Roundup: Friday's games 'overfloweth with significance'
I’d say that the stakes are pretty high for Friday’s games in the Pac-12 – like Pac-12 Football Championship Game/staying alive in the College Football Playoff hunt high (here are the scenarios for the Pac-12 Football Championship Game in the South in case you need a reminder). Over on FOX, Arizona and Arizona State will be dueling it out in Tucson (12:30 p.m. PT/1:30 p.m. MT), and yeah, the Territorial Cup “overfloweth with significance” this year, to put it in the words of Tyler Lockman of FOX Sports Arizona. Here are some storylines for the Arizona Wildcats going into this game, including that it’s Senior Day in Tucson.
On the Sun Devil side of things, Paola Boivin puts together a nice story about Arizona State linebacker Antonio Longino and how he made it out of East Cleveland.
While the Territorial Cup is going on, UCLA will try to clinch the Pac-12 South when it plays Stanford (12:30 p.m. PT, ABC). Kevin Gemmell takes some time to feature UCLA running back Paul Perkins, who quietly leads the Pac-12 in rushing (1,265 yards). The man has been consistent all-year long – his lowest rushing total in a game this season is 78 yards. Keep dem legs a-churnin’, son.
The Cardinal still has a major say in who’s headed to Santa Clara even though it is well out of contention. That said, David Lombardi writes that Stanford football is winning games for itself and not to play spoiler.
Early start for you Saturday with Colorado and Utah at 10 a.m. PT/11 a.m. MT on the Pac-12 Networks. While the Utes are 7-4 and headed to a bowl game for the first time in three years, Matthew Piper of the Salt Lake Tribune writes that Utah’s offense has not lived up to expectations.
That said, there have been no issues on the ground for the Utes with one of the best running backs in the Pac-12, so Colorado football must contain Devontae Booker, writes Kyle Ringo. Booker is second in the conference with 1,255 rushing yards.
Some of the luster of the USC-Notre Dame game (12:30 p.m. PT Saturday, FOX) is off with recent losses suffered by both programs, but Chip Patterson of CBS Sports writes that there is plenty of pride on the line in the USC-Notre Dame game, not to mention positioning for bowl games.
Big non-conference tilt for the Golden Bears, as a win against BYU gets them to a bowl game (1:30 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks). In order to win, Cal needs to score “early and often” against BYU, according to Jeff Faraudo. It has been a struggle out of the gates for Cal as of late.
Oregon has had the North clinched for what feels like months (it’s actually three weeks), but a loss to Oregon State in the Civil War (5 p.m. PT, ABC) could seriously damage its hopes to stay in the CFP top 4. Andrew Greif of The Oregonian points out that Oregon and Oregon State have gone in opposite directions since the 2009 Civil War, won by the Ducks and sending them to the Rose Bowl. Since that game, the Beavers are 29-33 and Oregon is 57-8.
Although the teams aren’t close record-wise, the Civil War will still feature two great quarterbacks in Marcus Mariota and Sean Mannion, writes Lindsay Schnell of SI fame. As she points out, the two are very similar yet very different at the same time.
This is pretty awesome – at halftime of the Apple Cup (7:30 p.m. PT kickoff on FOX Sports 1), Steve Gleason will be inducted into the Washington State Hall of Fame.
For the Huskies, the Washington defensive line should give Washington State’s Air Raid offense troubles, writes Christian Caple.