Roundup: A 'confident' Steven Montez leads Buffs into Pac-12 play
The Pac-12 football weekend begins Friday night in Boulder, where undefeated Colorado will face winless UCLA (7 p.m. MT/6 p.m. PT, FS1). Brian Howell writes that Colorado quarterback Steven Montez is “comfortable” and “confident” as he leads the Buffs into the Pac-12 portion of their schedule.
Tough news on the UCLA men’s basketball front, as freshman Shareef O’Neal will miss the 2018-19 season with a heart ailment discovered by doctors that will require surgery. Much better for it to be discovered now though.
Two huge non-conference games against ranked opponents for the cream of the crop of the Pac-12. No. 7 Stanford takes on No. 8 Notre Dame in South Bend (4:30 p.m. PT, NBC), and Tom FitzGerald writes that Stanford needs its offensive line to play as it well as it did last season to have a chance to beat the Irish. There just hasn’t been a whole lot of room for Bryce Love to do his Heisman-esque damage this year (but he has had two straight solid games).
Meanwhile, No. 11 Washington welcomes No. 20 BYU to Montlake (5:30 p.m. PT, FOX), and Scott Hanson of The Seattle Times gives us a list of the five most memorable Washington-BYU games in a rivalry that Hanson notes got its start in 1984 when BYU narrowly edged Washington in the polls to win the national championship.
Before those games kick off, Washington State hosts Utah in a battle of teams looking for its first conference victory (4 p.m. MT/3 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks). Theo Lawson whips up this feature story on Washington State receiver Calvin Jackson Jr., a transfer from Independence Community College, which was a featured school on “Last Chance U.”
While the Utes won’t be at home this weekend, you should know that Utah AD Mark Harlan plans to spend a football game in the MUSS, reports Kurt Kragthorpe, who notes that Harlan is also planning to make a decision soon on the potential expansion of Rice-Eccles Stadium.
We've got a ranked battle of Pac-12 North teams for you as one part of our two-headed nightcap with No. 19 Oregon visiting No. 24 Cal (7:30 p.m. PT, FS1), and Rusty Simmons notes that the Cal linebackers are gearing up for a “dynamic” Oregon offense.
Part of that dynamic Oregon offense is wide receiver Dillon Mitchell, who is breaking out as a “special player” for the Ducks, in the words of Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo. Ken Goe has the story on the dude who caught 14 passes for 239 yards against Stanford last weekend.
The second of two games on Pac-12 Networks on Saturday is Oregon State-Arizona State (7 p.m. PT in Tempe), and here is Jeff Metcalfe’s Oregon State-Arizona State scouting report. Metcalfe predicts a 42-21 triumph for the home-standing Sun Devils.
Nick Daschel reports that Oregon State quarterback Jake Dukart is leaving the team. He is still believed to be enrolled at Oregon State, per Daschel, and that he hopes to play for the defending national-champion baseball team.
The other 7:30 p.m. PT start takes place in Tucson on ESPN2, and Carson Field of ArizonaSports.com has this Arizona-USC game preview for you. A crucial Pac-12 South battle.
In case you missed it, the Pac-12 said that USC linebacker Porter Gustin’s hit on Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew was not targeting, so Gustin will not have to sit out another half at Arizona (he missed the first half of the Wazzu game due to a targeting penalty the week before).