Roundup: Pair of top-20 battles in Week 4
The Pac-12 takes center stage in the national spotlight this weekend with College GameDay comin’ to Tucson for No. 9 UCLA at No. 16 Arizona (5 p.m. PT, ABC). Ted Miller writes that UCLA hopes it can continue to dominate Arizona under Jim Mora (the Bruins are 3-0 against the Fighting RichRods with Mora at the helm).
It won’t be that easy for the Bruins, though, because Adam Rittenberg of ESPN writes that Arizona should be taken seriously as a Pac-12 contender (Insider link). The Wildcats did win one of the two toughest divisions in all of college football last year, after all. Also, you should know that Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright is officially listed as questionable for the UCLA game.
What – one top-20 conference clash in primetime isn’t enough for ya? That’s why you should have No. 18 Utah at No. 13 Oregon going on a separate screen (5:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. MT, FOX). On the Utes’ side of things, Kevin Gemmell writes that 5’8’’ wide receiver Britain Covey is playing big for Utah. Simply put, this dude is fun to watch.
Meanwhile, Andrew Greif informs that Oregon is preparing for Utah’s “unknown” QB situation – will it be Travis Wilson or Kendal Thompson calling the shots? There’s still no official word on that front yet.
Juicy matchup in Tempe despite early-season losses on both sides, as Arizona State welcomes No. 19 USC to Sun Devil Stadium (7:30 p.m., ESPN). Doug Haller writes that Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez will be pivotal against USC; not only in kicking field goals, but kicking the ball away from Adoree’ Jackson on returns as well. And uh-oh – Sparky accidentally sent a Tempe city councilman to the hospital after jumping on his back and tearing a muscle in his back (ASU has apologized on behalf of the mascot).
Gary Klein reports that USC running back Tre Madden is expected to play against Arizona State Saturday night after straining his calf in the loss to Stanford.
But before that, the Week 4 fun begins Friday night with No. 21 Stanford looking to build off its upset of USC as it heads up to Corvallis to take on Oregon State (7 p.m. PT, FOX Sports 1). David Lombardi discusses what Stanford could do at QB if Kevin Hogan can’t play against the Beavers. An ankle injury has made Hogan a likely game-time decision; his backups are Keller Chryst and Ryan Burns.
On the other sideline, Oregon State is preparing for a physical battle with Stanford. The Beavs failed their first big physical test of the season at Michigan, so can they reverse their fortunes this time around? Gina Mizell has more details.
And then the action picks up Saturday morning with Colorado hosting Nicholls on the Pac-12 Networks (10:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. MT). On Thursday, Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said that quarterback Sefo Liufau separated his shoulder against Colorado State but, according to CU SID extraordinaire David Plati, will play against the Colonels Saturday.
The battle for the North heads to Seattle as Washington hosts Cal on the Pac-12 Networks (2 p.m. PT), and Daniel Uthman of USA Today previews the quarterback battle between Jake Browning and Jared Goff.
Well this would be sweet – according to a report from the San Jose Mercury News (and linked in this link by CBS Sports), Cal is in talks to play Hawai’i in Australia next season. Please let this happen, and please let pac-12.com need an on-site blogger for this game (let’s start budgeting for that, ya know, just in case we decide to do this).
Jacob Thorpe doles out Washington State football position grades for the first quarter of the season. He especially likes the play of the running backs, giving that group an A-, but wants to see more out of QB Luke Falk (he gives Falk a C).