Pac12 Conference Predictions 2013
Pac12 North Predictions 2013
Offense: Chip Kelly is gone, but that doesn't mean the most explosive offense won't reside in Eugene this year. QB Marcus Mariota burst onto the scene last season with 38 total touchdowns and only six interceptions. He has great options to get the ball to with De'Anthony Thomas and Josh Huff. Thomas will line up all over the field. Thomas averaged 7.9 yards per run and caught 45 balls a season ago with 16 total touchdowns. The WR position is deep, with talent and speed. Who takes over for Kenjon Barner gone? We should know by the end of fall camp. Freshman RB Thomas Tyner could make an impact.
Defense: The biggest issue heading into the season is at linebacker. Fall camp should give us more indication on who will see time at two of the three positions. Boseko Lokombo is the lone returning starter. The secondary returns all four starters. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was the biggest play-maker with four interceptions and 16 pass breakups. The defensive line will be dangerous with plenty of depth. Taylor Hart had 11 tackles for loss and led the team in sacks with eight.
Special Teams: De'Anthony Thomas. Oh and kicker and punter are up for grabs.
Final Thoughts: The offense will be tops in the nation. The defense won't take a step back despite the inexperience at linebacker. November 7th at Stanford is one everyone's must see game list.
Offense: Kevin Hogan will be under center after playing in ten games last season. Hogan will be the guy under center this year. Last season he averaged 15 passing attempts per game, we will see how he handles getting more attempts. The Cardinal will go with a running back by committee approach. Barry Sanders has a lot of fans excited. The tight end and wide receiver positions will need to find a play-maker. Without a threat in the receiving game, Hogan will have a challenge on his hands.
Defense: The defense is the reason for all the high expectations this season. Three of the four returning starters at linebacker could land on the first team All-Pac 12. Shayne Skov is one of the top linebackers in the nation and led the team in tackles a year ago. The defensive has two studs at DE, Ben Gardner and Henry Anderson and David Parry in the middle. The secondary is deep and talented. Three starters return from last year's team. DB Alex Carter had a solid freshman season, look for him to have a big season in 2013.
Special Teams: Williamson has been up and down through his first two years. The Cardinal will likely be in many close games, his role is huge in 2013.
Final Thoughts: The defense is going to be elite. The offense may struggle at times in the passing game. They have Oregon at home Nov. 7th.
Offense: Keith Price had a disappointing 2012 season after posting big numbers in 2012. In order for Price to get back to his 2011 self, he needs the offensive line to protect him. The line returns four starters, but gave up 38 sacks last season. Prices number one target, WR Kasen Williams returns after a solid season with 77 catches and six touchdowns. Running back Bishop Sankey is on the top backs in the Pac12. With 16 touchdowns in 2012 Sankey almost accounted for half of Washington's touchdowns.
Defense: The linbacking core is going to be special. LB Shaq Thompson is a special player, who can make plays all over the field. LB John Timu led the team in tackles and Travis Freeny had 76 join Thompson at LB. The secondary returns two starters, but will need to fill holes. The line should take a never step forward after nice progress in 2012. Ends Andrew Hudson and Josh Shirley combined for 13 sacks a year ago.
Special Teams: Travis Croons will likely handle both kicking and punting duties. The kicking game must improve.
Final Thoughts: Unfortunately for the Huskies they have Oregon and Stanford in the division. They will face Stanford Oct. 5 and Oregon Oct. 12th. The newly renovated Husky Stadium opens up with a game vs. Boise State. If the O-line improves and Keith Price bounces back, they could make a run at the top 2.
#4 Oregon State
Final Thoughts: The Beavers have two capable QB's and running back Storm Woods should take the running game to another level. The defense has a few holes after some key departures last season. Key games for the Beavers will be Washington and USC at home.
Final Thoughts: The offense is going to look totally different from last season. A new QB, no Kennan Allen, and issues on the line. The defense allowed 33.1 points per game last season. Cal ended its season on a five game losing streak.
#6 Washington State
Final Thoughts: Washington State had the worst line in the country last season. Mike Leach's offense only scored 20 points a game. Mike Leach will get a chance to prove this year's team is different vs. week one opponent, Auburn.
Pac12 South Predictions 2013
Offense: Marqise Lee is the top wideout in the nation. Who fills Robert Woods role will be key. Nelson Agholor and TE Xavier Grimble could be the guys to do that. Expect a big season from Silas Redd, he should get more than the 167 carries he had last season. The quarterback this fall will be between Max Wittek and Cody Kessler. Don't sleep on Max Browne, though. The line should be a team strength on offense with four upperclassmen starters returning.
Defense: You don't often see a 5-2 defense, but that's new defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast calling. The defensive line will be one of the best in the PAC12. In 2013 Morgan Breslin had 13 sacks, Leonard Williams had 13.5 tackles for loss, and George Uko had five sacks. The top defensive linemen recruit Kenny Bigelow adds depth to a strong defensive line. The big addition to the secondary is Freshman Su'a Carvens the number one safety recruit. Linebacker Hayes Pullard had 107 tackles last season and finished second in total tackles last season.
Special Teams: Marquise Lee took a kick return for a TD last season. Look for a better 2013 for kicker Andre Heidari, who's coming off injury. Kris Albarado will get a look at punter.
Final Thoughts: Kiffin needs a solid season to save his job. A new QB and the loss of Robert Woods could make things challenging at the start of the season. The final game of the season vs. UCLA will be huge.
Offense: Jim Mora found his quarterback in year one. Brent Hundley combined for over 4,000 total yards last season. Hundleys go to WR, Shaq Evans is back. Evans had 60 receptions, but only 3 touchdowns. He should be more of a factor in the red-zone with WR Joesph Fauria (12 TD) gone. The line brings back four starters and solid depth. How do you replace the top RB in school history? Well it will be tough but the Bruins will go to a committee approach with two guys likely to get the bulk of the carries, Paul Perkins and Jordan James.
Defense: The Bruins 3-4 defense is in good hands with Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr back at linebacker. Kendricks led the nation in solo tackles with 93. Barr was constantly in the backfield with 21 tackles for loss. The secondary will be up for grabs in the fall. Don't be surprised to see several freshmen starting in the secondary. The front three return two senior starters, Cassius Marsh ad Seali'l Epensea.
Special Teams: Sean Covington will start at punter as a freshman. Ka'imi Fairbairn returns at kicker.
Final Thoughts: Jim Mora was the answer last season, but will he fall off in year two? Two tough back-to-back games in October at Stanford and at Oregon. The offense will put up points with Hundley at the helm, but will it be enough if the young secondary isn't up to standards.
#3 Arizona St.
Offense: Taylor Kelly had a solid sophomore season passing for over 3,000 with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. One of Kelly's top targets was running back, Marion Grice. Grice had eight receiving touchdowns, while rushing for 11. The passing attack goes through TE Chris Coyle. Coyle had 57 receptions with 696 yards. Both tackles and the center position return on the line.
Defense: Let's start with All-American Will Sutton. Sutton had 23.5 tackles for loss which is the best out of all returning players, 12 sacks, and 63 tackles. The teams second returning sack leader, LB Carl Bradford had 11.5 sacks. The secondary returns two starters, Alden Darby and Osahon Irabor.
Special Teams: Matt Haack will have tough foot steps to follow since one of the nation's top punters, Josh Hubneer, is gone. The kicker position is up for grabs.
Final Thoughts: The defense is full of talent, but needs to improve on stopping the run. The offense should be fine if a few receivers can step in and fill voids left by departed players. The Sun Devils have a tough slate on the front end of the schedule. If they can survive the first two months they will be in the hunt for the PAC 12 South title.
Final Thoughts: Ka'Deem Carey is back after massive season and led the nation in rushing yards. Defense was one of the worst in the nation last season. Schedule is favorable.
Final Thoughts: The offense will be the main concern for 2013. The defense will hold its own. Having to face Oregon and Stanford from the North is a bad draw.
Final Thoughts: Colorado simply needs to be more competitive this season to show promise heading into 2014. The buffaloes could start by not turning the ball over as much this season. Another one or two win season is on the way.