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This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week Four

Sep 22, 2021
John McGillen/USC Athletics



THREE IS A MAGIC NUMBER: After improving to 3-0 on Saturday, OREGON moved up to #3 in the AP Top 25.  It's the Ducks’ highest ranking since they finished the 2014 season at #2 and the highest for a Pac-12 school since USC ended the 2016 season at #3.  2 of Oregon’s 3 wins this season are against teams that are currently ranked, with Ohio State at #10 and Fresno State entering the poll at #22.  Penn State is the only other team in the country with 2 wins against current Top 25 teams.  UCLA makes the poll for the 3rd straight week, coming in at #24.  It's the first time the Bruins have been ranked in 3 straight weeks since 2015.

THROWING DARTS:  USC freshman Jaxson Dart made a great first impression on Saturday after Kedon Slovis was injured on the Trojans' first possession.  Dart finished with 391 passing yards, the most ever by a Trojan in their debut.  The true freshman won the Pac-12 Offensive and Freshman of the Week, just the 3rd player to win both in the same week since the freshman award began in 2019.  Slovis was actually the first to do it, in his first career start in 2019.

Other Pac-12 Performance Awards presented by Nextiva:

  • Defense:  Safety Verone McKinley III, Oregon
  • Offensive Line:  Guard T.J. Bass, Oregon
  • Defensive Line:  OLB Drake Jackson, USC
  • Special Teams:  WR/PR Britain Covey, Utah

SOUTHERN COMFORT:  With UCLA’s win over then #16 LSU and STANFORD’s win at Vanderbilt, the Pac-12 went 2-1 against the SEC during the regular season.  It's only the 2nd time in the last 5 years that a conference has had a winning record in regular season non-conference play against the SEC (minimum 3 games).  The Mountain West went 3-2 against the SEC in 2019.

WEEK 5 SCHEDULE:  Game time and TV assignments announced Monday for Saturday October, 2nd (all times local)

  • 12:00 p.m. MT- USC at Colorado, Pac-12 Network
  • 12:30 p.m. PT- Oregon at Stanford, ABC
  •   2:30 p.m. PT- Washington State at California, Pac-12 Network
  •   6:00 p.m. PT- Washington at Oregon State, Pac-12 Network
  •   7:30 p.m. PT- Arizona State at UCLA, FS1


WASHINGTON STATE (1-2) at UTAH (1-2) - Sat., Sept. 25 • 12:30 pm MT • PAC-12 NETWORK

WASHINGTON STATE: Forced 7 turnovers so far this season, 2nd most in the Pac-12.  WR Travell Harris with 4 receiving TD in the first 3 games to tie him for 4th best in FBS this season.  RB Max Borghi had 95 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries at Utah last season, the only game he saw action in 2020. Looking for their first win in Salt Lake City since 2017 when Utah native Luke Falk had 311 passing yards and 3 TD in the 33-25 win.  Falk broke Matt Barkley’s Pac-12 career record for passing touchdowns in that game.

UTAH:  Homecoming for Utah and the Utes have won 14 of their last 15 at home.  Have not lost at home to an unranked opponent since October 2017.  After trailing 28-7 at halftime to Washington State last season, outscored the Cougars 38-0 in the 2nd half including 3 touchdown runs by Ty Jordan and a Pick 6 by Clark Phillips to seal it. QB Cam Rising came off the bench last week with 3 passing TD in the 4th quarter and overtime and will get the start this week.  LB Devin Lloyd tied a career-high with 13 tackles against SDSU and has 4 straight games with 10+ tackles.  Kyle Whittingham needs 6 wins to tie Ike Armstrong for the most in school history (141).


#24 UCLA (2-1) at STANFORD (2-1) - Sat., Sept. 25 • 3:00 pm PT • PAC-12 NETWORK

UCLA: Scored at least 37 points in all 3 games this season and 5 straight overall, their longest streak since 1998.  QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson leads the Pac-12 with 7 pass TD and is tied for 2nd in the FBS with 5 passes of 40+ yards.  RB Zach Charbonnet with 2 rush TD against Fresno State and has 6 on the season, good for 5th in the FBS.  RB Brittain Brown had a career-high 219 rushing yards last year against Stanford

STANFORD: Snaps a string of 7 straight games away from home (6 true road games, 1 neutral), going 6-1 in that span.  Scored 40+ points in back-to-back games for the first time since 2018 and have not done it in 3 straight since 2016.  David Shaw is 10-1 against UCLA as the head coach with the only loss coming in 2019 on the Farm.  QB Tanner McKee has won his first 2 career starts with 6 total TD (4 pass, 2 rush) in those wins.


CALIFORNIA (1-2) at WASHINGTON (1-2) - Sat., Sept. 25 • 6:30 pm PT • PAC-12 NETWORK

CALIFORNIA: Have won the last 2 games in this series by a combined 3 points with a 12-10 win in Berkeley in 2018 and a 20-19 win in Seattle in 2019.  Cal has 9 plays of 30+ yards this season, tied for 2nd most in the Pac-12 this season.  QB Chase Garbers has 597 pass yards and 4 pass TD over the last 2 games, the 3rd time in his career he’s had back-to-back games with multiple TD passes.

WASHINGTON: 52 points in their win over Arkansas State last week, the most points they’ve scored since September 2019 against Hawai’i.  After missing the season opener and then not catching a pass at Michigan, WR Jalen McMillan had 10 receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown last week.  McMillan had 152 yards at halftime, becoming the first Pac-12 player with 150+ yards in the 1st half since former UW WR John Ross had 164 against Cal in 2016.  QB Dylan Morris had a career high in pass TD (3) and pass yards (367), the most by a UW QB since Jake Browning had 368 against Cal in 2016.  LB Jackson Sirmon has started all 3 games this season and this week will be playing against his dad, Cal Defensive Coordinator Peter Sirmon.


ARIZONA (0-3) at #3 OREGON (3-0) - Sat., Sept. 25 • 7:30 pm PT • ESPN

ARIZONA:  Knocked off an AP Top 5 Oregon team 3 times since 2007 with the last coming in 2014 in Eugene.  Scooby Wright sacked and stripped Marcus Mariota with just over 2 minutes left to secure the win.  WR Stanley Berryhill already has a career-high 28 receptions, 2nd in the Pac-12 and 4th most in FBS.  It's the most by a Wildcat receiver in non-conference play since Bobby Wade also had 28 in 2002.  1 of 3 receivers with multiple games of 10+ receptions this season.

OREGON: 14 straight wins at Autzen Stadium, the 5th longest active streak in FBS and the 4th longest home streak in school history.  RB CJ Verdell needs 188 rushing yards to become the 5th player in Oregon history with 3,000 career rushing yards.  RB Travis Dye topped 2,000 career rushing yards last week, becoming the 18th Duck to do so all-time.  Verdell & Dye are the only active teammates in FBS with 2,000+ career rush yards each.  Safety Verone McKinley III has 3 INT this season, tied for the most in FBS.  Oregon is 6-0 all-tie in games where McKinley has an INT.


OREGON STATE (2-1) at USC (2-1) - Sat., Sept. 25 • 7:30 pm PT • FS1

OREGON STATE: Beat Idaho 42-0 last week for their first shutout since the 2008 Sun Bowl over Pitt and first in the regular season since 2006, also over Idaho.  Did not allow a play of 20+ yards to Idaho, their first game in 20 years where they did not allow a single play of 20+ yards.  RB B.J. Baylor has 7 rush TD this season, tied for the most in FBS.  Baylor is the first OSU player with multiple touchdowns in 3 straight games since Storm Woods in 2012.  

USC: Have won 24 straight over Oregon State in Los Angeles with the last loss coming in 1960. Donte Williams is 1-0 as the interim head coach.  The Trojans scored 45 unanswered points after trailing 14-0 to Washington State in the 2nd quarter.  QB Kedon Slovis has 42 touchdown passes in 16 career conference games.  WR Drake London with 13 receptions last week at Washington State, tied for 7th most in a game in Trojans history.  London is tied for 2nd in FBS with 29 receptions this season and 4th with 375 receiving yards.  


COLORADO (1-2) at ARIZONA STATE (2-1) - Sat., Sept. 25 • 7:30 pm PT • ESPNU

COLORADO:  Have won their last 2 games against the Sun Devils by a combined 10 points.  Won last meeting in Tempe in 2019 with James Stefanou kicking the GW 44-yard field goal with 2:03 left in the 4th quarter.  2-0 in road conference games last season, winning at Stanford and Arizona.  LB Nate Landman had 13 tackles last week, his 2nd straight week with 10+ tackles and 17th time in his career.  Defense allowing 15.7 PPG this season, tied for the lowest in the Pac-12 with Washington.

ARIZONA STATE:  Looking to win their conference opener for the 1st time under Herm Edwards. Have 25 rushing TD over the last 6 games dating back to last season, most in FBS over that span.  RB Rachaad White has 10 rushing TD in the last 5 games and 5 in the 3 games this season.  Sun Devils have rushed for 150+ yards in 8 straight games dating back to 2019.  Its their longest streak since a 12-game span from 1975 to 1976.