Four games on tap for Pac-12 football in week ten

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AROUND THE PAC-12

GAME THEMES: A light week with only four games on the docket spread over three days. . . ARIZONA STATE travels to WASHINGTON STATE for a Halloween special on Thursday night. The Cougars Connor Halliday, who leads the league’s second-best pass offense (373.1 yards per game) will test the Sun Devil secondary which ranks second in the league (205.3 yards per game). . . USC travels to Corvallis to meet OREGON STATE on Friday night. The Beavers have had USC’s number in Corvallis of late, winning the last three meetings over ranked Trojan squads at Reser Stadium (No. 3 USC in 2006, No. 1 USC in 2008, No. 20 USC in 2010). USC’s pass defense, which is third in the league (211.9 yards per game), will be put to test by OSU quarterback Sean Mannion, who leads the FBS in passing (407.9 yards per game). However, Mannion will first need to avoid a USC rush that has accounted for a 3.38 sacks per game, tied for fifth in the FBS . . ARIZONA and its ground game visits CALIFORNIA and its Bear Raid attack. The Wildcats are second in the league in rushing (288.0 yards per game), thanks to FBS leading rusher Ka’Deem Carey153.3 per game) and B.J. Denker(74.1 per game), while the Golden Bears are third in the Pac-12 in pass offense (358.9 yards per game) due in large part to freshman quarterback Jared Goff (324.0 per game). . . COLORADO is in search of its first win in Pac-12 play this season and looks to snap a 12-game conference skid when it travels to UCLA. The Bruins look to snap a skid of their own after dropping back-to-back games against No. 13 Stanford and No. 2 Oregon. 

BOWL ELIGIBLE:OREGON, OREGON STATE and STANFORD have each reached the six-win plateau and have become bowl eligible. Four others - ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE, UCLA and WASHINGTON - are sitting on five wins and each need one more victory to become bowl eligible. The Pac-12 is in the final year of a four-year agreement with the following bowl partners: Rose presented by Vizio, Valero Alamo, National University Holiday, Hyundai Sun, Royal Purple Las Vegas, Fight Hunger, and Gildan New Mexico.

FIRST TO 1,000: WASHINGTON junior RB Bishop Sankey became the first Pac-12 running back to reach 1,000 yards rushing this season when he posted a career-best 241 yards against California. It’s his second straight 1,000-yard season and he becomes the fourth Husky to rush for 1,000 yards multiple times in their career. Sankey ranks third in the FBS, averaing 145.3 yards per game. . . Other Pac-12 running backs eyeing 1,000 yards in the coming weeks are ARIZONA’s Ka’Deem Carey (920 yards), STANFORD’s Tyler Gaffney (886 yards) and OREGON’s Byron Marshall (879 yards).

ARIZONA STATE (5-2, 3-1) at WASHINGTON STATE (4-4, 2-3)
ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils boast the FBS No. 1 and No. 2 scorers in running back Marion Grice (15.4 ppg) and place kicker Zane Gonzalez (11.4 ppg). . . ASU is sixth in the FBS, averaging 45.4 points per game. The Sun Devils have posted 50 or more points in a game four times this season, the most since the 1973 squad scored 50 or more points five times. . .  The Sun Devils are making the most of each possession as they are among the FBS leaders in fewest offensive three-and-outs. ASU is ninth at 21.6 percent (22-of-102). . . ASU is fifth in the FBS in fewest penalties per game with 3.57, while its penalty yardage (33.57 yards per game) is 11th in the FBS. . . Grice not only finds a way to get the football into the endzone (FBS-leading 18 TDs), but he never leaves the ball behind. In 301 touches in his career (214 rushes, 74 receptions, 13 returns), he’s never put the ball on the ground once in that time. 
 
WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars are in search of their third league victory. The last time the Cougars won three Pac-12 games in a season came during the 2007 season when they finished 3-6 in league play. . . Junior QB Connor Halliday is on pace to establish WSU single-season records in pass attempts and completions. Through eight games, Halliday has 428 attempts with 273 completions. The school marks are 503 (Alex Brink, 2007) and 305 (Brink, 2007). With 2,798 passing yards this year, he needs 14 yards to move into the school’s single-season top 10 list. . . 14 different Cougars have caught passes this season with sophomore WR Gabe Marks leading the way with 59 receptions for 655 yards. Eight Cougar receivers each have 20 or more receptions. How does that compare with the rest of the league? Here’s a look at how many receivers have caught 20 or more passes for each of the other Pac-12 teams: Oregon State (6), California, Utah, Washington (4), Arizona State, UCLA  (3), Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, USC (2), and Arizona (1).
 
LAST MEETING: ASU became bowl eligible with a 46-7 win over Washington State as Sun Devil quarterbacks Taylor Kelly and Michael Eubank combined to complete 27 of 32 pass attempts for 301 yards and six TDs. The Sun Devil defense held WSU to one yard rushing and 241 yards passing, which was 137 below its season average.
 
USC (5-3, 2-2) at OREGON STATE (6-2, 4-1)
USC: The Trojan defense came up strong again last weekend in there 19-3 win over Utah. USC limited the Utes to 201 yards of total offense (71 rush/130 pass). USC has held six of its first eight opponents to under 300 total yards. Since the start of the 2001 season, USC is 66-6 when holding the opponent to under 300 total yards. . . A roster depleted by limited scholarships and injuries, USC used three or fewer defensive subs for the third game in a row, and for the fourth time this year. . . Over the last three games, sophomore WR Nelson Agholor has 19 receptions for 347 yards and two TDs. . . Sophomore DE Leonard Williams currently leads the Trojans in tackles (54), tackles for loss (11) and sacks (5) and is on pace to become the first Trojan defensive lineman to lead the team in tackles since Mike McGirr in 1971.
 
OREGON STATE: Junior WR Brandin Cooks has already moved himself up to 26th on the Pac-12 single-season receiving yardage list with 1,256 yards. He’s sixth on the Oregon State list, just 51 yards from moving up to third on the school list. Cooks leads the FBS with 10.6 receptions per game and 157.0 yards per game. . . Sean Mannion connected with Cooks for a third quarter  touchdown pass against Stanford. It was Mannion’s 30th of the season, setting an OSU single-season mark. For Cooks, it was his 21st career TD reception, which ties the OSU career record for touchdown receptions. . . Junior DE Scott Crichton’s 36-yard fumble return against Stanford was the longest by an OSU player since Jonathan Jackson had a 45-yard return on Oct. 9, 1999. Crichton leads the Beavers and is third among Pac-12 players with 11.0 tackles for loss. His 43.0 tackles for loss in his career ranks fourth all-time at OSU.
 
LAST MEETING: Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 128 yards and one score in a 36-7 win for OSU as the Beavers won their third straight over USC in Corvallis. Ryan Katz was 17-of-24 for 154 yards and two TDs.
 
ARIZONA (5-2, 2-2) at CALIFORNIA (1-7, 0-5)
ARIZONA: Junior RB Ka’Deem Carey is 80 yards shy of reaching 1,000 for the season. When he reaches that mark, he’ll become the third running back in UA history to post multiple seasons with 1,000 yards rushing. He’ll join Art Lupino (1954, 55) and Trung Canidate (1998, 1999). . . Carey has an FBS-leading active streak of 10 consecutive games with 100 or more rushing yards, which ties Trung Canidate’s school record set during the 1999 season. . . Carey has 39 career rushing TDs, second on the school’s all-time list and tied for 14th all-time in the Pac-12. . . Arizona’s 670 yards of total offense against Colorado was the third-most in school history. The Wildcats have gained 600 or more yards in a game on eight occasions, with four of those contests coming under Rodriguez the last two seasons. . . Sophomore S Will Parks picked off a Colorado pass for the team’s 10th interception of the season. Arizona’s 10 picks rank tied for 22nd in the FBS.
 
CALIFORNIA: After coming up with 13 tackles over his first three games played, freshman DB Cameron Walker has posted 27 tackles over the last three games to give him 40 (6.7 per game) for the season. . . Freshman QB Jared Goff has thrown for 300 or more yards in five games, while also attempting 50 or more passes in five games as well. . . Goff has connected 112 times with sophomore WRs Chris Harper (58 receptions) and Bryce Treggs (54 receptions) for 1,387 yards. Both should finish the season among the school’s top ten list for single-season receptions. Ninth and 10th on Cal’s single-season list are notable alums Keenan Allen (61 rec., 2012) and DeSean Jackson (59 rec., 2006).
 
LAST MEETING: Arizona’s Nick Foles connected with Juron Criner on a 3-yard TD pass with 1:11 to play for the game’s only touchdown in a 10-9 Wildcat victory in Berkeley. Foles completed 25-of-39 for 212 yards, while the Arizona defense held California to 262 yards in total offense.
 
COLORADO (3-4, 0-4) at No. 17 UCLA (5-2, 2-2)
COLORADO: Junior WR Paul Richardson now has 50 catches for 914 yards, 18.3 per, with seven TDs. He’s inching closer to all the CU season marks: 78 receptions (D.J. Hackett, 2003), 1,149 yards (Charles E. Johnson, 1992) and 11 TDs (Derek McCoy, 2003). His 75-yard TD reception was the sixth play of 50 yards or longer this season, tying the modern day record for most plays 50 yards or longer in year (and it was the 12th of his career). It was his fifth 100-yard game of the season, giving him eight for his career (records are six and 12, respectively); the latter is fourth all-time at CU. . . His seven TD catches this year have covered 405 yards (57.9 per), and his 18 career have spanned 776 yards (43.1). . . Junior PK Will Oliver made his career long field goal of 53 yards against Arizona; he previously had two from 52 yards, against California his freshman year in Boulder and earlier this year against Colorado State in Denver. He is now 11-of-13 in field goals this year, both his misses from 50+ yards (52, 53); career-wise, he is 3-of-5 from 50 yards or longer. . . Colorado is now 0-7 on the coin toss in 2013.
 
UCLA: The Bruins blocked an Oregon punt that set up an early score in their game with the Ducks. It was the 11th blocked kick in 21 games under coach Jim Mora. . . The Bruins have played 32 freshmen (17 true/15 redshirt) this season. They played 26 freshmen (12 true/14 redshirt) last season. . . UCLA tarted three true freshman on the offensive line at Oregon: Alex Redmond at right guard, Caleb Benenoch at right tackle and Scott Quessenberry at left guard. . .  Senior LB Anthony Barr has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, which honors the top linebacker in the country. Of the 12 semifinalists, four are from the Pac-12 - Barr, Khairi Fortt (California), Trevor Reilly (Utah) and Shayne Skov (Stanford). Barr leads the Pac-12 with 1.86 tackles for loss per game.
 
LAST MEETING: California’s Zach Maynard matched his career high with four touchdown passes and added a fifth score on the ground and the Bears forced a season-high six turnovers to defeat No. 25 UCLA, 43-17. Maynard completed 13 consecutive throws during one stretch in the second half and finished 25-of-30 for 295 yards. Tight end Richard Rodgers caught 7 passes for 129 yards.
 
 
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