Apple Cup to determine Pac-12 Football Championship Matchup

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PAC-12 FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK:

THE DIVISION RACES: USC has already punched its ticket to the Pac-12 Championship Game. With one week remaining in the regular season, it’s down to Washington State and Stanford in the North.

THE NORTH: Washington State controls its own destiny. If the Cougars defeat Washington in the Apple Cup, it will secure the North Division’s spot in the FCG. Should Washington defeat Washington State, Stanford will represent the North Division in the FCG. A tie between Washington State and Stanford results in advantage Cougars due to their head-to-head victory with the Cardinal on Nov. 4. A tie between Stanford and Washington results in advantage Cardinal due to its head-to-head victory over the Huskies on Nov. 10.

THE SOUTH: USC has clinched the South Division title. With its 8-1 record, the Trojans have secured its spot as the home team for the Pac-12 FCG.

BOWLING: Seven Pac-12 teams are bowl eligible, with two more to become bowl eligible following the outcome of the California-UCLA and Colorado-Utah games. That would provide the Pac-12 with at least eight teams participating in the postseason in five of the last six years.

THE RANKINGS: Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP and Coaches polls – USC (11/10), WASHINGTON STATE (14/15), WASHINGTON (15/14) and STANFORD (20/20).

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: WASHINGTON STATE senior QB Luke Falk is now the owner of several Pac-12 career passing records.

Total Plays: 2,243 (previous record: 1,824 by Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-2002)
Pass Completions: 1,367 (previous record: 1,187 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
Pass Attempts: 2,000 (previous record: 1,838 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)
Touchdown Passes: 118 (previous record: 116 by Matt Barkley, USC, 2009-12)
Total Offense: 13,755 (previous record: 13,033 by Marcus Mariota, ORE)
Passing Yards: 14,117 (previous record: 13,600 by Sean Mannion, OSU, 2011-14)

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:

• Rushing Yards/Season - 1,325 yards (Pac-12 rushing record by a quarterback)
• Rushing Yards/Game - 147.2 ypg (No. 4 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)
• Five rushes of 70+ yards: 75 at COLO, 71 vs. UCLA, 76 at CAL, 82 vs. WSU, 71 vs. OSU
• 11 rushing TDs this season have covered: 58, 28, 47, 75, 45, 71, 76, 49, 32, 19, 71 yards (51.9 avg)
• Leads FBS in yards per rush attempt (10.6)

THE LOVE DOSSIER: An ankle injury was the only thing to keep STANFORD junior RB Bryce Love (BryceLove20.com, #HeismanLove) in check this season. However, Love continues to lead the nation in rushing (172.3 yards per game). Here’s a look at Love’s achievements to date:

• Rushing Yards/Game - 172.3 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 11 of his last 12 games played.
• 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
• 16 rushing TDs this year (T7th in the FBS). 11 of his 16 TDs have been from 43+ yards
• Averaged distance on his 16 rushing TDs - 43.3 yards
• Second in the FBS in yards per attempt (8.8)

PAC-12 RECORD SETTERS: The following individuals have etched their names in the Pac-12 record book with outstanding season and career performances to date:

• Washington’s Dante Pettis set an FBS career record with his ninth punt return for a touchdown. Pettis became the Pac-12’s all-time leader in punt return yardage with 1,276 yards.
• Washington’s Myles Gaskin tied a Pac-12 record held by 11 others when he posted his third season with 1,000 rushing yards.
• Washington State’s Luke Falk has established numerous Pac-12 career passing marks, most notably  with 14,117 passing yards and 118 touchdown passes.
• Arizona’s Khalil Tate set a Pac-12 season rushing record for a quarterback with 1,325 yards.
• Utah’s Matt Gay established a school record for field goals (25) and field goal attempts (29). He also set a school single-season record with five 50+ yard field goals.
• Five Pac-12 players have rushed for 1,300 or more yards this season. Should Oregon’s Royce Freeman (1,353 rushing yards) and USC’s Ronald Jones II (1,346 rushing yards) clear 1,400 rushing for the season, it’ll mark just the second time in Pac-12 history that five players have rushed for 1,400 yards in a season (matches the 2012 season).
• Colorado’s Phillip Lindsay is CU’s career all-purpose yards leader (5,695 yards), which ranks 10th all-time in the Pac-12.

PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:

OFFENSE
Jake Browning, QB, WASH
Led Washington to a come-from-behind 33-30 win over Utah Saturday, leading the Huskies from seven points down in the final minutes. Was 26-for-35 for 354 yards with two TDs and no interceptions. His two TDs were the 76th and 77th of his career, establishing a new UW career TD pass record. Down 30-23, UW got the ball with just 2:03 left. Browning completed five straight passes before Myles Gaskin ran in the-game tying TD with just 0:58 to go. After holding the Utah defense, Browning and the offense came back onto the field on the UW 28 with just 0:29 to go. Following an 18-yard pass to Dante Pettis and a 31-yarder to Andre Baccellia, Tristan Vizcaino connected on a 38-yard field goal on the game’s final play.

DEFENSE
Troy Dye, LB, ORE
Team-high 11 tackles (6 solo) and 1.5 tackles for loss in a 48-28 win over Arizona. Led the Ducks’ defensive effort in holding the No. 3 rushing offense in the country to just 171 yards - more than 175 yards less than Arizona’s season average. Dye recorded double-digit tackles for the sixth time this season and 11th in his career.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
Was part of successful trick play scoring punt return against UCLA, as the entire USC punt return team (including the returner) ran toward the UCLA sideline as if the Bruin punt was kicked in that direction when actually it went towards the USC sideline, where Pittman had sprinted back from his gunner blocking spot on the snap. He fielded the ball in the air and ran 72 yards untouched down the USC sideline for the touchdown.

THIS WEEK'S GAMES:

CALIFORNIA (5-6) at UCLA (5-6)
Fri., Nov. 24 • 7:30 pm PT • FS1/FOX Deportes • #CALvsUCLA

CALIFORNIA: A victory over the Bruins, and the Bears are bowl eligible ... Junior RB Patrick Laird has 549 yards rushing over the last four games, more than half of his season total of 949 yards rushing (6.0 yards per carry). He needs 51 yards to become the seventh Pac-12 player to rush for 1,000 yards this season. Laird also has 40 receptions for 292 yards, giving him 1,251 all-purpose yards (125.1 ypg) ... Junior WR Vic Wharton III has nearly doubled his receptions from last season with a team-leading 60 catches for 810 yards. He had 28 catches for 293 yards in 2016 ... Senior PK Matt Anderson surpassed Doug Brien to become Cal’s career leading scorer now with 303 points, passing Brien’s 288.

UCLA: UCLA has relieved Jim Mora of head coaching duties. Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch will assume interim duties for the remainder of the season ... The Bruins are 5-0 at home this season, the first time they have won their first five contests at The Rose Bowl since 2013 ... Junior QB Josh Rosen completed 32-of-52 for 421 yards and 3 TDs. It was his 17th 300-yard passing game and 11th 350-yard total offense game, both are the most in school history ... Rosen has moved into third place in UCLA history in passing yards (9,098) and total offense (8,979), and second for completions (698) ... Junior WR Jordan Lasley posted the seventh 100-yard receiving game of his career with a personal-best 204 yards and 3 TDs at USC ...  Sophomore WR Theo Howard pulled in a career-high 11 receptions for 84 yards at USC (he had 12 total receptions in the previous four games) ... Senior LB Kenny Young led the Bruins with nine tackles and is now tied for second in the Pac-12, averaging 8.6 tackles per game.

ARIZONA (7-4) at ARIZONA STATE (6-5)
Sat., Nov. 25 • 2:30 pm MT • P12N • #AZvsASU

ARIZONA: UA rushed for 167 yards at Oregon and has now rushed for at least 150 yards in 17 straight games dating back to last season. It’s the longest streak in coach Rich Rodriguez’s tenure at Arizona ... The Wildcats rushed for three TDs at Oregon to extend their single-season school record for rushing touchdowns to 44 (previous record was 36 in 2013) ... Freshman LB Colin Schooler led Arizona with 12 tackles at Oregon. It was his third double-digit tackle game of the season and second in the last three games ... Schooler (75/6.8 per game) and fellow freshman LB Tony Fields II (81/7.4 per game) have combined for 156 tackles this season ... Sophomore QB Khalil Tate pushed his season rushing total to 1,325 yards, which is now sixth all-time on Arizona’s single-season list. He needs 35 yards to move into fifth, passing Art Luppino (1,359 yards in 1954).

ARIZONA STATE: Senior RB Demario Richard rushed for a 119 yards and 3 TDs at Oregon State for his 12th career game rushing for over 100 yards. He’s posted 433 yards rushing over the last three games ... Richard has 2,987 career rushing yards and needs eight yards to move into the top five in Sun Devil history ... ASU has rushed for 961 yards its last three games (381 vs. Colorado, 294 at UCLA, 263 at Oregon State). That makes up 50 percent of ASU’s total 1,932 rushing yards this season ... Junior LB Christian Sam paced the Sun Devils with 10 tackles at Oregon State and now has a Pac-12 leading 114 tackles (10.4 per game) ... After going a perfect 4-4 in the red zone at Oregon State, ASU is now 40-41 this season (97.6 percent, tied for 1st in the FBS). The lone exception was a game-ending kneel down to seal the victory over Washington.

OREGON STATE (1-10) at OREGON (6-5)
Sat., Nov. 25 • 4:00 pm PT • ESPN2 • #OSUvsUO

OREGON STATE: Over the last five games, senior QB Darell Garretson has completed 88-of-148 (.559) for 1,062 yards ... Junior RB Ryan Nall has rushed for 2,175 rushing yards (eighth in OSU history). He’s reached 1,016 all-purpose yards this season with 769 yards rushing and 247 yards receiving ...  Senior LB Manase Hungalu is fourth in the Pac-12 with 8.5 tackles per game. He needs six tackles in the season finale to reach 100 for the season ... Senior WR Jordan Villamin has 1,845 career receiving yards, placing him 10th on OSU’s career list. With 19 more receiving yards, he moves up a spot, passing Victor Bolden Jr. (1,863 yards from 2013-16) for ninth.

OREGON: Senior RB Royce Freeman has eight 100-yard rushing games this season, 30 for his career, a UO record. His Oregon career rushing record stands at 5,499 yards, ninth most in NCAA history and second all-time in the Pac-12 (Pac-12 record: USC’s Charles White with 6,245 yards, 1976-79) ... Freeman has a UO-career record with 62 TDs. He has 58 rushing TDs and is now just one rushing TD 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 49 of 58 field goal attempts (.855) in his career. He’s tied with Jared Segal (49 field goals, 2001-04) for the UO career record. Schneider has hit on 199 of 202 PAT (.985) during his career.

Notre Dame (9-2) at STANFORD (8-3)
Sat., Nov. 25 • 5:00 pm PT • ABC • #NDvsSTAN

STANFORD: Despite hobbling on bum ankles, junior RB Bryce Love gutted out 14 carries for 101 yards and 1 TD (57-yard score) in the win over California ... Love continues to lead the FBS with 172.3 rushing yards per game and is seventh in the nation with 16 rushing TDs. He has rushed for over 150 yards in seven of 10 games he’s played this season ... 17 of Love’s 23 career touchdown runs have been 43 yards or longer ... Sophomore PK Jet Toner leads the team with 98 points this season and ranks tied for eighth in the nation with 19 made field goals. He’s second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.826).

WASHINGTON STATE (9-2) at WASHINGTON (9-2)
Sat., Nov. 25 • 5:00 pm MT • FOX/FOX Deportes • #WSUvsUW

WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars are 9-2 for the first time since 2003 ... The Cougars are 19-4 when forcing multiple turnovers under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch ... Junior DT Hercules Mata’afa leads the Pac-12 with  21.5 TFL this season, tied for second-most in WSU single-season history ... Senior QB Luke Falk has recorded his 27th career win as a starter, plus his WSU record 29th career 300-yard passing game, and 23 career 3-TD game ... He currently owns several Pac-12 passing records, including career passing yards (14,117) and career touchdown passes (118).

WASHINGTON: Junior QB Jake Browning completed 26-of-35 passes for 354 yards and 2 TDs in the win over Utah. He now owns the school career record with 77 TD passes, passing the previous school career mark of 75 held by Keith Price (2010-13)... Browning posted his seventh career 300-yard passing game and it was the fourth highest in his career ... Junior RB Myles Gaskin rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the win over Utah. He now owns the UW career record for rushing touchdowns with 39, passing the previous record of 37 held by Bishop Sankey (2011-13). Gaskin also had a career-best 114 receiving yards on six receptions and one TD ... Senior WR Dante Pettis has been named one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s most versatile player. Pettis has tied a Pac-12 single-season record with four punt returns for TDs this season and broke the NCAA record for career punt returns for TDs with nine. He also owns the Pac-12 mark with 1,276 career punt return yards ... Pettis, who is the team’s leading receiver with 60 receptions for 706 yards, has 160 career receptions (6th all-time at UW) for 2,201 yards (5th all-time at UW).

COLORADO (5-6) at UTAH (5-6)
Sat., Nov. 25 • 8:00 pm PT • FS1 • #CUvsUTAH

COLORADO: Senior TB Phillip Lindsay’s 3,698 career rushing yards rank him second all-time at CU, trailing Eric Bieniemy (3,940, 1987-90), and 18th all-time on the Pac-12 career list ... Including last year’s 103 receiving yards in the Valero Alamo Bowl, Lindsay now has 1,066 receiving yards, making him the first career 1,000-yard rusher and receiver in CU history ... After throwing for just 21 yards in the loss at Washington State, sophomore QB Steven Montez has bounced back to throw for 1,068 yards over the last three games. That’s the most by any Pac-12 quarterback over the last three games (347 vs. California, 345 at Arizona State, 376 vs. USC).

UTAH: Utah has a streak of 50 straight sellouts at Rice-Eccles Stadium ... The Utes need one win in to become bowl eligible ... Sophomore QB Tyler Huntley completed 19-of-27 for 293 yards and 2 TDs in the loss at Washington. He also added 48 yards rushing with one score for 347 yards of total offense. He’s thrown for 200 or more yards seven times in the nine games he’s played ... Huntley ranks second in the Pac-12 and 15th in the country in total offense per game (302.9 yards/game) ... Junior PK Matt Gay is 25-of-29 on field goals for the season, including 5-of-6 from 50+ yards. His 25 field goals are four more than any other kicker in the FBS, while he has a FBS-best 2.27 field goals made per game ... Gay and senior P Mitch Wishnowsky are finalist for the Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award respectively. Wishnowsky, the 2016 Ray Guy Award recipient, leads the Pac-12 with a 45.0 average.

OPEN DATE

USC: With their 8-1 Conference record, the Trojans will be the home team at the Pac-12 Football Championship Game on Friday, December 1 ... Sophomore QB Sam Darnold is 19-3 as a starter, including a 12-0 mark at home ... Darnold has thrown for at least 200 yards in 21 games, with at least 3 TD passes in a game 10 times ... Junior TB Ronald Jones II has rushed for 1,346 yards (6.3 avg/carry) for the season. He has tallied 795 rushing yards the last five games and is the first Trojan in a dozen years to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Jones already has rushed for 3,415 yards during his career, which ranks sixth on USC’s career rushing list. He needs nine yards to move past O.J. Simpson (3,423) for fifth. He also has 36 rushing TDs in his USC career.

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

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