Note: I’ll usually do this on Wednesdays. I’ll also keep track of my overall record in picking these games, even if it will probably get pretty ugly. No UW/Boise State game prediction until tomorrow morning. The score pick for Washington’s game will always be in a separate post, usually on Fridays.
Utah State at Utah, Thursday 5:00pm
The Utes finished 5-7 a season ago, and one of those seven losses came at Utah State. But that was an incredibly close 20-27 contest, and even if I’m not particularly high on Utah this year, I think they’ll record a solid win at home to open the year (for themselves and for the conference).
Utah 27, Utah State 17
#24 USC at Hawaii, Thursday 8:00pm
The Trojans are a complicated team. They had a very disappointing 7-6 season by USC standards despite very high expectations for the returning Matt Barkley and head coach Lane Kiffin. This time expectations are low, but the outrageously high level of talent is still present. So will USC breakout and fulfill last year’s lofty goals a year late? I don’t think so, but they’ll probably do fine against Hawaii, even with the QB competition dragging on into the regular season.
USC 33, Hawaii 10
Northern Arizona at Arizona, Friday 7:00pm
And now we enter a string of Pac-12 teams playing cupcakes. Matt Scott is gone and injuries have been an issue, two of the main reasons why people are pretty low on Arizona in the Pac-12 South. But that doesn’t mean Ka’Deem Carey won’t run for over 100 yards in the first half alone. Arizona’s defense was terrible last year, though, and there isn’t much reason to think that’s changed, so expect N. Arizona to drive with a bit more authority than you’d normally assume.
Arizona 41, N. Arizona 20
Nicholls State at Oregon, Saturday 1:00pm
Not cool. Oregon State, clearly the lesser of the Oregon football programs as of late, slammed this poor FCS unit 77-3 to end last season. Oregon will not get that far, due to the speed with which they will put the game out of reach in the first half. I guess there’s always the chance Mark Helfrich has actually been destroying the program from the inside with a still-secret incompetence, and that the Ducks will flop and fail to score a single time. But there’s probably no more than a .1% chance of that happening. I checked.
Oregon 60, Nicholls State 7
Eastern Washington at #25 Oregon State, Saturday 3:00pm
I know you all remember how close Eastern came to beating Washington at Husky Stadium a couple years back. That was not cool, and without Desmond Trufant’s clutch pick, it could have seriously happened. Eastern is a great FCS program, and should fair much better than 77-3 (looking at you Nicholls), but a win at Reser Stadium is tough for most Pac-12 programs and simply too much to ask from the Eagles.
Oregon State 35, Eastern 10