This week in Pac-12 Football
• STREAKING: WASHINGTON is riding a 13-game home winning streak, tied with Clemson for the second longest active streak in the FBS (Alabama’s 23-game streak leads the FBS). WASHINGTON STATE is tied for fourth as its riding a 12-game home winning streak of its own.
• PAC-12 RUNNING BACKS PACE FBS RUSHING LEADERS: The Pac-12 has four running backs listed among the FBS top eight in rushing yards per game.
5. Eno Benjamin, ASU (123.7 yards per game)
6. J.J. Taylor, ARIZ (122.1 yards per game)
t7. Jermar Jefferson, OSU (121.3 yards per game)
t7. Zack Moss, UTAH (121.3 yards per game)
• TIEBREAKER: Three weeks remain in the regular season and the possibility exists where all six teams in the Pac-12 South Division could finish tied for first in the standings. See page 9 of this release for the tie-break procedures the Conference will use to determine the participants in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game.
THE RANKINGS: Two Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP poll and three in the Coaches poll. WASHINGTON STATE (10/11) is ranked in the Top 10 for the 30th time in the history of the AP poll, and is joined by WASHINGTON (20/18). UTAH remains in the Coaches poll at No 24.
DIVISION RACES: The Pac-12 North Division comes down to WASHINGTON STATE, WASHINGTON and OREGON. Both the Cougars and the Huskies control their own destiny. Should either team win out, they will represent the North in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. Oregon needs to win out and finish in a two-team tie with Washington at 6-3, where the Ducks would own the tie-breaker ... The South Division is still up for grabs as all six teams have a chance to represent the South at the Pac-12 Football Championship Game.
HOME, NOT SO SWEET HOME: While Pac-12 teams are 18-3 (.857) at home in non-conference play, they are just 22-16 (.579) on the home turf in league play.
FIVE IN A ROW: During Washington State’s five-game winning streak, QB Gardner Minshew II is 173-for-248 (.698) for 1,970 yards (394.0 ypg) and 16 TDs ... Minshew has been well protected during the last five games, getting sacked just four times in 248 pass attempts ... Eight different Cougars have caught at least 10 passes over the last five games, while four different players caught at least 20 passes ... During the five-game streak, Minshew’s 1,970 passing yards are more than 51 FBS teams have thrown for all season.
TAKING A STAND: WASHINGTON LB Ben Burr-Kirven leads all Pac-12 players with 10 or more tackles in a game eight times this season. He has compiled a league-best 134 tackles to date for a 13.4 tackles per game (2nd in the FBS). Here’s list of those defensive stalwarts with the most games having double-digit tackles:
8 - Ben Burr-Kirven, WASH
6 - Evan Weaver, CAL
5 - Jordan Kunaszyk, CAL; Nate Landman, COLO; Troy Dye, ORE; Adarius Pickett, UCLA
4 - Tony Fields II, ARIZ; Colin Schooler, ARIZ; Jalen Harvey, ASU; Peyton Pelluer, WSU
3 - Bobby Okereke, STAN; Chase Hansen, UTAH; Cody Barton, UTAH
2 - Jalen Moore, OSU; Sean Barton, STAN; Alijah Holder, STAN
1 - 18 players
RECORD CLIMBERS: Washington QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin are climbing the Pac-12 career charts and are among the all-time top ten in several categories.
Career Passing Yards
3. 13,327 Matt Barkley, USC, 2009-12
4. 12,200 Jared Goff, CAL, 2013-15
5. 11,818 Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-2002
6. 11,347 Jake Browning, WASH, 2015-18
Career Total Offense
5. 12,086 Jared Goff, CAL, 2013-15
6. 11,713 Brett Hundley, UCLA, 2012-14
7. 11,621 Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-2002
8. 11,543 Jake Browning, WASH, 2015-18
Career Touchdown Passes
4. 99 Matt Leinart, USC, 2003-05
5. 96 Jared Goff, CAL, 2013-15
6. 91 Jake Browning, WASH, 2015-18
Career Rushing Yards
1. 6,245 Charles White, USC, 1976-79
2. 5,621 Royce Freeman, ORE, 2014-17
3. 5,082 LaMichael James, ORE, 2009-11
4. 5,044 Ken Simonton, OSU, 1998-2001
5. 4,826 Myles Gaskin, WASH, 2015-18
Career Rushing Touchdowns
1. 60 Royce Freeman, ORE, 2014-17
2. 59 Ken Simonton, OSU, 1998-2001
3. 53 LaMichael James, ORE, 2009-11
4. 52 LenDale White, USC, 2003-05
5. 51 Myles Gaskin, WASH, 2015-18
THORPE AWARD SEMIFINALISTS: The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award tabs a pair of Pac-12 safeties as semifinalist for the prestigious honor that recognizes the best defensive back in the nations - senior Ugochukwu Amadi, ORE and senior Taylor Rapp, WASH. Conference players who have earned the award include Mark Carrier, USC (1994); Darryl Lewis, ARIZ (1990); Antoine Cason, ARIZ (2007); Adoreé Jackson, USC (2016). Colorado’s Deon Figures (1992) and Chris Hudson (1994) claimed the award, but that was prior to the Buffs joining the Pac-12.
MAXWELL AND BEDNARIK AWARD SEMIFINALISTS: The Pac-12 had several players listed among the semifinalists announced for the 82nd Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year and 24th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. Those up for the Maxwell Award include COLORADO WR Laviska Shenault, OREGON QB Justin Herbert, UTAH RB Zack Moss and WASHINGTON STATE QB Gardner Minshew II. The Chuck Bednarik Award tabs WASHINGTON CB Byron Murphy and LB Ben Burr-Kirven as semifinalists.
POLYNESIAN FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Four former players from the Pac-10 era are the newest members of the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019. ARIZONA’s Joe Salave’a (1994-97), ARIZONA STATE’s Dan Saleaumua (1983-86), USC’s Lofa Tatupu (2003-04) and WASHINGTON’s Marques Tuiasosopo (1997-2000).
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE: N’Keal Harry, WR, ASU
Harry caught nine passes for 161 yards and a career-high three TDs in ASU’s 38-20 upset of No. 16 Utah. Harry had TD receptions of 3, 23, and 61 yards. Seven of his nine receptions were good for a first down and/or touchdown. His Three-yard TD reception in the first quarter put ASU up 14-0. Hauled in a 23-yard TD reception with 1:01 left in the first half that put ASU up 21-17 after Utah had reeled of 17 straight points. Had 61-yard TD reception on the opening play of the fourth quarter that extended ASU’s lead to 28-20.
DEFENSE: Merlin Robertson, LB, ASU
Led ASU with nine tackles, including one TFL, and recorded his first career interception in ASU’s 38-20 upset of No. 16 Utah. Led a Sun Devil defensive effort that held the Utes, who came in averaging 41 points in their past four games, to only 325 yards for the game and only three points in the second half. After the Utes scored on three straight possessions, Robertson picked up his first career interception on Utah’s first possession of the second half.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Ugochukwu Amadi, S/PR, ORE
Gave Oregon a 7-0 lead against UCLA with a 56-yard punt return for a TD in the first quarter, which marked Oregon’s first punt return for a TD since 2015 at Michigan State. Averaging 24.1 yards per punt return (8 returns), with four of his eight returns having gone for over 20 yards. He is tied for the national lead with two returns of 50-plus yards. He is the only FBS player in the nation with a punt return TD and a pick-6. Also added three tackles, including one for loss, in the win over UCLA.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOTES: On Oct. 22, the Utah trio of Huntley, Hansen and Gay became the fourth set of teammates to sweep all three weekly awards. It was accomplished by Oregon State twice (Nov. 20, 2004 and Oct. 14, 2006) and once by USC (Sept. 24, 1988) ... Colorado’s Lavisk Shenault is just the fifth receiver to earn Offensive Player of the Week twice in the same season. He joins USC’s Dwayne Jarrett (2006), Stanford’s Troy Walters (1999), California’s Bobby Shaw (1997) and USC’s Johnnie Morton (1993) ... Washington’s Ben Burr-Kirven is the first player to repeat as Defensive Player of the Week since Arizona State LB Antonio Longino in 2015 (Nov. 16, 23), and the first Husky defender to repeat since CB Derrick Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002 (Nov. 9, 17).
POLL NOTES: WASHINGTON’s preseason AP No. 6 ranking was its highest preseason ranking in the AP poll since 1997 when the Huskies opened the year at No. 4. The Huskies have now appeared in the AP Top 25 for 41 consecutive ranking periods ... STANFORD has appeared in the AP preseason Top 25 for the eighth consecutive year. The Cardinal are one of eight teams to have appeared in the preseason AP poll in each of the last eight seasons, joining Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, USC, Oklahoma, LSU and Georgia ... USC has appeared in each of the last 17 presesaon AP polls and 58 preseason polls overall. Only Ohio State (65) and Oklahoma (60) have appeared in more preseason AP Top 25 polls.
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