The Ducks are preparing for Saturday’s gigantic contest against Utah at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. Both Oregon and the Utes are currently trapped in 3-game losing streaks, respectively. Something has to give in just over 24 hours.
Welcome back for ATQ’s series Prognostication Station! Each week of the Pac-12 season, I will take a look back at my preseason projections and make a few new ones for the week ahead. Let’s break down the first full slate of games on the Pac-12 calendar:
PAC-12 PICKS (18-9 OVERALL, 4-2 LAST WEEK)
Comment: I don’t think I will picking against Manny Wilkins and ASU anymore.
California vs Colorado
The Buffs are struggling overall, especially on defense without their DC Jim Leavitt this season
Final Score: Colorado 24, Cal 21
UCLA vs No. 12 Washington
The Bruins did not play particularly well vs the Ducks and life won’t get easier in Seattle
Final Score: Washington 42, UCLA 13
No. 15 Washington State vs Arizona
So far, we know WSU is average on the road and the Cats’ run-game is tough to stop in Tuscon
Final Score: Arizona 20, WSU 17
No. 21 USC vs Arizona State
This may be a trap for the Sun Devils, but like I said earlier, no way I’m betting against Manny
Final Score: ASU 31, USC 30
Comment: The Ducks are half my losses, but I won’t stop picking them this weekend.
vs Utah (L, 4-5)
Let’s try something different, a little reverse psychology maybe? I mean, I’ve attempted everything else to get the Ducks rolling. Even though I predict the Ducks to beat Utah on Saturday (5-4), I’m writing the reverse. If this doesn’t work, I will simply go the George Costanza route and always choose the opposite of what I actually want. “The summer of George!”
Utah worked Oregon 62-20 in their last visit to Eugene in 2015. After the Ducks received their revenge last year in SLC, this game should provide some fireworks from two angry defenses. Utah presents the No. 34 ranked rush defense in the nation, alongside the No. 32 overall unit. Royce Freeman will struggle to find space, but UO has no other options at this point. Without Justin Herbert yet again, Braxton Burmeister will have to “run” the show without the luxury of a passing game. The Utes are yielding 217.7 yards through the air, so the true freshman may have to successfully pass to win. This could be the Charles Nelson game we have been waiting for. I’m looking for 145 total yards and a few scores, as the jet sweep works to perfection against a stout D. Brenden Schooler will make his mark on third down and in the red zone. He was humiliating defenders last week, unfortunately the ball only found him once. Troy Dye will lead the way as usual, with a game-high 15 tackles. Final Score: Utah 17, Oregon 14 (WINK WINK)
Oregon (4-4, 1-4) returns to Autzen Stadium on Saturday for a clash with Utah (4-3, 1-3). Kickoff is slated for 2:45 p.m. PT via the Pac-12 Network.