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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams 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)
» Arizona Wildcats Video Extra...Arizona football makes the most out of Spring practice
» Video collection: NBA decision day at McKale
» Greg Hansen's Video Notebook...why Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could be a top 10 draft pick next year
» Why Arizona's Kaleb Tarczewski and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson decided to stay

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU hockey tops Robert Morris to claim ACHA crown
» ASU baseball drops series against Tennessee
» Cancer fails to pin ASU's Eskam or derail his big plans for life
» Late errors doom ASU baseball in tough loss to Tennessee

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Local digest: Longtime Stanford diving coach Rick Schavone is retiring
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament
» Cal names Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin as new basketball coach
» New Cal coach Cuonzo Martin praised by mentor Gene Keady, others

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado Classics: Darian Hagan, former CU Buffs quarterback
» CU Buffs backup QB Jordan Gehrke impresses during spring drills
» Fleet freshman receivers shine in CU Buffs' spring game
» Spring games are important, Colorado's Mike MacIntyre says

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Canzano: Oregon Ducks coach Mark Helfrich says there is no user's manual to being a head coach
» Tommy Thorpe leads Oregon past Washington State, into tie with UCLA
» No. 1 Oregon softball team, unburdened by ranking, disposes of Cal in series opener
» Dakotah Keys leads decathlon, Lauren Crockett leads heptathlon at Oregon Relays

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU men's basketball: De Carolis statement on men's basketball
» Oregon State's tournament success caps a remarkably quick turnaround
» OSU gymnastics: Beavers headed to Penn State for NCAA regionals
» OSU wins seventh straight racquetball national title

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Local digest: Longtime Stanford diving coach Rick Schavone is retiring
» Stanford's Olympic diving coach Rick Schavone retires
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament
» Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike is WNBA's top overall draft pick

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» College Football: Position coach Adrian Klemm says UCLA offensive line a work in progress
» 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

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)
» Live chat with former UW coach Rick Neuheisel at 1 p.m. Friday
» UW spring practice notes: Shaq Thompson limited
» Video: UW's Marcus Peters after Thursday night's practice
» Huskies' Deontae Cooper feels good, after a long history of battling injuries

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Spring Practice Report: Day 10
» WSU to play Gonzaga in Spokane next season
» Sabonis signs with Gonzaga
» One loss that seems like more



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