Pac-12 Week 5 predictions

Why Arizona State will win: Over its first three games, UCLA simply hasn't played like a team capable of winning in Tempe, Arizona. Even without Taylor Kelly, ASU should be fine with Mike Bercovici at quarterback. He has plenty of talent at his disposal, including two of the nation's most underappreciated players in running back D.J. Foster and receiver Jaelen Strong. -- Kyle Bonagura

Why UCLA will win: I like the matchup of UCLA's secondary against an ASU attack that is probably going to be less mobile and more pocket-centric without Kelly. That Brett Hundley is likely to play also gives the Bruins a distinct advantage. Plus, UCLA is starting to have success running the ball. Against an ASU front that really hasn't been tested, that's enough for me to give the edge to UCLA on the road. -- Kevin Gemmell

Why Cal will win: Blowing a game by allowing 36 fourth-quarter points and a last-second Hail Mary touchdown can, for better or for worse, significantly impact a team's mentality heading into the following week. The guess here: Cal will turn its gut-wrenching experience into a galvanizing moment. An explosive attack combined with a much-improved defense to give the Bears a 31-13 lead through three quarters at Arizona. The fourth quarter is one coach Sonny Dykes would like to forget, but the extra boost from the home crowd should be enough to push Cal through the finish line this week. That's the hope in Berkeley, at least: Cal has been outscored by 33 in the second half this year despite outpacing its opponents by 77 in the first half. That 110-point differential is the biggest in all of college football, and Colorado certainly has weapons to make noise down the stretch (see Nelson Spruce) if the Bears again can't finish. -- David Lombardi

Why Stanford will win: While Stanford lost to USC, it controlled the game. Further, the Cardinal have had an extra week to solve some issues and prepare specifically for the Huskies, who turned in a decidedly mixed performance last week versus Georgia State. While the Stanford O-line, with four new starters, will be challenged by a tough UW front seven and a boisterous Husky Stadium crowd, I like quarterback Kevin Hogan to get enough time to exploit a young and inconsistent secondary. -- Ted Miller

Why Utah will win: The Cougars beat Utah at home last year, but Pullman, Washington, is where the Cougs do their best work -- just ask Oregon. Utah is returning home unbeaten and feeling good about itself in all three phases, while Washington State is on the road after a dispiriting 1-3 start, including a tough close call last weekend against the Ducks. While quarterback Connor Halliday and the Cougars offense will have their moments, the Utes will take control in the fourth quarter at home because they are better on both lines. -- Ted Miller

Why Washington State will win: Washington State hit its stride last weekend, and I think the Cougars will continue that (and pick up the pace) this weekend against Utah. The offensive line is going to hold up -- as it did against Oregon -- as Nate Orchard and the Utes try to get after Halliday, who I think will have another 350-yard game. And the Cougars defensive line, while it might not account for seven sacks, is going to put a lot of pressure on Travis Wilson. It'll be a close game, but after four up-and-down performances, Wazzu is finally going to pick up an impressive win, and a Pac-12 road win at that. -- Chantel Jennings

Why Oregon State will win: The Beavers have gotten consistently better since the season began, and USC took a big step back losing on the road at Boston College. It's asking a lot of Oregon State to win in Los Angeles, but quarterback Sean Mannion is due for a signature win. -- Kyle Bonagura

Why USC will win: There's something about having a week to marinate after getting your tush handed to you. There's also something to be said for the fact that the Beavers haven't won at USC since the Eisenhower administration. That's not a joke. Seriously, 22 straight losses, with the last win coming in 1960. USC's defense got gouged against the run by BC, but that was mostly zone-read. Not expecting to see a ton of that from Mannion, an outstanding pocket quarterback who also happens to be without his primary weapon, Victor Bolden. Too much working against the Beavers on the road. -- Kevin Gemmell