This week in Pac-12 football

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COMPLETE: For a better insight to the students who participate in college athletics, here are just few of the many compelling stories to be found on Pac-12 campuses.

•    Over the last several years, members of the WASHINGTON football team (as well as student-athletes from other UW teams) have traveled to French Polynesia as part of a study abroad program. This past summer, Cory Littleton, Vita Vea, Cory Fuavai, Psalm Wooching, Ryan Masel and Siosifa Tufunga traveled to the islands of Tahiti and Huahine (population approximately 6,300) along with members of the Washington softball, volleyball and women’s basketball teams. While in French Polynesia, the UW student-athletes immersed themselves in the traditional culture of the Islands while also learning of the colonial history of the region. They shared their own varied backgrounds by engaging in sports clinics and in cultural events with their Tahitian hosts. Here’s a link to an informative YouTube

•    Redshirt senior DT Antwaun Woods is a great example of a USC academic success story. Woods was raised by his single father who worked many hours, including graveyard shifts, to provide for him. Because of the love displayed by his father, Woods decided to work hard at both football and school in order to one day be able to repay him for all of the sacrifices he had made. He promised his father that when he went to USC, he would earn his degree. In the spring of 2015, Woods graduated from USC with a degree in sociology with an emphasis in non-governmental organizations and social change. He is the first person in his family to earn a college degree.

•    UTAH senior WR Kenneth Scott is the first to volunteer when requests for players come into the football office. He has visited schools, detention centers, suicide prevention centers and hospitals, fitting events in a few times a month as his schedule allows. Scott has a special interest in speaking with troubled youth and has been a speaker at the Salt Lake Detention Center. He tells them stories about his own background, which includes a mother with an autoimmune disease and a father who was often in prison and suffered from drug addiction. At 16, Scott, witnessed a friend’s murder while playing basketball at a local apartment complex. Many of the youth at the detention center can relate to his personal hardships.

•    The ARIZONA STATE roster currently features five students that are STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, mathematics): Senior LS Donnie Shields – civil engineering, freshman RB Gabriel Rees – aeronautical engineering (auto vehicle systems), senior WR Daniel Groebner – civil engineering, junior WR Cam Smith – biological sciences (genetics, cell and development biology), freshman S Coltin Gerhart – Applied biological sciences

THIS WEEK’S PAC-12 OPPONENTS: The Pac-12 has six games this week against Mountain West foes. After dropping both games to the Mountain West in the opening week, the Conference rebounded with four wins last week. The Pac-12 is 15-5 vs. the Mountain West over the last two seasons.

DEFENSE: Five Pac-12 teams are ranked among nation’s top 20 defenses in scoring defense - No. 6 USC (7.5 points allowed), No. 7 WASHINGTON (8.0 points), No. 11 UCLA (9.5 points), No. 15 CALIFORNIA (10.5 points), and No. 18 STANFORD (11.5 points). 

GROUND GAME: The ground game flourished for several teams last weekend as eight different players rushed for 100 or more yards. ARIZONA’s Nick Wilson (21-194, 3 TD), UCLA’s Paul Perkins (18-151, 2 TD), WASHINGTON’s Myles Gaskin (14-146, 3 TD), COLORADO’s Michael Adkins (19-125, 1 TD), CALIFORNIA’s Daniel Lasco (19-123, 1 TD), ARIZONA STATE’s Demario Richard (25-121, 2 TD), UTAH’s Devontae Booker (31-120, 1 TD), and COLORADO’s Christian Powell (8-105, 2 TD). Those eight combined for 1,085 yards on 155 carries (7.0 avg) and 15 TDs ... Team rushing - Oregon is tied for sixth nationally with 304.0 rushing yards per game, while Colorado is eighth among FBS teams at 302.5 rushing yards per game.

YOUNG GUNS: Six different FBS freshmen quarterbacks have thrown for 300 or more yards in a game this season, two hail from the Pac-12 - UCLA’s Josh Rosen (351 passing yards vs. Virginia) and Washington’s Jake Browning (326 passing yards vs. Sacramento State). Rosen will go up against one of the other four freshmen in BYU’s Tanner Mangum as the 19th-ranked Cougars visit the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

This Week in Pac-12 Football

Fri., Sept. 18    Site    Local Time/TV
--/-- New Mexico (1-1) at 32/29 ARIZONA STATE (1-1)    Sun Devil Stadium (64,208)    7 p.m. PT// PAC12
Series: ASU leads, 23-5-1. Last Meeting: ASU, 58-23 (2014)       
Sat., Sept. 19    Site    Local Time/TV
--/-- Georgia State (1-1) at 12/13 OREGON (1-1)    Autzen Stadium (54,000)    11 a.m. PT// PAC12
Series: First Meeting       
--/-- Utah State (1-1) at --/-- WASHINGTON (1-1)    Husky Stadium (70,083)    2 p.m. PT// PAC12
Series: First Meeting        PAC12
t39/t41 CALIFORNIA (2-0) at --/-- Texas (1-1)    Memorial Stadium (100,119)    6:30 p.m. CT// FOX
Series: Texas leads, 5-0-0. Last Meeting: Texas, 21-10 (2011)       
--/-- COLORADO (1-1) vs. --/-- Colorado State (1-1)    Denver, Sports Authority Field (67,125)    5 p.m. MT// CBSSN
Series: COLO leads, 63-22-2. Last Meeting: Colorado State, 31-17 (2014)   
--/-- San Jose State (1-1) at --/-- OREGON STATE (1-1)    Reser Stadium (45,674)    5 p.m. PT// PAC12
Series: OSU 3-2-0. Last Meeting: Oregon State, 41-27 (1988)       
t41/-- STANFORD (1-1) at 6/7 USC (2-0)    LA Memorial Coliseum (93,607)    5 p.m. PT// ABC
Series: USC leads, 61-29-3*. Last Meeting: USC, 13-10 (2014)   
--/-- Wyoming (0-2) at --/-- WASHINGTON STATE (1-1)    Martin Stadium (32,952)    5:30 p.m. PT// PAC12
Series: WSU leads, 3-2-0. Last Meeting: Wyoming, 34-13 (1990)   
21/21 UTAH (2-0) at --/-- Fresno State (1-1)    Bulldog Stadium (41,031)    7:30 p.m. PT// CBSSN
Series: UTAH leads, 6-4-0. Last Meeting: UTAH, 59-27 (2014)       
19/22 BYU (2-0) at 10/12 UCLA (2-0)    Rose Bowl (91,500)    7:30 p.m. PT// FS1
Series: UCLA leads, 7-3-0. Last Meeting: BYU, 59-0 (2008)       
--/-- Northern Arizona (2-0) at 20/19 ARIZONA (2-0)    Arizona Stadium (56,037)    8 p.m. PT// PAC12
Series: ARIZ leads, 12-1-0. Last Meeting: ARIZ, 35-0 (2013)       

Rankings listed (AP/Coaches poll)

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