by UCF 31-16 last week, and this week's game should be similar. The Buckeyes might not lose, but they also won't run away. The Buckeyes are just 1-4 ATS in their past five games at the 'Shoe, and 2-5 ATS over their past seven. Of course, Cal is 2-8 ATS in their past 10 road games. Really, it might be best to just stay away from this one.
Saturday - Houston at UCLA (NO TV, 10:30 p.m. ET)
Matchup One-Star Game
Houston at UCLA
Houston hasn't exactly had success in the post-Case Keenum era, going 0-2 at home in their first two games this season. That includes a 30-13 thumping at the hands of Texas State, and a 56-49 setback to Louisiana Tech last week. Now, they'll hit the road to face a resurgent UCLA team coming off an impressive, and program lifting, victory against Nebraska. UCLA finds themselves back inside the Top 25, and going in the right direction. The Cougars are 8-3 ATS over their past 11 games, but that's 0-2 ATS this season. Don't be misled by trend numbers like that, as the Houston team which put up a majority of those numbers is gone, and this year the team is a shell of its former self. This one could get very ugly, very quickly. Look for RB Johnathan Franklin to have a giant game. He has already rolled up 431 rushing yards and four scores this season. The Bruins are 4-0 ATS in their past four home games, and the home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings in this series.
Other Games to Watch
Matchup Notes
Colorado at Fresno State
Colorado hits the road still looking for their first win of the season in three tries. It isn't like their schedule has been taxing, either. They were favored by six to beat Colorado State, but suffered a 22-17 setback in the opener. That's not too terrible. But last week, they lost at home to FCS opponent Sacramento State. That's simply inexcusable. Meanwhile, I touched on Fresno State last week. They went up to Eugene and covered against a good Oregon team. While they were never a threat to take down the high-flying Ducks, they were able to throw up a lot of points with their high-octane offense, one which will be very hard for the Buffaloes to corral. QB Derek Carr, RB Robbie Rouse and WR Davante Adams are legit, and Colorado will have a hard time keeping the Bulldogs within a two-touchdown spread. The Buffs are 2-10 ATS in their past 12 overall, and 1-5 ATS in their past six non-conference games. Meanwhile, Fresno is 4-1 ATS in their past five games, although just 1-5 ATS in their past six against Pac-12 teams. However, that lone cover came last weekend in Oregon.
Washington State at UNLV
On Friday, America will get a chance to peek at head coach Mike Leach's Washington State reclamation project on national TV. The Cougs were dropped 30-6 at BYU in their season opener Aug. 30, and then they squeaked by Eastern Washington 24-20 last weekend. However, that's great compared to UNLV. The Rebs were dumped 30-27 in a heartbreaker Aug. 30 against Minnesota, and then they inexplicably suffered a 17-14 loss at home to Northern Arizona. Couple that with the fact they were spanked by WaZu 59-7 in last season's meeting, and the Cougs are looking like a great play. However, a double-digit road favorite by a shaky Washington State team is a risky proposition. The Cougars are 5-13 ATS in their past 18 games in the month of September, while the Rebels are 1-5 ATS in their past six games overall. Someone has to cover in this one, and it might be the home team. They are 4-0 ATS in their past four games on Friday, and a national audience and raucous crowd might spur them on.

  
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