Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer 44d

Pac-12 Week 2 picks: USC regains its championship form



Well, I guess it's time for me to officially introduce myself to the #Pac12AfterDark nation.

Hey.

I wanted my picks to do the talking last week (thanks a lot, Texas A&M!), but I'd just like to say that, like the games themselves, picks season is a marathon, not a sprint. Kyle's one-game lead is nice, but it doesn't give him much room to brag just yet. After all, he has been doing this a lot longer than I have.

I just found out that this conference is no longer the Pac-10, so there's that. And since moving to Los Angeles from Atlanta (I just love sitting in traffic!), I've realized that there are quite a few things to do outside during football season. I mean, how do you all juggle it?

Visit our college football PickCenter page for additional information on these games and many more.

Here come the picks:

Texas State (1-0) at Colorado (1-0)

Edward Aschoff: The Buffaloes escaped an ugly one, but, hey, it was Week 1, and everyone will take a win at this point. You make the biggest adjustments from Week 1 to Week 2, and Colorado will have no problem actually scoring in the second half. Colorado 45, Texas State 9

Kyle Bonagura: Texas teams didn't fare well last week, and Texas State isn't the school to change that. Not in Boulder, at least. Colorado 42, Texas State 10

Weber State (1-0) at California (1-0)

Aschoff: Cal won on the East Coast in Week 1! I never thought I'd live to see the day, but Justin Wilcox and his new-look Golden Bears turned a lot of heads in the opener, and they'll leave this weekend 2-0. Cal 48, Weber State 14

Bonagura: This is very much an unexpected victory lap for Cal. A bowl game seemed like a pipe dream before kickoff against North Carolina last week, but now ... not so much. Cal 42, Weber State 19

Montana (1-0) at No. 7 Washington (1-0)

Aschoff: The Huskies will be the first to admit they didn't play their best ball against Rutgers. But in the friendly confines of Husky Stadium, Washington will have no problem piling points on the scoreboard. Washington 51, Montana 10

Bonagura: The Huskies seemed to lack that extra gear without John Ross, but it was Week 1, so it's foolish to try to base season-long expectations on what was on display. They'll be fine. Washington 52, Montana 8

Hawai'i (2-0) at UCLA (1-0)

Aschoff: After being in the corner of the end zone for Josh Rosen's final two prayer touchdowns, there's just no way I think the Bruins will come out with the same sort of emotion. They've got to be drained, so this one will be closer than it should be. UCLA 34, Hawai'i 17

Bonagura: Hawai'i has been sneaky good under Nick Rolovich, but it's not quite at the level to expect to give UCLA a scare. UCLA 45, Hawai'i 27

San Diego State (1-0) at Arizona State (1-0)

Aschoff: This game is so intriguing because there isn't much of a gap between the two, and Arizona State went to the wire against New Mexico State because that defense just kept getting gashed. San Diego State feasted on a cupcake, but this team can run and stop the run. Upset city, baby! San Diego State 31, Arizona State 28

Bonagura: Quarterback Manny Wilkins was really impressive against New Mexico State, but the Sun Devils, as a team, were not. SDSU has quietly turned itself into one of the country's best Group of 5 programs, and a victory in Tempe will further cement that.

San Diego State 35, Arizona State 32

Utah (1-0) at BYU (1-1)

Aschoff: Utah was incredibly balanced on offense in Week 1, while BYU still has to be hurting from that punishing loss to LSU. They tell me this is a bitter rivalry. Well, I've lived through the Egg Bowl and witnessed the Iron Bowl live. I'm skeptical. But I do know this: The Utes can score and BYU can't. Utah 27, BYU 20

Bonagura: The vitriol that exists in this matchup is unlike anything in the traditional Pac-12 rivalries. Except since Utah joined the Pac-12, it really hasn't been a rivalry. The Utes have played like one would expect a Power 5 team to play against a non-Power 5 team. They're 5-0 in that span and have won six straight in total. Utah 28, BYU 24

Boise State (1-0) at Washington State (1-0)

Aschoff: Luke Falk looked unstoppable throwing the ball in Week 1, but let's not forget that the Cougars have more rushing weapons this season. They'll need every bit of them against a tough Boise defense. Washington State 34, Boise State 23

Bonagura: Recent history dictated that the Cougars' opener against Montana State had to be taken seriously, but this has always been the key nonconference game. If the Cougs beat Boise State, it would represent a huge step forward for the program's national credibility. Washington State 37, Boise State 30

Minnesota (1-0) at Oregon State (1-1)

Aschoff: It has been a very up-and-down start for the Beavers. They could easily be 0-2 after a close call against FCS foe Portland State. Minnesota didn't look great in a 17-7 victory over Buffalo, but the good news for the Golden Gophers is that Oregon State's defense should make them look better. Minnesota 24, Oregon State 20

Bonagura: Oregon State has been a disappointment through two games, but Minnesota didn't exactly impress in its opener, either. Until the Beavers prove otherwise, they will start every game from here on out as the underdog. Minnesota 31, Oregon State 24

Houston (0-0) at Arizona (1-0)

Aschoff: Hurricane Harvey forced Houston to cancel its opener. Safety first. You can imagine how fired up and emotional the Cougars will be for this one. Houston 34, Arizona 27

Bonagura: As good as Arizona looked last week, that its opening romp came against Northern Arizona means it could be a mirage. The Wildcats need a viable passing game if they really expect to beat good teams. Houston 31, Arizona 24

Nebraska (1-0) at Oregon (1-0)

Aschoff: Maybe it's because I just got done touring Oregon's amazing, Star Trek-like facilities, but I think people are sleeping on the Ducks. Willie Taggart is excited about the young talent he has, and while it's going to be an absolute fight up front against bigger Nebraska lines, the Ducks scoot by with a thrilling fourth quarter. Oregon 38, Nebraska 27

Bonagura: Mike Riley has lost his past seven games against Oregon that were played in the state of Oregon. The victory last season at Nebraska won't be replicated. Oregon 38, Nebraska 31

No. 14 Stanford (1-0) at No. 6 USC (1-0)

Aschoff: Talk about a start to the season! USC didn't look like a playoff team and Sam Darnold looked miles away from a Heisman candidate in that ugly victory over Western Michigan, but expect a calmer, more composed team Saturday. Stanford won't be spooked about seeing the Trojans, and both teams are going to leave the Coliseum battered and bloodied. This one comes down to the final possession. USC 28, Stanford 24

Bonagura: Would anyone be surprised if this, the first conference game of the season, will be replayed as the conference championship? Doubtful. Stanford and USC both have what it takes to go to the College Football Playoff, but Saturday, Darnold will be the difference. USC 28, Stanford 27

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