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Fearless predictions: Pac-12 and MAC title games

Friday
MAC championship: Ohio vs. Northern Illinois (-3.5), 7 p.m.

Henry’s pick: Northern Illinois has the kind of offense coaches dream about. Huskies quarterback Chandler Harnish has 2,692 yards passing and 23 touchdowns and 1,351 rushing yards and 11 scores. Ohio has also been effective moving the ball. Bobcats quarterback Tyler Tettleton (2,868 passing, 576 rushing) is also a dual threat, but he’s not on the level of Harnish. Whichever team’s quarterback makes the biggest splash will win this one. Northern Illinois 38, Ohio 35
Rose’s pick: Northern Illinois has a seven-game winning streak. Quarterback and MAC MVP Chandler Harnish has thrown for 2,692 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushed for 1,351 yards and 11 touchdowns. Northern Illinois is eighth nationally with 255 rushing yards per game. Meanwhile, Ohio has won five straight. Quarterback Tyler Tettleton has thrown for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns and has rushed for 576 yards and eight touchdowns. Ohio also likes to run the ball (19th nationally with 212 yards per game). Northern Illinois’ defense hasn’t been great this season, but the Huskies can pile up yards and points on offense. Northern Illinois 38, Ohio 33

Pac-12 championship: UCLA at No. 9 Oregon (-31), 8 p.m.
Henry’s pick: Will Rick Neuheisel’s last hurrah provide enough motivation to lift UCLA? We don’t think so. Oregon’s combination of running back LaMichael James (1,427 yards, 14 touchdowns) and quarterback Darron Thomas (27 touchdowns, 5 interceptions) will be too much for UCLA’s defense, which has surrendered 30.8 points per game. It’s difficult to believe the Bruins will be able to keep Oregon from scoring at least 30. Oregon 46, UCLA 10
Rose’s pick: Rick Neuheisel will coach his final game for the Bruins. That might give UCLA the emotional edge for a stretch in this game. But Oregon has the huge talent advantage and is playing at home. UCLA limps into this game at 6-6 and fresh off a 50-0 drubbing by cross town rival USC. The only reason the Bruins are in this game is because USC is ineligible. There’s a chance Oregon comes out sluggish in this game. After all, it might be hard to get motivated when you’re favored by more than four touchdowns. Oregon 48, UCLA 10
 

Tags: Northern Illinois , Ohio , MAC , Chandler Harnish , Tyler Tettleton , Pac-12 , Oregon , UCLA , LaMichael James , Darron Thomas

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