Roundup: First place in Pac-12 South within reach for Chip Kelly, UCLA football
Never thought this would be possible to write, but the 2-5 UCLA Bruins could potentially be in first place in the Pac-12 South by the end of the weekend. First, the Bruins must beat 23rd-ranked Utah Friday night at the Rose Bowl (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN), and one reason why that might happen is because UCLA’s defense has been creating turnovers like mad, writes Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.
At Friday's 2018 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships, the Utah cross country team wore heart-shaped patches to honor Lauren McCluskey. Our Lewis Johnson has more of that story.
Another monster Pac-12 North game this weekend, this one taking place on The Farm between No. 14 Washington State and No. 24 Stanford (4 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks). Taking a peek behind enemy lines, Theo Lawson writes that Stanford’s offense looks different in 2018 with Bryce Love hobbled all season and the growth of the receiving corps (and th ever-steady KJ Costello).
Meanwhile, Chuck Stark of the Kitsap Sun lets us know that quarterback Gardner Minshew II and an improved defense have helped the Cougs perform better than expectations yet again.
The Trojans will try to get right at home with a 12:30 p.m. PT kick against Arizona State on ABC/ESPN2, and Joey Kaufman enlists the help of some analysts to try to determine what is wrong with the USC running game. Our own Anthony Herron chimes in here.
Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins is trying to salvage his final season in Tempe as the Sun Devils head into the Coliseum losers of four of their last five, writes Jeff Metcalfe.
With Washington heading to Cal for some Saturday afternoon fun in the Berkeley sun (3:30 p.m. PT, FS1), Lauren Kirschman of The News Tribune notes that Washington head coach Chris Petersen saw a lot of coaching potential for Justin Wilcox early in the Cal head coach’s career.
On the Golden Bear sideline, Cal freshman running back Christopher Brown Jr. is getting a lot more work as the season progresses, notes Rusty Simmons.
The Buffs will try to stop a two-game losing skid when they host Oregon State Saturday afternoon (12 p.m. PT/1 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks), and Pat Rooney opines that Colorado’s Pac-12 South chances depend on the effectiveness of the offensive line.
Ahead of the Ducks’ road game at Arizona Saturday night (7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN), Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal says he expects linebacker Kaulana Apelu to play against the Wildcats (The Oregonian/OregonLive). Apelu, second on the team with 51 tackles, has been limited in practice this week.
Listen to the latest episode of The Wildcast from the Arizona Daily Star to get an Arizona-Oregon game preview.
Steve Mims of The Register-Guard gives us an Oregon State men’s basketball 2018-19 season preview, noting that newcomers need to be ready to contribute off the bench for the Beavs to sniff a second NCAA Tournament appearance under Wayne Tinkle.
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