Aug 30, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats quarterback B.J. Denker (7) scores a touchdown during the third quarter against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 Picks: Week Five

Sep 14, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

I will pick the Washington vs. Arizona game tomorrow morning in the Gameday Guide.

My Total Record: 33-3

Colorado (2-0) at Oregon State (3-1) 12:00pm Saturday

The Buffaloes have been a nice surprise to start the year off, and that’s made me happy. However, the Pac-12 conference schedule does not care about happiness. That’s why so many teams play Stanford and Oregon back to back. You can’t mention Oregon State without mentioning the loss to Eastern, but since then they’ve won two straight road games, including an overtime win over Utah. If the Beavers can beat the Utes in Utah, they should be able to beat the Buffaloes in Oregon. Unless, of course, Oregon State has another meltdown. Or may, just maybe, if Colorado has really improved into a competent road team.

Oregon State 45, Colorado 31

#5 Stanford (3-0) at WSU (3-1) 7:00pm Saturday

The Cougs are 3-1 to start the year, but the last two wins, blowouts against Southern Utah and Idaho, haven’t allowed us to draw too many conclusions about just how far Coach Leach’s team has progressed. In their last game against major competition, the USC upset, WSU didn’t have the offense working efficiently. One possible red flag when it comes to projecting forward to WSU taking on a top-notch defense in Stanford: QB Connor Halliday continuing to throw picks against inferior defenses. WSU may have romped on Southern Utah and Idaho, and Halliday posted at least 340 yards and four touchdowns in each contest, but he also threw three interceptions, meaning he has totaled eight picks in only four contests. To boil it down, WSU’s defense is good while Stanford’s defense is better. WSU’s offense is potent but erratic, Stanford’s is reliable and powerful.

Stanford 31, WSU 17

USC (3-1) at Arizona State (2-1) 7:30pm Saturday

Toughest game of the week to pick and it’s not even close. USC desperate for a good win after failing to impress anyone through four games, and Arizona State desperate to show they’re still a Pac-12 South contender after failing to keep it close at Stanford. The Trojan defense is absolutely monstrous. Just because the offense, and particularly the passing game, has looked mostly awful doesn’t mean we should forget how hard it will be for the Sun Devils to rack up points. Still, Will Sutton and Co. will have a field day against Cody Kessler, who has been the definition of mediocre aside from the great performance against Boston College. Taylor Kelly and Marion Grice are going to score at least a few touchdowns, but Kessler and his crew can’t be depended on to do the same on the road.

ASU 24, USC 13

California (1-2) at #2 Oregon (3-0) 7:30pm Saturday

The Golden Bears are going to lose this game. The only really mystery to this contest, in my mind, is exactly how many points Cal can ring up on the Ducks before they go down. Through three games, Cal has never failed to score at least 30 points. Even in losses to then-22nd ranked Northwestern and #4 Ohio State, QB Jared Goff and his big arm earned Cal points totals of 30 and 34, respectively. This doesn’t look to be the year for Dykes to get that defense up to a competitive level, but if the offense can keep the margin somewhat respectable in this one, it would be some sort of consolation for fans following a program that is in the midst of a hopefully-accelerated rebuilding program.

Oregon 49, Cal 30

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