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Key games dictate Pac-12 Football division races

Oct 31, 2017



THE RANKINGS: Five Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP poll, while four appear in the Coaches poll. WASHINGTON (12/11), USC (17/17), STANFORD (18/18), ARIZONA (23/25), and WASHINGTON STATE (25/nr) ... That’s 17 consecutive weeks with four or more Pac-12 teams in the AP Top 25.

NATIONAL AWARDS: The various national awards are starting to narrow their list of candidates. Here are Pac-12 players who are among the semifinalists for the following awards:

Butkus Award (top linebacker)
Cameron Smith, LB, USC - Team-best 79 tackles, 8.0 tfl
Maxwell Award (most outstanding player)
Khalil Tate, QB, ARIZ - 154.3 rushing ypg, 285.0 yards total offense/game
Royce Freeman, RB, ORE - 121.8 rushing ypg
Bryce Love, RB, STAN - FBS-leading 198.1 rushing ypg
Bednarik Award (most outstanding defensive player)
Harrison Phillips, DL, STAN - Team-best 60 tackles, 7.0 tfl, 3.5 sacks
Vita Vea, DL, WASH - 21 tackles, 3.0 sacks. UW is No. 2 in FBS in rush defense (71.6 ypg)
Hercules Mata’afa, DL, WSU - Pac-12 best 15.0 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks

Paycom Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back)
Justin Reid, S, STAN - Pac-12 leading five interceptions

GET YOUR KICKS: Three different placekickers connected on field goals longer than 50 yards last Saturday - ARIZONA’s Lucas Havrisik (school record-tying 57-yarder), WASHINGTON STATE’s Erik Powell (56-yarder) and USC’s Chase McGrath (51-yarder). Havrisik and Powell became the first pair of opposing kickers to make field goals from 56 yards or longer in the same game in the last 20 years ... Powell has hit from 50 yards or beyond three times (52, 52, 56) this season, as has UTAH’s Matt Gay (51, 53, 56) ... Two others have connected from better than 50 yards this season - ARIZONA STATE’s Brandon Ruiz (52, 52) and CALIFORNIA’s Matt Anderson (52).

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: 2,118 (previous record: 1,824 by Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-2002)
Pass Completions: 1,293 (previous record: 1,187 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
Pass Attempts: 1,883 (previous record: 1,838 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
Touchdown Passes: 112 (2nd, trails 116 by Matt Barkley, USC, 2009-12)
Total Offense: 13,134 (previous record: 13,033 by Marcus Mariota, ORE)
Passing Yards: 13,469 (2nd, trails 13,600 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)

50+ RUNS: The Pac-12 has posted 28 rushes of 50+ yards this season. STANFORD RB Bryce Love leads the way with seven rushes of 50 or more yards this season. ARIZONA QB Khalil Tate has five.

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 six games, with just three starts):

• Rushing Yards/Season - 926 yards (Pac-12 record by a QB is 986 by Jake Locker, WASH (2007)
• Rushing Yards/Game - 154.3 ypg (No. 3 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)
• Four rushes of 70+ yards: 75 at COLO, 71 vs. UCLA, 76 at CAL, 82 vs. WSU
• Eight rushing TDs this season have covered: 58, 28, 47, 75, 45, 71, 76 and 49 yards
• Leads FBS in yards per attempt (13.42)

THE LOVE DOSSIER: An ankle injury was the only thing to keep STANFORD junior RB Bryce Love (, #HeismanLove) in check last week as he did not play in Stanford’s 15-14 win at Oregon State. Despite missing last week’s game, Love still leads the nation in rushing (198.1 yards per game). Here’s a look at Love’s achievements to date:

• Rushing Yards/Game - 198.1 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 nine consecutive games, with a 50+ yard rush in each game
• 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
• Eleven rushing TDs this season have covered: 10, 75, 51, 53, 69, 61, 43, 59, 68, 5 and 67 yards
• Second in the FBS in yards per attempt (10.27)

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.


Khalil Tate, QB, ARIZ

Pac-12 record fourth consecutive Player of the Week honor. Tate totaled 421 yards of offense and three TDs to lead Arizona to a 58-37 victory over No. 15 Washington State. Tate had a career-long run of 82 yards (fourth-straight contest with a run of 70+ yards), a 49-yard TD run and four pass plays of 40+ yards. His 14.03 yards per play on 30 total offense attempts (13-146 rushing, 17-275 passing) is a new school record for a minimum of 25 attempts. Also helped UA to an average of 11.5 yards per play, the school’s biggest clip since at least 1996.

Harrison Phillips, DL, STAN
Phillips posted a game-high 10 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 0.5 sack, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Phillips forced and recovered the fumble with 2:30 remaining at the OSU 40-yard line. Stanford then scored the game-winning touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in a 15-14 road victory. Also, with less than a minute left in the first half, Phillips recovered a fumble at the Oregon State 18-yard line that led to a field goal in the eventual one-point win. Phillips helped Stanford hold the hosts to 3.4 yards per rush, 126 passing yards and 264 total yards.

Lucas Havrisik, PK, ARIZ
On his second career attempt, Havrisik tied the school record for longest made field goal by drilling a 57-yarder at the end of the first half to extend Arizona’s six-point lead to 23-14 at halftime. Havrisik also booted nine of 10 kickoffs for touchbacks, with the only return going for 13 yards. The effort helped UA win the average field position battle with the Cougars starting their drives at their own 29-yardline.


UCLA (4-4) at UTAH (4-4)
Fri., Nov. 3 • 7:30 pm MT • FS1/FOX Deportes • #UTAHvsUCLA

UCLA: Redshirt freshman QB Devon Modster saw extended playing time for the first time this season in place of injured junior QB Josh Rosen. Modster responded by completing 7-of-12 for 77 yards and his first career TD pass, a 4-yard toss to senior WR Darren Andrews ... Andrews had eight receptions for 73 yards and the one score against the Huskies. He now has 159 career receptions, good for fourth on the UCLA all-time list, and needs 89 receiving yards to reach 2,000 for his career ... The Bruins have scored on 31 of 35 (.886) red zone opportunities this season. UCLA has 26 touchdowns and five field goals ...  Junior QB Josh Rosen needs 237 passing yards, 127 total yards and 24 completions to move into third on UCLA’s career lists for each category.

UTAH: Utah looks to snap a four-game skid. The last time the Utes dropped five straight was during the 2013 season (Oct. 19-Nov. 23). Since then, the Utes have won 33 of their last 47 games (.702) ... Over the last four games, sophomore RB Zack Moss has posted 420 yards total offense as he’s rushed for 322 yards on 57 carries (5.6 avg), while adding 14 receptions for 98 yards ...  Sophomore QB Tyler Huntley was 25-of-43 for 293 yards and 2 TDs in the loss at Oregon. He’s thrown for 200 or more yards four times in the six games he’s played ... Senior WR Darren Carrington caught nine passes for 130 yards against his former team. Carrington leads the Pac-12 and is 13th nationally with 97.4 receiving yards per game, and his 6.8 receptions per game are third in the conference and 15th nationally.

Sat., Nov. 4 • 12:30 pm PT • FOX • #STANvsWSU

STANFORD: Junior RB Bryce Love is averaging an FBS-best 198.1 rushing yards per game and is second nationally with 200.9 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 nine consecutive games. He has rushed for over 150 yards in six of seven games this season, the lone exception being a 147-yard effort in the win over Oregon. He’s rushed for 100 or more yards in each of the last nine games for a total of 1,616 yards on 163 carries (9.9 avg) ... Love’s career touchdown runs are 93, 47, 48, 7, 56, 50, 49, 10, 75, 51, 53, 69, 61, 43, 59, 68, 5 and 67 yards ... Sophomore PK Jet Toner matched a career-high with three made field goals (40, 33, 40) at Oregon State. He leads the team with 78 points this season, and ranks fourth in the nation with 15 made field goals. He also leads the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.882) this season, and has made all 33 extra point attempts.

WASHINGTON STATE: In the 58-37 loss at Arizona, sophomore QB Tyler Hilinski came on in relief for starter Luke Falk with 2:56 remaining in the second quarter and proceeded to lead the Cougars to 30 points as he completed 45 of 61 passes for 509 yards and two TDs in just over one half of play. He also added two rushing TDs. The completions, attempts and passing yards are the most in a game by a Pac-12 player this season ... The 58 team pass completions tie a Pac-12 record for most completions in a game ... Nine different receivers had at least three receptions, led by junior WR Tavares Martin Jr., with 11 for 136 yards. Senior RB Jamal Morrow added 10 receptions for 83 yards and now has 181 career receptions, seventh on the WSU all-time list ... The Cougar defense recorded 8.0 tackles for loss, giving them a season total of 72 tackles for loss, second most in the country behind Wake Forest (72).

Sat., Nov. 4 • 2:00 pm PT • P12N • #OSUvsCAL

OREGON STATE: The Beavers have dropped their last two games by a total of four points -  15-14 vs. Stanford and 36-33 vs. Colorado .... In the loss to Stanford, the Beavers held the Cardinal to just 222 yards total offense (141 pass/81 rush), the lowest total by an FBS opponent since holding San Diego State to seven points and 215 total yards  ... Senior S Landry Payne posted a game-high 10 tackles vs. Stanford. He entered the game with five total tackles for the season ... Junior RB Ryan Nall rushed for 84 yards vs. Stanford, pushing his career rushing total over 2,000 yards. His 2,003 yards place him 10th on the schools all-time list.

CALIFORNIA: Sophomore WR Kanawai Noa had seven receptions for 108 yards against Colorado. It was the sixth straight game with at least six receptions for Noa ...  Senior WR Jordan Veasy had career-highs with seven receptions for 111 yards ... For the third straight game, junior LB Jorda Kunaszyk set a career-high with 16 tackles. Over the last three games, Kunaszyk has averaged 13.7 tackles per game ... Sophomore QB Ross Bowers completed a career-best 29 passes on 52 attempts for 359 yards and three TDs. Over the last three games, he’s 79-of-139 for 919 yards and 6 TDs ... Senior PK Matt Anderson now boasts 284 career points after making a all four extra-points attempts at Colorado. He’s now second on Cal’s career scoring list and needs five points to move past Doug Brien (288 points, 1991-93) for the top spot.

Sat., Nov. 4 • 6:00 pm PT • P12N • #CUvsASU

COLORADO: With the 44-28 win over California, the Buffs are now the 25th school to win 700 games (700-497-36) ... Senior TB Phillip Lindsay continues his climb in the school record book. He rushed 33 times for 161 yards against California for his 12th career 100-yard game and brought his season rushing total to 1,254 yards. His 3,487 career rushing yards rank him third all-time at CU with Rodney Stewart in his sights (3,598, 2008-11) ... Lindsay has amassed a CU record 5,476 all-purpose yards ... Sophomore QB Steven Montez has a streak of 134 pass attempts with out throwing an interception, the third best streak in CU annals. He trails Sefo Liufau (152, 2015-16) and Joel Klatt (139, 2005) ... Junior DB Nick Fisher had a 100-yard pick six against Cal. It was the fourth 100-yard interception return in CU history.

ARIZONA STATE: ASU is now 24-25 (.960) in the red zone this season (includes 19 TDs), which ranks fourth in the FBS. Only time it did not score was last possession of game vs. Washington (ran out clock) ... Junior QB Manny Wilkins completed 17-of-29 for 259 yards and 1 TD and added an additional TD on the ground. He’s thrown for 250 or more yards in five of eight games this season ... Sophomore WR Kyle Williams had 7 receptions for 121 yards, including a 47-yard hail mary reception for a score at the end of the first half. Over the last three games, Williams has 21 receptions for 214 yards ... Sophomore WR N’Keal Harry has started 20 games and has a reception in all 20 of those games. Harry is currently second in the Pac-12, averaging 89.1 receiving yards per game with 54 receptions 6.8 per game) and 3 TDs.

OREGON (4-4) at WASHINGTON (7-1)
Sat., Nov. 4 • 7:00 pm PT • FS1 • #UOvsWASH

OREGON: Senior RB Royce Freeman rushed for 139 yards vs. Utah. It was his sixth 10-yard rushing game this season, 28th of his career ... He added to his Oregon career rushing record (5,242 yards), second all-time in the Pac-12. He’s quite a ways from the Pac-12 career mark held by USC’s Charles White (6,245 yards, 1976-79) ... 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 ... Senior PK Aidan Schneider has hit 46 of 54 field goal attempts (.852) in his career. He needs four field goals to move ahead of Jared Segal (49 field goals, 2001-04) for the UO career record. Schneider’s 193 career PATs are a school record. WIth 331 career points he needs 18 points to pass LaMichael James (348, 2009-11) for the school’s career scoring record.


WASHINGTON: Washington continues to rank second in the FBS in total defense (236.3 ypg) and rushing defense (71.6 ypg) and fourth in scoring defense (12.1 ppg) ... Over the last three games, the Husky defense has allowed 62 rushing yards on 86 carries (0.7 yards per carry) ... Junior QB Jake Browning has 73 career TD passes, just two shy of matching the school career mark of 75 held by Keith Price (2010-13)... Junior RB Myles Gaskin posted the 17th career 100-yard game with 169 yards vs. UCLA. Gaskin has 33 career rushing touchdowns and trails only Napoleon Kaufman (34) and Bishop Sankey (37) on the UW career list ... Senior WR Dante Pettis has 1,194 career punt return yards, good for third all-time in the Pac-12. He needs 42 return yards to become the all-time leader.

ARIZONA (6-2) at USC (7-2)
Sat., Nov. 4 • 7:45 pm PT • ESPN • #AZvsUSC

ARIZONA: Riding a four-game winning streak and are 3-0 on the road this season ... With 585 yards of total offense vs. WSU, UA has now topped the 500-yard mark five times this season. Arizona is 5-0 in such games ... Wildcats are leading the league and are fifth nationally in rushing (338.6 ypg) ... Over the last four games, sophomore QB Khalil Tate has accumulated 1,583 yards of total offense. In that span, he’s rushed for 840 yards/8 TDs and completed 41-of-58 passing for 743 yards/6 TDs. Tate has posted a run of at least 70 yards in four consecutive games ... 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), Brandon Dawkins (133 vs. UTEP), Nick Wilson (135 vs. UCLA), Zach Green (130 vs. Cal) and J.J. Taylor (152 vs. Washington State).

USC: Sophomore QB Sam Darnold is 16-3 as a starter, including a 10-0 mark at home ... After his 19-of-35 performance for 266 yards and 3 TDs at Arizona State, Darnold has thrown for at least 200 yards in 18 games and at least 3 TD passes in a game 10 times ... Junior WR Deontay Burnett leads the Pac-12 with 61 receptions, while his 7.1 receptions per game and 92.4 receiving yards per game are second ... Freshman WR Tyler Vaughns has posted 29 receptions for 413 yards and 3 TDs score over the last five games ... Junior TB Ronald Jones II rushed for 216 yards at Arizona State. With 888 yards (6.7 avg), he’s nearing another 1,000-yard season. Jones already has run for 2,957 yards (ninth on USC’s career rushing list) with 30 TDs in his USC career (an impressive 6.4 yards per carry average).

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