This Week in Pac-12 Football
PAC-12 FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK:
THE RANKINGS: Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in both the AP and Coaches polls. WASHINGTON (6/5), WASHINGTON STATE (11/11), USC (14/15), and UTAH (20/18). No other conference has more teams ranked among the Top 20 ... That’s 13 consecutive weeks with four or more teams in the Top 25.
SEEKING PERFECTION: There are 17 FBS teams remain undefeated. Three of those 17 teams hail from the Pac-12 - Utah (4-0), Washington (5-0) and Washington State (5-0). No other conference has more undefeated teams remaining this season. Only the Big Ten and the American Athletic conferences can claim three undefeated.
BEST STARTS: Three Pac-12 teams remain undefeated. Here’s how that compares to previous undefeated starts to a season for those three:
Utah - Best start since 2015 (started 6-0).
Washington - Best start since 2016 (started 9-0).
Washington State - Best start since 2001 (started 7-0).
It’s just the second time that Washington and Washington State are both 5-0 to start the season. It also occurred in 1992 when the Huskies opened 8-0 and the Cougars started the season 6-0. Both teams had similar undefeated starts in three other seasons, but ties were included. (1906: UW 3-0-4, WSU 6-0. 1915: UW 7-0, WSU 6-0-1. 1962: UW 4-0-2, WSU 4-0-1)
ELITE COMPANY: STANFORD junior RB Bryce Love set a Stanford single-game rushing record with 301 yards on 25 carries (12.04 ypc) with a pair of touchdowns in the 34-24 win over Arizona State. He becomes the ninth Pac-12 running back all-time to rush for 300 or more yards in a game.
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. 321 (8.45 ypc) Kenjon Barner, Oregon vs. USC, 2012
7. 311 (16.37 ypc) Jahvid Best, California vs. Washington, 2008
8. 301 (12.04 ypc) Bryce Love, Stanford vs. Arizona State, 2017
301 (9.07 ypc) DeShaun Foster, UCLA vs. Washington, 2001
SHOW SOME LOVE: In comparing STANFORD junior RB Bryce Love’s numbers through five games to the five running backs who have won the Heisman Trophy over the last 20 years, he’s posted more yards than any of them. Love has also posted a much higher yards per carry average than the rest of the group. One similarity between Love, Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne and Texas’ Ricky Williams, is that their teams were 3-2 through the first five games.
2017 - Bryce Love (Stanford 3-2) 1,088 rush yds, 11.1 ypc, 8 total TD
2015 - Derrick Henry (Alabama 4-1) 570 rush yds, 6.1, 9 TD
2009 - Mark Ingram (Alabama 5-0) 487 rush yds, 5.9, 9 TD
2005 - Reggie Bush (USC 5-0) 601 rush yds, 8.5, 8 TD
1999 - Ron Dayne (Wisconsin 3-2) 773 yds, 5.8, 10 TD
1998 - Ricky Williams (Texas 3-2) 1,086 yds, 6.9, 20 TD
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: 1,949 (previous record: 1,824 by Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-2002)
Pass Completions: 1,211 (previous record: 1,187 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
Touchdown Passes: 105 (tied for 2nd. Record: 116 by Matt Barkley, USC, 2009-12)
Total Offense: 12,308 (3rd, trails Marcus Mariota, 13,033, and Sean Mannion, 12,796)
Passing Yards: 12,611 (3rd, trails Sean Mannion, 13,600, and Matt Barkley, 13,327)
PAC-12 IN THE NFL: When NFL opening day rosters were revealed, 258 former Pac-12 players found themselves listed on active rosters. USC led all Pac-12 teams with 42, followed by UCLA with 30. California, Stanford and Utah had 28 former players make active rosters.
PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Bryce Love, RB, STAN
Love set Stanford’s single-game rushing record with 301 yards, tied for eighth-most in Pac-12 history, in the 34-24 win over Arizona State. He averaged 12.0 yards on his 25 carries and had a career-high 3 TD runs ( 61, 43 and 59 yards). Stanford had just one game with a 250-yard rusher in the program’s first 1,254 contests -- Love has now reached that mark in back-to-back games. Has also rushed for 100 yards in seven consecutive games (second-longest streak in school history), and is the only player in the last 20 years with a rush of 50 or more yards in seven straight games.
Jahad Woods, LB, WSU
In just his second career start, Woods led WSU defensively as the Cougars held the Trojans to 10 points below their season average in a 30-27 victory. He posted a game-high nine tackles, including a sack, tackle-for-loss and a forced fumble. Woods preserved the Cougar victory by sacking Sam Darnold on the Trojans’ final possession, forcing the fumble that the Cougars recovered.
Erik Powell, PK, WSU
Powell accounted for 12 points with three field goals and three extra points, in WSU’s 30-27 upset of No. 5 USC. He connected on all three field goal attempts from 44, 33 and 32 yards. His 32-yards FG with 1:40 proved to be the game-winner. It marked the 39th of his career, 5th in WSU history. Powell also added three punts for 111 yards, a 37.0 average with a long of 53.
THIS WEEK'S GAMES:
OREGON STATE (1-4) at USC (4-1)
Sat., Oct. 7 • 1:00 pm PT • P12N • #OSUvsUSC
OREGON STATE: USC will be the third straight ranked opponent for the Beavers. The last time that occurred was the final three games of the 2010 season (#20 USC, #7 Stanford, #1 Oregon). Besides the 2010 season, it’s occurred only two other times - also in 1950 (#19 Michigan State, #8 Stanford, #11 Washington, #5 California) and 1954 (#3 UCLA, #13 USC, #14 Minnesota) ... Senior RB Thomas Tyner had nine carries for a team-best 54 yards and one touchdown in the loss to Washington. It is believed that he is the only player to have ever scored a touchdown playing for both Oregon State and Oregon. Tyner had 228 carries for 1,284 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns at Oregon from 2013-14.
USC: The Trojans are 41-3-3 vs. Oregon State in Los Angeles. USC has won 23 straight over the Beavers in Los Angeles. OSU’s three Los Angeles wins came in 1916, 1935 and 1960 ... Trojans are a little banged up as seven normal starters (6 on offense, including 3 linemen) missed all or most of the Washington State game ... Junior TB Ronald Jones II had 128 yards on 14 carries (9.1 ypc) at WSU, including an 86-yard TD run that was USC’s longest rush since LaVale Woods’ school record 96-yarder in 1996 vs. Oregon State. It was his third 100-yard game of the season ... Freshman WR Tyler Vaughns had a season-best six receptions for 89 yards at WSU ... 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 seven consecutive field goals after hitting on both attempts (20, 29) at WSU.
ARIZONA (2-2) at COLORADO (3-2)
Sat., Oct. 7 • 6:00 pm MT • P12N • #AZvsCU
ARIZONA: Dating back to last season, Arizona has rushed for 150 or more yards in 10 straight games. It’s the longest streak since Arizona rushed for 150 or more in 11 straight over the final eight games of 2013 and the first three of 2014. Arizona has rushed for 200 or more yards in three of four games this season ... Junior QB Brandon Dawkins rushed for 90 yards and a TD on 18 carries in the loss to Utah. He now has 1,498 rushing yards for his career, which is most by any Arizona quarterback since at least 1958 ... The Wildcats have allowed just 129 rushing yards over the past two games. That’s the best two-game output by the Arizona defense since the Wildcats allowed just 124 rushing yards against UCLA and Washington State in back-to-back games in 2009.
COLORADO: Senior TB Phillip Lindsay became the 17th player in school history, and the first running back, to have 100 career receptions; he has 100 for 830 yards (and becomes the fourth player on the current roster with 100-plus receptions, joining Shay Fields—169; Devin Ross—120; Bryce Bobo—113). With 175 points, he now owns sole possession of 10th all-time on CU’s scoring list. He moved into sixth on CU’s rushing chart with 2,762 yards. With 130 all-purpose yards in the loss at UCLA, he upped his total to 4,669 (second at CU), and is within 160 yards of all-time leader Rodney Stewart (4,828, 2008-11) ... Sophomore QB Steven Montez had 108 yards rushing on 15 carries. It was his second career 100-yard rushing game.
WASHINGTON STATE (5-0) at OREGON (4-1)
Sat., Oct. 7 • 5:00 pm PT • FOX • #WSUvsUO
WASHINGTON STATE: Cougars have won the last two meetings with Oregon, and have averaged 48.0 ppg in the two wins, compared to 35.5 ppg for the Ducks ... Senior QB Luke Falk completed 34 of 51 passes (66.7%) for 340 yards, two TDs and one interception in the 30-27 win over No. 5 USC. Falk connected with nine different receivers, eight of which had multiple catches. Falk became the Pac-12 leader in pass completions, moving past Oregon State’s Sean Mannion (1,187; 2011-14) and moved into a tie for second on the conference all-time list for touchdown passes (105; with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota) ... Sophomore RB James Williams has posted 10 or more receptions in three of five games this season. He leads the Pac-12, and is 6th in the FBS, averaging 8.0 receptions per game ... Cougars are one of three FBS teams (Alabama, South Florida) to be ranked among the Top 20 in both total offense (19th, 495.8 ypg) and total defense (11th, 275.2 ypg).
OREGON: The Ducks lead the FBS in scoring offense, averaging 49.6 ppg ... Senior RB Kani Benoit (18 carries, career-high 138 yards) and Tony Brooks-James (16 carries, 76 yards) combined for 214 yards and 3 TDs in Oregon’s 45-24 win over California ... After rushing for seven TDs in the previous three seasons combined, Benoit has rushed for eight TDs on 35 carries this season ... With 2.0 sacks, senior DL Henry Mondeaux paced an Oregon defense that allowed just eight yards rushing (on 29 attempts) and totaled seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss in the win over California... Senior RB Royce 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). His 4,738 career rushing yards place him fifth on the Pac-12 career chart behind USC’s Marcus Allen (4,810 yards, 1978-81).
STANFORD (3-2) at UTAH (4-0)
Sat., Oct. 7 • 8:15 pm MT • FS1 • #STANvsUTAH
STANFORD: Junior RB Bryce Love has rushed for more yards this season than all but 20 teams in the FBS. Love is averaging an FBS-best 217.6 rushing yards per game and is third nationally with 218.6 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 seven consecutive games. He has rushed for over 160 yards in every game this season. He’s rushed for 100 or more yards in each of the last seven games for a total of 1,317 yards on 126 carries (10.5 avg), extending his school record as the only Cardinal to eclipse 100 yards in his first seven career starts ... With two interceptions against Arizona State, junior SS Justin Reid now has four picks over the last four games. In addition, he has 31 tackles during that span of four games (7.8 tackles per game).
UTAH: The Utes are 10-4 following a regular season bye under coach Kyle Whittingham ... Senior WR Darren Carrington has three 100-yard receiving games and 10 career 100-yard games (seven at Oregon). Carrington leads the Pac-12 and 10th in the nation in receiving yards per game (121.3 avg) ... Senior PK Matt Gay has made 14 consecutive field goals (14-of-14), which is the third-longest made field goal streak in school history. The school record is 18 by Joe Phillips (2009-10). Gay is averaging an FBS-best 3.50 field goals per game ... Junior P Mitch Wishnowsky leads the Pac-12 with a 46.8 yard averaging, placing five of his 13 punts inside the 20-yard line. He’s key to Utah leading the FBS in net punting (45.3 avg).
CALIFORNIA (3-2) at WASHINGTON (5-0)
Sat., Oct. 7 • 7:45 pm PT • ESPN • #CALvsUW
CALIFORNIA: Sophomore WR Kanawai Noa posted career highs with seven receptions and 126 yards receiving in the loss at Oregon. It was the second straight game he’s had more than 100 yards receiving (110 vs. USC). Over his past three games, Noa has 19 receptions for 317 yards ... Sophomore QB Ross Bowers completed 23 of 41 pass attempts for 255 yards and 3 TDs at Oregon. It’s the fifth straight game in which he has thrown for 200 or more yards ... The Bears have recorded 12 turnovers (5 fumbles, 7 interceptions) so far this season. They had 18 takeaways all of last season ... Senior PK Matt Anderson scored six points at Oregon to increase his career total to 258 points and is just 30 points shy of Doug Brien’s school record of 288 points.
WASHINGTON: The Huskies have won seven of their last eight meetings with California. The Huskies are 18-2 as a ranked team when facing California with the only Bear wins during those 20 games coming in 1950 and 2002 ... Washington has won 12 of their last 13 conference games ... Senior WR Dante Pettis has not had an opportunity to return a punt since his last touchdown return against Fresno State. So, he turned to scoring on pass receptions as he tallied 12 catches for 105 yards and 3 TDs (5, 34, 15) in the 42-7 win at Oregon State ... Pettis has 23 career TD receptions, good for third on the school’s all-time list. He trails Jermaine Kearse (29, 2008-11) and Mario Bailey (30, 1988-91). Junior QB Jake Browning was 26-of-34 for 293 yards and 3 TDs. Browning now has 71 career TD passes, just four shy of matching the school career mark of 75 held by Keith Price (2010-13).
ARIZONA STATE (2-3): Senior RB Demario Richard led the Sun Devils with 80 yards rushing, 57 yards receiving and two touchdowns at Stanford. His 137 all-purpose yards give him 3,019 all-purpose yards for his career ... Junior QB Manny Wilkins had his school record streak of 192 pass attempts without throwing an interception come to an end with a tipped ball and pick in the first quarter at Stanford ... Sophomore WR N’Keal Harry has started 17 games and has a reception in all 17 of those games. Harry also tossed his first career touchdown pass with a 14-yard pass to Ceejhay French-Love ... The Sun Devils are a perfect 18-for-18 in red zone opportunities with 15 TDs and 3 FGs. Only Stanford (22-22) and Oregon State (10-10) are batting 1.000 in the red zone this season.
UCLA (3-2): Junior QB Josh Rosen 28 of 45 for 372 yards in the 27-23 win over Colorado. He becomes the first Bruin to throw for 350 yards or more four times in a season, and it was his school record eighth career 350-yard game. It was his fifth consecutive of throwing for at least 300 yards ... Junior WR Jordan Lasley had seven receptions for 146 yards vs. Colorado. It was his third 100-yard receiving game of the season and fifth of his career. Lasley is currently 10th in the FBS averaging 116.5 receiving yards per game ... The Bruins open the year 3-0 at the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2013 and just the second time since 2006.