Pa Jeff Schwartz
FOX Sports NFL analyst
This week features some truly exciting Pac-12 matchups. There will be a matchup between undefeated Pac-12 Conference teams ranked in the top 18 and another contest between the consensus preseason pick in the conference against an always dangerous team looking for exciting headlines.
Both games will be televised Saturday on FOX.
Let’s dive into my top Pac-12 bets for Week 6 of the college football season (with odds via FOX Bet)!
I rarely feel without strong bets on a Pac-12 contest, but this game features two teams that I can see covering each side with ease.
Let’s start with the Bruins 5-0. UCLA had the easiest schedule for a Power 5 team through the first four weeks, and there were concerns about their readiness to host a ranked tournament Washington Huskies squad UCLA showed they were more than ready in a 40-32 rout of the Huskies.
quarterback at UCLA Dorian Thompson-Robinson had his best game as a Bruins starter, and his roster full of transfer players dominated the contest. It was a stunning result for Bruins doubters.
After the first week of loss in Florida something that Utah will surely regret at the end of the season, the Utahns took the form that was expected of them. They are a tough defensive team, rarely allowing points. In the last four games, the team has not scored more than 16 points, better matching and forcing turnovers.
The defense is led by a cornerback Clark Phillips, a lockdown player who had three interceptions last weekend against Oregon State. Utah’s defense ranks eighth in passing yards and 34th in pressure. The Utahns have a legit defense and can stay in games against anyone.
UCLA is led by its 16th-ranked rushing attack and second-ranked pass rush. This gives the Bruins great opportunities on third downs because they gain so many yards on early drives. The University of California, Los Angeles also has the second-highest success rate, dropping to third place.
DTR (Thompson-Robinson) found communication with the Duke transmission receiver Jake Bobo, who is averaging 14 yards per target and 17 yards per catch. My guess is that Phillips will travel with Bob, and if Phillips can shut down Bob, it could slow down the Bruins offense. Utah’s defense had trouble stopping the streak, but those “issues” weren’t much of a concern after the Florida game.
I believed Utah was a playoff team from the start of the season and they did nothing to show me otherwise. A loss at Florida might prevent that, but the defense, the quarterback Cam Rising and the team’s overall play is clicking as expected. Although I believe they will win on Saturday, I will take the points in this one. I like UCLA covering the schedule because they have a talented team that can match Utah for most of the game. It will depend on who has the ball last.
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USC got off to a fast start this season, taking the first three games with ease. That pace has slowed as the Trojans have failed to score the past two weekends.
There were some preseason concerns about the Trojans — especially their offensive and defensive lines. It’s not enough to make me worry about them losing this weekend, but the Cougars are an annoying enough team.
Barring WSU’s poor defensive game against Oregon, this Cougars team can bring it from that side. They have 18 sacks and that ability to rush the passer could slow USC down. Also, there is a plan to stop this Lincoln Riley crime. Sit in the zone and don’t allow big plays. We saw Oregon State do it well two weekends ago. The Cougars have a better defense than Oregon State and I think they can slow down the Trojans offense.
However, I am deeply concerned about the Washington State offense. It’s smoke and mirrors. The Cougars’ most points in five games was 34 against Oregon. Their four biggest offensive plays of the game came with three receptions and a long pass completion with a second left for 10 points. It’s just not good every weekend for points.
USC’s defense forced a lot of turnovers and played well in the second half of games. The Trojans have the playmakers to make this Cougar passing attack throw and dunk all game. However, the Cougars can put the ball on the Trojans if they want to. Running the ball moves the clock, and if the Cougars don’t finish with a seven-point streak, running the ball doesn’t help much. This game will be a battle of defense. So I’m strongly leaning towards lower.
This streak shows Oregon State has lost back-to-back games against ranked opponents. Well, Stanford isn’t ranked, the Cardinal stinks. And that can be said beautifully.
Stanford hasn’t beaten an FBS opponent in 366 days since beating Oregon in early October 2021. Stanford’s last seven losses, including three this season, have been by at least 13 points. The team can’t do anything, and that’s with a quarterback who will be drafted late in the third round.
Oregon State, on the other hand, holds a solid 21 out of 22 positions. As for the Beavers’ record — well, they don’t have a dynamic quarterback, and that will catch up with you when you play USC and Utah. However, quarterback play becomes less important when you play Stanford’s defense, which allows opposing offensive players to do whatever they want. The Beavers rule the football and the games, and they’ll do whatever they want to Stanford this weekend. Oregon State will be able to run the football and set up easy throws for the QB and will be buzzing on offense.
Defensively, State allowed just 17 points to USC. They gave up 42 possessions to Utah, but two of those touchdowns on Saturday came on short fields after Oregon State interceptions.
The Beavers will host a farm game this weekend. Place the dots.
Jeff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL with five different teams. He started at right tackle at Oregon State University for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.
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