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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:02 AM

Post-Mortems: Pac-12 - Wk. 1

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My high-volume approach to making picks requires me to watch as many games as possible. Picture-in-picture works overtime and tablets get worn out.

Not every game gets seen as it unfolds, but I have to go back and take a look at what stood out in games I didn’t catch.

This is my post-mortem for Week 1. I can’t divulge all my secrets, so you only get a few lines per game. They’re listed in chronological order (as listed on the board):

Colorado (-7/65.5) vs. Colorado State: Buffs QB Steven Montez was sharper than that knife you have to make sure the kids can’t get to. Although the Rams defense has opened the season in a cooperative mood, it’s impossible to ignore that Virginia Tech transfer Travon McMillan gives them a look even the productive Philip Lindsey (he made the Broncos) couldn’t or that sophomore Laviska Shenault might emerge as a force. For the Rams, Mike Bobo’s unfortunate nerve issue came at an awful time and his team appears ill-prepared. This was such an uncompetitive blowout that ‘over’ bettors caught a rough beat with just three fourth-quarter points scored. Result: Colorado 45-13. ATS: Favorite/Over

San Diego State at Stanford (-14/49): The Aztecs just couldn’t cover JJ Arcega-Whiteside, so credit the Cardinal for not getting too cute or too proud to keep going back to the mismatch. KJ Costello passed his first test and Bryce Love’s Heisman campaign didn’t suffer an early death. He’ll have plenty of chances to bounce back from his slow start so long as Stanford keeps winning. San Diego State should be fine too. Juwan Washington showed quickly why they had him under bubble wrap in practices, knowing he’d put in work to replace Rashaad Penny. Result: Stanford 31-10. ATS: Favorite/Under

Oregon State at Ohio State (-40/62.5): The Buckeyes bullied the Beavers and showed off a different style given new QB Dwayne Haskins’ ability to sling it. He got into an immediate rhythm and was fun to watch. The weather delay made it hard to pick this game back up since it was already decided but the ease with which Oregon State’s Artavis Pierce broke off a pair of long touchdown runs is disconcerting, but Ohio State will be more focused down the road. Oregon State lost starting QB Jake Luton early and was still effective moving it with backup Conor Blount, but everyone should be rooting for the concussed Luton to return given his long road back from a spine injury that ended his junior season. Result: Ohio State 77-31. ATS: Favorite/Over




BYU at Arizona (-11/59): Kevin Sumlin tinkered with Khalil Tate and limited him to 14 rushing yards. That’s the easy narrative here since that was not the Heisman candidate we saw last year, the player I expected to perform more like Lamar Jackson than any other now that the former Louisville star is in the pros. Arizona can’t turn him into a pocket passer and expect to compete for a bowl bid, much less a Pac-12 title. BYU dominated at the line of scrimmage and became a tougher first foe than one would’ve expected watching tape from last season’s final few months. The Cougars entrusted Tanner Mangum not to make mistakes and will allow their bigs up front to set the tone on both sides of the ball. Result: BYU 28 Arizona 23. ATS: Underdog/Under

UT-San Antonio at Arizona State (-17.5/52): Herm Edwards hasn’t had the last laugh but got the first chuckle in since critics who felt he’d be overmatched have to admit his team looked sharp and well prepared. QB Manny Wilkins put the ball where it had to be all night against the Roadrunners, allowing playmakers N’Keal Harry and Eno Benjamin to shine. UTSA is likely in for its worst season under third-year coach Frank Wilson and will need more production from JC transfer Cordale Grundy or the well-traveled D.J. Gillins to surprise in C-USA. Result: Arizona State 49-7. ATS: Favorite/Over

UNLV at USC (-24.5/60): It’s too early to call the Trojans mediocre since so many of their playmakers are so young. It is fair to write that things may be trending that way since freshman kids like QB JT Daniels, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and sophomore RBs Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepai probably won’t be consistent enough to survive a challenging schedule where there aren’t really any weeks off and that garnet and gold puts a target on their backs. The Rebels hung around and showed off the program’s continued improvement under Tony Sanchez but QB Armani Rogers still has a lot of development to do as a passer for this group to be bowl-bound. Result: USC 43-21. ATS: Underdog/Over

Cincinnati at UCLA (-14.5/63): Chip Kelly’s debut went terribly, doomed in part because Wilton Speight left with a second-quarter back injury. Freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson took over and looked too raw to trust, which doesn’t bode well for the Bruins since the Bearcats were the most beatable team on their schedule. Cincinnati gave running back Michael Warren II nearly 40 touches with starter Gerrid Doaks sidelined and now only leave Ohio once between now and Oct. 20 for a game it will likely be favored to win at UConn. Luke Fickell may end the team’s two-year bowl drought. Result: Cincinnati 26-17. ATS: Underdog/Under

Washington at Auburn (-1/50): This heavyweight clash lived up to billing and could’ve gone either way. The Huskies failed to execute in the red zone and the Tigers made plays when they had to most so the more deserving team certainly won. Ryan Davis stood out most for Auburn as the electric playmaker necessary to make the offense go and Jarrett Stidham just has to take care of the ball to assist his tremendous defense. Washington won’t see another team capable of applying the type of pressure it saw in Atlanta and is certainly capable of running the table and landing back in a CFP for the second time in three years. Result: Auburn 21-16. ATS: Favorite/Under

North Carolina at California (-7/58): The Golden Bears led 24-3 in the fourth quarter and got too conservative, flirting with disaster since the Tar Heels look like they’re going to be scary with their onside kicks. Riddled with suspensions, UNC went from getting 5.5 points to a seven by Saturday morning and managed to push on a pair of late scores as the Bears settled back to keep everything in front of them. Nathan Elliott threw four picks and should go back to being the backup after Chazz Surratt sits out three more games, but things are likely to be dicey until October. Cal looks like it will have a controversy on its hands since redshirt freshman backup Chase Garbers outplayed junior starter Ross Bowers. Result: Cal 24-17. ATS: Push/Under

Washington State (-3/45) at Wyoming: This looked like it would come down to the final minutes as a grinder unfolded in the opening half. Instead, new QB Gardner Minshew settled in nicely for the Cougs and the defense feasted on an offense that had no chance as it wore down over the course of four quarters. Redshirt freshman Tyler Vander Waal won his debut as Josh Allen’s replacement but has his work cut out for him against the tougher defenses he’ll run into this season. Craig Bohl’s ceiling is reaching a third consecutive bowl with this group, but the Cowboys can’t afford another home loss if that’s going to happen. Their schedule is too tough. Mike Leach is looking to reach his fourth straight bowl with Washington State, which again looks like it will be relying on a stingy defense to maximize its potential with veteran Tracy Claeys taking over for new Ohio State co-coordinator Alex Grinch. Result: Washington State 41-19. ATS: Favorite/Over

Bowling Green at Oregon (-34/71): Justin Herbert was picked off twice, which may just be part of the deal considering the windows he often tries to jam the ball into. That may just be part of the deal with him, but he and West Virginia’s Grier appear to be the most talented QBs available in the next draft. It remains to be seen if big plays are there to be had as the Ducks step up in class, but they’re likely to be involved in a lot of shootouts. The same goes for the Falcons, who will likely feed Scott Miller so much that he’ll be this season’s national reception leader. Result: Oregon 58-24. ATS: Push/Over



Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA or e-mail him at [email protected]

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