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Pac-12 football heats up in week seven

Oct 7, 2013

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GAME THEMES: USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron makes his debut as the Trojans host ARIZONA with both teams looking for their first win in Pac-12 play . . . ESPN’s Game Day visits Seattle where No. 16 WASHINGTON takes on its second straight ranked foe in No. 2 OREGON and a Duck offense that averages 630.4 yards per game and 59.2 points per game . . . No. 5 STANFORD visits Salt Lake City for the third time ever as the Cardinal take on UTAH and looks to extend its 13-game winning streak, which is the second-longest in the FBS . . . ARIZONA STATE looks to keep pace in the Pac-12 South . . . A couple of young signal-callers go toe-to-toe in the Rose Bowl as CALIFORNIA freshman Jared Goff (364.2 passing yards per game) goes up against No. 11 UCLA and sophomore Brett Hundley, who has guided the Bruins to 561.8 yards per game and 48.0 points per game . . . Alert the FAA in Pullman. OREGON STATE’s Sean Mannion and his FBS leading 403.6 passing yards visit WASHINGTON STATE where Connor Halliday has thrown for 332.2 yards per game. The two have combined to complete 349 of 528 pass attempts for 4,011 yards and 34 TDs.

ARMS RACE: Pac-12 quarterbacks continue to put up impressive numbers each weekend. Washington State’s Connor Halliday (521 yards) and California’s Jared Goff (504 yards) combined for 1,025 passing yards in WSU’s 44-22 win at Cal. It was the most passing yards by two opposing players in a Conference game . . . Four Pac-12 quarterbacks ranked among the top eight in the FBS in passing yards per game - No.1 Oregon State’s Sean Mannion (403.6 ypg), No. 3 California’s Goff (364.2 ypg), No.5 Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly (346.4 ypg) and No. 8 Washington State’s Halliday (332.2 ypg) . . . Washington’s Keith Price leads the Pac-12 and is 10th in the FBS in completion percentage (.713) . . . Oregon’s Marcus Mariota leads the Pac-12 and is eighth in the FBS in passing efficiency (176.3) . . . Mannion (26.4 ppg) and Mariota (25.2 ppg) rank 1-2 in points responsible for per game, while UCLA’s Brett Hundley ranks 10th (19.5 ppg).

DEFENSIVE SUPPORT: Eight Pac-12 players posted double digit tackles last week, led by Arizona State junior DB Damarious Randall with a Pac-12 season-high 17 tackles vs. Notre Dame . . . Colorado freshman LB Addison Gillam posted 15 tackles vs. Oregon to up his league-leading total to 12.2 tackles per game . . .  Washington State senior CB Deone Bucannon tallied 12 tackles, the 14th double-digit total for his career, and averages 9.3 per game this season . . . Stanford senior LB Shayne Skov collected 14 tackles and leads the Cardinal with 8.4 per game . . . UCLA junior LB Eric Kendricks notched 13 tackles at Utah and is second in the league with 9.8 tackles per game . . . Utah sophomore LB Jared Norris posted 12 tackles, with 2.5 for loss, including 2.0 sacks in the loss to UCLA. Teammates Trevor Reilly and Jason Whittingham added 11 and 10 tackles respectively.


ARIZONA (3-1, 0-1) at USC (3-2, 0-2)
ARIZONA: While the Wildcats have won just four times vs. USC in Los Angeles. The last six games between these two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less . . . Arizona ranks ninth nationally in scoring defense (14.3 ppg) . . . Junior RB Ka’Deem Carey ranks second in the Pac-12 and is fifth nationally in rushing with 143.7 ypg . . . As a team, Arizona ranks second in the league and 10th nationally in rushing, averaging 291.5 yards per game.
USC: The Trojans take the field for the first time with interim head coach Ed Orgeron at the helm . . . USC TBs Tre Madden (128) and Justin Davis (122) both eclipsed 100 rushing yards in the Trojan’s last outing at Arizona State. It was Madden’s fourth 100-yard outing of the year and he currently is 13th nationally in rushing (116.6 ypg) . . . Junior WR Marqise Lee set the school career receiving yardage record (3,249 yds) and moved to No. 2 on USC’s all-time receptions list (221 rec), but he hurt his knee at ASU.
LAST TIME: Arizona’s Matt Scott piled up 469 yards of total offense and four TDs as the Wildcats fought back from a 15-point second half deficit for a 39-36 win in Tucson. USC had record setting performances from Matt Barkley, who threw for a school-record 493 yards, while Marqise Lee posted a Pac-12 record 345 receiving yards and 469 all-purpose yards.
No. 2 OREGON (5-0, 2-0) at No. 16 WASHINGTON (4-1, 1-1)
OREGON: The Ducks have won nine straight in the series with Washington, the longest such streak for either team in the 105 meetings . . . Of Oregon’s’ 42 scoring possessions, 33 have occurred in under 2:00 . . . UO’s 755 yards of total offense at CU was the second-highest total in school history . . . Sophomore QB Marcus Mariota has now gone 202 attempts without an interception, breaking the former UO mark set by Kellen Clemens of 178 in 2004 . . . Mariota has tossed at least one TD pass in all 18 games of his career and has thrown for and run for a score in seven straight games . . . Sophomore WR Bralon Addison had a career-high 158 yards on five catches at CU, including a career-best 75-yard TD . . . Oregon has scored 50 or more points in five straight games.
WASHINGTON: Huskies take on their second top 5 ranked team in as many weeks when No. 2 Oregon visits Seattle . . . Senior QB Keith Price completed a career-best 33 of 48 passes for 350 yards and 2 TDs in the 31-28 loss at Stanford. He moved up the UW career lists for completions (638, 2nd) and extend his school record for TD passes to 65 (tied for 17th on the Pac-12 career list). . . Junior RB Bishop Sankey leads the league and is fourth in the FBS averaging 146.4 ypg. With 2,358 rushing yards in his career, Sankey needs 24 yards to move into the UW’s top 10 list.
LAST TIME: Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for 198 yards and four touchdowns to lead the No. 2-ranked Ducks to a 52-21 home victory over the No. 23-ranked Huskies. Kenyon Barner added 122 yards rushing.
No. 5 STANFORD (5-0, 3-0) at UTAH (3-2, 0-2)
STANFORD: The Cardinal make their third-ever visit to Salt Lake City, posting victories in both previous visits in 1902 (35-11) and 1995 (27-20) . . . Since World War II, Stanford has started its season 5-0 three times (2013, 2011, 1951) . . . Stanford has held opponents to 12 total points in the first quarter of games this season. Stanford’s defense has not allowed a first-quarter TD this season . . . In the 31-28 win over Washington, junior WR Ty Montgomery finished with 56 yards and one touchdown on three receptions, rushed for 30 yards on two carries, returned opening kickoff for a career-best 99-yard touchdown and compiled 290 all-purpose yards (single-game career-high). His five TD receptions averaged 29.8 yards.
UTAH: Sophomore QB Travis Wilson completed 22-of-44 for 288 yards against UCLA. It was the seventh time in his career that he passed for over 200 yards, and he has passed for over 200 yards in all five games this year. Wilson’s 54-yard touchdown pass to Dres Anderson was Utah’s eighth play of 50 yards or more this season. It was Anderson’s fourth TD of the season. He caught six balls for 106 yards giving him four-straight 100-yard receiving games . . . Freshman PK Andy Phillips remained perfect on the season, converting a 37-yarder and a 44-yarder to go 9-for-9 on the year.
LAST TIME: In a September 7, 1996 meeting between No. 25 Utah at Stanford, the Utes received 114 rushing yards from Juan Johnson, while Mike Fouts threw for 222 yards and a touchdown to hold off the Cardinal 17-10. Chad Hutchinson threw for 265 yards and a touchdown to rally Stanford from a 17-0 deficit in the fourth quarter.
COLORADO (2-2, 0-2) at ARIZONA STATE (3-2, 1-0)
COLORADO: Junior CB Greg Henderson is the first Buff to make two interceptions in the same game since Oct. 27, 2007. He now has four on the season, the most by a player since Terrence Wheatley had five in both 2006 and 2007 . . . Junior WR Paul Richardson had his fourth play of 50 yards or longer this season (55-yard reception to open the game). It was his third 100-yard game of the season, giving him six for his career. He also threw and completed his first career pass, going for a touchdown (75 yards to WR D.D. Goodson). For the year, Richardson now has 31 catches for 621 yards, 20.0 per, with five TDs . . . Colorado’s 10 first quarter points were the most by an opponent in a quarter against UO this year . . . Colorado had 318 yards in the first half, just 2.5 yards shy of what Oregon came in allowing per game (320.5); but the Buffs managed just 56 after halftime.
ARIZONA STATE: Sophomore WR Jaelen Strong had 8 receptions for 136 yards and one touchdown in a 37-34 loss to Notre Dame. It was Strong’s third-straight 100-plus yard receiving game and his third in four career games with a touchdown reception. Strong now has 39 catches for 569 yards and three touchdowns on the season. He is averaging 7.8 receptions (t2nd in Pac-12) 14.6 yards per catch and 113.8 yards per game (4th in Pac-12) . . . Senior RB Marion Grice found the end zone again with a 16-yard TD reception vs. Notre Dame. He’s posted and FBS-leading 13 TDs this season, averaging 15.6 points per game . . . Junior QB Taylor Kelly had his fifth game this season throwing for over 300 yards and now has eight such games in his career. Kelly is one of just three FBS quarterbacks to throw for over 300 yards in each game this season, joining Sean Mannion of Oregon State and Keith Wenning of Ball State.
LAST TIME: Holding a 20-17 halftime lead, Arizona State opened the second half with a 100-yard kickoff return to ignite the Sun Devils to 31 second half points and a 51-17 victory in Boulder. ASU’s Taylor Kelly completed 20-of-28 for 308 yards and five touchdowns.
CALIFORNIA (1-4, 0-2) at No. 11 UCLA (4-0, 1-0)
CALIFORNIA: Freshman QB Jared Goff set a Cal single-game record with 504 passing yards in the loss to Washington State (previous record of 503 was held by Pat Barnes vs. Arizona, 1996 in 4 OT) . . . Sophomore WR Chris Harper pulled in a career-best 14 receptions for a career-high 231 yards against Washington State. His 89-yard touchdown pass from Goff was the second longest pass play in Cal history.
UCLA: The Bruins are 4-0 for the first time since 2005 . . . Sophomore QB Brett Hundley threw, caught and rushed for a touchdown in last Thursday’s win over Utah. He threw for 211 yards and rushed for another 85 yards, leaving himself 4 yards short of reaching the 300-yard mark in total offense for the fourth time in four games this season . . . The Bruins picked off six Utah passes. UCLA had just one interception in the first three games this season.
LAST TIME: Bears quarterback Zach Maynard completed 25-of-30 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns, and added a fifth on the ground, as California forced six turnovers to defeat No. 25 UCLA, 43-17 in Berkeley.
OREGON STATE (4-1, 2-0) at WASHINGTON STATE (4-2, 1-1)
OREGON STATE: Over the last three games, junior QB Sean Mannion is averaging 408 yards through the air with 14 TD passes, while junior WR Brandin Cooks is averaging 173 receiving yards with 5 TDs during that same span of games . . . For two teams that like to sling it, the defenses get their fair share of interceptions. The Beavers have eight picks, while Washington State leads the league with nine interceptions.
WASHINGTON STATE: Junior QB Connor Halliday completed a career-high 41 passes in a WSU single-game record 67 attempts for a career-high 521 yards and three TDs in the win over Cal. He’s the second Cougar all-time to throw for 500 yards in a game (Alex Brink, 531 yds vs. Oregon State, 2005) . . . Halliday also set a WSU single-game record for total offense with 516 yards, which was one more yard than Brink posted at Oregon State in 2005 . . . Halliday connected with 12 different receivers against California, which has been the norm for the season. Eight different Cougars are averaging better than 2.0 receptions per game, while seven different players are posting at least 10.0 yards per catch.
LAST TIME: A defensive battle took place in Corvallis as the Beavers stymied Washington State on the way to a 19-6 victory. Oregon State forced five turnovers, including three interceptions by Jordan Poyer. Scott Crichton added three sacks as OSU limited the Cougars to 20 rushing yards.