Dane Miller’s Week 14 Pac-12 Football Previews

Posted on December 2, 2021

  By Dane Miller, SuperWest Sports

Pac-12The inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas kicks off Friday night on ABC.

A trip to the Rose Bowl is on the line for both teams, where the winner will represent the Conference against a Big Ten opponent.

For the Ducks, the rematch with the Utes is personal. Oregon was pushed around and beat up in every facet of the game at Rice-Eccles Stadium, leaving Salt Lake City with a 38-7 loss.

The embarrassing margin of defeat knocked UO out of the Playoff, and should motivate its players for revenge.

Separately, the Bears face off with the Trojans late Saturday night in the final game of the season for both teams.

I preview the two matchups here, and the picks of our writers appear at the bottom.

Oregon Ducks Logo Pac-12No. 10 Oregon v. No. 17 Utah

Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
Friday, December 3
5:00 pm PT, ABC

The winner of the battle along the line of scrimmage figures to come out on top at Allegiant Stadium. For the first time this season, the Ducks were manhandled along the lines in Salt Lake City.

The result was an ineffective offense and a defense that couldn’t get stops.

That can’t happen again in Las Vegas, or Oregon will find itself in the Alamo Bowl instead of the Granddaddy of Them All.

But the Ducks face a team of destiny in the Utes. After the death of Ty Jordan at the end of last season and the passing of Aaron Lowe in September, Kyle Whittingham’s team has played with a spirit that’s only found after tragedy.

The camaraderie of the roster and fan base is displayed in the “Moment of Loudness,” a tradition honoring the lives of the two players. The moment will take place during the third break of the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium.

Utah quarterback Cameron Rising | Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Facing a team that’s playing for something greater than themselves, the Ducks must effectively run the ball and generate turnovers.

Getting pressure on Cameron Rising figures to force poor throws into traffic, and the UO secondary has the skill to take advantage.

Kayvon Thibodeaux shouldn’t be used in pass coverage, and instead should pass-rush as many times as possible. But the Oregon linebackers must also contain Tavion Thomas, or the Utes could once again do whatever they want on offense.

In a game that figures to be a defensive struggle, the team with the better front seven will likely end up as the winner. And with the Rose Bowl on the line, could we ask for anything better?

usc logoUSC at California

California Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA
Saturday, December 4
8:00pm PT, FS1

In a game that’s arguably meaningless at this point of the season, the Trojans and Bears square off in Berkeley.

Donte Williams coaches his final game as the interim coach of USC, and the seniors on both programs take the field for what could be the last time.

Chase Garbers faces a Trojan defense that has underperformed and lacks star power. Todd Orlando’s unit gives up 32.4 points per game and doesn’t figure to slow down Cal’s offense.

Cal quarterback Chase Garbers vs UCLA | John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bears have multiple weapons in the backfield and capable receivers, while Garbers’ running threat keeps defenses guessing.

The X-Factor, though, is the production of Jaxson Dart. The true freshman appeared to grow in the BYU matchup, leading SC on a comeback that should have been enough to secure the win.

If the confidence from that game carries over, and Dart takes care of the ball, the Trojans have the firepower to leave Memorial Stadium with the win.

SportsPac12 Football Writers Week 14 Game Picks

—More from Dane Miller—