Rivalries kick off home stretch of Pac-12 football regular season

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PAC-12 FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK:

THE DIVISION RACES: With two weeks remaining in the regular season, USC has punched its ticket to the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, while Stanford, Washington and Washington State remain in contention for the North Division title.

THE NORTH: Washington State controls its own destiny. If the Cougars defeat Washington in the Apple Cup, it will secure the North Division’s spot in the FCG. Should Stanford defeat California, and Washington defeats Washington State, the Cardinal will represent the North Division in the FCG. Should Washington defeat Utah and Washington State, and California defeats Stanford, the Huskies will punch their ticket to the FCG. In the event of a three team tie in Conference play at 6-3 (Washington loses to Utah and defeats Washington State, and California defeats Stanford), Washington would secure the North Division’s place in the FCG due to the team’s better record in games played within the division (4-1, compared to 3-2 for both Stanford and Washington State).

THE SOUTH: USC has clinched at least a share of the South Division title and a spot in the Pac-12 FCG. A win by the Trojans Saturday, and they own the South title outright. If USC falters against UCLA, and Arizona wins its remaining two games, the South Division will have co-champions. In the event that there are co-champions, USC will have earned the South Division’s spot in the Pac-12 FCG based on the Conference’s tie-break procedure. USC has the head-to-head victory over Arizona.

THE RANKINGS: Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP and Coaches polls as STANFORD jumps back in after a one-week hiatus – USC (12/10), WASHINGTON STATE (15/16), WASHINGTON (16/15) and STANFORD (20/23).

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: WASHINGTON STATE senior QB Luke Falk is now the owner of several Pac-12 career passing records.

Total Plays: 2,243 (previous record: 1,824 by Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-2002)
Pass Completions: 1,367 (previous record: 1,187 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
Pass Attempts: 2,000 (previous record: 1,838 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
Touchdown Passes: 118 (previous record: 116 by Matt Barkley, USC, 2009-12)
Total Offense: 13,755 (previous record: 13,033 by Marcus Mariota, ORE)
Passing Yards: 14,117 (previous record: 13,600 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)

50+ RUNS: The Pac-12 has posted 35 rushes of 50+ yards this season. STANFORD RB Bryce Love leads the way with eight rushes of 50 or more yards this season, while ARIZONA QB Khalil Tate has seven.

THE TATE FILE: ARIZONA sophomore QB Khalil Tate has taken the 2017 football season by storm. Here’s a look at what he’s accomplished so far this season (played in eight games, with just five starts):

• Rushing Yards/Season - 1,293 yards (Pac-12 rushing record by a quarterback)
• Rushing Yards/Game - 161.6 ypg (No. 2 FBS)
• Single Game FBS QB rushing record: 327 yards vs. Colorado (Oct. 7)
• Rushing back-to-back games: 557 yards (327 at COLO, 230 vs. UCLA). Fourth-best in Pac-12 history
• October Rushing Totals: 884 yards (most by a FBS player in a single month in more than a decade)
• Five rushes of 70+ yards: 75 at COLO, 71 vs. UCLA, 76 at CAL, 82 vs. WSU, 71 vs. OSU
• 11 rushing TDs this season have covered: 58, 28, 47, 75, 45, 71, 76, 49, 32, 19, 71 yards (51.9 avg)
• Leads FBS in yards per rush attempt (11.6)

THE LOVE DOSSIER: An ankle injury was the only thing to keep STANFORD junior RB Bryce Love (BryceLove20.com, #HeismanLove) in check the last two weeks as he did not play in Stanford’s 15-14 win at Oregon State and did not practice prior to the Washington State loss. However, Love continues to lead the nation in rushing (182.0 yards per game). Here’s a look at Love’s achievements to date:

• Rushing Yards/Game - 182.0 ypg (No. 1 FBS)
• Stanford single-game rushing record: 301 yards vs. Arizona State (Sept. 30)
• Rushing back-to-back games: 564 yards (301 vs. ASU, 263 vs. UCLA). Third-best in Pac-12 history
• Has rushed for 100+ yards in 10 of his last 11 games played.
• Six rushes of 60+ yards this season: 62 vs. Rice, 75 at USC, 69 vs. UCLA, 61 vs. ASU, 68 at UTAH, 67 vs. ORE
• 15 rushing TDs this year (4th in the FBS). 10 of his 15 TDs have been from 43+ yards
• Averaged distance on his 15 rushing TDs - 42.4 yards
• Second in the FBS in yards per attempt (9.0)

PAC-12 RECORD SETTERS: The following individuals have etched their names in the Pac-12 record book with outstanding season and career performances to date:

• Washington’s Dante Pettis set an FBS career record with his ninth punt return for a touchdown. Pettis became the Pac-12’s all-time leader in punt return yardage with 1,258 yards.
• Washington’s Myles Gaskin tied a Pac-12 record held by 11 others when he posted his third season with 1,000 rushing yards.
• Washington State’s Luke Falk has established numerous Pac-12 career passing marks, most notably  with 14,117 passing yards and 118 touchdown passes.
• Arizona’s Khalil Tate set a Pac-12 season rushing record for a quarterback with 1,087 yards.

PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

OFFENSE
Bryce Love, RB, STAN
Love ran for 166 yards and matched a career-high with three touchdowns in a 30-22 win over No. 9 Washington. He also matched a career-high with 30 carries and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. He added one reception for 12 yards and finished with a game-high 178 all-purpose yards. Love extended his FBS-leading touchdown streak to 11 games (which also tied a school record), and as the nation’s leading rusher (180.2 ypg), he has run for 140+ yards in all but one game this season.

DEFENSE
Hercules Mata’afa, DL, WSU
Mata’afa had a career day in leading WSU to a 33-25 win at Utah, holding the Utes to 67 yards rushing. He matched a career-high with eight tackles, made career-highs of 5 tackles-for-loss and 3 sacks, along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Part of WSU defense that forced seven turnovers on the day. Cougars are now tied for national lead with 27 takeaways. Mata’afa upped his season TFL total to 21.5, which leads all Pac-12 defenders and is fourth nationally. He is tied with Rien Long for 2nd-most in WSU single-season history.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Erik Powell, PK, WSU
Connected on four of five field goals and accounted for 15 points in WSU’s win at Utah, helping WSU to 9-2 mark and share for Pac-12 North lead. Powell made 4 field goals (44, 32, 28, 33) for the second time this season (also at Oregon) and upped his season field goal total to 19, t-5th-most in the FBS this season and in WSU single-season history. Powell upped his career field goal total to 50, 3rd-most in WSU history.

THIS WEEK'S GAMES:

ARIZONA STATE (5-5) at OREGON STATE (1-9)
Sat., Nov. 18 • 12 noon PT • P12N • #ASUvsOSU

ARIZONA STATE: Senior RB Demario Richard rushed for a 125 yards at UCLA for his 11th career game rushing for over 100 yards. He’s posted 314 yards rushing over the last two games. His 2,868 career rushing yards and needs 126 yards to move into the top five in Sun Devil history ... ASU has rushed for 675 yards its last two games (381 vs. Colorado and 294 at UCLA). That makes up 41 percent of ASU’s total 1,646 rushing yards this season ... Junior LB Christian Sam led the Sun Devils with nine tackles at UCLA and now has a Pac-12 leading 104 tackles (10.4 per game) ... After going a perfect 6-6 in the red zone at UCLA, ASU is now 36-37 this season (97.3 percent, 2nd in the FBS). The lone exception was a game-ending kneel down to seal the victory over Washington ... One more victory and the Sun Devils become bowl eligible for the first time since 2014.

OREGON STATE: Senior QB Darell Garretson completed 16-of-28 for 209 yards and a career-best 4 TD passes (all in the second half). Prior to the Arizona game, Garretson had averaged 110.3 yards passing with a total of 4 TD passes in 12 games. Over the last four games, Garretson has completed 62-of-111 (.559) for 793 yards ...  Junior RB Ryan Nall rushed for 95 yards at Arizona, moving his career total to 2,133 rushing yards (ninth in OSU history). He also added a 44-yard reception for one score. Nall has 727 yards rushing and 244 yards receiving and needs 29 yards to reach 1,000 all-purpose yards this season ...  Senior LB Manase Hungalu is second in the Pac-12 with 8.7 tackles per game.

ARIZONA (7-3) at OREGON (5-5)
Sat., Nov. 18 • 4:00 pm PT • P12N • #AZvsUO

ARIZONA: Arizona finished with a school-record 534 rushing yards Saturday, marking the eighth straight game the Wildcats have rushed for more than 200 yards ... Three players rushed for 100 or more yards against Oregon State - Khalil Tate (206), J.J. Taylor (129) and Nick Wilson (101) ... Wildcats are leading the league and are third nationally in rushing at 347.0 ypg, the most in Conference history since UCLA averaged 400.3 ypg in 1973 ... Five different Wildcats have rushed for 130 or more yards in a game this season - Tate (327 vs. Colorado, 230 vs. UCLA, 137 vs. Cal, 161 vs. USC, 206 vs. OSU), Taylor (152 vs. WSU, 129 vs. OSU), Wilson (135 vs. UCLA, 101 vs. OSU), Zach Green (130 vs. Cal) and Brandon Dawkins (133 vs. UTEP),  ... Over the last six games, Tate has accumulated 2,164 yards of total offense. In that span, he’s rushed for 1,207 yards/11 TDs and completed 60-of-97 passing for 957 yards/8 TDs. Tate has posted a run of at least 50 yards in six consecutive games.

OREGON: Senior RB Royce Freeman has seven 100-yard rushing games this season, 29 for his career, a UO record. His Oregon career rushing record stands at 5,364 yards, second all-time in the Pac-12 (Pac-12 record: USC’s Charles White with 6,245 yards, 1976-79) ... Freeman has a UO-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) ... Senior PK Aidan Schneider has hit 47 of 55 field goal attempts (.855) in his career. He needs three more to move ahead of Jared Segal (49 field goals, 2001-04) for the UO career record. With 334 career points he needs 15 points to pass LaMichael James (348, 2009-11) for the school’s career scoring record.

CALIFORNIA (5-5) at STANFORD (7-3)
Sat., Nov. 18 • 5:00 PT • FOX • #CALvsSTAN

CALIFORNIA: 120th Big Game is on tap for Saturday ... The Bears are looking for one victory in their next two games to become bowl eligible ... Junior RB Patrick Laird has 396 yards rushing over the last three games, nearly half of his season total of 796 yards rushing (5.7 yards per carry). Laird has 36 receptions for 245 yards, giving him 1,041 all-purpose yards (115.7 ypg). He’s one of eight Pac-12 players to post 1,000 all-purpose yards this season ... Junior WR Vic Wharton III has nearly doubled his receptions from last season with a team-leading 53 catches for 752 yards. He had 28 catches for 293 yards in 2016. Wharton III has been added to the Biletnikoff Watch List ... Senior PK Matt Anderson surpassed Doug Brien to become Cal’s career leading scorer now with 297 points, passing Brien’s 288.

STANFORD: Junior RB Bryce Love had 30 carries for 166 yards and 3 TDs in the win over Washington. The Huskies entered the game allowing an average of just 91.1 rushing yards per game and just three rushing TDs all season, each for 1 yard scores ... Love continues to lead the FBS with 180.2 rushing yards per game and is third in the nation wth 15 rushing TDs. He has rushed for over 150 yards in seven of nine games he’s played this season ... 16 of Love’s 22 career touchdown runs have been 43 yards or longer ... Sophomore PK Jet Toner leads the team with 93 points this season and ranks 3rd in the nation with 18 made field goals. He leads the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.857).

UCLA (5-5) at USC (9-2)
Sat., Nov. 18 • 5:00 pm PT • ABC • #UCLAvsUSC

UCLA: The Bruins are 5-0 at home this season, the first time they have won their first five contests at The Rose Bowl since 2013 ... The Bruins were four for five in the red zone and are now 37-for-42 (.881) in the red zone this season, including 29 TDs ... Junior QB Josh Rosen completed 25-of-45 for 381 yards and one TD. It was his 16th 300-yard passing game and 10th 350-yard total offense game, both are the most in school history ... Rosen has moved into third place in UCLA history in passin gyards (8,677), total offense (8,592) and completions (666) ... Junior WR Jordan Lasley posted the sixth 100-yard receiving game of his career with a personal-best 162 yards in the win over Arizona State ...  Senior DL Jacob Tuioti-Mariner had a career-best 10 tackles and two sacks vs. Arizona State.

USC: Having punched their ticket to the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Trojans look to clinch the South Division title outright with a win over UCLA ... Sophomore QB Sam Darnold is 18-3 as a starter, including a 11-0 mark at home ... After his 21-of-34 performance for 329 yards/2 TDs at Colorado, Darnold has thrown for at least 200 yards in 20 games, with at least 3 TD passes in a game 10 times ... Junior TB Ronald Jones II rushed for 142 yards at Colorado, giving him 1,224 yards (6.7 avg) for the season. He has tallied 551 rushing yards the last three games and is the first Trojan in a dozen years to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Jones already has run for 3,293 yards, which ranks sixth on USC’s career rushing list. He needs 131 yards to move past O.J. Simpson (3,423) for fifth. He also has 34 rushing TDs in his USC career. 

UTAH (5-5) at WASHINGTON (8-2)
Sat., Nov. 18 • 7:30 pm MT • ESPN • #UTAHvsUW

UTAH: Utah had its 50th-straight sellout at Rice-Eccles Stadium ... The Utes need one win in their last two games to become bowl eligible ... Sophomore QB Tyler Huntley completed 21-of-39 for 305 yards in the loss to Washington State. It was his third 300-yard passing game this season. He’s thrown for 200 or more yards six times in the eight games he’s played ... Sophomore WR Demari Simpkins (four catches for a career-high 99 yards) and junior WR Raelon Singleton (six catches for a season-high 87 yards) were the recepients of nearly half of Huntley’s completions ... Junior PK Matt Gay was successful on a 56-yard field goal attempt vs. Washington State, which ties his longest this season and teh longest field goal in school history. He is 22-of-26 on field goals for the season, including 5-of-6 from 50+ yards.

WASHINGTON: Junior QB Jake Browning now has 75 career TD passes, matching the school career mark of 75 held by Keith Price (2010-13)... Junior RB Myles Gaskin posted the 19th career 100-yard game with 120 yards and 3 TDs vs. Stanford. Gaskin has 37 career rushing touchdowns and ties Bishop Sankey atop the UW career list ... Senior WR Dante Pettis has been named one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s most versatile player. Pettis has tied a Pac-12 single-season record with four punt returns for touchdowns this season and broke the NCAA record for career punt returns for touchdowns with nine. He also owns the Pac-12 mark with 1,258 career punt return yards ... Pettis, who is the team’s leading receiver with 54 receptions for 612 yards, has 154 career receptions for 2,107 yards. With seven more receptions and 81 yards, he’ll move into UW’s all-time top 5 for both categories.

OPEN DATE

COLORADO: Senior TB Phillip Lindsay’s 3,635 career rushing yards rank him second all-time at CU, trailing Eric Bieniemy (3,940, 1987-90) ... He now has 963 receiving yards, six shy of Rodney Stewart’s 969 for the most by a running back in CU history. With 37 more yards, he’d be CU’s first career 1,000-yard rusher and receiver ... Sophomore QB Steven Montez set a CU record with his third game of 400+ yards of total offense as he threw for 376 yards and rushed for 40 yards for 416 yards total offense. The 376 yards passing was a career-high for Montez ... With 10 receptions for 113 yards, senior WR Bryce Bobo had his second 10-reception game of his career and the third 100-yard game of his career ... Junior WR Juwann Winfree had five receptions for 163 yards and 2 TDs (79 yards, 57 yards).

WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars improve to 9-2 for the first time since 2003 ... WSU forced seven turnovers in the win at Utah, the most since forcing seven against UCLA in 2003. The Cougars improved to 19-4 when forcing multiple turnovers under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch ... Junior DT Hercules Mata’afa had a career-high five tacles-for-loss and three sacks at Utah. He now as Pac-12-leading 21.5 TFL this season, tied for second-most in WSU single-season history ... Senior QB Luke Falk completed 40-of-69 for 311 yards and 3 TDs in the win at Utah. He added to his Pac-12 record for career passing yards and now has 14,117 yards. The three touchdowns give him 118 for his career, USC’s Matt Barkley (116, 2009-12) for the Pac-12 career record ... Falk tallied his school record 27th win, his school record 29th career 300-yard game and his 23rd career 3-TD game.

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

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