Roundup: Utah looking to grow out of underdog label

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We got another Thursday night special for ya with Utah taking on Oregon State in Corvallis, a game you can catch a simulcast of on the Pac-12 Networks (or FOX Sports 2) because of the MLB playoffs (7 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. MT).  The Salt Lake Tribune gives us a comprehensive Utah-Oregon State game preview. Also, check out this link on the Utes wanting to “outgrow the underdog tag” against Oregon State (also from the SL Trib).

Oregon State

Connor Letourneau goes with a position-by-position preview for Utah-Oregon State and asks his readers whether or not the Beavers can handle an elite special teams group in Utah’s. Additionally, Gina Mizell thinks the game against Utah can give us a clue into whether or not the Beavers can be a dark-horse contender in the Pac-12 North.

Washington State

Well deserved: Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday was added to the Maxwell Award watch list. All he’s done so far this year is lead the nation in passing yards (3,344), passing touchdowns (28) and passing yards per game (477.7).


Marcus Mariota is the starting quarterback for CBS Sports’ Mid-Season All-America team. Other Pac-12ers on the first team include Nate Orchard, Tom Hackett, Kaelin Clay, Ty Montgomery and Shaq Thompson. Man, that's a lot of Utes.


Now that it is out of the top 25, UCLA is rebuilding its season and playing more of an underdog role, writes Dan Greenspan of the Associated Press.


Good stuff from Uncle Ted on Washington coach Chris Petersen diving into the Huskies-Ducks rivalry. Not quite the Civil War or Apple Cup, but it’s a big one.

Arizona State

In the Pac-12 Football Championship Game rematch of a year ago, Arizona State’s improved pass protection will be key against Stanford, opines Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic. The Forks have only given up seven sacks through six games this year after allowing a Pac-12-worst 40 in 2013.


David Lombardi writes that the Stanford offense is showing signs of improvement after racking up 477 yards against Washington State.


With Brennan Scarlett out, freshman Noah Westerfield will likely start on Cal’s defensive line against UCLA, reports Mike Vernon. Dude has put on a lot of muscle to make this a possibility: up to 240 pounds (he was 208 on his official visit).


Colorado has to get ready for USC this week, and Trojans running back Javorius Allen will be a big challenge for the Buffs, as he would for any defense. Credit to link author Kyle Ringo, who, citing USC’s game notes, points out that Allen is the only guy in the nation with at least 750 rushing yards and 250 receiving yards.


The Los Angeles Times reports that the USC athletic department generated $106.5 million in revenue, the first time in school history that it has broken the $100 million mark.


Rounding out the roundup on a hoops note, Dana O’Neil of ESPN considers Arizona basketball’s Stanley Johnson one of the 10 most important shooters in college hoops this year.

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