Pac-12 Football Picks: Predictions against the spread for Week 1

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Jul 30, 2015; Burbank, CA, USA; Oregon State Beavers coach Gary Andersen at Pac-12 Media Day at Warner Bros. Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Weber State Wildcats At Oregon State Beavers

Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon

The Line: No Line

Another game that is so important that there is not even a line for it! Seriously, though, this game will be better television than you think given the Beaver’s struggles in recent years against inferior non-conference opponents. In 2014 their game against Portland State was competitive through most of the second half, and in 2013 Oregon State actually lost to Eastern Washington, 49-46, in their opening game. So you may want to tune on Friday at 4:00PM, Pacific Time, to the Pac-12 Network, to see how this one turns out.

Keys To The Game:

New head coach Gary Andersen will bring a different mentality to the Beaver program than existed under longtime coach Mike Riley. Riley loved the pro-style, pass happy offense but his teams constantly seemed to underachieve. Andersen, meanwhile, loves a faster paced approach featuring a power running game.

At Wisconsin in 2014, Andersen watched as his running back, Melvin Gordon III, ran for the second most yards in NCAA history. Look for the Oregon State running game to be on full display, and for Storm Barr-Woods to become a household name by the end of the season. Weber State might be thinking upset given the Beaver’s struggles, but unless the trio of freshman quarterbacks turn the ball over at an alarming rate, this game will not be that close.

The Prediction:

I have already gone on record stating that Oregon State is my surprise pick for the Pac-12 this year. They may not compete for a conference title, but they will be much better than people think. I fully expect a bruising, physical running game to wear down Weber State, with a strong second half finishing off the Wildcats. The final score? 35-7.

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