Youth key in Pac-12 Football success

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PAC-12 FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK:

THE RANKINGS: Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP and Coaches polls. WASHINGTON (12/11), WASHINGTON STATE (15/16), STANFORD (20/20) and USC (21/21)  ... That’s 16 consecutive weeks with four or more Pac-12 teams in the AP Top 25.

WHO NEEDS TO PAY THEIR DUES?: Several freshmen have excelled with extensive playing time in their first season of competition. ARIZONA’s depth chart lists five freshmen on the first defensive unit, led by this week’s Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week LB Colin Schooler. Wildcat DB Lorenzo Burns leads the team with 49 tackles (7.0 per game), while teammate DE Kyle Wilbom leads all Pac-12 freshmen with 5.0 sacks ... So much for replacing Lou Groza Award winner Zane Gonzalez as ARIZONA STATE freshman PK Brandon Ruiz has now won Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors twice this season as he has connected on 11 of 15 field goal attempts, including a successful 52-yarder ... CALIFORNIA’s offensive line has a youthful look with a pair of redshirt freshmen starting on the right side in RG Valentino Daltoso and RT Jake Curhan ... COLORADO is leaning on freshman James Stefanou for place kicking duties (10-of-12) ...  OREGON freshman WR Johnny Johnson III is second on the team with 17 receptions for 228 yards/1 TD, while CB Thomas Graham Jr. is second on the Ducks with 41 tackles ... OREGON STATE freshman safety David Morris leads all Pac-12 freshmen in tackles with 51 and is 11th in the Pac-12 with 7.3 tackles per game ... STANFORD freshman Walker Little has started four games at left tackle for the Cardinal ... UCLA DB Damay Holmes is the league’s top freshman kick returner (22.0 return avg) and has started each game in the secondary, while teammate OL Michael Alves has started each game at right guard ... USC redshirt freshman WR Tyler Vaughns is second on the team with 31 receptions for 352 yards/1 TD, while freshman PK Chase McGrath has hit his last eight field goal attempts, including the game winner vs. Texas ... Redshirt freshman WR Sam Nacua is second among UTAH’s receivers with 21 receptions for 199 yards/1 TD ... WASHINGTON freshman TE Hunter Bryant has started the last five games for the Huskies and has 21 receptions for 314 yards (15.0 yards per catch)/1 TD ... WASHINGTON STATE redshirt freshmen WR Renard Bell and LB Jahad Woods are seeing plenty of action. Bell has 21 receptions for 389 yards (18.5 yards per catch), while Woods is second on the team with 38 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss.

CROSS COUNTRY: The Pac-12 Cross Country Championships takes place this Friday in Eugene, Ore, and the way Pac-12 running backs have been carrying the ball, several might be ready to join the race. The Pac-12 has posted 24 rushes of 50+ yards this season. Stanford RB Bryce Love leads the way with seven rushes of 50 or more yards this season. Arizona QB Khalil Tate has three, each over 70+ yards (76, 75, 71).

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: WASHINGTON STATE senior QB Luke Falk has moved to the top of the list on several Pac-12 career record lists and is within striking distance of several others.

Total Plays: 2,093 (previous record: 1,824 by Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-2002)
Pass Completions: 1,280 (previous record: 1,187 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
Pass Attempts: 1,860 (previous record: 1,838 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
Touchdown Passes: 111 (2nd, trails 116 by Matt Barkley, USC, 2009-12)
Total Offense: 13,041 (previous record: 13,033 by Marcus Mariota, ORE)
Passing Yards: 13,376 (2nd, trails 13,600 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)

BACK-TO-BACK: ARIZONA sophomore QB Khalil Tate rushed for 327 yards in the win over Colorado, then added 230 yards in the win vs. UCLA, giving him a two-game total of 557 rushing yards. Earlier this season, STANFORD junior RB Bryce Love posted 263 yards vs. UCLA (Sept. 23) and 301 vs. Arizona State (Sept. 30) for 564 rushing yards. Those total numbers are just 16 and nine yards shy of the Pac-12 record two-game total of 573 yards set by Washington State’s Rueben Mayes in 1984 (216 vs. Stanford, 357 vs. Oregon). Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey added 570 yards in 2012 (366 vs. Colorado, 204 vs. Utah).

ELITE COMPANY: STANFORD junior RB Bryce Love set a Stanford single-game rushing record with 301 yards on 25 carries (12.04 ypc) in the 34-24 win over Arizona State (Sept. 30).  Meanwhile, ARIZONA sophomore QB Khalil Tate set an FBS rushing record for a quarterback with 327 yards on 14 carries (24.3 ypc) in the 45-42 win at Colorado. Five of the Pac-12’s top 10 single-game rushing totals have come in the last six seasons.

Pac-12’s Single-Game Rushing (300-yard Club)

1. 366 (14.64 ypc) Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona vs. Colorado, 2012
2. 357 (9.15 ypc) Rueben Mayes, Washington State vs. Oregon, 1984
3. 347 (6.80 ypc) Ricky Bell, USC vs. Washington State, 1976
4. 332 (11.45 ypc) Joe Williams, Utah at UCLA, 2016
5. 322 (12.38 ypc) Maurice Drew, UCLA vs. Washington, 2004
6. 327 (23.4 ypc) Khalil Tate, Arizona vs. Colorado, 2017
7 321 (8.45 ypc) Kenjon Barner, Oregon vs. USC, 2012
8. 311 (16.37 ypc) Jahvid Best, California vs. Washington, 2008
9. 301 (12.04 ypc) Bryce Love, Stanford vs. Arizona State, 2017
301 (9.07 ypc) DeShaun Foster, UCLA vs. Washington, 2001

608: ARIZONA sophomore QB Khalil Tate set an FBS rushing record for a quarterback with 327 yards on 14 carries (24.3 ypc) in the 45-42 win at COLORADO. The Buff’s senior RB Lindsay Phillips rushed for 281 yards in the loss. The two combined for the most rushing yards by opposing players in Pac-12 history with 608 yards.

PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

OFFENSE
Khalil Tate, QB, ARIZ
In his second start of the season, Tate led Arizona to a thrilling 45-44 double-overtime victory at California. The sophomore totaled 303 yards of offense and 3 TDs. Produced a third-straight 100-yard rushing game with 137 yards on 17 carries, including a career-long 76-yard TD run. Completed 10-of-15 passes for 166 yards and 2 TDs, the last a 22-yard completion in the second overtime which, with the subsequent extra point kick, was the winning score.

DEFENSE
Colin Schooler, LB, ARIZ
Schooler delivered the defensive play of the game to seal a road victory for Arizona, which held off California in a 45-44 double-overtime thriller. Broke up the potential game-winning pass in the back of the endzone as the Golden Bears attempted a two-point conversion. Also delivered a career-best 15 tackles, which is a team season-high for Arizona. The freshman totaled 1.5 tackles for loss, forced a fumble and was credited for one quarterback hurry as the Wildcats held on for their first road overtime victory in program history.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Brandon Ruiz, PK, ASU
Ruiz was perfect for the day, connecting on all three of his field goal attempts (47, 40, 30 yards) and all three PATs in the 30-10 win at Utah. Scored ASU’s first nine points of the game in helping the Sun Devils come away with points on their first three possessions to take a 9-0 lead after one quarter. Four of Ruiz’ seven kickoffs were touchbacks. Utah’s average starting field position on the seven kickoffs was its own 21-yard line.

THIS WEEK'S GAMES:

STANFORD (5-2) at OREGON STATE (1-6)
Thurs., Oct. 26 • 6:00 pm PT • ESPN • #STANvsOSU

STANFORD: Junior RB Bryce Love is averaging an FBS-best 198.1 rushing yards per game and is second nationally with 200.9 all-purpose yards per game. He has surpassed 100 yards rushing, scored at least one touchdown and posted a run of 50 yards or longer in nine consecutive games. He has rushed for over 150 yards in six of seven games this season, the lone exception being a 147-yard effort in the win over Oregon. He’s rushed for 100 or more yards in each of the last nine games for a total of 1,616 yards on 163 carries (9.9 avg) ... Love’s career touchdown runs are 93, 47, 48, 7, 56, 50, 49, 10, 75, 51, 53, 69, 61, 43, 59, 68, 5 and 67 yards ... Junior S Justin Reid was named one of 13 semifinalists for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award. Reid leads the nation with five interceptions.

OREGON STATE: No. 20 Stanford will mark the Beavers’ fourth top-25 opponent in eight games this season. East Carolina, Syracuse and Indiana are the only other schools nationally that can claim as many top-25 foes as the Beavers (entering this week’s action) ... In its last game, Oregon State finished with 569 total yards, the 17th-highest total in team history, and the biggest total since the Beavers went for 570 yards at California on Oct. 19, 2013 ... Since 2010, the Beavers are 7-3 when coming off a bye date ... Oregon State rushed for a season-high 280 yards, In his last outing, junior RB Ryan Nall rushed for 172 yards and 3 TDs. He has rushed for 1,919 yards in his career and needs 29 yards to move into the school’s all-time top 10 list ...  Sophomore PK Jordan Choukair set a school record with most field goals in a half when he connected on all four attempts in the first half against Colorado.

CALIFORNIA (4-4) at COLORADO (4-4)
Sat., Oct. 28 • 12:00 pm MT • P12N • #CALvsCU

CALIFORNIA: Junior RB Patrick Laird notched a career-high 28 carries for 130 yards rushing and 2 TDs on the ground while also equaling his career high with five catches for 42 yards ... For the second straight game, LB Jorda Kunaszyk set a career-high with 14 tackles, including 2.0 tackles for loss against Arizona ... Sophomore QB Ross Bowers completed a career-best 29 passes on 49 attempts for 301 yards and a pair of TDs. Over the last two games, he’s 50-of-87 for 560 yards and 3 TDs ... Senior PK Matt Anderson now boasts 280 career points after making a career-long 52-yard field goal and five extra-points for a total of eight points against Arizona. He’s now second on Cal’s career scoring list and needs nine points to move past Doug Brien (288 points, 1991-93) for the top spot.

COLORADO: The Buffs are now one win away from becoming the 25th school to win 700 games. CU owns an all-time record of 699-497-36 ... Senior TB Phillip Lindsay rushed 29 times for 98 yards at Washington State. While he fell two yards shy of recording his 11th career 100-yard game, he did push his season rushing total to 1,093 yards to record the 16th 1,000‐yard rushing season in school history. He’s the first player to do it in back‐to‐back years ... Over the last three games, he’s rushed for 564 yards ... His 3,326 rushing yards rank him third all-time at CU, trailing only Eric Bieniemy (3,940, 1987-90) and Rodney Stewart (3,598, 2008-11) ... Already CU’s career all-purpose yards leader, Lindsay has amassed 5,272 yards ... Sophomore QB Steven Montez has a streak of 108 pass attempts with out throwing an interception. It’s the ninth time in CU history that a quarterback has thrown 100 or more passes without an interception.

UCLA (4-3) at WASHINGTON (6-1)
Sat., Oct. 28 • 12:30 pm PT • ABC/ESPN2 mirror • #UCLAvsUW

UCLA: UCLA earned its 600th overall win in the football program’s history with its 31-14 win over Oregon, its first victory against the Ducks since Nov. 24, 2007 ... Oregon entered the game averaging 467.6 yards of total offense, but the Bruins held the Ducks to 320 yards total offense. The Bruins recorded 4.0 sacks and 11.0 tackles for loss ... Senior LB Kenny Young tallied a season-high matching 12 tackles against Oregon. It’s the fourth straight game he’s posted double-digit tackles, amassing 49 tackles in that span ... The Bruins have scored on 29 of 33 red zone opportunities this season, including both today. UCLA has 24 touchdowns and five field goals ... Redshirt senior WR Darren Andrews had five receptions to move over the 150-reception mark. He has 151 for his career, which is sixth in UCLA history. He is also over 1,800 career receiving yards (1,838). Junior QB Josh Rosen has moved past the 8,000 yard mark for career passing yardage and now has 8,203 yards.

WASHINGTON: Washington continues to rank second in the FBS in total defense (236.9 ypg) and rushing defense (73.0 ypg) and third in scoring defense (10.6 ppg) ... Over the last three games, the Husky defense has allowed 110 yards on 86 carries (1.3 yards per carry). The Huskies allowed 110 vs. Oregon State, -40 vs. California and 40 vs. Arizona State ... Junior QB Jake Browning has 73 career TD passes, just two shy of matching the school career mark of 75 held by Keith Price (2010-13)... Senior WR Dante Pettis has 29 receptions for 207 yards and 3 TDs over the last three games.

UTAH (4-3) at OREGON (4-4)
Sat., Oct. 28 • 2:45 pm PT • P12N • #UTAHvsUO

UTAH: Utah looks to snap a three-game skid. The last time the Utes dropped four straight was during the 2013 season when it lost five in row (Oct. 19-Nov. 23). Since then, the Utes have won 33 of their last 46 games (.717) ... Over the last three games, sophomore RB Zack Moss has posted 347 yards total offense as he’s rushed for 269 yards on 47 carries (5.7 avg), while adding 11 receptions for 78 yards ...  Junior P Mitch Wishnowsky is seventh in the FBS in punting (46.6). He had five punts for a 48.2 yard average and dropped two inside the 10-yard line in the loss to Arizona State. Of his 27 punts, 11 have been for 50 or more yards, while 11 have been downed inside the 20 yard line ... Junior PK Matt Gay was successful on a 53-yard field goal attempt and is now 3-of-4 from 50+ yards this season.

OREGON: With his 160 yards rushing at UCLA, senior RB Royce Freeman became Oregon’s career rushing leader and moved up to second on the Pac-12 all-time list with 5,103 career rushing yards. He moved past LaMichael James (5,082 yards, 1998-01). He’s quite a ways from the Pac-12 career mark held by USC’s Charles White (6,245 yards, 1976-79) ... Freeman has a school-record 54 career TDs and is now just five rushing TDs shy of matching the Pac-12 career mark held by Oregon State’s Ken Simonton (59 TDs, 1998-2001.

WASHINGTON STATE (7-1) at ARIZONA (5-2)
Sat., Oct. 28 • 6:30 pm PT • P12N • #WSUvsAZ

WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars posted their second shutout of the season with a 28-0 blanking of Colorado. It’s the first time since 1981 that Washington State posted two shutouts in a season. It was the first shutout in conference play since a 21-0 victory at UCLA in 1994 ... WSU rushed for a season-high 194 yards in the win ... The Cougar defense held Colorado to 174 yards total offense (94 passing, 80 rushing) ... Senior QB Luke Falk has set four Pac-12 career passing marks this season and is on the verge of topping two more records. He’s 224 passing yards shy of matching the Pac-12 career mark held by Oregon State’s Sean Mannion (13,600 yards, 2011-14). His 111 TD passes are five shy of matching the Pac-12 record held by USC’s Matt Barkley (116, 2009-12) ... Cougars have won six straight at home and 11 of their last 12 at Martin Stadium.

ARIZONA: With 511 yards of total offense at Cal, UA has now topped the 500-yard mark four times this season. Arizona is 4-0 in such games ... Freshmen led the Arizona defense in the win at California - Freshman LB Colin Schooler posted a team-high 15 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup on Cal’s game-winning two-point conversion attempt in the second overtime; redshirt freshman CB Lorenzo Burns had a career-high 10 tackles plus one interception; redshirt freshman CB Jarrius Wallace had nine tackles, two pass breakups and one interception ... Wildcats are leading the league and are fourth nationally in rushing (342.7 ypg) ... Over the last three games, sophomore QB Khalil Tate has accumulated 1,162 yards of total offense. In that span, he’s rushed for 694 yards/7 TDs and completed 31-of-41 passing for 468 yards/4 TDs ... Tate has three runs of at least 70 yards in three consecutive games ... Four different Wildcats have rushed for 130 or more yards in a game this season - Tate (327 vs. Colorado, 230 vs. UCLA, 137 vs. Cal), Dawkins (133 vs. UTEP), Nick Wilson (135 vs. UCLA) and Zach Green (130 vs. Cal).

USC (6-2) at ARIZONA STATE (4-3)
Sat., Oct. 28 • 7:45 pm PT • ESPN • #USCvsASU

USC: The Trojans have had 11 starters miss starts because of injuries this season ... Sophomore QB Sam Darnold is 15-3 as a starter, including a 10-0 mark at home ... After his 20-of-28 performance for 229 yards and 2 TDs at Notre Dame, Darnold has thrown for at least 200 yards in 17 games and at least 3 TD passes in a game nine times ... Junior WR Deontay Burnett hauled in eight receptions for 113 yards and a TD in the loss to the Irish. He leads the Pac-12 with 57 receptions, while his 7.1 receptions per game and 92.4 receiving yards per game are second ... Freshman WR Tyler Vaughns has posted 23 receptions for 287 yards and one score over the last four games ...  After missing his first field goal attempt of his career in USC’s win over Texas, freshman walk-on PK Chase McGrath has now hit eight consecutive.

ARIZONA STATE: ASU is now 23-24 in the red zone this season (includes 18 TDs). Only time it did not score was last possession of game vs. Washington (ran out clock) ... The Sun Devils are 18-0 since 2012 when holding the opposition under 20 points ... ASU recorded four interceptions at Utah, including a pick six by Jay Jay Wilson. It was the 16th pick six for the Sun Devils under Todd Graham, the most by any FBS team during that time period (2012-current) ... ASU’s 205 yards rushing at Utah mark the second time in three games that it rushed for more than 200 yards ... Sophomore WR N’Keal Harry has started 19 games and has a reception in all 19 of those games. Harry is currently fifth in the Pac-12, averaging 89.6 receiving yards per game with 51 receptions (Pac-12 best 7.3 per game) and 3 TDs.

COACHES TELECONFERENCE: This week's Pac-12 Football coaches teleconference can be found here.

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