This Week in Pac-12 Football
THE CFP RANKINGS: UTAH moves up to No. 6, OREGON drops to No. 14, and USC moves up to No. 22 in this week’s CFP rankings ... UTAH leads the Pac-12 and ranks sixth nationally in weeks ranked in the College Football Playoff Poll, with 28 weeks, trailing only Alabama (35), Clemson (35), Ohio State (35), Oklahoma (33) and LSU (31) .
DIVISION RACES: OREGON has clinched the North Division crown and will be making its third Pac-12 Football Championship Game appearance. Meanwhile, the South Division race is down to UTAH and USC. With a win over Colorado, Utah returns the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. If it stumbles and finishes in a tie with USC at 7-2, the Trojans own the tiebreaker and would head to Santa Clara for a rematch against Oregon. See page 8 of this release for Pac-12 tie-break procedures.
FOUR OR MORE WINS: Entering this weekend’s play, the Pac-12 Conference is the only FBS conference with all its teams having four or more victories this season. Only once has the Conference had a season where all teams had won four or more games (1965).
THE POLLS: Three Pac-12 teams are ranked in the AP and in the Coaches polls - UTAH (6/6), OREGON (14/13) and USC (25/25) ... Eight different Pac-12 teams have been ranked in the Top 25 at some point this season.
UTAH DEFENSE HOLDS STRONG: Utah is one of three FBS teams to rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive plays per yard:
- Utah is 9th in offensive ypp (6.95) and 4th in defensive ypp (4.24)
- Clemson is 4th in offensive ypp (7.49) and 2nd in defensive ypp (3.88)
- Ohio State is 8th in offensive ypp (7.04) and 1st defensive ypp (3.52)
Utah’s defense continues to rank among the best in the FBS:
- 1st in rushing defense (55.9 ypg); opponents average just 2.3 yards per carry
- 2nd in first downs allowed (151)
- 3rd in total defense (243.8)
- 4th in scoring defense (10.9), yards per play (4.24) & pass efficiency defense (105.10)
- 7th in red zone defense (68.4%)
- 12th in interceptions (13)
A ROLLING UTE GATHERS NO MOSS: UTAH senior RB Zack Moss has rushed for 100 or more yards in seven games this season, including five of the last six with a season-high 203 at Arizona. He leads the Pac-12 in rushing (115.8 avg). Moss already owns the school career records for rushing (3,809 yards) and rushing touchdowns (37). However, it’s his pass catching ability that’s been gaining attention of late. Over the last five games, he’s pulled in 19 receptions for 313 yards and one score. In his first 37 games as a Ute, he had 40 receptions for 304 yards ... Over the last five games, Moss is averaging 191.4 all-purpose yards per game.
2.3 MILES: Pac-12 quarterbacks combined to throw for 3,976 yards last Saturday, the equivlant of 2.3 miles. WASHINGTON STATE’s Anthony Gordon became the third quarterback in Pac-12 history to throw for 600 yards as he went for 606 in the win against Oregon State. USC’s Kedon Slovis set a school single-game record with 515 yards in the win over UCLA.
YOU COMPLETE ME: Through 13 weeks, four Pac-12 QBs are among the 12 FBS quarterbacks who have completed at least 68.0% 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 four have combined to complete 1,091-of-1,531 (.713) for 13,736 yards, 117 TDs, 30 INT.
2. Tyler Huntley, Sr., UTAH .750 (174-of-232, 2,608 yards, 14 TD, 2 INT)
4. Kedon Slovis, Fr., USC .718 (260-of-362, 3,242 yards, 28 TDs, 9 INT)
7. Anthony Gordon, Sr., WSU .713 (417-of-585, 4,920 yards, 45 TDs, 14 INT)
11. Justin Herbert, Sr., ORE .682 (240-of-352, 2,966 yards, 30 TDs, 5 INT)
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Seven FBS quarterbacks have thrown two or fewer interceptions this season (min. 15 attempts/must play in 75.0% of team’s games). Of those seven, two reside in the Pac-12 - UTAH SR QB Tyler Huntley (2 INT in 232 attempts) and ARIZONA STATE FR QB Jayden Daniels (2 INT in 291 attempts).
QUARTERBACK DEBUTS: Due to injuries, Pac-12 teams have combined to start 21 different quarterbacks this season. Not only has the Pac-12 started 21 different signal-callers, but 10 have made their first-ever FBS start in 2019.
NOT SO FRIENDLY CONFINES: The home team is just 27-22 in Pac-12 play. Only OREGON and UTAH remain undefeated at home in conference play, each with 4-0 records vs. Pac-12 foes.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL AWARD FINALISTS:
BILETNIKOFF AWARD: USC’s Michael Pittman Jr. (95 receptions/1,222 yards/11 TDs) was announced as finalist for the Biletnikoff Award honoring the nation’s top receiver.
GROZA AWARD: WASHINGTON STATE’s Blake Mazza (18-of-19 FGs, .947, long of 51 yards, 51-of-53 PATs) was announced as finalist for the Groza Award honoring the nation’s top place kicker.
OUTLAND TROPHY: OREGON’s Penei Sewell (PFF - 96.0 run-blocking grade, 91.7 pass-blocking grade, allowed just six pressures on the QB this season on 403 pass-blocking snaps) was announced as finalist for the Outland Trophy honoring the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman.
BURLSWORTH TROPHY: CALIFORNIA S/KR Ashtyn Davis (163 career tackles, 6 career interceptions, 1,604 kick return yards/22.9 avg) is one of their three finalists. The Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding football player in America who began his career as a walk-on.
BUTKUS AWARD: CALIFORNIA’s Evan Weaver (164 tackles/14.9 per game) is one of six finalists for the Butkus Award honoring the nation’s top linebacker.
CONFERENCE OF QUARTERBACKS: The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award has narrowed its list to five finalists for the nation’s top college quarterback. The Pac-12 is well represented on that list with OREGON QB Justin Herbert and UTAH QB Tyler Huntley ... A trio of Pac-12 quarterbacks were among the 16 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award - Herbert, Huntley and WASHINGTON STATE QB Anthony Gordon.
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