Roundup: Control of North and South up for grabs in Washington-Oregon and Colorado-USC
Ooh do we got a dandy of a game on Saturday. No. 17 Oregon “welcomes” No. 7 Washington to Autzen Stadium for a 12:30 p.m. PT kick on ABC/ESPN2, and James Crepea of The Oregonian/OregonLive wonders if Oregon’s defense can “rattle” Washington quarterback Jake Browning. The Ducks do lead the Pac-12 in sacks heading into a game that could very well decide the Pac-12 North.
The Seattle Times’ Larry Stone looks back to Jake Browning’s finger point the last time the Dawgs played at Autzen, noting that Oregon will likely be using that as a motivating factor for Saturday afternoon.
But that’s not the first game of the weekend, because we’ve got a Friday nighter with Utah hosting Arizona (7 p.m. PT, ESPN). Kurt Kragthorpe reminds us that Arizona has a knack of cooling off the Utes after big wins.
And here are some Arizona-Utah storylines from a Wildcat perspective, per Michael Lev and Justin Spears of the Arizona Daily Star.
Following consecutive losses against Oregon and Arizona, Cal is working on fixing its mistakes heading into its home game against UCLA (4 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Network), per Rusty Simmons.
Thuc Nhi Nguyen writes that UCLA is feeling optimistic heading into the Cal game and following a solid effort against Washington last week. Bruins still looking for that first win.
The nightcap should be a dandy with USC playing host to Colorado (7:30 p.m. PT, FS1). J. Brady McCullough of the Los Angeles Times writes that USC is focused on containing Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault, who leads the nation with 10.2 receptions and 141.6 receiving yards per game.
Brian Howell notes that there’s a lot at stake in the Colorado-USC game, with control of the Pac-12 South up for grabs.
Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day was Thursday, so let’s get to a couple of nuggets from that. First, Michelle Gardner of the Arizona Republic writes that Arizona State is looking to make a jump up in the Pac-12 standings after going 8-10 in league play in the 2017-18 campaign following an undefeated non-conference slate.
And then there’s this story from yours truly about Washington State potentially being an even more dangerous 3-point shooting team this year after setting a Pac-12 record by making 11 3-pointers per game in 2017-18.
Gary Horowitz dives into the state of Oregon State football halfway through the 2018 season.
Looking for something fun to do this weekend outside of watching football? Well may I suggest taking a trip to Avery Aquatic Center, where Stanford men’s water polo will be hosting the Mountain Pacific Invitational from Friday to Sunday. It’s essentially the Maui Invitational of the water polo season, with the exception that it’s 16 of the best teams in the country instead of eight. Plus, the semifinals are almost certainly going to be Stanford-UCLA and USC-Cal, so you’ll get your Pac-12 fill.