Pac-12 football on national stage in week 11
AROUND THE PAC-12
GAME THEMES: A midweek showdown between North Division rivals OREGON and STANFORD kicks off the action with a primetime ESPN telecast Thursday night at 6 p.m. PT. Oregon, which has won 17-straight Conference road games, looks to avenge last season’s lone loss behind its explosive offense - 632.1 yards total offense (331.5 rush/300.6 pass) and 55.6 points per game. Stanford attempts to keep pace in the North Division race and will count on a stout defense to keep the Duck offense in check. The Cardinal are 10th in the FBS in stopping the run, allowing 103.3 yards rushing per game. . . CALIFORNIA is coming off one of its better performances this season. Freshman QB Jared Goff (320.1 passing yards per game) will face one of his toughest challenges on the year against a USC defense that’s 12th in the FBS in allowing 323.6 yards per game and is 9th in sacks, averaging 3.22 per game. . . ARIZONA STATE will look to continue to control its own destiny in the South Division race. The Sun Devil offense is clicking behind junior QB Taylor Kelly, who has led ASU to better than 500 yards of total offense in three straight games. Averaging 46.6 points per game isn’t too shabby either. Expect UTAH co-offensive coordinator, and former ASU head coach, Dennis Erickson to have a few tricks up his sleeve in leading the Utes into the end zone. . . WASHINGTON seeks one more victory to become bowl eligible as it entertains COLORADO. The Buffs defense will be put to test in stopping Husky TB Bishop Sankey, who is third in the nation in rushing (145.2 ypg). . . It’s homecoming weekend in Tucson as ARIZONA and UCLA battle to keep pace in the South Division race. The Bruins will look to multi-talented sophomore QB Brett Hundley to spoil the weekend festivities in Tucson (Hundley’s father letter as a running back for Arizona in 1986). Meanwhile, the Wildcats will lean on junior RB Ka’Deem Carey, the leading rusher in the FBS (153.1 ypg), as they begin the toughest portion of their schedule with three of their next four opponents ranked among the Top 25.
BCS TOP FIVE MATCHUP: When No. 3 OREGON visits No. 5 STANFORD Thursday, it will be the second ever matchup between two Pac-12 teams ranked among the BCS top-five. The only other time it occurred was on Nov. 3, 2007 in Eugene, Ore., when No. 5 Oregon defeated No. 4 ARIZONA STATE, 35-23.
IN THE AP POLL: Among AP ranked Pac-12 teams, Thursday’s showdown in Stanford between AP No. 2 OREGON and AP No. 6 STANFORD, it marks the 30th matchup of Top 10 Pac-12 teams. See page 8 of this release for a list of the other 29 games between Top 10 Pac-12 teams (AP poll).