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Friday, November 26, 2021

Pac-12 picks: Don’t forget about Oregon State-Utah, which has split implications for both

ABC’s cameras and ESPN’s “College Gameday” are being deployed to Southern California for this weekend’s Oregon-UCLA showdown.

Meanwhile, one of the biggest rivalries in sports, the USC-Notre Dame, will air on NBC in prime time.

And Fox is sending a crew to Washington state for Brigham Young’s maiden voyage.

But there is another Pac-12 case in which there is considerable stake.

In fact, Utah’s visit to Oregon State is only the eighth week of the game in which both participants control their own destiny within the conference.

If the Utes wins, they take the south.

If the beavers run the table, those answers win.

You can find the game in front of USC-Notre Dame at 4:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

The hotline is expected to be a taut, brutal affair. Both teams lean toward the old school, with physical lines of melee and heavy reliance on ongoing play.

Beaver (4-2/2-1) has got two weeks to prepare.

The Utes (4-2/3-0) are coming from an encouraging win over Arizona State and, after early stumbles, have found their mark.

Both teams are starting quarterbacks who were on the bench in the season opener.

Utah favors a field goal and has dominated the series recently with five consecutive wins. That streak includes a 52–7 victory over the Corvallis two seasons ago.

In coach Jonathan Smith’s second season, the Beavers are far better equipped to handle Utah’s power game. But the challenge will be serious on Saturday evening.

A loss based on Oregon’s result could reduce their split chances, but it won’t derail their bowl drive: There are too many winnable games left for the Beavers to miss post season.

We believe the result will depend on OSU’s ongoing game. If tailbacks BJ Baylor and Deshan Fenwick are more than 150 yards (combined), the Beavers should be in a winning position.

But if the ground game sputters and quarterback Chance Nolan is forced to make repeated pocket plays, Utah’s pass rush could take control of the game.

The hotline will be watching closely.

During the commercials, we’ll turn to USC-Notre Dame.

Last week: 3-2
Season: 22-22
Five Star Special: 4-3

all picks against the spread
Lines taken from Vegasinsider.com
all the time pacific

Waste: Stanford and Arizona State

Washington (-18) in Arizona (Friday)
To start: 7:30 pm on ESPN2
Comment: The Huskies have a short week-long journey after a taxing game against UCLA, but Arizona is worse. The Huskies are grappling with a terrible start that has angered fans and calls for Jimmy Lake’s job, but Arizona is worse off. The Huskies lack a lousy offense and faltering defense and playmates, but Arizona is worse. Our call: The Wildcats have enough cover but not a win. to select: Arizona

Cal. in Colorado (+8.5)
To start: 12:30 PM on the Pac-12 Network
Comment: Wiggle Bear still hasn’t defeated an FBS rival. (Then again, you could say the same thing about Colorado… ba-da-bing!) Neither team does anything well, although CU’s defense is reasonably strong. It’s no home turf for the Bears, who were badly beaten by Washington State three weeks ago. For this reason, the line is artificially high – and worth moving on. Choose: Colorado

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