This week in Pac-12 football
Road Warriors: Pac-12 teams continue to excel on the road in league play. The visiting teams are now 20-9 in league road games. The five teams ranked in this week’s AP Top 25 (Oregon, Arizona State, Arizona, Utah, and UCLA) have combined overall road record of 17-0.
South Division Leaders Get Tested: Over the next five weeks, each of the three one-loss teams in the Pac-12.s South Division will face three ranked opponents - ARIZONA (vs. No. 25 UCLA, No. 18 Utah, No. 15 Arizona State); ARIZONA STATE (vs. No. 18 Utah, No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 14 Arizona); UTAH (vs. No. 15 Arizona State, No. 5 Oregon, No. 14 Arizona).
And Then There Was One: UTAH’s Travis Wilson (143 attempts) is the only FBS quarterback to have attempted at least 125 passes this season without an interception. OREGON’s Marcus Mariota had his streak of 253 passes without an interception, dating back to last season, come to an end against Cal when one of his passes was tipped twice before finding the hands of a defender.
The Record Book: OREGON STATE senior QB Sean Mannion is closing in on Matt Barkley’s Pac-12 career passing totals. With 12,134 passing yards, Mannion needs 194 yards to eclipse the 12,327 yards Barkley accumulated from 2009-12.
Award Watch List: Several of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) awards are starting to list their semifinalists. Making the cut for the Butkus Award, honoring the nation’s top linebacker, are UCLA’s Myles Jack and Eric Kendricks, WASHINGTON’s Hau’oli Kikaha and Shaq Thompson, and USC’s Hayes Pullard. Kendricks and Jack rank 1-2 in tackles for UCLA with 93 and 62 respectively. Kikaha has posted an FBS best 19.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks, while Thompson has 53 tackles, 3 fumble recoveries and one interception (all four were returned for a touchdown). Pullard leads USC with 59 tackles. No other conference had more than five players named to the list of 15 semifinalists...The Jim Thorpe Award semifinalists, which honors the nation’s top defensive backs, include OREGON’s Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and STANFORD’s Jordan Richards. Ekpre-Olomu has 40 tackles and two interceptions this season. Richards has anchored one of the nation’s great defenses as Stanford enters this week’s game ranked among the top five statistically in scoring defense, total defense, passing defense and rushing defense. Richards leads Stanford in solo tackles (37) and has three forced fumbles.
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