This week in Pac-12 football
By the Pac-12 Conference
AROUND THE PAC-12
SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Thirty NCAA FBS student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates today for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate football. Of those 30, four hail from the Pac-12 - USC QB Matt Barkley, UCLA P Jeff Locke, Arizona C Kyle Quinn, and California OT Matt Summers-Gavin. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Here's a look at these four off the field:
Barkley, who carries a 3.21 GPA in Communication, has worked extensively with Los Angeles youth, serving as a mentor, coach and a role model. Much of his work in the community has been done through various student-run organizations at USC. Barkley's efforts extend beyond U.S. borders, as he has taken service trips to Haiti, Nigeria, South Africa and Mexico, where he has delivered supplies to underprivileged families and assisted with construction projects.
Locke is one of six senior student-athletes at UCLA to have been named to he Athletic Director's Honor Roll in each quarter of his attendance. He was named UCLA's male Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2011-12. In the community, Locke participated in the Prime Time Games, a peer-mentor sports program for children with developmental disabilities, and the Marathon Kids program, which encourages young people to enjoy an active lifestyle through walking/running 26.2 miles over a period of months. He also has volunteered with Dribble for the Cure, and the "Soles for Souls" shoe drive, in addition to spending time at Boys and Girls Club and a local hospital.
Quinn, who earned a bachelor's degree in History in May 2012, is currently pursuing a master's degree in Educational Leadership. The fifth-year senior has participated in various community service endeavors during his time at Arizona, including a Boys and Girls Club dinner, a bowling outing with children in a foster-care system and visits to the Diamond Children's Medical Center. He also volunteered at a March of Dimes event and pitched in at Beat Back Buffelgrass Day, an initiative to remove hazardous brush in southern Arizona.
A three-time Conference All-Academic selection, Summers-Gavin graduated in May 2012 with a degree in Political Science and a 3.268 GPA. He is involved with community service efforts for the University of California's Sage Mentorship Project, through which he spent two years tutoring and mentoring a young girl at John Muir Elementary School in Berkeley. A fifth-year senior, Summers-Gavin is looked to as a team leader.
No. 8 STANFORD at WASHINGTON
Thurs., Sept. 27, 6 p.m. PT - ESPN
WASH leads, 40-38-4. Last game: STAN, 65-21 (2011)
Tight ends could be the focus of the passing game when Stanford and Washington square off on Saturday. The Cardinal are led by seniors Levine Toiolo (6-8, 265) and Zach Ertz (6-6, 252) who have accounted for six receptions and 101.7 receiving yards per game through Stanford's first three contests. They have proven to be capable downfield options for quarterback Josh Nunes, averaging a combined 16.8 yards per reception. Washington's offense features the Pac-12's top receiving tight end in two-sport athlete Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6-6, 266), who averages 6.7 receptions and 70.3 yards per game for the Huskies. Seferian-Jenkins is a member of the Husky basketball team as well.
Both teams have taken good care of the football this season, as each averages a league-best (tied with Oregon State) 1.0 turnover per game. The Cardinal , who have forced nine turnovers in 2012, lead the Pac-12 in turnover margin (2.0 per game), while Washington is tied for second (1.0 per game).
Stanford has started 3-0 in each of the last three seasons, marking the first time since 1970-72 that the Cardinal has won three straight to open three-consecutive seasons.
ARIZONA STATE at CALIFORNIA
Sat., Sept. 29, 1 p.m. PT - FX
CAL leads, 17-14-0. Last game: CAL, 47-38 (2011)
The Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in fewest penalties and penalty yardage, averaging 5.0 penalties per game at 35.0 yards per game. Quite a change from a year ago when Arizona State posted a league-high 8.0 penalties per game at 79.8 yards per game.
Arizona State sophomore QB Taylor Kelly passed for a career-best 326 yards and 3 TDs in the win over Utah. He leads the Pac-12, 9th in the FBS, with a 182.2 passing efficiency ratin while guiding the Sun Devils to 41.2 points per game.
California junior WR Keenan Allen hauled in another nine receptions for 93 yards in the loss at USC. He now has 173 career receptions for 2,142 yards. On the school's all-time list, those numbers rank 4th and 9th, respectively.
Battle of the broadcast booth quarterbacks. . . ASU radio analyst Jeff Van Raaphorst threw for 6,610 yards/44 TDs during his Sun Devil career (1984-86), while California radio analyst Mike Pawlawski tossed for 5,181 yards/40 TDs during his Bear career (1988-91).
UCLA at COLORADO
4 p.m. MT - P12N
UCLA leads, 5-2-0. Last game: UCLA, 45-6 (2011)
Colorado overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to tip Washington State, 35-34, on Saturday, as the Buffaloes won their first conference-opener since upsetting No. 3 Oklahoma at Folsom Field in 2007. The win marked the largest rally from a fourth quarter deficit on the road in program history.
Since 1996, Colorado is 7-0 in the second conference game of the season after notching a win in the league-opener. During the same span, UCLA is 5-2 in the second conference game of the season after dropping the league-opener.
UCLA junior WR Shaquell Evans and Colorado freshman WR Nelson Spruce logged their first career 100-yard receiving games last week. Evans hauled in six passes for 148 yards and a touchdown. Spruce caught eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, and seven of his eight receptions were good for first downs.
No. 18 OREGON STATE at ARIZONA
7 p.m. PT - P12N
ARIZ leads, 21-13-1. Last game: OSU, 37-27 (2011)
The passing game will be featured in Tucson as Arizona and Oregon State rank 1-2 in the league, 11th and 12th in the FBS, in passing offense with 329.0 and 327.5 yards per game, respectively.
Oregon State sophomore QB Sean Mannion has connected with sophomore WR Brandin Cooks and senior WR Markus Wheaton for 29 of his 53 completions. Cooks (127.5) and Wheaton (118.5) rank 1-2 in the Pac-12, 2nd and 4th in the FBS, averaging 127.5 and 118.5 receiving yards per game, respectively.
Oregon State ranks second in the FBS in rushing defense, allowing just 53.50 yards on the ground per game. The Beavers held UCLA to 72 yards rushing last Saturday. The Bruins entered the contest averaging 311 yards on the ground.
Arizona sophomore RB Ka'Deem Carey is averaging 105.8 rushing yards per game. Should he maintain that average for the season, he'd be the first Wildcat to average better than 100 yards per game since Clarence Farmer in 2001 (111.7 ypg).
No. 2 OREGON at WASHINGTON STATE*
7:30 p.m. PT - ESPN2
ORE leads, 44-38-7. Last game: ORE, 43-28 (2011)
*CenturyLink Field - Seattle, Wash.
Oregon has scored 42 points or more in seven consecutive games, averaging 50.6 points in that span of games. Its 52.8 points per game average leads the Pac-12 and is fourth in the FBS.
Oregon has been ranked in the AP Top 10 in 34 of the last 36 ranking periods, including Top 5 appearances 22 times during that span.
The Duck defense limited an Arizona offense that averaged 604.7 yards per game to 332 total yards last Saturday.
Washington State sophomore QB Connor Halliday threw for 401 yards with 4 TDs in the loss to Colorado. In seven career games played, Halliday has thrown for 350 yards or more three times.
Cougar freshman WR Gabe Marks has made an impact, hauling in 19 passes for 326 yards (17.2 avg). Junior WR Marquess Wilson added 99 receiving yards in the loss to Colorado, bringing his career total to 2,711 yards. He needs 46 yards to move past former Cougar Brandon Gibson (2,756 yards, 2005-08) to become WSU's all-time leader in receiving yards.
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