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This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week Three

Sep 15, 2021



POLL POSITION: After their historic win at then #3 Ohio State, OREGON moves up to #4 in this week’s AP Poll.  It is the highest the Ducks have been ranked since the 2014 season when they finished #2.  Even with the bye week, UCLA moved up 3 spots to #13, their highest since September 2015.  Undefeated ARIZONA STATE moves up 4 spots to #19.

CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP:  On Monday, USC Director of Athletics Mike Bohn announced a change in leadership of the football program, parting ways with head coach Clay Helton after leading the Trojans to a 46-24 record, a 2017 Pac-12 title and winning the 2017 Rose Bowl.  Associate Head Coach Donte Williams will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

OREGON’S AWARD TOUR:  RB CJ Verdell won both the Maxwell Award Player of the Week and the Reese’s Senior Bowl National Offensive Player of the Week, on top of taking home the Pac-12’s weekly honor.  Verdell ran for 161 yards, added another 34 yards receiving and had 3 total touchdowns in the win at Ohio State.  Safety Verone McKinley, won the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, the first Duck to win this award since it started in 2001.  QB Anthony Brown was named Davey O’Brien National Quarterback of the Week after throwing for 236 yards and 2 TD while adding another 65 yards on the ground at Ohio State. Head Coach Mario Cristobal was named the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week.

WEEK 4 GAME TIMES:  Game time and TV assignments announced Monday (all times local).

  • 12:30 p.m. MT- Washington State at Utah, Pac-12 Network

  • 3:00 p.m. PT- UCLA at Stanford, Pac-12 Network

  • 6:30 p.m. PT- California at Washington, Pac-12 Network

  • 7:30 p.m. PT- Arizona at Oregon, ESPN

  • 7:30 p.m. PT- Oregon State at USC, FS1

  • 7:30 p.m. PT- Colorado at Arizona State, ESPN2 or ESPNU


ARIZONA:  15-0 vs FCS opponents since the start of the 2002 season with 10 of the wins against NAU.  Scored 60+ points in each of their last 3 meetings with the Lumberjacks.  Defense had 2 sacks last week against San Diego State, matching their total from all of 2020 (5 games).  WR Stanley Berryhill III leads the Pac-12 with 17 receptions through 2 games.  Berryhill had a career-high 23 receptions last season.

ARIZONA STATE:  Looking to start 3-0 for the 2nd time in the last 3 seasons.  Have won their last 5 regular season games against Top 25 non-conference opponents.  QB Jayden Daniels had 122 rushing yards vs UNLV, the 2nd most ever by an ASU QB in a game.  RB Rachaad White has at least 2 rush TD in each of his last 4 games.

CALIFORNIA: 10-3 under Justin Wilcox against non-conference opponents, 9-2 in the regular season.  QB Chase Garbrers had 309 passing yards and 2 pass TD last week vs TCU, for his 3rd career game with 300+ passing yards.  WR Trevon Clark had 2 receptions for 122 yards, becoming the first Cal player with multiple 50+ yard receptions in same game since 2016 (Demetris Robertson).  In fact, no Cal player has had multiple 50+ yard receptions in a season since 2016.

COLORADO: Nearly upset then #5 Texas A&M, holding the Aggies to 289 total yards one week after A&M had 595 yards (303 on the ground alone) in their season opener.  Allowed just 10 points, their fewest in a loss since 1988.  Allowing just 8.5 PPG this season, tied for 5th best in FBS.  First meeting with Minnesota since beating them 21-20 in 1992.  Have won their last 2 against Big Ten schools, beating Nebraska in both 2018 & 2019.  

OREGON: Beat then #3 Ohio State 35-28 on Saturday for their first ever win over the Buckeyes and their first ever true road win over a non-conference Top 5 team.  RB CJ Verdell had 195 all-purpose yards and 3 TD on his way to winning both national and Pac-12 weekly honors.  Verdell needs 242 rushing yards to become the 5th player in Oregon history with 3,000 career yards.  Won their last 13 games at home, the 5th longest streak in FBS. 

OREGON STATE: A win will put Oregon State over .500 for the first time since Week 3 of the 2015 season.  460.5 total yards per game this season, most in the Pac-12.  RB B.J. Baylor career-high 171 rushing yards last week against Hawai’i.  Baylor has back-to-back games with multiple rushing TD, the first Beaver to do that since Jermar Jefferson in 2018.  LB Avery Roberts has 10+ tackles in both games this season and 6 of his last 7 games.

STANFORD:  Beat then #14 USC last week at the Coliseum, giving David Shaw at least one road win over a Top 20 team in 8 of his 11 seasons.  QB Tanner McKee is first Pac-12 QB to beat a ranked opponent on the road in their 1st career start since Stanford’s Tavita Pritchard beat #2 USC in 2007.  3rd straight game away from home to start the season (2 away, 1 neutral) and 7th straight game away from home dating back to last season.  First time playing an SEC opponent since the 1978 Bluebonnet Bowl (Georgia) and first ever true road game against an SEC opponent.

UCLA:  Coming off the bye week, looking to start 3-0 for the first time since they won their first 4 games in 2015.  First time UCLA has opened the season with 3 straight home games since the 2000 season.  Led by RBs Zach Charbonnet and Brittain Brown, UCLA has rushed for 200+ yards both games this season and 4 of the last 6 overall.  LB Mitchell Agude has 4 forced fumbles in 2 games this season, tops in FBS, and is within 2 of the Bruins’ single season record.

USC: First game as interim head coach for Donte Williams.  Williams has been on the USC staff since February 2020 when he was hired as team’s cornerbacks coach and defensive pass game coordinator.  Have won 6 straight conference road games, the 2nd longest streak among Power 5 teams (Ohio State, 10).  That streak is the longest in the Pac-12 since Washington won 8 straight from 2015 to 2017.  QB Kedon Slovis 4 pass TD (all to Amon-Ra St. Brown) in the 1st quarter last season against WSU and had 5 TD in first half to tie school record.

UTAH:  7-0 against Mountain West Conference opponents since joining the Pac-12 and 14-1 vs. MWC opponents since 2010.  RB Micah Bernard career-high 146 rushing yards on just 12 carries with a touchdown at BYU.  Bernard had 111 career rushing yards entering that game.  QB Charlie Brewer surpassed 10,000 career passing yards , becoming the only active player with 10,000 yards at the FBS level.

WASHINGTON: Only their 2nd ever meeting with one of the current Sun Belt Conference teams, having beat Georgia State in 2014.  Have won 27 of their last 33 home games and 20 of their last 21 non-conference home games.  Since 2014, 77 straight games holding opponents to 35 points or less, longest streak in FBS.  TE Cade Otton with 74 career receptions, 6th most by a tight end in school history.  Defense held Michigan to 44 yards passing last week, the fewest they’ve allowed since 2017 against Oregon (31 yards).

WASHINGTON STATE: First meeting against USC in Pullman since Cougars upset #5 USC 30-27 in September 2017 when Erik Powell hit GW FG with 1:40 left in 4th quarter.  19-4 at home since the start of the 2017 season and 11-3 in home conference games.  QB Jayden de Laura with 303 passing yards and a career-high 3 pass TD in his first start of the season last week.  2nd 300-yard game of de Laura’s career.  RB Max Borghi has 22 career rushing TD, tied for 4th most in school history.  Needs 1 TD to tie Rueben Mayes for 3rd and 3 TD to tie Jerome Harrison for  2nd.