WEEK 13 RECAP
The dust has settled in a crazy year for Pac-12 football. Washington and Colorado will clash at Levi's Stadium on December 3rd to decide the champion of the conference. This also wraps up my weekly picks, although I will do a special for the Pac-12 Championship Game. Spoiler: I did not do well this week.
Arizona 56, Arizona State 35 (Pick: Arizona State -3, Under 68.5)
This game went the exact opposite of how I expected it to go. Arizona had shown little excitement all season, but they came out firing in this match-up. Wildcats quarterback Brandon Dawkins ran for 183 yards and a touchdown, something the team has been lacking since running back Nick Wilson got hurt. Arizona State had impressive offensive numbers, with quarterback Manny Wilkens throwing for 372 yards and three touchdowns. I missed on the spread and the over/under because I didn't think Arizona's offense had any life left. They proved me wrong in a big way.
#9 Colorado 27, #22 Utah 22 (Pick: Colorado -10, Over 53.5)
Colorado is headed to the Pac-12 Championship game. The Buffaloes defense stepped up with ten pass break-ups, four turnovers, three sacks, and two huge fourth down stops. Utah's offense failed to get anything going the entire game, and Colorado was able to coast to victory because of it. The score doesn't tell the story of the game. I got the winner correct but that doesn't matter as I failed to hit the spread and the over/under. The Buffs head into next week's game on their first six-game winning streak since 1996.
Oregon State 34, Oregon 24 (Pick: Oregon -3, Over 71)
The Ducks wanted to make a stand in The Civil War. Too bad their effort wasn't enough to save Coach Mark Helfrich's job. Not too many eye-popping individual performances except for Oregon State running back Ryan Nall, who rushed for 155 yards and four touchdowns. I missed on this game completely, expecting Oregon to whip out all the stops to save their head coach's job. They couldn't deliver as they haven't all season. Oregon State has some pieces to be excited about looking forward to next season.
#4 Washington 45, Washington State 17 (Pick: Washington -6, Over 71)
Washington established who owns the Apple Cup in a big way. Washington kept their foot on the gas and never gave the Cougars any hope. The bright spot for Washington State was receiver Gabe Marks, who caught 11 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. I nailed the spread because I saw Washington as superior, but I didn't expect them to completely shut down the Cougars high-octane offense. The Cougars committed crucial penalties and turnovers that kept them out of contention. Washington has an opportunity to go to the College Football Playoff if they win the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Cal 36, UCLA 10 (Pick: UCLA -3, Under 71)
I didn't see this type of effort coming from Cal. This may even be their best game of the season. Quarterback Davis Webb threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Chad Hansen was a huge factor in the passing game, catching 10 receptions for 156 yards. Running back Khalfani Muhammed ran for 116 yards to keep the defense on its toes. Cal has an outside shot at a bowl game due to the incredible quantity of games that need to be filled for the postseason.
#24 Stanford 41, Rice 17 (Pick: Stanford -36, Under 54.5)
This game wasn't competitive at any point. I missed on the spread, which I shouldn't have even taken because 36 is an incredibly difficult number to cover. Rice scored a few times when the game was well out of reach. Running back Christian McCaffrey ran for over 200 yards and a touchdown, bolstering his case as the Pac-12's best running back. Stanford may get a nice bowl game match-up this postseason.
#12 USC 45, Notre Dame 27 (Pick: Notre Dame +17.5, Over 56.5)
This game used to be a classic match-up at the end of the season, but Notre Dame has not been up to snub as of late. I missed on the spread by a half point, which is a classic betting situation. I did get the over/under because I figured Notre Dame would get some garbage-time points. USC came on very strong at the end of the season, but it was a little too late. They are playing some of the best football in the country and nobody wants to matchup with the Trojans in a bowl game. The future is bright in Los Angeles.
I didn't do well on any picks this week. It's been a long season and many of these teams have last-game-of-the-season performances. Some were giving it their best shot, some were looking ahead to next year. Regardless, its been a very exciting season of football that saw many ups and downs. USC came on strong a little too late and couldn't catch the Cinderella Buffs. Washington established itself as the best team and never looked back. Now, all that has to be determined is the winner of the Pac-12 Championship. I will post my pick for that game soon.
Ron Stove's record for the season: 35-33.
*All lines and over/under taken from www.vegasinsider.com*