Two games were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns in Week 3 of Pac-12 Football. The fourth week of Pac-12 play was slated to feature two Thanksgiving weekend rivalry games. However, the Apple Cup between Washington and Washington State has been canceled. Washington State is unable to field a 53-man roster so the Huskies will search for another potential opponent.
In exciting news, Colorado and USC are both undefeated and will meet Saturday. The winner will claim first place in the Pac-12 South for the time being and will have their eyes on the conference title game in a few weeks. It comes as no surprise that Oregon and USC are the divisional leaders but it hasn’t been smooth sailing. This weekend’s slate of games certainly looks like an exciting one for sports betting fans, let’s run through the matchups.
No. 9 Oregon vs Oregon State
Sportsbook Odds: Oregon -13½
The rivalry formerly known as the Civil War will have its latest edition on Friday. Oregon has won the last three meetings, including a 24-10 win in 2019.
The Ducks will travel to Corvallis with a 3-0 record. However, UCLA played them dangerously close last weekend and the Bruins had an opportunity to win on their last drive. The Ducks forced a turnover on downs to eke out the 38-35 win but came into the contest heavily favored. Oregon’s LB corps suffered a big hit when the Ducks announced Justin Flowe would miss the remainder of the season and Noah Sewell was carted off the field with a leg injury against the Bruins. It’s also a bit concerning that UCLA’s running game completely outclassed the Ducks. The Bruins outgained Oregon 267-88 on the ground.
Meanwhile, Oregon State picked up its first win, defeating Cal 31-27. Beavers RB Jermar Jefferson ran for a 75-yard score on the first play of the game and dominated the Golden Bears. He picked up 196 of the Beavers’ 205 rushing yards as Oregon State averaged 6.8 yards per carry. The defense picked off Cal QB Chase Garbers twice and held the Bears to 3.3 yards per carry. Oregon State played Washington close and definitely has the ability to give the Ducks a good game here.
Washington vs Washington State (CANCELED)
Utah vs Arizona State
Odds: Arizona State -3½
Utah played and lost its first game Saturday, 33-17 to USC. It was a tough debut for Sophomore QB Cameron Rising. He completed 3-of-6 passes for 45 yards and an interception and was strip-sacked before leaving the game due to injury. Jake Bentley replaced him and finished 16-for-28 with 171 yards, a touchdown, and two picks. Utah had a much-publicized QB competition after three-year starter Tyler Huntley graduated. The Utes didn’t get much from either quarterback and only averaged four yards per carry. It remains to be seen whether Rising will be back but it will take time for Utah to find its offensive footing.
Both teams will be looking for their first win. Arizona State lost a heartbreaker to USC, 28-27, in the first week of Pac-12 play and hasn’t played since. Coach Herman Edwards tested positive for COVID-19 and the Sun Devils didn’t have enough scholarship players available the past two weekends. When healthy, this is a dangerous Arizona State team that can compete with anybody in the Pac-12.
Stanford vs Cal
College Football Odds: Cal -1½
It’s been a highly disappointing season for Stanford and Cal. They both come into this matchup 0-2. Stanford’s game against Washington State was canceled this past weekend and they’ve dropped games to Oregon and Colorado. It’s not the start they hoped for after last year’s uncharacteristic 4-8 finish.
Cal’s opener against Washington was canceled due to a COVID outbreak in the program. They played with a bunch of men down against UCLA in the second week of Pac-12 play and were drubbed 34-10. A lot of people, including myself, had high hopes for the Golden Bears after the progress they made last year. But, it’s been a struggle just for them to have enough players available and their season looks to be a lost cause at this point. This game looks like a bit of a crapshoot as both defenses have allowed over 30 points in their two games and neither offense has been consistent.
Arizona vs UCLA
Odds: UCLA -9
Arizona had a 27-point, fourth quarter against Washington and still lost by 17. It was a disappointing performance from the Wildcats after they played USC close in their opener. They’ve given up 39 points per game which is concerning, especially against a UCLA offense that had its way against No. 9 Oregon. UofA QB Grant Gunnell has been a bright spot, as he’s thrown six touchdowns in two games.
UCLA will be disappointed that it couldn’t get the job done against the Ducks, but there were definitely positive takeaways. The Bruins dominated the Ducks on the ground. They rank second in the Pac-12 and 16th in the nation in rushing yards per game. If nothing else, this should be an entertaining shootout.
Colorado vs No. 19 USC
Odds: USC -13½
Not many people expected Colorado to be contending for a Pac-12 South title when the season started. But, they head into this matchup with a 2-0 record and a win could put them in the driver’s seat in the division. They’ll have their work cut out, though. It’s no secret that USC has an elite offense but they’ve actually had the best scoring defense in the Pac-12 through three games. The Trojans have allowed 24.7 points per game and only allowed 17 points against Utah last Saturday. The Pac-12 South is USC’s to lose and the Trojans should be favored in every game from here on out.
This is definitely the game I’m most looking forward to this weekend. Even though Colorado doesn’t match up too well against the Trojans on paper, its two wins have been impressive. The Buffaloes have scored 83 points in two games and won two games in which they were underdogs.