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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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(Scott Sommerdorf | Tribune file photo) UCLA defeated Utah 21-14 in their 2012 matchup. In this year's matchup, which kicks off 8 p.m. Thursday at Rice-Eccles Stadium, UCLA is favored to win.
Pac-12 picks: UCLA over Utah; Irish over ASU

Last week, the narrowest margin of victory was 18 points in the five Pac-12 games. There should be some much closer contests this week, beginning Thursday night.

UCLA at Utah, 8 p.m. MDT Thursday, Fox Sports 1

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In 2011, UCLA arrived at Rice-Eccles Stadium to find snow that covered the field in the first half. That was Oct. 29. So now it's Oct. 3 and what's the forecast? Rain and snow. That's a good omen for Utah, but not necessarily enough to slow down Brett Hundley and the Bruins. This is potentially a defining game for the Utes - but only if they win. UCLA 35, Utah 28.

Saturday's games

Washington State at California, 2 p.m. MDT, Fox Sports 1

This game is officially a toss-up, and both teams are coming off big losses to the Pac-12 North's elite teams. But I'm taking Stanford coach David Shaw's advice to "watch Washington State the rest of the year." Washington State 31, California 21.

Oregon at Colorado, 4 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Networks

If the Buffaloes could give up six touchdown passes at Oregon State last week, imagine what Oregon's offense could do to them. I'm already looking ahead to next week, when the Ducks should be tested by Washington's defense. Oregon 55, Colorado 17.

Arizona State vs. Notre Dame, 5:30 p.m. MDT, NBC

One way to look at ASU is the Sun Devils have scored 83 points in their last five quarters of Pac-12 play. Another viewpoint is they gave up 41 points to USC's formerly struggling offense. Notre Dame is even more of a mystery, going into this game at Arlington, Texas. The Pac-12 has been very good outside of the conference, but I like the Fighting Irish on a neutral field. Notre Dame 28, Arizona State 24.

Washington at Stanford, 8:30 p.m. MDT, ESPN

There will be something resembling a "game of the week" from here on out in the Pac-12, and this one is very intriguing. It's Washington's chance to show that there's some genuine substance to the 2013 Huskies, while Stanford defends its No. 5 ranking and tries to avenge a loss in Seattle last season. The Cardinal should be just a little better on both sides of the ball. Stanford 28, Washington 21.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Wildcats gear up for Cal
» UA football: Former SDSU QB commits to Arizona
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Pueblo turns to ex-UA standouts for coaching help
» UA football: My AP Top 25 ballot

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Confident Mike Bercovici takes over as ASU's starting QB
» Boivin: Move a good sign for ASU athletics
» ASU QB Kelly expected to miss 1-2 games
» Is ambiguity over injury disservice to fans?

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Oakland Soldiers set tone for college basketball recruiting in Bay Area
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Cal-Colorado game set for 1 p.m. kickoff
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion
» Colorado holds heads high after 38-24 loss to No. 16 Arizona State

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» Oregon Ducks release 2014-2015 men's basketball schedule
» Walter Thurmond, New York Giants CB, out for season with torn pectoral muscle
» Marcus Mariota takes a golf break, then starts preparing for Washington State Cougars (video)

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans
» Beavers promote McCoy to assistant athletic director for equipment operations

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors
» Local sports digest: Stanford sweeps Santa Clara
» Stanford sweeps Santa Clara

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)
» Marcus Peters back with Huskies after sitting out one game
» Washington begins Pac-12 play at California
» Video: UW's Chris Petersen on Marcus Peters, Cyler Miles, Georgia State and more
» UW quarterback Cyler Miles was 'honored' to be named team captain against Illinois

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» WSU men's basketball schedule revealed
» Video: Cyrus Coen, Dom Williams and Toni Pole
» Video: Mike Leach during Monday press conference
» Cougars must make the most of every opportunity



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