Conference title game rematch headlines Pac-12 football in week eight
AROUND THE PAC-12
GAME THEMES: After severe rain and flooding forced the cancellation of COLORADO’s home game with Fresno State on Sept. 14, the Buffs were able to schedule Charleston Southern for their open date on Oct. 19. The Buffs look to get back to .500 behind freshman QB Sefo Liufau . . . In a rematch of last season’s Pac-12 Championship Game, UCLA visits Stanford where the ninth-ranked Bruins look to remain undefeated against a Cardinal squad coming off an upset loss at Utah . . . WASHINGTON looks to rebound following back-to-back defeats to then-No. 5 Stanford and No. 2 Oregon with a road contest at ARIZONA STATE. Both teams are among the nation’s top-20 in total offense with No. 8 Washington (526.8 ypg) and No. 18 Arizona State (496.5 ypg) . . . USC visits Notre Dame with the victor claiming the Shilelagh. It’s the 85th meeting between the two storied programs, and for the 11th time, neither team is ranked heading into the game. Despite losing two of the last three against the Irish, USC has won nine of the last 11 meetings . . . WASHINGTON STATE is in search of its fifth win, something it last accomplished during the 2007 season, when it travels to No. 2 OREGON. The Cougars throw for 346.9 ypg (8th in the FBS), while the Ducks are second in the nation in total offense (630.5 ypg) and scoring (56.8 ppg) . . . UTAH looks to ride the momentum of its win over No. 5 Stanford into Tucson to take on an ARIZONA squad in search of its first league victory. Arizona’ QB B.J. Denker is coming off a career-best performance at USC where he threw for 363 yards and four TDs . . . OREGON STATE travels to CALIFORNIA where it will continue to ride the arm of junior QB Sean Mannion as the Beavers look to keep stride with their in-state rival atop the North Division standings. Mannion has completed 194-of-289 for a nation-leading 2,511 yards, along with 25 TDs and just three picks. The Bears counter with their freshman QB Jared Goff who has set impressive Cal records of his own. He’s one of five quarterbacks in the nation to already amass over 2,000 yards this season, including a school single-game record 504 yards in the loss to Washington State earlier this year.
THE POLLS: The first Harris Poll of the season was released Sunday. It’s among the polls used in the BCS selection process. The OREGON Ducks hold down the No. 2 spot, and is joined by UCLA (9), Stanford (12) and Washington (25) among the Top 25 . . . The first BCS poll will be released this Sunday.