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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Pac-12 picks: Utes over Cal; Sun Devils over UCLA

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Still pleased with myself for not following the popular trend of taking Cal over Stanford last week, I'm here with another round of Pac-12 picks. For the first time this season, the schedule features six conference games, all on Saturday:

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Colorado at Oregon, 1 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

The less effort, ink and cyberspace wasted on this game, the better. Oregon 50, Colorado 14.

UCLA at Arizona State, 1 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

Now this is an intriguing game. UCLA is coming off a bye; ASU is coming off a big letdown after all the buildup to last week's game with Oregon. The winner will establish itself as a strong contender in the Pac-12 South. If defensive tackle Will Sutton missing all but one play of the Oregon game with a knee injury, ASU will have a much better chance of stopping UCLA's running game. On the other side, Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly will have to regroup after a shaky performance. But I like ASU at home. Arizona State 28, UCLA 24.

USC at Arizona, 1:30 p.m. MDT, ABC/ESPN2

Last October's 48-41 victory for USC sure looks like the blueprint for this game. USC's defense is improved, but so is Arizona's offense. The key will be whether Arizona's defense can play anywhere near the level of its performance last week against Washington, because USC quarterback Matt Barkley feasts on bad defenses, as evidenced by his six touchdown passes against Colorado. Arizona will make it interesting, but it's hard to believe the Wildcats have advanced to the point of beating the Trojans. USC 42, Arizona 31.

Washington State at Stanford, 4:15 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

Washington State's approach of not even bothering to run against the Cardinal will work in its favor, but the Cougars will have trouble scoring enough points, no matter what they do. This may not be the automatic blowout everyone would expect, however, with Stanford coming off the Big Game against Cal and WSU coming off a bye. Stanford 35, Washington State 17.

Cal at Utah, 7:45 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

The biggest flaw in thinking Utah is poised for a recovery against the Bears is the evidence of last October's game, which Cal dominated. Ute coach Kyle Whittingham keeps insisting his team is close to breaking through, and he has to be right one of these weeks. While everyone's still scarred by the 2010 "Blackout" game against TCU, played in the afternoon, the Utes have won their three night games under such circumstances. As for actual factors in this game, Utah's issues are finishing drives and containing Cal receiver Keenan Allen, as Stanford managed to do last week. Utah 21, Cal 17.

Oregon State at Washington, 8:15 p.m. Pac-12 Networks

The Beavers looked vulnerable last week against Utah; then again, Washington hardly resembled a team capable of upsetting a Top 10 opponent. The Huskies should bounce back and deliver a much better effort than they did at Arizona, but I'm sticking with OSU until proven otherwise. Oregon State 24, Washington 17.</

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Wildcats: UA Defense
» Arizona Wildcats and Sports Insider
» Hansen: Arizona Wildcats new uniform
» UA baseball: Garcia returns as assistant coach

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Sarafin, 4 others awarded scholarships
» ASU football practice report from Wednesday morning
» Notes: Smallwood has chance to be 'special'
» Graham after Wednesday morning practice

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal's goal in Dykes' second season is to establish running game
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll
» Cal football: Sonny Dykes upbeat after closed scrimmage

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado redshirt freshman Phillip Lindsay: two touchdown runs in scrimmage gave me confidence
» Buffs offense to "move guys around," says receivers coach Troy Walters
» Colorado special teams looking for many happy returns in 2014
» Turnover margin always a concern for Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Former Oregon Ducks running back Jonathan Stewart scores twice for Carolina Panthers against Kansas City
» Oregon Ducks quick hits: Fall camp's final scrimmage is upon Ducks
» Chip Kelly's addition of Kenjon Barner doesn't surprise current Oregon Ducks
» Former Oregon Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount reportedly arrested, charged with marijuana possession

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director
» Oregon State hands out Bennys to top athletes, coaches and teams
» OSU fishing: MacDonald, Martinez win conference tournament

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford football: Defensive coordinator learns from 49ers counterpart
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll
» Stanford football: Tailbacks Kelsey Young, Remound Wright miss scrimmage

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» UW men's basketball announces nonconference schedule
» Huskies hope to do a better job protecting quarterbacks
» Video: UW punter Korey Durkee on competition with freshman Tristan Vizcaino
» Developing a quarterback is Job One for Chris Petersen, Huskies

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» To redshirt or not to redshirt
» Live WSU Football Chat
» Our allegiances are about to be stretched
» Eastern and opponent links



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