Week 8 Pac-12 - CSU-Colorado, Utah-Arizona

Posted Oct 16, 2013

Week 8 Fearless Prediction & Preview - CSU at Colorado, Utah at Arizona

Week 8 
USC at Notre Dame
- UCLA at Stanford
- Washington at Arizona State
-- CSU at Colorado, Utah at Arizona
- Wazzu at Oregon, Oregon St at Cal

Charleston Southern (7-0) at Colorado (2-3) Oct. 19, 2:00

Why You Should Give A Hoot: This weekend's game in Boulder is a replacement for the Sept. 14 matchup with Fresno State that was postponed due to heavy flooding in the region. Colorado sure could use a visit from an FCS opponent, having dropped three straight Pac-12 games by no fewer than 27 points. The recent slide has completely erased the confidence that came with wins over Colorado State and Central Arkansas to start the season. Charleston Southern, though, will be no pushover. The Buccaneers are undefeated and ranked for just the second time in the 23-year history of the program. They opened Big South play last week with a win over VMI.

Why Charleston Southern Might Win: By the FCS measuring stick, the Buccaneers are solid on defense and in the running game. RB Christian Reyes, who ranks 24th nationally in rushing, will take aim at a Colorado D that's allowed 155 points during the three-game losing skid. The Charleston Southern defense, while obviously facing a lighter schedule, is only yielding 17 points per game.

Why Colorado Might Win: Finally, a chance to bully an opponent that doesn't have the size or the speed of, say, Arizona State or Oregon. The Buffaloes' best players will get a much-needed chance to flourish this weekend. Beefy RB Christian Powell will get more room between the tackles, WR Paul Richardson will make a few plays behind the secondary and DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe will harass QB Malcom Dixon into mistakes.

Who To Watch Out For: One of the more interesting developments from last week's loss in Tempe was that Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre removed the redshirt from Sefo Liufau, the three-star recruit from Tacoma. In all likelihood, the Buffs will spend the rest of the year grooming him to be the quarterback of the future.

- Colorado has a young building block for the future on defense as well. Unheralded rookie LB Addison Gillam is playing his way toward All-Pac-12 contention, amassing a team-high 51 stops and six tackles behind the line in just four games in the middle.

What Will Happen: Colorado will not pass on the opportunity to earn a much-needed win at the expense of a weaker opponent. The Buffaloes will jump on the Buccaneers early, only tapping the brakes after the game is well out of reach.

Prediction: Colorado 48 … Charleston Southern 10
Line: No Line – O/U: NL
Must See Rating: (5 Bad Grandpa – 1 Vanilla Ice Goes Amish) … 1
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Utah (4-2) at Arizona (3-2) Oct. 19, 10:00, Pac-12 Networks

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Breakthrough win, Utah. Now, go build on it this week in Tucson. In a weekend of surprises, the Utes authored the biggest one, stunning No. 5 Stanford, 27-21, to shake up the Pac-12 races. While Kyle Whittingham's team hasn't played a bad game all year, losing by only 10 points combined to Oregon State and UCLA, it still has to go out and prove it can handle prosperity. Arizona returns home for the first time in more than a month in dire need of a victory. The ‘Cats, who feasted on a very soft September schedule, have lost their first two Pac-12 games to Washington and USC. With games still left against UCLA and Oregon in November, Arizona needs to get things righted before the end of October.

Why Utah Might Win: Arizona needs to run the ball to be successful, but it's getting tougher and tougher to move the sticks on the ground on the Utes. Utah is yielding just 3.4 yards per carry, stuffing the box with ends Trevor Reilly and Nate Orchard and tackles Tenny Palepoi and LT Tuipulotu. The front seven will not give up much ground for RB Ka'Deem Carey to roam, meaning QB B.J. Denker will be forced to throw more than usual and operate outside of his normal comfort zone.

Why Arizona Might Win: If nothing else, the Wildcats won't beat themselves this weekend. The team ranks second nationally in turnovers, and it's also second in the Pac-12 in the fewest penalties committed. Sure, the Utah defense is a stiff challenge, but Carey is one of the premier backs in America. Oh, and might Denker have given the Utes something to think about this week? The lefty played his best game of 2013 last week at the Coliseum, rallying his team by completing 28-of-44 for 363 yards and four touchdown passes.

Who To Watch Out For: Arizona can be soft in pass defense, which Utah QB Travis Wilson is sure to test in Tucson. Wilson has emerged for new offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson, offsetting the occasional poor decisions with a long strike to WR Dres Anderson or a gallop through the opposing D.

- Can the ‘Cats match the muscle of the Utes, something even Stanford struggled to do a week ago? Arizona is not built for brawls, so it'll use its speed and quickness on both sides of the ball to attempt to neutralize a bigger and stronger Utah team.

- The Arizona staff is quickly falling in love with true freshman LB Scooby Wright, who plays the game with maximum intensity and passion. The future cornerstone of the D brings punch to a unit that needs all of the physicality it can muster up.

What Will Happen: Utah will have a hard getting back up again a week after stunning one of the country's best teams. Arizona, to the contrary, will play with all of the focus and ferocity of a team that can ill-afford a third straight loss. The intangibles will be a central theme as the Wildcats pull out a much-needed win to remain above .500. Carey will earn game MVP honors, but Denker will once again provide much-needed support through the air.

Prediction: Arizona 30 … Utah 27
Line: Arizona -5 – O/U: 59.5
Must See Rating: (5 Bad Grandpa – 1 Vanilla Ice Goes Amish) … 3
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