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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: Oregon over Stanford, ASU over Utah

Ever since the Pac-12's 2013 football schedule was announced, this is the game everyone has anticipated: Oregon at Stanford. The Cardinal's loss at Utah last month short-circuited the potential meeting of unbeaten teams, but this remains a big game. On to the weekly Pac-12 picks.

Thursday's game

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Oregon at Stanford, 7 p.m. MST, ESPN

Last November, Stanford's defense delivered one of the most remarkable performances in recent college football history, slowing down Oregon's offense in a 17-14 overtime victory on the road. Can the Cardinal do it again? No, not to that degree. This version of the Ducks is too good for that happen. Oregon may not run wild and hit its averages of 55 points and 600-plus total yards, but the offense should do enough to stay comfortably ahead. Oregon 35, Stanford 21.

Saturday's games

USC at California, 1 p.m. MST, Fox

USC's response to interim coach Ed Orgeron's leadership has been impressive. The Trojans have held Utah and Oregon State to a total of 10 offensive points in the last two games, so this will be a tough test for quarterback Jared Goff and the Cal offense. Cal is improving, as shown by a 33-28 loss to Arizona, but USC's defense is just too imposing for the Bears. USC 34, California 17.

Arizona State at Utah, 2 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Networks

Watching the Pac-12 for three seasons, I've become a big believer in matchups. Utah matched up well physically and athletically against Stanford, but ASU simply has been too fast for the Utes. The Sun Devils overwhelmed Utah in a 37-7 win last season, and it really wasn't that close. Utah will be more competitive at home, but unless quarterback Travis Wilson suddenly returns to his Stanford-upsetting form, the Utes won't keep up offensively. Arizona State 38, Utah 24.

Colorado at Washington, 6 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Networks

Colorado is showing some life with freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau, recording 26 first downs at UCLA last week. Washington is one of those teams that will beat everybody below it and lose to everybody above it. So the Huskies should look good against Colorado's defense. Washington 41, Colorado 24.

UCLA at Arizona, 8 p.m. MST, ESPN

This might be the Pac-12's best game of the week. Arizona quietly has played its way into the Pac-12 South race, partly because UCLA had to play at Oregon and Stanford. If the Wildcats can beat UCLA, they'll remain in the thick of a potentially wild competition in the South - although they still have to play Oregon. This is a redemption opportunity for Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker, who filled in for Matt Scott last year in a 66-10 loss to the Bruins. This game will be much more interesting. UCLA 36, Arizona 30.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Wildcats: Highlights from UA's Week 3 win
» UA football: Should Arizona schedule harder nonconference games?
» Can you top these UA football memes?
» Hansen: Arizona vs. Cal

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football practice report from Thursday
» Teofilo, Westerman power ASU offensive line
» ASU football chat with Doug Haller
» Doug Haller's Week 3 Pac-12 power rankings

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Fact box: Cal at Arizona
» Cal finds out Saturday if 2-0 start is for real
» Jeff Tedford's recruits finding delayed success at Cal
» Sonny Dykes: Cal's confidence rooted in hard work

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Speedy freshman Donovan Lee gives CU Buffs another playmaker
» 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

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» Why the Washington State Cougars can stop the Oregon Ducks: What they're saying in Washington
» Pharaoh Brown takes the reins in Oregon Ducks' tight end race
» Alex Ofodile, Oregon Ducks signee, accepts Under Armour All-American jersey

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)
» 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

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford coach David Shaw goes digging
» 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

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)
» Huskies play 'em one game at a time — because they have to
» Game prediction: For the Huskies, a meaningful warmup before a meaningful test
» Huskies morning links: UW still searching for next great punt returner
» Huskies release latest chapter of video series 'The Pursuit'

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Week four Pac-12 picks
» Just tell me who won
» Friday Pac-12 links
» Ferris defeats University High 45-36



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