Pac-12 Apostles Week 3 Preview and Picks

After Oregon’s massive win last week, and Stanford’s toppling of the Clay Helton regime, it’d be nice to get a week of uneventful Pac-12 wins against lesser competition- but there are a couple of serious opponents on the docket this week. ASU is trying to keep BYU from going 3-0 against the Pac-12 South, Colorado hopes to finish the task they weren’t able to last week vs Texas A&M, with the Buffaloes matching up against USC Head Coaching candidate P.J. Fleck and the Golden Gophers, while both Washington and Utah will try to bounce back against solid Group of 5 competition.

Make sure to check out this week’s Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, or just click play on the Spotify link below while you read the article below.

Minnesota at Colorado

Kickoff: 10AM Pacific

Broadcast: PAC-12 Network

Opening Odds: Colorado -2

What’s at stake: What’s at stake: Last week Colorado, behind the effort of a bunch of players from the state of Texas, nearly took down the mighty Texas A&M Aggies. Minnesota isn’t Texas A&M, but the Buffaloes don’t have a large portion of their roster from the Twin Cities who are out to prove they should have been recruited by the Golden Gophers. It’s going to be a difficult task for Karl Dorrell to get his team up emotionally for this game, but if he can do it, then it will prove that leading a top-5 team for 98% of the game was no fluke. Minnesota has shown that they’ll give up yards in the passing game if you’re good enough to attack their defensive backs- is Brendon Lewis ready to level up in his third ever start?

Our Picks: Ralph has Minnesota winning straight up, while George is taking Colorado to cover

Idaho at Oregon State

Kickoff: 12:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: Oregon State -28.5 (self made line)

What’s at stake: You have to beat Idaho. You just have to. Do the Vandals have some talented players? Oh yeah. There’s a good chance TE Hayden Hatten leaves the entire Beavers coaching staff wondering how they missed on his recruitment back when he was Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler’s #1 receiver. But still, anything less than a four-touchdown win is going to be an embarrassment. .

Our Picks: Ralph and George both have Oregon State covering 28.5

USC at Washington State

Kickoff: 12:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: FOX

Opening Odds: USC- 8.5

What’s at stake: After making waves by firing Clay Helton this week, USC is in a strange place in which Athletic Director Mike Bohn has essentially told the Trojan football team that they’re better off without their head coach. Interim Head Coach Donte Williams is walking a tightrope of perfection to even be considered as a candidate to take over permanently, and QB Kedon Slovis is fighting to restore his reputation as the next great USC QB. On Washington State’s end, this is the perfect opportunity to drown out some of the distractions of Nick Rolovich’s mysterious vaccination status and showcase his talented offense to a national audience.

Our Picks: Ralph and George are both on Washington State at home +8.5.

Sacramento State at California

Kickoff: 1:00PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Bay Area

Opening Odds: Cal -24 (self created)

What’s at stake: You can make the argument that Cal has coached their way to an 0-2 start. The Golden Bears had a late lead at home against Nevada, and special teams miscues kept them from claiming a victory at Texas Christian. Cal needs this game as much as any Pac-12 team needs a win. Sacramento State is coached by former Cal QB Troy Taylor, who amassed 8,126 career passing yards and 51 touchdowns during his time in Berkeley, is not someone you want to take lightly, or else you might be considering him as your next hire because you allowed him to shock the world.

Our Picks: Ralph and George have Cal -24.

Arkansas State at Washington

Kickoff: 1:15PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: Washington -16.5

What’s at stake: The Huskies, who many picked to win the Pac-12 North, have started 2021 by showcasing one of the worst offenses in all of college football. They’ve left Sean McGrew and Kamari Pleasant to wither on the bench despite the fact that the RB duo averaged 20 touches and 2 TDs per game in 2020. They’ve managed to earn unofficial visits from a few talented recruits on Saturday, and if those recruits see unhappy players, and a non-functioning offense, it’s going to severely handicap Jimmy Lake’s ability to infuse the roster with the talent they’ll need to keep pace with rival Oregon. Last week Arkansas State surrendered 55 to Memphis- if Washington can’t even get half of that, then it’s time to hit the panic button.

Our Picks: Ralph likes Washington to get back on track and cover, George has Arkansas State +16.5

Utah at San Diego State

Kickoff: 4PM Pacific

Broadcast: CBS Sports Network

Opening Odds: Utah -7.5

What’s at stake: What’s at stake: Utah QB Charlie Brewer has lost 8 consecutive games away from his home field dating back to last year at Baylor. San Diego State has bullied nearly half the Pac-12, including blowing out the team that gave BYU a better game than Utah did (Arizona). The Utes aren’t exactly at their best historically when visiting Southern California, either. This game has all the hallmarks of a Mountain West upset, so a win by Utah will probably be a pleasant surprise to the fan base, and conference as a whole.

Our Picks: Ralph likes the Utes, George is taking the Aztecs at home +7.5

Stony Brook at #4 Oregon

Kickoff: 4:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Networks

Opening Odds: Oregon -36 (self created)

What’s at stake: Oregon just can’t afford a let down of any kind. After winning at Ohio State, the lens the Ducks will be judged through for the rest of 2021 will be whether or not they’re worthy of College Football Playoff consideration. The best thing that can happen here is a 3-4 touchdown first quarter lead so that the young Ducks get some meaningful in-game experience.

Our Picks: Ralph and George are taking Oregon -36 in a line we completely made up.

Northern Arizona at Arizona

Kickoff: 7:00PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Arizona

Opening Odds: Arizona -21.5 (self created)

What’s at stake: Seeing online debates about whether or not University of Arizona fans should storm the field if they beat 0-2 FCS Northern Arizona at home to end their 14-game losing streak is a brand new level of depressing. For Arizona, the task is simple- taste success. They’ve switched to Will Plummer as their starting QB, a mobile athlete that is going to need to show accuracy and quick decision making on short to medium routes to secure the job leading into Pac-12 play.

Our Picks: We’re both on Arizona -21.5.

#19 Arizona State at #23 BYU

Kickoff: 7:15PM Pacific

Broadcast: ESPN

Opening Odds: ASU -3.5

What’s at stake: Arizona State fans are starting to wonder if QB Jayden Daniels has another gear beyond speedy game manager. Herm Edwards has long said that nothing travels better than defense and a running game, but the time has come for Arizona State’s third year gunslinger to prove that he’s special. BYU dominated Utah last week by getting an early lead, and then taking advantage of the opportunity to rush the passer. ASU can’t get down early if they want to avoid that trap, and they need to keep the Cougars out of the red zone and settling for field goal attempts, because the red zone is where the BYU offense is at its best.

Our Picks: Ralph likes ASU to win by a touchdown, George thinks ASU can win, but that BYU will cover the 3.5

Fresno State at #13 UCLA

Kickoff: 7:45PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: UCLA -11.5

What’s at stake: George thinks UCLA is worthy of top-10 consideration, and if they dominate Fresno State, they’ll probably get it. The Bruins had two weeks to prepare for a team that put a scare into Oregon, and for people to take the Pac-12 seriously, this and the ASU game are the two that are the most important, as you’d likely see three Pac-12 teams in the top 15 in the country.

Our Picks: Bruins -11.5, to the moon.

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Apostles: Clay Helton Fired, Interviews with Ryan Abraham and Mario Cristobal, Week 2 Recap, Week 3 Preview

Clay Helton Fired, Replacement Candidates

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get into the not-so-surprise announcement of Clay Helton’s firing, and Donte Williams’ elevation at USC following the Trojans home blowout loss to Stanford. George also interviews Ryan Abraham, publisher of the 247 USC affiliate site, USCFootball.com, as well as the co-host of the Podcast of Champions, to discuss the state of the Trojans. After recapping last week’s games, George interviews Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal, and the guys reconvene to preview and pick the upcoming week’s slate of games.

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Apostles Week 2 Preview and Picks

The Pac-12 North thoroughly embarrassed the conference last week, which has created a pressure-cooker for the entire conference heading into week 2- a slate of games that Jon Wilner has called “the biggest of the season.”

George Wrighster and I already went through and picked each game in this week’s Pac-12 Apostles Podcast (Spotify link below), as did our friends Bryant Conger and Rob Bowron over at 12Pac Radio. Here, I’ll list each game, our picks, and what’s at stake for each Pac-12 team.

#12 Oregon at #3 Ohio State

Kickoff: 9AM Pacific

Broadcast: FOX

Opening Odds: Ohio State -14.5

What’s at stake: This might be the Pac-12’s only chance to have a signature out-of-conference win in 2021. Yes, UCLA dominated LSU, but you can almost guarantee Ohio State finishes the season in the top 10, and the same can’t be said for Ed Orgeron’s Tigers. Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead made an interesting gamble when they decided Anthony Brown was going to be the guy at QB this year, and now Brown is going to be on the biggest stage he’s likely ever had as a starter, in front of two dozen NFL scouts. Perhaps the biggest thing at stake is the recruiting high ground, as Ohio State just beat Oregon for J.T. Tuimolaou, a consensus top-10 prospect in the class of 2021 out of the state of Washington.

Our Picks: Ralph, George, Bryant and Rob are all in on the Ducks to cover the original +14.5, but the line has moved to as low as +10.5.

California at Texas Christian

Kickoff: 12:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: ESPNU

Opening Odds: TCU -10.5

What’s at stake: Cal looked as if they were about to put Nevada away last week, but they abandoned the run game and found themselves on the wrong end of a 21-17 score. While this game would provide solid bragging rights, and relieve a little bit of the external pressure on head coach Justin Wilcox for five consecutive seasons of diminishing offensive output, a loss wouldn’t do much to affect the Golden Bears ability to compete within the Pac-12 North.

Our Picks: Ralph, George, Bryant and Rob are all in on Cal +10.5

#5 Texas A&M at Colorado

Kickoff: 12:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: FOX

Opening Odds: Texas A&M -17

What’s at stake: The reputation of Boulder, Colorado. I’m not sure anyone expects the Buffaloes to beat the Aggies, but after solid wins at home against UCLA last year, and Nebraska the year before, I feel like we’re on the precipice of respecting Boulder as one of the tougher environments to go into and come away with a win. Colorado also has continued to recruit Texas through their third straight coaching regime, and a respectable showing against a top 5 team out of the Lone Star state definitely wouldn’t hurt the progress and inroads they’ve made.

Our Picks: Ralph, George, and Rob have Colorado +17, Bryant has Texas A&M -17

Portland State at Washington State

Kickoff: 3:00PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: We invented a line of Wazzu -28.5

What’s at stake: The current narrative, and I believe it’s completely fair, is that Nick Rolovich actually interfered on behalf of Utah State last week and lost Washington State the game. Not only do the Cougars need to put Portland State away early, they need to pile it on just to hit the snooze button on the already growing mob of alumni calling for Rolovich’s head. This is also a good chance for Washington’s State’s staff to publicly acknowledge that RB Max Borghi is one of the best players in the conference, and is deserving of more than 12 touches.

Our Picks: Ralph and George have Washington State -28.5

Washington at Michigan

Kickoff: 5PM Pacific

Broadcast: ABC

Opening Odds: Michigan -6.5

What’s at stake: Jimmy Lake lost to an FCS at home team last week, kept several talented RBs on the bench, is bleeding recruits, and in the midst of all this struggle, he gets to lead the Huskies into one of the toughest environments in all of football. What’s at stake here is jobs- Maybe not Lake’s, but John Donovan has to do more than put together one scripted TD drive, and he’s going to have to do it with a QB in Dylan Morris who turned the ball over three times last week. Good luck.

Our Picks: Ralph and Bryant have Michigan -6.5, George and Rob have the Huskies +6.5

San Diego State at Arizona

Kickoff: 7PM Pacific

Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

Opening Odds: Arizona -1

What’s at stake: Jedd Fisch was laughed at when he was hired, and has spent the last several months turning the narrative about the naivete of his hire on its head, turning up the dial on recruiting, alumni relations, media accessibility, and fan relations. The fact remains, however, that Arizona hasn’t won a game in almost two years, and while this isn’t Rocky Long’s San Diego State, the Aztecs have never been an easy out for any Pac-12 team. Jedd Fisch literally went door to door this week recruiting students to fill out the “Zona Zoo” student section, and if those kids show up and witness a loss, he might not get them back. The Wildcats are in a must-win situation.

Our Picks: Ralph, George, Bryant and Rob are all in on Arizona -1

#21 Utah at BYU

Kickoff: 7:15PM Pacific

Broadcast: ESPN

Opening Odds: Utah -1

What’s at stake: Utah fans aren’t going to like this, because I know how much it means to them to have a stranglehold on this rivalry, but absolutely nothing is at stake. The Utes have built up enough respect and goodwill in the Holy War, and while they’d certainly be sore about leaving Provo with an L, no one is going to lose their job, nothing is going to change as far as their chances within the Pac-12 South, and it would have a negligible impact on recruiting. All that being said, the conference needs this win to keep the Utes in the Top 25.

Our Picks: Ralph and Bryant have Utah -7, and George and Rob are on BYU +7

UNLV at #23 Arizona State

Kickoff: 7:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: ESPN2

Opening Odds: Arizona State -32.5

What’s at stake: Generational trauma. There’s absolutely no way Arizona State loses to the Rebels, but because it happened in 2008 when the Sun Devils were looking ahead to a visit from Georgia, there’s a paranoia that exists within the Sun Devil fan base that only a blowout win will help exorcise. As far as on-field stakes, RB Rachaad White has an outside shot at national recognition and awards if he can stay healthy, and it would be nice to see ASU lean into that.

Our Picks: Ralph and Bryant are on ASU at -32.5, while Rob and George have UNLV covering the spread

Stanford at #14 USC

Kickoff: 7:30PM Pacific

Broadcast: FOX

Opening Odds: USC -17

What’s at stake: Stanford just took an ugly loss against Kansas State, and people are still completely unconvinced that Clay Helton can cover a 17-point spread. So much so, that the line has moved three whole points to 14 over the last few days. David Shaw’s uncharacteristic public optimism about this Stanford team heading into 2021 threw a lot of people off who thought that the drop in recruiting and increase in grad transfers were contributing to the demise of the Cardinal, but after last week’s loss, people are questioning if Shaw’s tenure in Palo Alto is reaching its twilight- especially since he seems unsure about the best way forward at the QB position. On the other side, no one believes Clay Helton is going to blow out Stanford, so all he has to do to maintain the same level of perpetual discontent that has existed amongst the Trojan fan base for the last 5 years is not lose the game.

Our Picks: All of us are on Stanford +17

Hawaii at Oregon State

Kickoff: 8PM Pacific

Broadcast: FS1

Opening Odds: Oregon State -11

What’s at stake: Jonathan Smith’s charm has seemed to make him immune to criticism from Pac-12 fans. No one expects Oregon State to win, as long as the offense continues to innovate and maximize lesser talent for our entertainment, we ignore the scoreboard. But Purdue seemed to have Smith’s number, and if Todd Graham, who has an awful history in Corvallis, comes in and frustrates the Beavers, public opinion might start to shift. Oregon State not only needs to defend homefield and get a win, they need to settle the quarterback question once and for all so they can rally behind someone ahead of conference play.

Our Picks: The Apostles take Oregon State (Ralph and George), 12Pac takes Hawai’i +11 (Bryant and Rob)

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Power Shift- The Rise of UCLA and the Fall of the North

In this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get into all of the action in week one, including a disastrous showing by the schools up north, though George thinks the Pac-12 at least outperformed the ACC. Who put on the worst coaching clinic- Justin Wilcox, Nick Rolovich, or Jimmy Lake? The guys get into their Pac-12 power rankings, and are unified at the top after UCLA’s dominant performance against LSU. Finally, Previews and picks for the upcoming week 2 slate of games.

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Make sure you like and subscribe to the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast with George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden on any podcasting app.

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: An Interview with Kyle Whittingham, Washington State Lawsuit, Week 1 Predictions

On this week’s episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster interview’s Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham. Plus, George and Ralph Amsden address the lawsuit former Washington State WR Kassidy Woods filed against Nick Rolovich and the Wazzu Athletic Department. Other topics on this week’s show include Mustafa Johnson being granted a waiver to return to University of Colorado after not being drafted, Arizona State’s vaccination rates remaining a mystery to the rest of the conference, Jon Wilner saying the Pac-12’s air quality threatens this year’s games, and Stanford still not deciding on a starting QB. George and Ralph recap UCLA’s win over Hawai’i, and wonder if Dorian Thompson Robinson has what it takes to move the Bruins forward, and then preview and predict the entire conference slate of games.

(2 hours, 1 minute)

You can listen to Pac-12 Apostles on iTunes or Spotify, or iHeartRadio widget

Have a take you’d like us to read and address on the show? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future podcast.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: An Interview with Mario Cristobal, Thoughts on The Alliance, and QB Battle Observations

Mario Cristobal Interview

On this week’s episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden start out by derailing the entire show to have a 30-minute argument over whether or not Nirvana was a band on the level of Bon Jovi or Red Hot Chili Peppers. After that, they discuss the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 Alliance, and the Pac-12’s decision to not add any other teams at this time. George Wrighster interviews Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal, and the guys analyze the interview. George and Ralph go thorough the Las Vegas Pac-12 win totals for every team, and give their predictions, and then preview this weekend’s Pac-12 opener of UCLA hosting Hawai’i. Finally, they give their thoughts on some of the Pac-12’s settled and unsettled QB battles. 

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

Have a take you’d like us to read and address on the show? Email us at immad@unafraidshow.com and we’ll read your take on a future podcast.

Make sure you like and subscribe to the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast with George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden on any podcasting app.

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a Wyoming-born sportswriter and podcaster who spends his days tweeting through the misadventures that come with shuttling four kids around the Arizona desert. Ralph is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, the founder of ArizonaSportsCast.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. He is also a professional hater of all things pineapple. Whether you’re talking food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, Ralph has questions for you. He might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Football Seasons: 2020 Colorado Buffaloes Game 5 VS Utah

Sam Noyer Colorado Buffaloes 2020

The Colorado Buffaloes came into their matchup with the Utah Utes with Pac-12 Championship aspirations. Injuries and poor scheming would contribute to the Buffs falling short to Utah 38-21 in the cold at Folsom Field.

Colorado Buffaloes Come Out Flat Against Utah With Chance at Pac-12 South Title

As an undefeated team, the Buffaloes were looking to get more national exposure. They got this by having a 10 a.m. game on national television. However, Utah looked like the team that was ready for the big stage.

Utah came into a game with a 1-2 record. They looked eager to get to .500 on their first series after they returned the opening kickoff to the 40-yard line. They went right down the field, and the Buffs found themselves in a quick 7-0 hole right away.

On offense, the Buffaloes came out throwing for some reason. It was an interesting decision to come out throwing in the cold. Jarek Broussard, who had 301 rushing yards last week against Arizona, has been the team MVP so far this season. He did not touch the football on the Buffs’ first two series.

Broussard finally got his first touch of the game on the third possession, a run that went for no gain. Sam Noyer fumbled two plays later. After last week, it was head-scratching why the Buffaloes were not taking a run-first approach. It has worked for them all season.

 Anchor // Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic    

Noyer, Offense Get Going, Look Like They Will Have Halftime Momentum

Because the offense stagnated, the defense had to hold serve. They did just that, and the Buffaloes’ offense came to life. Sam Noyer found La’Vontae Shenault for 41 yards. The Buffs finally made it into Utah territory. Six plays later, Sam Noyer threw an absolute dime of a touchdown pass to wide receiver Maurice Bell. The Buffs were in a fight of a 7-7 ballgame.

The defense was still playing well, but linebacker Nate Landman was injured late in the second quarter. Landman has been the best linebacker in the nation this season. His leadership was sorely missed by the Buffs the rest of this game. Landman should still be considered for the Butkus award.

Colorado needed something to lift their spirits entering the locker room. It looked like they got that, as freshman Brenden Rice returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown with 1:30 remaining in the second quarter.

However, after Utah went three-and-out, the Buffaloes could have kneeled the football. They ran the football instead, which never turns out well. Jarek Broussard fumbled and the Utes recovered in Buffs territory. They were able to get enough yards to set up their kicker, Jadon Redding, for a field goal as time expired. Colorado still had a 14-10 lead, but it was a precarious lead at best.

Brenden Rice Gives Colorado Boost to Start Second Half, But Utah Takes Control

Brenden Rice was the MVP for the Buffs in this game. He took a screen pass for a 61-yard touchdown in the first offensive play of the second half. The Buffs led 21-10 and looked in control. However, the defense missed Nate Landman greatly in the second half. They could not stop Utah running back Ty Jordan and were having trouble defending Utah receivers in space. These trends were a recipe for disaster on defense, as Utah scored two straight touchdowns.

Up 24-21 against Colorado, Utah could have scored again. Despite not having Nate Landman, the Buffs defense was still playing with pride. They were able to get a fourth-and-goal stop. The offense punted on the next possession. However, the defense held Utah, and they could only muster a field goal. Colorado was roundly outplayed to this point in the second half, but they were only down 27-21.

Sam Noyer got injured on the next possession, but he was only out a few plays. It looked like he could be having his signature drive of the season. However, once the Buffs got into Utah territory, the Utes’ defense tightened. The Buffs were forced into a 4th-and-5 at the Utah 34. They called timeout to make sure they had their best play call. It did not look that way though, as Sam Noyer’s pass was batted down.

Utah’s Ty Jordan would get a 66-yard touchdown run on the next play, and the game was all but over. The Buffs would turn the ball over on downs a few more times as Utah would eventually widen their lead to 38-21. As the clock hit zero, the Buffs had to look at a result they were not expecting against the Utes: a 17-point loss.

Colorado Could Not Get Out of Their Way Against Utah

The Buffaloes could not get out of their own way in this game. They cannot do anything about injuries, but their scheming was bad in this game. In their wins this season, the Buffs have established the run early. It made zero sense that they went away from it. Because of this, Sam Noyer was put in tough positions throughout the game.

On defense, we could not defend against Utah’s skill players in space for the second consecutive season. Tyson Summer’s defensive game plan looked a lot like the same one employed in the Buffs’ 45-15 loss to Utah last year. People that do not know Colorado football will say it is because we do not have as good of athletes. Athletically, the Buffs have proven that they can play with anyone in the Pac-12. However, they did not show that ability on Saturday against the Utes.

Looking Ahead: Buffs Unsure of Opponent This Upcoming Week

The Buffaloes sit at 4-1. They are basically the alternate for the Pac-12 Championship next week if either Oregon or USC cannot field enough players to play. It makes no sense why the Pac-12 used divisions this season. However, the Buffs have been dealt a hand where they have to hope at this point. If they had beat Utah, the Pac-12 would have been put in a spot where they had to put the Buffs in the conference championship. Colorado simply did not hold their end of the bargain.

https://twitter.com/BrendenRice/status/1338605470387343361?s=20

Despite losing to Utah, this season for the Buffaloes has been a resounding success. They have succeeded basically every outside expectation this season. The Buffs will play in a bowl game for the first time in four years. More recruits are starting to realize that Boulder is a pretty nice place to play college football and to get their education. No matter who the Buffs play next week, there is no question that Karl Dorrell will have his players ready to play.

Pac-12 Football Seasons: 2020 Colorado Buffaloes Game 4 VS Arizona

Colorado Buffaloes fans’ excitement for the season should be turned up after their game VS Arizona. The Buffs improved to 4-0 after last Saturday’s win against the Arizona Wildcats. The 24-13 saw the Buffaloes obtain spot number 21 in both the AP Poll and the College Football Playoff Rankings. The Karl Dorrell era has started off better than anyone could have predicted.

Colorado Did Not Look Like 21st-Ranked Team At First VS Arizona

However, the game on Saturday did not start off great for the Buffaloes. The past three seasons, the Buffaloes lost to Arizona due in large part to the Wildcats running all over the Buffaloes’ defense. Arizona’s speed has been a killer for the Buffaloes’ chances in games against them in years past.

Arizona running back Gary Brightwell, a senior, scored to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. The Wildcats were able to capitalize on the Buffaloes playing undisciplined football. Buffs quarterback Sam Noyer had a huge run in the first half that would have given the Buffs a first down after a third-and-13. Down 10-0 after a Wildcats field goal, the Buffaloes also were not taking care of the football. Freshman wide receiver La’Vontae Shenault also fumbled later on in the first. Undisciplined football and this turnover contributed to the Buffaloes staring at their first multi-score deficit of the 2020 season. Early in the second quarter, Arizona capitalized on Shenault’s fumble and got another field goal. 13-0, Wildcats.

The game did not start out the way Karl Dorrell would have hoped. In his postgame comments, he said there was no panic on the sideline. He saw being down 13-0 as an opportunity to problem solve and find adjustments.

The offensive play-calling early on in the game for the Buffaloes was also questionable. La’Vontae Shenault’s fumble was the same exact play call as the first play of the game. The Buffaloes were predictable, as they were running screens that were simply not working. They needed to switch to more of a ball-control or run-based attack to slow the game down.

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Jarek Broussard Starts March Towards 300-Yard Rushing Performance

The Buffaloes switched to a run-based attack, but it wasn’t a ball-control running attack. It was better. Jarek Broussard started his journey towards a 300-yard rushing performance. His two big runs in the second quarter set up two touchdown drives. True freshman Ashaad Clayton would wind up having two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter. All of a sudden, the Buffaloes had found a winning formula against the Wildcats. Colorado took a 14-13 lead into the halftime locker room.

Jarek Broussard has had to wear a knee brace the entire season. In Dorrell’s opinion, that is why Broussard did not score three touchdowns on three big runs he had in the game. Despite that, Dorrell stated that no one on the team is surprised by Broussard’s production.

Despite Broussard’s great running, the Buffaloes were still in a dogfight against the Wildcats due in part to the play of Sam Noyer. He would have two second half interceptions that kept the game close. Noyer’s legs were helping out the Buffaloes, however. A 55-yard run by Noyer set up his only touchdown of the game, giving the Buffaloes a 21-13 lead.

Chance Lytle Suffers Gruesome Leg Injury

Noyer may have scored on this play, but it came with a cost. Junior left guard Chance Lytle was lost for the season, as he injured his left leg on the play. It will be interesting to see how the offensive line situation develops, as Dorrell mentioned senior guard Kary Kutsch was not able to play due to COVID-19 protocol.

Despite Mistakes, Colorado Showed Mental Fortitude VS Arizona

The downfield passing game did not work at all for the Buffaloes in this game. Sam Noyer threw another interception with 9:19 left in regulation, and it was not his best throw to say the least. Noyer and Dorrell got into a sideline yelling match after the play. However, Dorrell stated in his postgame comments he will not let mistakes slide.

“If I see something wrong, I’m going to address it right away,” Dorrell said.

Having this mindset is great for a young team. Dorrell has told them that none of these altercations are personal. This mindset can help contribute to the team figuring out how to problem solve, as they did during this game.

Up 21-13, the Buffaloes’ defense was bending considerably. However, they did not break. Even when Arizona’s run game was still giving the Buffs’ defense problems, they got an interception. When the secondary was playing undisciplined, they forced Arizona into fourth down situations they could not convert. Mekhi Blackmon forced a huge pass breakup on a fourth and goal late in the game. Arizona could have tied the game there, but the fifth-ranked Pac-12 cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus, was able to break the pass up.

Jarek Broussard, Nate Landman Stars of Game In Victory

Once the offense got the football back, Jarek Broussard had one last long run in him. An 85-yard run got him to 301 rushing yards total for the game. He had this performance on the 4th anniversary of Buffs’ Heisman Trophy running back Rashaan Salaam’s passing. Broussard actually has more rushing yards through the first four games this season than Salaam had in that season, per CU Sports Information.

Despite Broussard’s huge run, the Buffaloes could only muster a field goal. That would be enough for this game, however. Nate Landman got a sack on the last drive to go along with 10 tackles. Landman is a frontrunner for the Butkus Award as the best linebacker in college football. Landman has simply been a game-wrecker for the Buffs’ opponents this season.

Colorado 4-0 And Ranked 21st After Win VS Arizona

4-0 is a huge accomplishment for Karl Dorrell and the Buffaloes. They are 21st in the newest AP Poll, and they are being considered in the College Football Playoff rankings.

The Buffaloes have a chance to play for the Pac-12 title, but they do not control their own destiny despite being undefeated. They need USC, who has played one more conference game than the Buffs, to lose to UCLA this weekend along with a Buffs win against Utah on Friday. Colorado has not beat Utah since 2016, and the past three games with the Utes have not been competitive. Despite that, there is a new mindset with this Buffs team under Dorrell. They have stayed composed throughout the season. They needed a more composed mindset after their wildly inconsistent play last year under Mel Tucker.

Colorado should be able to continue their composed and consistent play this Friday against Utah. However, the Buffs will need help from UCLA to make the Pac-12 Championship. Expect Buffs fans to wear black and gold on Friday, then wear blue and gold on Saturday. Nonetheless, excitement for the 2020 Colorado Buffaloes has been turned up.

Pac-12 Football Seasons: 2020 Colorado Buffaloes Game 2 – Stanford

Whenever your quarterback is starting to get nicknames like “Noyer the Destroyer”, you know your team is in a good spot.

The Colorado Buffaloes have already exceeded outside expectations, as they improved to 2-0 on the season with a 35-32 victory over the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday. Even though the final score was closer than the game was for the majority of it, the Buffaloes were able to leave Stanford Stadium with the victory.

Optimism for Colorado Offense Is Great After 35-32 Win Over Stanford

Sam Noyer played well after throwing an interception in the first quarter. He had two touchdown passes to wide receivers Dimitri Stanley and Brenden Rice, and added two scores on the ground. With his receivers, Noyer has showed consistent timing and the ability to involve multiple players in the passing game.

Additionally, the Buffaloes were able to get a lot of their young talent involved on Saturday. The previously mentioned Brenden Rice, a true freshman who is the son of Jerry Rice, caught his first career touchdown in the third quarter. Redshirt freshman La’Vontae Shenault, related to NFL rookie receiver and former Buffs star Laviska Shenault Jr., also caught his first pass of his Buffs career. Freshman running back Ashaad Clayton also saw his first carries in a Buffaloes uniform.

Getting everyone involved on offense was great to see. Even though they were not able to get into rhythm right away, Dimitri Stanley’s 55-yard touchdown reception later in the first quarter jumpstarted the offense. After taking that 7-3 lead, Noyer would add a rush touchdown in the second quarter to extend it to 14-3.

Despite Absences From Top Offensive Weapons, Dimitri Stanley and Jarek Broussard Have Stepped Up

Dimitri Stanley had six receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. He stepped up big time with the absence of wide receiver K.D. Nixon for the second consecutive week. Karl Dorrell called him a dynamic player. It is vitally important for Stanley to continue his good play if Nixon continues to be out. Sam Noyer called Stanley “fearless” and lauded him for being able to make plays of all sorts.

Another player that has come up huge with the absence of expected starter Alex Fontenot has been redshirt sophomore running back Jarek Broussard. He had 121 rushing yards and became the first CU Buffs running back since 2005 to have 100 or more rushing yards in the first two games of the season (per CU Sports Information).

Colorado Defense Lets Stanford Back Into Game Late

The defense was effective, forcing four Stanford 3-and-outs during the game. They were holding them to field goals until late in the third quarter. Stanford’s passing game led by senior quarterback Davis Mills started to gash the Buffaloes secondary.

The Buffaloes were able to take a 35-16 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter after a Jaren Mangham touchdown run. However, the Cardinal were able to score two touchdowns late. It is frustrating that the defense let the lead get down to three points near the end. They also let UCLA back in the game last week after leading by 28 points in the second quarter.

The run defense was great, holding the Cardinal offense to 70 yards on 21 carries. However, the secondary struggled late, and the Cardinal took advantage of it. Fourth quarter defensive strategy may have had something to do with the comeback, but the Buffaloes simply have not finished effectively despite their 2-0 start.  

A 2-0 Start Is Great For A Buffaloes Team That Had No Outside Expectations

Karl Dorrell stated in his postgame comments that he wished the game finished more so on the Buffaloes’ terms. Despite the team not finishing the game on their terms necessarily, fans should be encouraged by what the Buffs have put on the field this season. “Noyer the Destroyer” has shown doubters that he can play well against Pac-12 competition. He has proven to be a threat as a running quarterback also. The Buffaloes have a ton of talent at the skill positions. Players have been able to show up when they are called upon on offense.

On defense, the Buffaloes have looked good in the early parts of games. If they are able to consistently play good defense, they can play with anyone in the Pac-12. Prognosticators projected the Buffaloes to not be anywhere close to 2-0 after the first two weeks. For Buffs fans, it feels great knowing that they have a good football team to watch in Boulder this season.

2020 Colorado Buffaloes Football Season Preview

It has been a long 2020 for fans of the Colorado Buffaloes. On November 30, 2019, Mel Tucker coached what would be his last game for the Buffs. 343 days later, Karl Dorrell will take the reins for the Buffaloes as head coach against the UCLA Bruins.

The Buffaloes may not be major competitors in the Pac-12 this season. Thus, there is not major pressure for Dorrell to produce results in his first year at the helm. However, the Buffaloes should be able to compete in a lot of their games this season. Fans want to see a competitive product. The past few seasons, the Buffaloes have not been consistently competitive nearly enough. That is what has led to three consecutive 5-7 seasons.

2020 Colorado Buffaloes Offense Has Talent, But Will Be Led By Former Safety

Colorado will start redshirt senior Sam Noyer at quarterback against UCLA. He won a tight contest against redshirt junior Tyler Lytle. Many will count the Buffs out when they realize Noyer played safety last season. Nonetheless, he beat out Lytle in what Dorrell called a very close competition. Dorrell also stated that the team wants to give Tyler Lytle playing time in some capacity throughout the season. It will be interesting to see if freshman Brendon Lewis will get any playing time at quarterback. He is the best dual-threat option the Buffaloes have. Having Lewis play in some capacity this season would add another aspect to a Buffaloes offense that has its share of weapons.

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Darrin Chiaverini is returning to offensive coordinator after being the wide receivers coach last season. He was the offensive coordinator for the Buffs from 2016-18. He has plenty of weapons at his disposal.

The running back group was led by Alex Fontenot, but he may miss a large portion of the season with an undisclosed injury. That means that sophomores Jarek Broussard and Jaren Mangham will share the load at running back. Broussard is listed first on the depth chart, but Mangham caught the eyes of Buffs fans last season. It will be interesting to see if Broussard has the majority of the carries or if there may be a timeshare-type system at running back.

At wide receiver, the Buffaloes have plenty of talent. K.D. Nixon decided to return for his senior season, which is a huge plus for Sam Noyer. He also will have Dimitri Stanley, Daniel Arias, and true freshman Brendan Rice to throw the football to. If Noyer can maintain consistent accuracy, he has the talent around him to be successful.

Defense For Buffaloes Must Build On Consistency

On defense, the Buffaloes will look similar. They have Mustafa Johnson anchoring the defensive line. Nate Landman will be the main part of the linebacking corps in Tyson Summer’s 3-4 scheme.

In the secondary, the Buffaloes return Mekhi Blackmon, Derrion Rakestraw, and Chris Miller. The defense improved in home games near the end of last season, but that success did not translate on the road. It will be good that a similar group of players will be playing in the same defensive scheme they did last season. They must translate their success wherever they play to be competitive in the Pac-12 this season.

Colorado Buffaloes VS UCLA Bruins Prediction

The Buffaloes have seven scheduled games this season, but only six opponents have been determined. The Buffaloes will most likely finish 2-4 before they play their final game of the season. They are underdogs against UCLA this week, but there should be optimism that they might be able to pull off a victory in the first week of Pac-12 play. For Karl Dorrell, this game comes against the team that he was a head coach for from 2003-2007. However, the Bruins beat the Buffs 31-14 last year at Rose Bowl Stadium. The Buffaloes will be the underdogs, but the nation and Buffs fans alike should not be surprised if Colorado gets off to a winning start in 2020.

Prediction: CU 31, UCLA 28