Tailgate Pick ‘Em Week 8 Predictions Including Oregon at Washington

Oregon at Washington
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This week in college football features key battles in the PAC-12, and the American conference, along with a BIG 10 clash between Michigan and Penn State. Our panel of Steen Kirby, Yesh Ginsburg, and John Bava offer their predictions, including Oregon at Washington.

#12 Oregon at #25 Washington (Saturday in Seattle,WA)
Line: Oregon by 3

Yesh: This game always seems to produce blowouts. Who is going to win in the blowout in this one? Oregon has looked like the better team all year, but Washington probably has more talent, and a coach who can (or who used to) scheme very well against Oregon. Washington 38, Oregon 24

John: There will obviously be quite a few NFL scouts attending this game to take a look at Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. But don’t sleep on Jacob Eason. The Washington signal-caller is quietly putting together an impressive season and actually has more passing yards than Herbert. Both teams’ defenses are fairly stout against the pass. But what should tilt this game in the visitors’ favor is their ability to force turnovers as their 12 interceptions are second in FBS. The Ducks are the last remaining hope for the Pac-12 in terms of making the CFP, and they remain alive with a win in Seattle. Oregon 31, Washington 24

Steen: Oregon should remain undefeated in the PAC-12, Washington is a talented team but they haven’t been able to entirely put it together this season. The Ducks remain talented and capable of taking on the best despite a 4th quarter loss to Auburn out of conference. Oregon 38, Washington 28

Temple at #19 SMU (Saturday in Dallas,TX)
Line: SMU by 7.5

Yesh: Temple is a very strong football team with one of the best defenses in the country. SMU has a powerful offense and pulled an incredible escape against Tulsa to remain undefeated. This should, quietly, be one of the best games of the week. Either team can win, but the line is too high. No one is winning this by two scores. SMU 35, Temple 34

John: If Boise State somehow stumbles, it may be SMU who’s the biggest beneficiary in terms representing the Group of Five conferences in a New Year’s Six bowl. The undefeated Mustangs currently stand at 19th in the AP poll, buoyed by an explosive offense that ranks sixth nationally in points per game. But their defense is a little suspect as they’ve allowed at least 27 points in four of their six wins. Expect them to get to 7-0 for the first time since the Pony Express days of the early 1980s but Temple should keep it close. SMU 38, Temple 34

Steen: A win here would go a long way towards proving the undefeated Ponies are worthy of national attention. Temple should be undefeated as well, as the loss to Buffalo was uncharacteristic of them. Both programs deserve credit for becoming good again, but it feels like SMU’s year to shine. SMU 42, Temple 28

#17 Arizona State at #13 Utah (Saturday in Salt Lake City,UT)
Line: Utah by 13.5

Yesh: Herm Edwards has a football team with too much talent and plays too well to lose by two touchdowns. Utah will win, but Arizona State’s MO is to keep things close. I like the Utes in a very close game, probably one of the day’s best. Utah 27, Arizona State 24

John: Despite a 5-1 record and a top-20 ranking, Arizona State comes into this Pac-12 South clash with Utah as nearly a two-touchdown underdog. It’s a bit puzzling of a line since Utah is 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games. Both the Sun Devils’ Jayden Daniels and the Utes’ Tyler Huntley have impressed so far and will be crucial to their respective teams’ chances at a win on Saturday. Though I’m confident the Utes will prevail, I also think ASU will give them a game. Utah 27, Arizona State 23

Steen: A game that will impact the PAC-12 championship, ASU is looking to move from rebuilding to rebuilt under Herm Edwards, while Utah wants to ensure they remain in the upper tier of college football teams. I like ASU to do just enough on offense to get over the line here. Arizona State 28, Utah 24

Tulane at Memphis (Saturday in Memphis,TN)
Line: Memphis by 4

Yesh: How will Memphis respond to a very tough loss against Temple last week? Will the team be up to its high standard, or will there be a letdown? And how will Tulane react in its first real challenge of the season? The game against Auburn was impressive, but the offense couldn’t do anything. The Houston game was a weird one. This is Tulane’s first shot as an underdog in a winnable game. I can’t see the Green Wave offense being much more successful against Memphis than against Auburn, though. Memphis 28, Tulane 13

John: There are probably a lot of people who would expect Memphis to have the undefeated conference record heading into this clash. But that’s not the case. Both teams are 5-1 but the Tigers’ lone blemish came last week against Temple. Tulane is 2-0 in AAC play with their only loss a respectable 24-6 defeat to CFP hopeful Auburn. The Green Wave boasts a fairly impressive defense, particularly defending the pass. And that will pose a challenge to Tiger quarterback Brady White. But his team should still be able to defend the home turf at the Liberty Bowl. Memphis 37, Tulane 27

Steen: Tulane has been under the radar good this season. Memphis likewise has performed well, and both teams have been overlooked by the national media. Tulane’s defense should do enough to slow down the Memphis pass and secure an upset win the Liberty bowl. Tulane 27, Memphis 20

#16 Michigan at #7 Penn State (Saturday in State College,PA)
Line: Penn State by 9

Yesh: Michigan has not looked like an elite team this year. It struggled against Army and got walloped by Wisconsin. The offense is not very powerful, and the defense is very good but not elite. The talent and potential is right there, though. The offense has an identity. A very good defense can become elite with the right schemes and preparation. Penn State has the edge here in talent, but by a negligible amount. This game should come down to the absolute wire, and I think Michigan has far more to prove right now. Michigan 28, Penn State 27

John: Michigan hasn’t fared well as an underdog during Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as head coach. In fact, they still have yet to win a game under Harbaugh when Vegas doesn’t install them as the favorite. If you believe in that trend, you’re probably not giving them much of a chance on Saturday against Penn State. It’s certainly going to be a raucous atmosphere in Happy Valley. Nittany Lion quarterback Sean Clifford is quietly putting together one of the more standout seasons among Big Ten passers. And though he was a bit shaky last week against Iowa, he should return to form at home. Penn State 30, Michigan 20

Steen: Penn State should have enough offense to win this matchup at home. Michigan’s record is inflated and the team seems to be at a disadvantage against talented top tier teams. Penn State will remain undefeated and in the playoff hunt. Penn State 24, Michigan 14