This Week in Pac-12 Football

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Karl Maasdam

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THE RANKINGS: With OREGON at No. 7 and UTAH at No. 8, the Pac-12 has two teams ranked among the AP Top 8 for the first time since Oct. 8, 2017 when Washington came in at No. 5 and Washington State was No. 8.

CONFERENCE OF QUARTERBACKS: The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award has tabbed its 10 finalists for the nation’s top college quarterback. The Pac-12 is well represented on that list with OREGON QB Justin Herbert, UTAH QB Tyler Huntley and WASHINGTON QB Jacob Eason. No other conference has more than one quarterback among the 10 finalists.

BUTKUS AWARD SEMIFINALISTS: The Butkus Award announced their 12 semifinalists and making the list was CALIFORNIA senior LB Evan Weaver. Weaver leads the FBS in tackles, averaging 15.9 per game.

TOMEY HONORED: Former Arizona head coach Dick Tomey will receive the American Football Coaches Association’s 2020 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award. The award is given to those “whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interest in football,” and will be presented, posthumously, during the 2020 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

THE RANKINGS: Two Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP and in the Coaches polls - OREGON (7/7) and UTAH (8/9) ... Back-to-back weeks with two Pac-12 teams in the Top 10 for the first time since three consecutive weeks in September 2018 when Stanford and Washington were both ranked in the Top 10 ... Eight different Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the Top 25 at some point this season.

NOT SO FRIENDLY CONFINES: The home team is just 17-17 in Pac-12 play. Only OREGON and UTAH remain undefeated at home in conference play, each with 3-0 records vs. Pac-12 foes.

MAXWELL AND BEDNARIK AWARDS TAB SEMIFINALISTS: OREGON QB Justin Herbert and UTAH RB Zack Moss are two of the 20 semifinalists for the 83rd Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year, while CALIFORNIA LB Evan Weaver and UTAH DE Bradlee Anae are two of the 20 semifinalists for the 25th Chuck Bednarik Award for the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.

DON’T LOOK, ETHEL!: Some notable streaks of late...
• USC WR Michael Pittman Jr. has caught four or more passes in each of the last 14 games. During that stretch of games, he has a total of 80 receptions for 1,341 yards and 13 TDs.
• OREGON has won eight in a row, and eight consecutive conference games.
• UCLA has rushed for 200 or more yards in its last five straight games.
• OREGON STATE has won three straight conference road games for the first time since 2013.
• ARIZONA STATE WR Kyle Williams has a reception in 36 straight games, currently the fourth-longest active streak in FBS.
• For starters... OREGON OG Shane Lemieux and OT Calvin Throckmorton have each started 47 consecutive games. OREGON STATE OT Blake Brandel has started 44 consecutive games.
• WASHINGTON PK Peyton Henry has connected on 15 consecutive field goal attempts.

YOU COMPLETE ME: Through nine weeks, five Pac-12 QBs are among the 28 FBS quarterbacks who have completed at least 65.0% 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 970-of-1,402 (.692) for 11,964 yards, 103 TDs, 25 INT.

5. Tyler Huntley, Sr., UTAH .733 (141-of-191, 2,062 yards, 11 TD, 1 INT)
8. Anthony Gordon, Sr., WSU .700 (278-of-397, 3,387 yards, 32 TDs, 9 INT)
11. Justin Herbert, Sr., ORE .694 (200-of-288, 2,329 yards, 24 TDs, 2 INT)
14. Kedon Slovis, Fr., USC .685 (165-of-241, 1,889 yards, 16 TDs, 8 INT)
28. Jacob Eason, Jr., WASH .653 (186-of-285, 2,297 yards, 20 TDs, 5 INT)

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: 17 FBS quarterbacks have thrown two or fewer interceptions this season (min. 15 attempts/must play in 75.0% of team’s games). Of those 17, five reside in the Pac-12 - OREGON STATE SR QB Jake Luton (1 INT in 255 pass attempts - most attempts by an FBS quarterback with just one INT), UTAH SR QB Tyler Huntley (1 INT in 191 attempts), STANFORD JR QB Davis Mills (1 INT in 110 attempts), OREGON SR QB Justin Herbert (2 INT in 288 attempts), and ARIZONA STATE FR QB Jayden Daniels (2 INT in 223 attempts).

QUARTERBACK DEBUTS: Due to injuries, Pac-12 teams have combined to start 20 different quarterbacks this season. The Pac-12 also saw 20 different quarterbacks start during the 2018 season. Not only has the Pac-12 started 20 different signal-callers, but nine have made their first-ever FBS start.

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 five of the top 16 teams in terms of true freshman starters this season:

9 - Alabama
7 - Fresno State, UMass, STANFORD, Tennessee, Texas A&M
6 - Colorado State, USC 5 - Akron, ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE, Arkansas, COLORADO, TCU, UTSA, West Virginia

SEEKING PERFECTION: Seven 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. Two Pac-12 kickers are among those seven - WASHINGTON’s Peyton Henry (15-for-15) and WASHINGTON STATE’s Blake Mazza (13-for-13).

RECORD-SETTERS: A look at some record-setting performances so far this season. All school records, unless noted as Pac-12 or NCAA records:

Single-game punting average (min. 5 att.): 63.0 avg - Michael Turk, ASU vs. Kent State (Aug. 29)+#
Longest play from scrimmage: 96-yard pass - Steven Montez to K.D. Nixon, COLO vs. Nebraska (Sept. 7)
Touchdown passes in a game: 9 - Anthony Gordon, WSU vs. UCLA (Sept. 21)+
Most combined points, game: 130 - UCLA (67), Washington State (63) (Sept. 21)+
Total Offense: 564 - Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA at Washington State (Sept. 21)
Career Rushing: 3,479 - Zack Moss, Utah (2016-current)
Career Rushing Touchdowns: 34 - Zack Moss, Utah (2016-current)
100-yards Rushing Games: 16 - Zack Moss, Utah (2016-current)

+ Pac-12 record, # NCAA record

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