THIS WEEK IN PAC-12 FOOTBALL
AROUND THE PAC-12
THE RUSH: Seven Pac-12 players rushed for 100 or more yards in the opening weekend, led by WASHINGTON junior Bishop Sankey with 161 yards in the win over No. 19 Boise State. OREGON set a school record with three players each posting better than 100 yards rushing - De’Anthony Thomas (128 yds), Byron Marshall (124 yds) and Marcus Mariota (113 yds).
THE PASS: Six Pac-12 quarterbacks threw for 300 or more yards, including three performances for 400 or more yards - CALIFORNIA’s Jared Goff (455 yds), OREGON STATE’s Sean Mannion (422 yds) and COLORADO’s Connor Wood (400 yds). Unfortunately, three of the top four efforts last weekend came in a losing effort . . . One of the most efficient efforts came from WASHINGTON senior QB Keith Price, who completed 23 of 31 passes for 324 yards and a pair of TDs, giving him 56 for his career - a new school record (25th on the Pac-12 career list).
ISN’T THAT SPECIAL: Pac-12 teams saw their special teams turn in strong performances as several field goal kickers were perfect during the opening week of the season. COLORADO’s Will Oliver was a perfect 4-of-4 with a career-high tying 52-yarder. Three others - CALIFORNIA’s Vincent D’Amato, USC’s Andre Heidari and UTAH’s Andy Phillips were a perfect 3-of-3. Heidari also booted a career-best 52-yarder, while D’Amato tossed a touchdown pass on a fake field goal attempt. For Phillips, a redshirt freshman, it was the first time he’s ever kicked in an organized game at any level. Phillips is a former U.S. Ski Team member . . . Overall, Pac-12 kickers converted 18 of 21 field goal attempts (85.7 percent) in the opening week.
FAN SUPPORT: OREGON, UTAH and WASHINGTON played before capacity crowds as an average of 55,684 fans attended games in Pac-12 venues, or 91.6 percent of capacity of the seven Pac-12 hosted home games last week.
THE POLLS: For the second time in league history, and in back-to-back years, two Pac-12 teams appear among the Top 5 in the AP preseason poll - No. 3 OREGON and No. 4 STANFORD. In the Coaches poll, the Ducks and Cardinal hold down the same ranking spots. In both polls, UCLA comes in at No. 21, USC at No. 24 and OREGON STATE at No. 25.
ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils have six returning starters on offense and eight returning starters on defense. . . The Sun Devils have won 10 consecutive season openers . . . Five of ASU’s first seven games are home . . . Senior DT Will Sutton, consensus All-American and reigning Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, leads a vaunted Sun Devil defensive rush that posted 52 sacks last season . . . Junior QB Taylor Kelly is back under center after completing a school record 67.1 percent of his pass attempts for 3,039 yards and 29 TDs.
UTAH: Sophomore QB Travis Wilson had his second career 300-yard passing game as he connected on 17-of-28 for 302 yards and two TDs in the win over Utah State . . . Senior WR Anthony Denham caught six passes for 113 yards . . . Junior DB Eric Rowe had a team-high 10 tackles, while Junior DE Nate Orchard tied his career-high with eight tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack. He also forced a fumble and recovered a fumble . . . Freshman PK Andy Phillips, who was a member of the U.S. Ski Team and never played organized football before this season, was a perfect 3-of-3 on field goals with a long of 45 yards. He added three extra points and executed a successful on-side kick . . . With an announced crowd of 45,237, Utah had its 19th-straight sellout dating back to the 2010 season opener vs. Pittsburgh.
OREGON: The Ducks rushed for 500 yards in the win over Nicholls State, just 28 yards shy of the school record set vs. Portland State in 2010 . . . Oregon had six sacks by six different players and eight tackles for loss by eight different defenders. Junior LB Derek Malone had a career and game-high 11 tackles . . . Since 2000, the Pac-12 is 26-23 when playing in the east coast time zone (20-13 vs. teams other than Notre Dame). Oregon is 3-0 during that stretch with wins at Michigan (2007), Purdue (2008) and Tennessee (2010) . . . Oregon’s Autzen Stadium sellout streak was extended to 90 straight games with a standing room crowd of 57,769.
CALIFORNIA: Freshman QB Jared Goff set a California freshman record with 445 yards passing, the second-best total in school history behind a 503-yard effort by Pat Barnes vs. Arizona in 1996 (4 OT) . . . Goff’s 63 pass attempts set a Cal single-game record. His main targets were sophomore WRs Bryce Treggs (13 rec/145 yards) and Chris Harper (11 rec/151 yards/2 TD) . . . The Cal offense ran 99 plays against Northwestern, which ranks third all-time in school history. The 2012 season high was 79 plays at Ohio State. The school record for most offensive plays in a game is 102, which was set in 1968 against San Jose State.
OREGON STATE: Junior QB Sean Mannion completed 37 of 43 attempts for 422 yards and 3 TD in the loss to Eastern Washington. He connected with junior FL Brandin Cooks 13 times for 196 yards and 2 TD, all career highs for Cooks. It was Mannion’s ninth 300-plus yard passing game of his career, Cook’s sixth 100-plus yard receiving game of his career . . . Sophomore RB Storm Woods rushed for a pair of TDs. He’s had at least two rushing TDs in four straight games.
COLORADO: The Buffs snapped an 8-game losing streak and won its first season opener since 2010 . . . Mike MacIntyre joined Rick Neuheisel as the only two of CU’s 15 head coaches since 1932 to win their debut games at Colorado; Neuheisel’s ’95 Buffs defeated Wisconsin in Madison, 43-7 . . . Junior QB Connor Wood threw all of 42 passes last season, then connected on 33 of 46 attempts for 400 yards and 3 TDs in Sunday’s win over Colorado State. His pick-free game with 46 attempts was the second best in a game in CU history (Tyler Hansen set the CU mark with 49 against Cal in 2011) . . . Addison Gillam became just the second true freshman to start at ILB in CU history. He posted 14 tackles, with two for losses including a sack.
ARIZONA: The Wildcats pitched a 38-0 shutout in the season opener vs. Northern Arizona. It was the first season-opening shutout for the ‘Cats since blanking Idaho 70-0 in 2008. Arizona has won its last six season-openers by a combined score of 233-35 (38.9 ppg-5.8 ppg) . . . Arizona’s defense posted 11 tackles for loss in limiting NAU to 94 yards rushing, and 270 yards total offense . . . Senior RB Daniel Jenkins rushed for 139 yards on 12 carries (11.6 ypc), including a 91-yard TD run, which was the third longest run in school history.
WASHINGTON STATE: Junior QB Connor Halliday was 35-of-65 through the air for 344 yards and 1 TD in the 31-24 loss at Auburn. He connected with 10 different receivers, with sophomore WR Gabe Marks the recipient of nine passes for 81 yards. His 65 attempts were one shy of matching the WSU single-game record of 66 set by Drew Bledsoe vs. Montana in 1992 . . .
USC: Under new defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, USC defense stepped up and notched four interceptions and seven sacks and limited the Hawai’i to 231 total yards (just 23 on the ground). Of the four sacks, two came from sophomore DE Leonard Williams and two by junior DE George Uko . . . Junior WR Marqise Lee grabbed eight passes for 104 yards. He now has 199 career receptions (20th on the Pac-12 career list).
LAST TIME: The two teams last met on Sept. 25, 2010 in Pullman where USC prevailed 50-16 behind USC QB Matt Barkley’s 290 yard passing/3 TD performance. USC RB Stanley Havili had 107 yards receiving (1 TD) and 80 yards rushing (1 TD).
STANFORD: The Cardinal return six starters on offense, seven on defense . . . Stanford edged San Jose State, 20-17 in last year’s Bill Walsh Legacy Game . . . At No. 4, the Cardinal have attained their highest preseason ranking in school history. Stanford has been ranked for 45 consecutive weeks dating back to Sept. 5, 2010. The streak marks the school’s longest continuous ranking in the poll . . . Stanford is 35-5 over the past three seasons . . . The Cardinal have won nine straight at Stanford Stadium, the longest home field streak in the Pac-12 . . . QB Kevin Hogan (71.7 completion percentage) will run the Stanford attack behind an impressive offensive line led by All-American David Yankey (6-5, 313), Cameron Fleming (6-6, 318) and Andrus Peat (6-7, 312) . . . Stanford enters the season with one of the top defensive units in the nation. The Cardinal limited opponents to just 97.0 yards rushing and 17.2 ppg last season.