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Pac-12 Football 2023 Preview

Pac-12 Football 2023 Preview

Pac-12 Football 2023 Preview. At least five of the 12 teams in the Pac-12 look to be strong enough to compete for the conference’s top spot. The season starts with a single Week Zero matchup between USC in their home opener against San Jose State (Mountain West Conference). Week One kicks off with the highly anticipated non-conference game between the Utah Utes and Florida Gators. The Utes, who have won 28 straight non-conference home games, will host the Gators, who have not played a non-conference match outside their state since 1991. It’s a re-match of the 2022 thriller in The Swamp (that Utah lost).

There’s not a lot of change in the standings expected between the end of the last season and what’s predicted to be the end of this season, at least for the top half of the programs. But there are always surprises.

USC Hope to Finish Their Last Season with Pac-12 at the Top

The USC Trojans completed 2022 with an 11-3 record. They are expected to equal that record as their over/under is ten wins. Their quarterback is the reigning Heisman winner, Caleb Williams, and their offense will remain one of the best in the league, especially with Arizona transfer Dorian Singer. He could end up as their No. 1 wider receiver even though they have a room full of talented players. Singer had 1,105 yards and six touchdowns in his last season with Arizona. 

USC’s only concern is the defense. Through the transfer portal, they’ve brought in defensive linemen Kyon Barrs from Arizona, Bear Alexander from Georgia, and Anthony Lucas from Texas A&M. Linebacker Mason Cobb was transferred in from Oklahoma State, and cornerback Christian Roland-Wallace came from Arizona.

Washington Huskies Are a Close Second

The Huskies have a fantastic offense that is mostly returning this season, ranking No. 7 in the country in scoring. That includes Michael Penix Jr. as starting quarterback. 2022 was coach Kalen DeBoer’s first season, where they raked up an 11-2 finish with a seven-game winning streak. This year, their over/under is set at 9.5 wins. Their biggest challenges on the road will be against Michigan State and USC. The November 4th game against the Trojans will be for high stakes if both teams are still competing for the top spot, so keep your limits in for that one.  

Oregon Hopes to Surpass Washington

The Ducks have an excellent chance to go 5-0 before visiting Washington on Oct. 14th. If they can beat the Huskies, they stand a chance to stay ahead of them in the standings. Their other challenges will be against Utah and USC, then finishing the season against their arch-rivals, Oregon State. How well they do against those teams could rest on the shoulders of quarterback Bo Nix whose stats jumped last year after transferring from Auburn. If he continues to improve, Oregon could get past Washington. Their over/under is 9.5 wins.

Utah is Aiming to Three-Peat

The Utes have been the Pac-12 champs for the last two seasons but will have an uphill battle to get there a third time. Their first step is to take on Florida in their home opener, where they’ll try and avenge their opening game loss to the Gators last season. Beating them at home can set the tone for challenging road games against Oregon State, USC, and Washington. Their over/under is at 8.5 wins. They should be able to go over that, so put your limits in. But it looks less promising that they’ll lead the PAC-12 for a third straight year. 

Quarterback Cameron Rising will return after suffering a torn ACL in last year’s Rose Bowl. He’ll have three starting running backs returning, along with No. 1 running back Ja’Quinden Jackson, who had 531 yards in 2022. Tight end Brant Kuithe will also return after missing most of last season. That will improve their passing game. 

Their defense will continue to be one of the best in the conference, although they’ll have difficulty replacing Clark Phillips as cornerback. 

Oregon State Puts Their Trust in New Quarterback

The Beavers have continued to improve since Jonathan Smith became head coach in 2018. Last year’s 10-3 record marks only the third time they have reached ten wins. However, they still only reached 5th place in the standings, which shows the level of competition in the Pac-12. 

Their offensive line should be one of the best in all the conferences, and having running back Damien Martinez will keep the running game strong. But their most significant improvement will be their quarterback. This position was lacking the last few seasons, and they still pulled off ten wins in ’22. This year, they have star transfer DJ Uiagalelei. He played three seasons at Clemson but never realized his potential, especially as a passer. With Anthony Gould as wide receiver, they’re hoping to change that. 

Their over/under is set at 8.5 wins. They aren’t playing USC but will take on Utah and Washington in home games. If bettors like what they see in Uiagalelei put your limits in for the over. This team could challenge the rest of the field for the top spot. 

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