Scully’s NCAAF Week 15 picks: UCLA will keep rolling against USC
The college football regular season concludes for most teams in Week 15, and I like a couple of Pac-12 games among my top three picks.
Utah vs. Colorado
Sat, December 12 2020, 2:30 AM
Forget the recent history of these programs. Colorado has a significant offensive edge over Utah, and the Buffaloes will be motivated to finish the regular season with a 5-0 record.
Tyler Jordan (167 rushing yards) helped Utah jump out to an early lead against Oregon State in Week 13, and the Utes held on late to earn their first win. They didn’t need much from quarterback Jake Bentley, but that won’t be the case against Colorado.
Bentley had five turnovers in Utah's first two losses, and his second-half performances have left plenty to be desired in this shortened season.
Colorado has recruited well in recent years, and the improving Buffaloes offense logged nearly 500 total yards against Arizona in Week 13. Senior quarterback Sam Noyer led the way in high-scoring wins over Stanford and UCLA earlier in the season, and running back Jarek Broussard is averaging 184 rushing yards per game.
This is a forgettable campaign for Utah, which has dealt with makeshift lineups since three of its first four games were either canceled or postponed because of COVID-19 issues. The Utes will regroup in the offseason, after they are handily defeated by Colorado.
Wake Forest vs. Louisville
Sat, December 12 2020, 5:00 PM
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest features plenty of offense and has scored 36.5 points per game over its last six contests, and I lack faith in Louisville, because of the recent drama surrounding the program.
The Cardinals have been terrible on defense. They entered the season with expectations, following last year’s 8-5 record, but have managed to win only three games.
They’ve lost three of the last four, with the lone win against wretched Syracuse, and head coach Scott Satterfield flirted with South Carolina, which needed a new head coach.
Satterfield couldn’t get his story straight when he discussed his interest for the now-filled South Carolina position. He said earlier this week that coaches must worry about their families, but players need to be “all in.”
Can you imagine his rhetoric going over well in the locker room?
Wake Forest has covered five straight, despite its own defensive deficiencies. Quarterback Sam Hartman threw for 429 yards and four touchdowns in his last outing, and the Demon Deacons will have too much offense for Louisville.
USC vs. UCLA
Sun, December 13 2020, 12:30 AM
The Trojans are vulnerable against their cross-town rival. UCLA plays USC tough at home (the Bruins are 3-1 against the spread in their last four meetings at the Rose Bowl), and the points are attractive in Week 15.
Since they got off to slow start and lost a 48-42 shootout at Colorado in their opener, the Bruins have covered in four straight games. UCLA has finally turned the corner in Chip Kelly’s third season and has a winning record (3-2) for the first time.
The Bruins were caught looking ahead at Arizona State in Week 14, but defense carried them to a 25-18 victory.
Look for quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to rebound with a big showing. UCLA averaged 34.5 points in its first four games.
USC hasn’t faced a legitimate opponent yet, and the Trojans gave up points to the putrid offenses of Arizona (30) and Arizona State (27). I’m not putting much stock in their Week 14 blowout win over Washington State, which failed to put up any fight, and the Trojans’ defensive liabilities will show against UCLA.