Roundup: Mariota is steady and spectacular

We’ll bookend this roundup with Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day links. Here’s the landing page for all things 2013 Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media DayStanford is overwhelmingly picked to win the Pac-12… a nice Associated Press story on Arizona players getting etiquette training… and a behind-the-scenes video at media day.

Oregon

The biggest game of the Pac-12 weekend – and nation – takes us to Eugene for a top-15 tilt between Oregon and UCLA (4 p.m. PT, ESPN). For the Quack side of things, USA Today has a great article on Heisman favorite Marcus Mariota being steady and spectacular.

UCLA

While the Bruins were thought to have a running back-by-committee situation going into the year, Jordon James changed those plans pretty quickly, averaging 6.3 yards per carry in the first four games of the season. That’s why Jordon James is a big loss for UCLA’s run game; he is doubtful to play against the Ducks.

Stanford

The second biggest game of the Pac-12 weekend takes place in Corvallis, where the Beavs will entertain the Card for a 7:30 p.m. showdown on ESPN. Like many teams at this time of the season, Stanford will be a little shorthanded going into this one with receiver Devon Cajuste and kicker Jordan Williamson sitting out the Oregon State game.

Oregon State

The Farm Boys will be going up against an elite passing attack, but despite leading the nation in passing and receiving, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks are flying under the radar.

Colorado

Big game going down in Boulder in terms of inching closer towards bowl eligibility as the Buffs greet the Wildcats into town (5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks), and the Ralphie Report gives us the key matchups for Colorado in the Arizona game.

Arizona

The battle in the trenches is always a key to victory, and luckily for the Arizona, the Wildcats’ O-line neutralized Utah and turned a corner in a 35-24 dub over the Utes. Can this group dominate the line of scrimmage for a second straight week?

USC

USC welcomes Utah into the Coliseum for a 1 p.m. PT kickoff on the Pac-12 Networks, but the Trojans received some unfortunate news with Lamar Dawson (LB) and Justin Davis (RB) being out for the season with injuries (Dawson’s knee, Davis’ ankle). The injury bug hath hit Troy hard this year. As for some game stuff, Conquest Chronicles writes that USC’s secondary is ready to salvage the season on Saturday.

Utah

The Coliseum can be a scary place to play for visiting teams, but the Utes say they won’t be intimidated at USC.One guy who isn't scared is Travis Wilson, who said he'll "suck it up and play" against the Trojans. Big dude is dealing with a hand injury suffered against Arizona.

Washington

The last game of the night will go down in Seattle at 8 p.m. (Fox Sports 1; late, I know) as Washington takes on Cal. The big on-the-field news going into this one is that Keith Price looks “really good” and will likely start vs. Cal. Backup QB Cyler Miles had taken the majority of the first-team snaps in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Price did his thing in practice on Thursday. And, as if this week couldn’t get any worse for Husky fans, former UW football star Reggie Rogers was found dead. The All-American defensive lineman was also the father of former Husky women’s hooper Regina Rogers, an all-Pac-12 selection in 2012.

California

As for the other quarterbacking situation, it sounds like we won’t have a Cal quarterback decision until later today. The battle is between Jared Goff and Zach Kline to guide the Bear Raid into action Saturday night.

Arizona State

No game for Arizona State, so let’s revisit a Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Media Day storyline concerning the Sun Devils. According to head coach Charli Turner Thorne, the new rules changes won’t affect Arizona State women’s basketball. The Forks have built a reputation for their smothering defense, and media members questioned the coach how concerned Turner Thorne was about the new rules regarding hand checking (it’s a foul on the second touch; can’t get away with it like you used to).  As the link text suggests, CTT (as she’s known by probably nobody) isn’t concerned one bit.

Washington State

No game for Wazzu either, so let’s welcome our very own Taylor Dutch to the roundup with Washington State women’s basketball getting a confidence boost from playing games overseas. And, since the Cougars’ next football game is Oct. 31, here’s Mike Leach talking about Halloween and trick-or-treating. Any chance you got a photo of you as a vampire in second grade, coach?

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