This week in Pac-12 Football
TOP 25 AND MORE: OREGON opens up play ranked No. 12 in the AP and No. 14 in the Coaches poll, and USC comes in at No. 20 in both polls. ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, UTAH and WASHINGTON are all receiving votes in the AP heading into this weekend.
STATEMENT ON CAL WASHINGTON GAME: “The Pac-12 has approved a request from Cal to cancel the Washington at Cal football game scheduled for November 7. This decision was made under the Pac-12’s football game cancellation policy due to Cal not having the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game as a result of a positive football student-athlete COVID-19 case and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols. Under Conference policy, the game will be declared a no contest. The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 football programs will continue to be our number one priority.”
REIGNING PAC-12 CHAMPS: OREGON running back CJ Verdell is one of six returning FBS players with 1,000 rush yards each of last two seasons, and the junior is looking to be second OREGON player with three-straight 1,000 yd seasons (LaMichael James).
- Among current Pac-12 rushers, Verdell’s 2,286 career rush yards leads the Conference, with OREGON STATE’s Jermar Jefferson’s 2,065 career rush yards right behind him.
- DE Kayvon Thibodeaux had 9.0 sacks last year as a true freshman, and 7.0 came in the 4th quarter which led the FBS.
- This year the Ducks added three 5-star prospects in a recruiting class for first time in school history (247 Composite) with linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell, as well as cornerback Dontae Manning.
EARLY INDICATORS: Winner of the STANFORD-OREGON matchup has gone on to win the Pac-12 North in six of the last nine years.
FORKS UP: ARIZONA STATE quarterback Jayden Daniels has thrown 154 consecutive passes without an interception, the longest streak in the Pac-12 and fourth-longest streak overall in FBS.
- Last year the Sun Devils went 3-1 vs. Top 25 opponents, their most wins vs. ranked opponents since 2014.
NOT ‘KEDON’ AROUND: USC quarterback Kedon Slovis set an FBS freshman record last year with a 71.9% completion rate and enters the 2020 campaign with 126 passes without an interception (dating back to Nov. 9, 2019 vs. ARIZONA STATE), the second-longest streak in the Pac-12 behind ARIZONA STATE’s Jayden Daniels (154).
- Trojans set a school record last year with 335.8 pass YPG, only the third time in school history to pass over 300 YPG (also, 306.8 in 2002 and 319.8 in 2005).
HOME SWEET HOME: UTAH has won its last 11 home games, which is the best streak in the Pac-12 and sixth-longest streak in the FBS.
NEW BEGINNINGS: This season, Pac-12 welcomes three new head coaches to the ranks, with Karl Dorrell in COLORADO, Jimmy Lake in WASHINGTON and Nick Rolovich at WASHINGTON STATE.
- COLORADO head coach Karl Dorrell is looking to be the third-consecutive Buffs coach to win their first game. A win on Saturday would also give COLORADO its fifth-straight win in a season opener, its longest streak since winning eight straight from 1991-98.
THE PURPLE REIGN: WASHINGTON has allowed 35 points or fewer in 71 consecutive contests, the longest active streak in the FBS.
- OREGON has accomplished the same feat in 19-straight games, which is the third-longest streak.
- The Huskies are also one of two FBS teams (Alabama) to allow fewer than 20.0 PPG in each of the last five seasons.
CHEER RESPONSIBLY: As the Pac-12 begins its 2020-21 season, the Conference and its universities are providing reminders and asking fans watching at home and away from the stadium to please follow their state and local health official guidelines as they enjoy Pac-12 sporting events this season. For more information visit Pac-12.com.
HOT NEW HEADSET GEAR: The Pac-12 welcomes new Official Communications Partner Nextiva into the Conference. Nextiva will be featured on coach headsets and sideline communications equipment for all Pac-12 football programs as part of the new partnership.