This Week in Pac-12 Football
THE RANKINGS: The Pac-12 has had three or more teams ranked in the AP Top 25 each week this season. This week’s rankings include No. 11 Oregon, No. 12 Utah and No. 24 Arizona State. For the Ducks, it’s their highest regular-season ranking since coming in at No. 7 on September 8, 2015.
CUTTING THEIR TEETH: Freshman starters have been quite common around the Pac-12 as 11 of the 12 teams have each started at least three freshmen. Among all FBS teams, the Pac-12 has four of the top 13 teams in terms of true freshman starters this season:
8 - Alabama
7 - UMass, STANFORD, Texas A&M 6 - USC, Tennessee
5 - Akron, ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE, Colorado State, Fresno State, TCU, West Virginia
PAC-12 FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
THE RANKINGS: Three Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP and in the Coaches polls - OREGON (11/11), UTAH (12/12) and ARIZONA STATE (24/24) ... The Pac-12 has had three or more teams ranked in the AP poll each week this season ... Eight different Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the Top 25 at some point this season.
MID-SEASON NOTES: As the Pac-12 enters the second half of conference play, here are some takeaways from the first half of the season:
1) OREGON QB Justin Herbert has completed 158-of-232 for 1,882 yards, 21 TDs, 1 INT, as Ducks are riding a six-game winning streak. It has outscored the opposition 230-56 in that stretch.
2) 14 players in the FBS are averaging double digit tackles, two hale from the Pac-12 - CALIFORNIA LB Evan Weaver leads the FBS with 15.0 per game, COLORADO LB Nate Landman is eighth (10.6 avg).
3) UTAH SR RB Zack Moss is the Utes career rushing leader with 3,264 yards and 31 rushing TDs.
4) UTAH defense - second in FBS in rush defense (61.1 ypg), fourth in FBS in total defense (252.1 ypg), sixth in the FBS in scoring defense (11.7 ppg).
5) OREGON STATE WR Isaiah Hodgins has been key to 2-2 conference start (OSU was 1-17 in previous two seasons of Pac-12 play). Hodgins averages 8.0 receptions, 106.4 yards and has 10 TDs.
6) OREGON STATE has the fewest turnovers in the FBS with zero fumbles lost and only two interceptions
7) WASHINGTON STATE QB Anthony Gordon leads the FBS with passing yards (425.9 ypg).
8) WASHINGTON PK Peyton Henry leads the FBS with a perfect 15-of-15 on field goals.
9) Freshmen contributions - STANFORD has had four true freshmen start on the offensive line.
10) 19 different QBs have started this season (20 different QBs started all last season). STANFORD and USC have each started three different quarterbacks this season.
11) ARIZONA STATE freshman QB Jayden Daniels lifted the Sun Devils to a pair of road wins over ranked opponents (10-7 at #18 Michigan State, 24-17 at #15 California).
YOU COMPLETE ME: Through eight weeks, five Pac-12 QBs are among the 20 FBS quarterbacks who have completed at least 67.0% of their pass attempts this season (minimum 15 passes per game/played in 75.0% of team’s games). That’s more than any other conference. Those five have combined to complete 764-of-1,102 (.693) for 9,627 yards, 84 TDs, 16 INT.
• 5. Tyler Huntley, Sr., UTAH -- .740 (111-of-150, 1,564 yards, 9 TD, 1 INT)
• 6. Kedon Slovis, Fr., USC -- .736 (103-of-140, 1,219 yards, 9 TDs, 4 INT)
• 8. Anthony Gordon, Sr., WSU -- .709 (246-of-347, 2,981 yards, 29 TDs, 7 INT)
• 17. Justin Herbert, Sr., ORE -- .681 (158-of-232, 1,882 yards, 21 TDs, 1 INT)
• 20. Jacob Eason, Jr., WASH -- .674 (157-of-233, 1,981 yards, 16 TDs, 3 INT)
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: There are just two FBS quarterbacks who have not thrown an interception, while eight have thrown just one interception this season. Of those eight, four reside in the Pac-12 - OREGON SR QB Justin Herbert (1 INT in 232 attempts), OREGON STATE SR QB Jake Luton (1 INT in 229 pass attempts), UTAH SR QB Tyler Huntley (1 INT in 150 attempts), and STANFORD JR QB Davis Mills (1 INT in 110 attempts).
QUARTERBACK DEBUTS: Due to injuries, Pac-12 teams have combined to start 19 different quarterbacks this season. The Pac-12 started 20 different quarterbacks during the entire 2018 season. Not only has the Pac-12 started 19 different signal-callers, but eight were making their first-ever FBS start. Here’s a look at how those eight fared in their debut as a starter:
• Grant Gunnell, Fr., ARIZ (W vs. UCLA, 20-17) - 29-of-44, 352 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
• Jayden Daniels, Fr., ASU (W vs. Kent State, 30-7) - 15-of-24, 284 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
• Davis Mills, Jr., STAN (L at USC, 49-24) - 22-of-36, 237 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
• Jack West, So., STAN (L vs. UCLA, 34-16) - 15-of-32, 143 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INT
• Austin Burton, RSo., UCLA (L vs. OSU, 48-31) - 27-of-41, 236 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
• Kedon Slovis, Fr., USC (W vs. STAN, 49-24) - 28-of-33, 377 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
• Matt Fink, Jr., USC (L at WASH, 28-14) - 19-of-32, 163 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
• Anthony Gordon, RSr., WSU (W vs. New Mexico State, 58-7) - 29-of-35, 420 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT
SEEKING PERFECTION: Nine FBS kickers who meet the minimum qualifications (min. 1 FGA per game/must play in 75% of team’s games) remain perfect on their field goal attempts. Three Pac-12 kickers are among those nine - WASHINGTON’s Peyton Henry (15-for-15), WASHINGTON STATE’s Blake Mazza (11-for-11), and USC’s Chase McGrath (8-for-8).
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED: To date, a total of 161 true freshmen have seen action this season with 50 garnering at least one start.
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