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College Football Week 12 Predictions

Jeremy Fuster, Jeremy Shapiro, Matthew Tufts |
November 16, 2012 | 2:05 p.m. PST

Staff Writers

The Ducks can wrap up the Pac-12 South this Saturday. (Scott Enyeart/NT)
The Ducks can wrap up the Pac-12 South this Saturday. (Scott Enyeart/NT)
It's rivalry week in Los Angeles and everything else takes a back seat. The best part? Next week is a rivalry week too! Our writers mull over which team will win not only the Crosstown Showdown, but the Pac-12 South championship.

No. 13 Stanford at No. 2 Oregon

Fuster: Oregon 45 - Stanford 34: Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas is going to have a big day, as he is expected to play cornerback as well as punt returner, receiver and running back against the Cardinal. Kenjon Barner will be there to help Thomas with the offensive workload, while making use of the marquee time slot to make his case for the Heisman. Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor will help the Cardinal's offense keep up for a while, but eventually the Ducks will pull away and secure their conference championship berth.

Shapiro: Oregon 48 – Stanford 24: Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan will face the monumental task of dethroning one of the top teams in the nation in his first career road game at Autzen Stadium. Stanford cannot afford to fall behind early -- by the time the Ducks smell blood in the water, it's already too late. Shayne Skov and company will keep the Ducks in check early on, but Oregon’s multitude of weapons will break this game open in the second half.

Tufts: Oregon 38 - Stanford 21: Stanford rallied late in the fourth quarter to pull off a huge win at home against Oregon State last week. But when the Cardinal head up to Eugene this weekend to face the Ducks, they can't turn the ball over four times and expect to still be in the game. The Ducks' offense is just too high powered for Stanford to hang with.

Clint Chelf helped the Cowboys to a win over WVU last week. (KT King/Creative Commons)
Clint Chelf helped the Cowboys to a win over WVU last week. (KT King/Creative Commons)
No. 23 Texas Tech at No. 24 Oklahoma State

Fuster: Texas Tech 42 - Oklahoma State 38: It's Big 12 football, which means offense will reign in Stillwater. This one will be close thanks to the Cowboys' strong running game, but Seth Doege will be too strong at quarterback for the Oklahoma State secondary to handle, as Texas Tech brings in the strongest passing offense in the nation.

Shapiro: Oklahoma State 42 – Texas Tech 38: Seth Doege, quarterback of Texas Tech’s top-ranked passing offense, has quietly been one of the best signal callers in the nation this season. Oklahoma State can score on anyone and playing in Stillwater will be the difference in a shootout between two of the nation's best offenses.

Tufts: Texas Tech 41 - Oklahoma State 38: When the Red Raiders roll into Stillwater it's guaranteed to be a barnburner. Seth Doege and Texas Tech have been putting up huge numbers through the air this season, and the Cowboys have continued to impress on offense, apparently regardless of who starts under center. While the Red Raiders have struggled lately, dropping two of their past three and only narrowly edging Kansas in overtime, Week 11 will prove better as they pull out a narrow win over their bitter rivals. 

Don't expect a 50-0 result in this year's crosstown rivalry. (Shotgun Spratling/NT)
Don't expect a 50-0 result in this year's crosstown rivalry. (Shotgun Spratling/NT)
No. 18 USC at No. 17 UCLA

Fuster: USC 38 - UCLA 31: It's the rivalry game that both teams need to win and neither can afford to lose. In order for the Trojans to win, the offensive line must hold. One of the major reasons Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley has struggled is opposing pass rushers, and few players in the Pac-12 hit harder than the Bruins' defensive line. I have the Trojans winning for the simple fact that Marqise Lee is such a game-changing player that he can and should carry the rest of the team on his back. 

Shapiro: USC 37 – UCLA 31: This rivalry game has a new energy stemming from the Bruins' recent success, making last year's thrashing a distant memory. UCLA's Johnathan Franklin and Brett Hundley are among the elite offensive combinations in the nation, but the Trojans offense is capable of scoring at ease. In a win-or-go-home atmosphere with the Pac-12 South title on the line, the Trojans' defensive line will live in the Bruin backfield, forcing some uncharacteristic turnovers from Hundley.

Tufts: USC 35 - UCLA 27: The enmity between these two schools will be tangible when the Trojans march into the Rose Bowl, as both teams know how much is on the line this Saturday. As if the annual battle for Los Angeles doesn't have enough hype every year, this season the winner will take the Pac-12 South crown and earn a spot in the championship game, likely against currently undefeated Oregon. USC knows only a Pac-12 title can salvage its disappointing season and will take a step towards that with a win Saturday.



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