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ASU enters the limelight;  WSU upsets vulnerable USC;  Washington offensive awakens – The Denver Post

Week three of Pac-12 brings a fascinating conference duel in Pullman, where a coachless team meets a coachless vax, two clashes against opponents from the Power Five, and the first look at UCLA since its triumph over LSU fifteen ago. days.

But the most interesting game of all features the team we know the least about.

This mysterious factor is exactly why Arizona State’s trip to Brigham Young on Saturday Night (ESPN) is so compelling.

For months, the Sun Devils have been a trending choice to win the South (guilty!) And the subject of harsh criticism for potentially deplorable recruiting violations (guilty too!).

But with two weekends in succession in the 2021 season, we don’t know if they are worthy of the division title or if they are likely to be derailed by the ongoing NCAA investigation.

Two unbalanced wins over creamy opponents don’t make a contender.

Then again, three suspended assistant coaches don’t make a contender.

But this week, finally, ASU, ranked 19th, will meet some degree of resistance.

The Cougars are coming off their first victory over Utah in a decade and appear perfectly capable of competing with the Pac-12 teams in the upper echelon.

The betting line provides a benchmark against which to judge the outcome: the Sun Devils are favored by just 3.5 points.

It’s the key season for ASU fourth-year coach Herm Edwards. List reloading that took place over multiple recruiting cycles always marked 2021 as a tipping point.

Quarterback Jayden Daniels is a third-year starter. The lines of scrimmage have been reconstructed. Skill positions are stocked with playmakers. There are veterans through high school.

The Sun Devils haven’t won the division title for eight years or the conference championship for 25 years.

When the office closes on Saturday evening, we’ll have a better idea of ​​their ceiling… or their floor.

Last week: 6-3
Season: 10-7
Five-star special: 2-0

All Choices Against Spread
Lines taken from
Hourly Pacific

No line (FCS opponents): State of Oregon, California, Oregon and Arizona

Colorado -2 vs. Minnesota

To start up: 10am on the Pac-12 networks

Comment: Minnesota’s defense isn’t as strong as Texas A&M’s, but the offense will be much more powerful. Can CU afford to score over 20 points against an unnamed opponent Northern Colorado? Only if the passing game awakens. The task would be much easier with an advantageous position on the field, which means that Nate Landman and Co. has to force a few turnovers. Choice: Colorado

USC -8.5 in Washington State

To start up: 12:30 p.m. on FOX

Comment: How will the Trojans react to the sacking of Clay Helton and the elevation of assistant Donte Williams to interim coach? A spirited performance is expected, at least initially, but the flaws are likely to persist, notably the random racing game and lack of discipline. Cougars have a bevy of playmakers and could win the game if they protect the ball. Their plan for victory: Stay within range until the fourth quarter, then jump on a USC error. Choice: Washington State

Washington -16.5 vs. Arkansas State

To start up: 1:15 p.m. on the Pac-12 networks

Comment: The key number here is 55. No, it’s not the Over / Under (it’s 57.5, by the way). Instead, 55 is the number of runs Arkansas State scored last week by Memphis. In other words: there is hope for the dismal offense of the Huskies, who found a piece of rhythm in the second half of the loss to Michigan. Look for an escape game for UW air attack, with a resounding victory in tow. Choice: Washington

Utah -7.5 to San Diego State

To start up: 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Comment: The Utes were wobbly against BYU in worrying places – namely, quarterback efficiency and run defense – and they now face an opponent built to take advantage of that. (SDSU hooker Greg Bell is one of the best in the western half of the FBS.) The match placement for Utah, after the Holy War and before the conference opens, also gives us pause. And that extra half point? It’s too tempting. Choice: State of San Diego.