Roundup: The game of the year is here

Richard C. Ersted/isiphoto.com

Stanford

Finally, the game you’ve all waited for is here. Stanford. Oregon. The Farm. ESPN. 6 p.m. Can Stanford upset Oregon again? Win or lose for the Card, Oregon and Stanford are set for the Pac-12’s game of the year. It goes without saying that both David Shaw and Mark Helfrich deserve a lot of credit for the team’s successes, even if their predecessors had a large say in the initial upswing. As such, the Stanford and Oregon coaches are a mirror of success. The Cardinal might have the lesser-known quarterback in this game, but as the esteemed Mark Purdy writes, Kevin Hogan knows his role. Stanford will try to slow things down and grind it out. In other words, Cardinal ball requires white knuckles.

Oregon

As far as the road team is concerned, the Ducks’ potent offense is looking to exact revenge against Stanford (Oregon only put up 14 against the Card last season). Additionally, the Ducks are planning a performance to match the big stage in the Oregon-Stanford rematch, so says Andrew Greif of The Oregonian. Marcus Mariota might be the guy that gets that Quack engine revvin’, but the contributions of everyone from top to bottom also deserve mention, which was the focus of Rob Moseley’s latest Oregon football practice report. Also, while the Ducks’ offense gets all the love, Nick Aliotti’s defense is again quietly excelling. Enough links for ya?

UCLA

Sure, everybody’s attention is on the Pac-12 North clash of the titans, but there’s also a pretty big battle going on in the South this weekend between the Bru Cru and the ‘Cats. On the Bruins’ side of things, UCLA is gearing up for Arizona’s potent rushing attack. It’s not just #TeamKaDeem, either: B.J. Denker and Daniel Jenkins are both very effective in the ground game as well.

Arizona State

Very good feature here from Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com on pain lingering for Marion Grice, Arizona State’s touchdown machine, after his brother was shot and killed nearly a year ago. Amazing what he has been able to do this year, all things considered. Pac-12 Networks’ “The Drive” also has something on Marion Grice overcoming his brother’s murder.

USC

The hits keep on coming for USC, a team that has had to deal with a slew of injuries this season, not to mention a coaching change midseason. As Jordan Moore tells us in The Ripsit Blog, USC linebacker Morgan Breslin will miss the rest of the regular season to undergo hip surgery (there is a chance he could return for a bowl game). Big loss, because he led the Trojans in sacks and tackles for loss in 2012. On the hardwood, USC basketball got new mascots: Tommy and Traveler.

Colorado

Really cool story from the Denver Post on Colorado’s new-ish starting quarterback: For Sefo Liufau, family matters when it comes to his younger siblings. Liufau has two younger siblings with special needs.

Oregon State

While their Civil War rivals are engaged in one of the biggest battles of the college football season, the Beavers will be using their bye week to get confidence and trust back.

California

You gotta see this if you missed “The Drive” last night: a Cal teammate predicted Kenny Lawler’s one-handed catch. Jackson Bouza told Lawler “you’ll have a one-handed catch.” Pretty crazy, huh?

Utah

Playing mistake-free football is always paramount, but perhaps more so for Utah, because takeaways and turnovers are telling the tale for the Utes in Pac-12 play. In its lone Pac-12 triumph this season, Utah forced two turnovers and turned it over only once. In its four Pac-12 losses, Utah turned it over 15 times combined.

Arizona

This is pretty sweet: Take a look at some photos of Ka’Deem Carey’s wild carries, courtesy of the Arizona Daily Star. Hath been some good ones this year, obvi.

Washington

With Kasen Williams done for the season, freshmen John Ross and Damore’ea Stringfellow will play bigger roles for the Huskies.

Washington State

Let’s take a look-ski at this week in Cougar Athletics, shall we? Also, the Washington State women’s basketball team has a clear goal: Return to the postseason. Fancy seeing you back in the roundup, Jayda Evans.

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