This week in Pac-12 football
By the Pac-12 Conference
AROUND THE PAC-12
BCS STANDINGS: The first BCS standings of the season were released Sunday and the Pac-12 places three teams among the Top 10 - No. 3 Oregon, No. 8 Oregon State, No. 10 USC. Stanford also makes the list, coming in at No. 20. Looking down the road... Oregon is scheduled to play at USC on November 2, and will finish the season at Oregon State on November 24. Oregon State and USC do not meet in the regular season. . . Not since the Nov. 10, 2001 BCS Standings have three Pac-12 teams appeared in the Top 10 with No. 4 Oregon, No. 8 Washington State and No. 9 Stanford. Each BCS Standings during the 2004 season included USC, California and Utah among the Top 10. However, Utah was not a member of the Pac-12 Conference.
HOME/ROAD: In 42 games involving Pac-12 teams so far this season, the home team has won 30 times, the visitors 12 times. However, in 20 Conference games to date, there's no advantage as the home team has won 10 times, the visitors 10 times.
OREGON (6-0) at ARIZONA STATE (5-1)
Thurs., Oct. 18, 6 p.m. PT - ESPN
Series tied, 16-16-0. Last game: ORE, 41-27 (2011)
The matchup between division leaders Oregon and Arizona State will pit the Pac-12's top scoring offense against the Conference's No. 1 scoring defense. Oregon has averaged 52.3 ppg (ranks second in the FBS) through the first six games of the season, while ASU has conceded 14.2 ppg (ranks ninth in the FBS). The Ducks rank second in the Pac-12 and eighth in the country in total offense, racking up an average of 541.7 yards per game. The Sun Devils, who boast the nation's fifth-ranked pass defense, have allowed a league-leading 272.7 total yards per game, a figure that ranks eighth nationally.
The Ducks have outscored opponents 112-19 in the first quarter this season, while the Sun Devils hold a 62-10 advantage over opponents in the opening frame.
For the second straight season, Arizona State and Oregon will meet with undefeated records in conference play. The Ducks won last year's tilt in Eugene, 41-27. Oregon RB Kenjon Barner rushed for a then-career-high 171 yards and a touchdown in the win.
ASU sophomore QB Taylor Kelly leads the league, and is third nationally, in pass efficiency with a 176.0 rating. He threw for 332 yards and a career-high five TDs in the 51-17 win at Colorado. He hasn't thrown an interception in his last 99 attempts.
The Sun Devils average a conference-leading 4.33 sacks per game (ranks second in the FBS). After a two-sack performance against Colorado, DT Will Sutton is tied for the FBS lead with 8.50 sacks.
STANFORD (4-2) at CALIFORNIA (3-4)
Sat., Oct. 20, 12 noon PT - FOX
STAN leads, 57-46-11. Last game: STAN, 31-28 (2011)
California has won seven of the last 10 "Big Games," but Stanford has enjoyed recent success, claiming the last two contests in the series.
California improved to 3-0 on the season (64-5 overall) under head coach Jeff Tedford when it scores 30 points or more after defeating Washington State, 31-17. It was Tedford's 50th conference win at Cal.
California junior WR Keenan Allen, who ranks third in the Pac-12 with 7.4 receptions per game, notched season-highs in catches (11) and receiving yards (166) against Washington State and moved into second place on Cal's all-time receptions list (196). He needs just six receptions to tie the school record held by Geoff MacArthur (2000-04). He also moved into third place on Cal's career receiving yards list (2,466) and ran his reception streak to a league-leading 31 games. He has caught a pass in every game in which he has played.
Cal, which ranks third in the Pac-12 in rushing offense, is coming off a 318-yard rushing performance against WSU in which four players picked up at least 50 yards on the ground. The Bears' ground game will be tested this week as Stanford has allowed just 89.5 rushing yards per game this season, a figure that ranks second in the Conference and seventh in the FBS.
Stanford is coming off of back to back overtime games for the first time in program history.
COLORADO (1-5) at USC (5-1)
Sat., Oct. 20, 3 p.m. PT - P12N
USC leads, 6-0-0. Last game: USC, 42-17 (2011)
Colorado senior TE Nick Kasa caught four passes for 71 yards and a touchdown in the loss against Arizona State. He continues to evolve as a tight end (this was just his seventh game with action at the position); he now has 11 receptions for 239 yards (20.9 per) and a team-best three receiving touchdowns. He now has six receptions of 20 yards or longer.
Buffs junior DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe, who was not on the dress list on Wednesday and decided to give it a go despite a foot injury, had the 15th quarterback sack of his career (sixth this season), which now ties him for 12th all-time at Colorado. His 1.0 sacks per game ranks fifth in the Pac-12.
USC junior TB Silas Redd had a game-high 155 yards on 26 carries, with an 11-yard TD, in the win at Washington. He also had a 57-yard non-scoring run on USC's first play of the game to set up a field goal. It was his 10th career 100-yard game (the first 7 came at Penn State). He leads USC in rushing with 570 yards (he is fifth in the Pac-12 at 95.0) and is on pace for his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season.
In last year's 42-17 win in Boulder, USC QB Matt Barkley threw for a school-record six TDs. He needs three TD passes to match the Pac-12 career record of 99 set by former Trojan Matt Leinart (2003-05).
WASHINGTON (3-3) at ARIZONA (3-3)
Sat., Oct. 20, 7 p.m. PT - P12N
WASH leads, 18-9-1. Last game: WASH, 42-31 (2011)
Arizona's potent offense will test Washington's secondary. While the Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in total offense (553.8 ypg) and passing offense (370.8 ypg), the Husky pass defense (172.7 ypg) ranks second in the league.
Senior QB Matt Scott leads the Pac-12 in passing, averaging 352.3 yards per game. Halfway through the season and he's already cracking the top 10 season best list at Arizona in several categories. His 2,336 yards of total offense ranks ninth on the UA single-season list. . . Sophomore RB Ka'Deem Carey leads all Pac-12 players with 11 TDs, averaging 11.0 points per game.
Washington's sophomore receiving tandem of TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (4.8 receptions per game) and WR Kasen Williams (5.5 receptions per game) combine for 116.5 of the team's 186.5 receiving yards per game this season.
UTAH (2-4) at OREGON STATE (5-0)
Sat., Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m. PT - ESPN2
OSU leads, 9-6-1. Last game: UTAH, 27-8 (2011)
Oregon State opens the season 5-0 for the first time since 1939. The last time a Beaver squad started the year 6-0, Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House (1907).
The Beavers are first in the league in rushing defense, allowing 70.0 yards per game. It has not given up a run over 25 yards this season. . . OSU Sophomore DT Scott Crichton leads the nation in sacks with 1.6 per game.
Utah is off to an 0-3 Pac-12 Conference start with losses to Arizona State, USC and UCLA. Last year, the Utes started 0-4 in conference play before winning their next four Pac-12 games, starting with a 27-8 victory over Oregon State. In that 27-8 victory last season, senior RB John White rushed for a career-high 205 yards, while the Ute defense limited Oregon State to 32 rushing yards.
Utah senior P Sean Sellwood continues to lead the nation with a 48.04 average. He punted three times at UCLA for an average of 54.3 yards and a long of 65, placing two punts inside the 20 with the other a touchback. His two 50-yard punts gave him 48 for his career, which ties him for second in school history. Only two punters in Pac-12 history have averaged better than 48.04 yards per kick - Kirk Wilson, UCLA (49.3, 1956) and Tom Malone, USC (49.0, 2003).