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This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week Two

Sep 8, 2021
Greg Turk



PARTY OF FIVE: For the 2nd straight poll and first of the regular season, the Pac-12 has 5 teams in the AP Top 25, the 2nd most of any conference.  OREGON is the conference’s highest rank team at #12, while USC moves up one spot to #14.  UCLA made the biggest jump in the country, from unranked to #16.  It is the first time the Bruins have been in the Top 25 since 2017.  UTAH moved up 3 spots to #21 and ARIZONA STATE moved up 2 spots to #23.

TEAM OF THE WEEK:  Coming off their 38-27 win over #16 LSU on Saturday, UCLA was named the Cheez-It Bowl National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America.  It's the first time the Bruins have won the award since 2017 when they beat another SEC opponent, Texas A&M.

NEXT LEVEL:  With the NFL season kicking off on Thursday, the Pac-12 has 189 former players on active rosters (272 including reserve or practice squad)as of Tuesday, September 7th.  This includes the NFL’s reigning MVP (Aaron Rodgers, CALIFORNIA) and Rookie of the Year (Justin Herbert, OREGON).


ARIZONA 7 (10) STANFORD 25 (31)
ARIZONA STATE 7 (12) UCLA 25 (30)
CALIFORNIA 15 (22) USC 20 (30)
COLORADO 11 (18) UTAH 19 (26)
OREGON 18 (26) WASHINGTON 27 (41)


ARIZONA:  1st home game as head coach for Jedd Fisch.  23-2 in non-conference home games since the start of the 2008 season with their last loss coming in 2018.  QB Gunner Cruz had 336 pass yards in the season opener, 1st QB to throw for 300+ yards in their Arizona debut since Anu Solomon in 2014.  WR Stanley Berryhill had a career-high 12 receptions for 102 yards after having 23 catches for 227 yards in 5 games all of last season.

ARIZONA STATE:  Beat Southern Utah 41-14 in the season opener, holding the Thunderbirds to 224 total yards and forcing 4 turnovers.  Had 6 rush TD vs Southern Utah and 19 in their last 3 games, tied for the 2nd most by an FBS team in a 3-game span since 1996 (Nebraska had 22 in a 3-game span in 1997).  LB Darien Butler had 2 INT in the opener, the first Sun Devil with 2 INT in a game since 2019.

CALIFORNIA: 3-0 in non-conference true road games under Justin Wilcox with wins at North Carolina (2017), BYU (2018) and Ole Miss (2019).  First true road game at a Big 12 school since 2015 when they won at Texas, 45-44.  2-0 at Amon G. Carter Stadium with both wins coming in the Armed Forces Bowl.  Held Nevada to 61 rushing yards on 2.3 yards per carry in the season opener.

COLORADO: First meeting against Texas A&M since 2009 when both schools were in the Big 12.  Looking for their first win over a Top 10 team since 2007, when they beat #3 Oklahoma 27-24 by outscoring the Sooners 17-0 in the 4th quarter.  Beat Northern Colorado 35-7 in their season opener last Friday in Boulder.  Had 281 rushing yards in the season opener, the 3rd time in 7 games under Karl Dorrell they have run for over 250 yards in a game.

OREGON: First true road game at a Big Ten school since 2016 at Nebraska.  7 of their last 8 road games at Big Ten schools have been decided by 7 points or less.  Have won their last 2 games vs AP Top 10 opponents with last coming over #5 Utah in the 2019 Pac-12 Championship Game.  Won their season opener on Saturday over Fresno State 31-24, with QB Anthony Brown rushing for the game-winning 30-yard TD with 2:57 left in the 4th quarter.  Oregon had 129 of their 187 rushing yards in the 2nd half with 87 of them in the 4th quarter.  LB Justin Flowe had 14 tackles, the most by an Oregon freshman since Troy Dye in 2016.

OREGON STATE:  2-0 all-time at home vs Hawai’i with the last meeting coming in 2013 when Sean Mannion threw for 372 yards and 4 TD.  11-4 in non-conference home games since the start of the 2012 season.  QB Chance Nolan came off the bench in the 2nd half of the season opener, going 10-16 for157 yards.  Defense held Purdue to 88 rushing yards and 2.7 yards per carry.

STANFORD:  First true road game of the season after playing Kansas State on a neutral field in the season opener.  Finished the 2020 season by winning their last 4 games, all on the road.  QB Tanner McKee was named the starter for this week after coming off the bench in Week 1, going 15-18 for 118 passing yards and a TD.  Looking for their first win at USC since 2015 when they beat the Trojans that September at the Coliseum and then again, later that season, in Santa Clara in the Pac-12 Championship Game.  Under David Shaw, Stanford is 31-8 against programs from California including 25-7 against Pac-12 schools from California.

USC:  Last season was the first time since 1945 that the Trojans and Cardinal did not play.  Have won 3 of the last 4 meetings with Stanford and has not lost to an unranked Stanford team since September 2015.  Won their season opener against defending Mountain West champion San Jose State 30-7, the first time the Trojans have held their opponent to 7 points or less since 2016 vs Utah State.  WR Drake London had a career-high 12 catches for 137 yards in the season opener, the most receptions by a Trojan since Michael Pittman Jr. had 13 vs UCLA in 2019. 

UTAH: Beat Weber State 40-17 in season opener in front of the largest crowd in Utah history (51,511).  QB Charlie Brewer had 233 pass yards and 2 pass TD in his first game with Utes.  Brewer needs just 67 pass yards to reach 10,000 for his career.  RB Tavion Thomas had 107 rushing yards in the opener for the 3rd 100-yard game of his career and first with the Utes.  Have won their last 7 regular season non-conference road games, with the last loss coming to Utah State in 2012.

WASHINGTON: Playing their first true road game in 658 days, the longest streak in FBS since at least 1980.  Washington’s last road game was Nov 23, 2019 at Colorado.  First road game at a Big Ten school since winning at Rutgers in 2017.  Last won at Michigan in 1984, with current Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh throwing 3 interceptions for the Wolverines.  Held Montana to just 232 total yards (127 rush, 105 pass) in season opener.  Allowed 16.3 yards per drive in the opener, fewest in the Pac-12.

WASHINGTON STATE: 18-4 at home since the start of the 2017 season.  RB Max Borghi had a 64-yard TD run in season opener, the longest run by a Pac-12 player so far this season.  Borghi is 5th in school history with 21 career rush TD, needing 1 to tie Shaumbe Wright-Fair for 4th and 2 to tie Rueben Mayes for 3rd.  LB Jahad Woods had 13 tackles in Week 1 and now has 332 for his career, the 8th most in school history.