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This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week 12

Nov 17, 2021
Eric Evans Photography



RANKED SHOWDOWN:  OREGON comes in at #3 in the College Football Playoff rankings for the second straight week and ranked in the top 5 for the 9th time in program history.  They will face UTAH this week, who moved up one spot in the rankings this week to #23.


NORTH DIVISION: Oregon would clinch their spot in the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game, presented by 76®, with a win over Utah OR an Arizona State win over Oregon State.  

SOUTH DIVISION:  Utah would clinch their spot in the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game, presented by 76®, with a win over Oregon OR an Oregon State win over Arizona State

The 2021 Pac-12 Football Championship Game, presented by 76®, is set for Friday, Dec. 3 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV.  To purchase tickets, visit

COACHING CHANGE:  WASHINGTON head coach Jimmy Lake was relieved of his duties on Sunday with Defensive Coordinator Bob Gregory named interim  head coach for the rest of the season.  Gregory was the acting head coach last week against Arizona State with Lake suspended.

FINAL COUNTDOWN:  OREGON DE Kayvon Thibodeaux was named 1 of the 3 finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player.  Thibodeaux is the 2nd Duck to be named a finalist for this award, joining Haloti Ngata in 2005.  The winner will be announced on December 6th.

LONDON CALLING:  USC WR Drake London was named 1 of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.  London hauled in 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and 7 TD in just 7.5 games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.  The junior was on pace to break USC’s single season records for receptions and yards held by the Trojans’ only Biletnikoff winner, Marqise Lee in 2012.

TOP ASSISTANTS:  The Broyles Award for the nation’s top assistant coach announce their nominees, including 3 representatives from Pac-12 schools:  CALIFORNIA WR Coach Burl Toler III, OREGON STATE Off Coord/QB Coach Brian Lindgren, and UTAH Off Coord/QB Coach Andy Ludwig.

WEEK 13 SCHEDULE:  The conference announced some start times for the final week of the regular season.  All listed times are local times.

Friday, November 26th (previously announced)

  •   2:00 p.m. MT- Colorado at Utah, FOX
  •   5:00 p.m. PT- Washington State at Washington, FS1

Saturday, November 27th

  •   2:00 p.m. MT- Arizona at Arizona State, Pac-12 Network
  •   7:30 p.m. PT- BYU at USC, ESPN
  •   7:30 p.m. PT- California at UCLA

Additionally 2 games will have their kickoff times announced following games of November 20th:  Oregon State at Oregon and Notre Dame at Stanford.



ARIZONA (1-9, 1-6) at WASHINGTON STATE (4-3, 5-5)

Fri., Nov. 19 • 6:00 pm PT • PAC-12 NETWORK

ARIZONA:  Looking for their first win in Pullman since 2014.  Only 13 current players were on Arizona’s roster the last time they faced Washington State.  Defense allows 193.6 passing yards per game, 2nd in best in the Pac-12 and 21st best in the country.  WR Stanley Berryhill III is 2nd in the Pac-12 with 68 receptions this season which is the 10th most in Arizona single-season history.  Nazar Bombata  is 1 of 9 players in the country this season with 2 blocked punts and is the first Wildcat to do that since 2002. 

WASHINGTON STATE:  Have won 4 of the last 6 meetings with Arizona including the last 2 meetings in Pullman.  With a win, will become bowl eligible for the 6th straight season (2020 not included).  Defense has forced 22 turnovers this season including 13 fumble recoveries, the most among Power 5 teams.  QB Jayden de Laura has multiple TD passes in 7 of the 9 games he’s played this season.  RB Max Borghi, 1 of 14 players who will be recognized on Senior Night, is 2nd in school history with 28 career rushing TD.  Fellow senior, LB Jahad Woods, had 403 career tackles, 4th most in school history.


WASHINGTON (4-6, 3-4) at COLORADO (3-7, 2-5)

Sat., Nov. 20 • 1:00 pm MT • PAC-12 NETWORK

WASHINGTON: Won 9 straight meetings with Colorado between 1999 and 2018.  Prior to 2019 defeat, had not lost to Colorado in Boulder since 1990.  Must win each of their final 2 games to become bowl eligible.  Have won their last 2 road games (Arizona and Stanford) and looking to win 3 straight for the first time since a 9-game streak from 2015 to 2017.  Leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense (21.2 PPG), passing defense (135.8 YPG) and first downs allowed (18.5 per game).  Have only given up 8 plays of 30+ yards this season, the fewest in FBS.

COLORADO:  Beat Washington in the last meeting of these schools back in 2019, 20-14 in Boulder.  Senior Day for LB Nate Landman, who has missed the last 3 games with a shoulder injury.  Had 242 yards and 20 points in the first half against UCLA, both season highs for a first half, but were shutout and gained only 117 yards in the 2nd half.  RB Jarek Broussard had 108 yards on just 16 carries for his 2nd straight 100-yard game but just the 2nd of this season.  QB Brendon Lewis has thrown 83 consecutive passes without an interception, 2nd longest streak by a CU freshman (Craig Ochs, 104 in 2000).


UCLA (6-4, 4-3) at USC (4-5, 3-4)

Sat., Nov. 20 • 1:00 pm PT • FOX

UCLA:  Looking for their first win at USC since 2013.  Bowl eligible for the first time since 2017.  245 rush yards last week against Colorado to improve to 6-0 this season when rushing for over 200 yards.  QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson had 7 passing TD the last 2 years against USC, averaging 365.5 pass YPG and 56.5 rush YPG in those 2 games.  RB Zach Charbonnet had 3 rushing TD against the Buffs, the 2nd time this season he’s run for 3 scores in a game.  WR Kyle Philips had 99 receiving yards last week and added an 82-yard punt return for a TD.

USC:  Have won the last 2 meetings with UCLA and 5 of the last 6.  10-1 against UCLA at the Coliseum since 1999.  Had last week’s game with Cal rescheduled to December 4th due to COVID issues with the Cal program.  Need to win 2 of the final 3 games to become bowl eligible.  QB Jaxson Dart will make his first career start in this game.  RB Keaontay Ingram has rushed for 100+ yards in 3 of the last 5 games, averaging 114.4 YPG in that span.


CALIFORNIA (3-6, 2-4) at STANFORD (3-7, 2-6)

Sat., Nov. 20 • 4:00 pm PT • PAC-12 NETWORK

CALIFORNIA:  Won the last meeting at Stanford in 2019, with QB Chase Garbers running for the GW 16-yard TD with 1:19 remaining.  Did not play last week with game with USC postponed and rescheduled for Saturday December 4th.  Without 7 starters in their last game in their loss at Arizona, including Garbers, and were held to just 122 total yards.  Safety Elijah Hicks has an interception in 3 straight games, the first Cal player to do it in 3 straight since Griffin Piatt in 2014.  Deltha O’Neal did it in 6 straight games in 1999.  Must win their final 3 games to become bowl eligible.

STANFORD:  Recaptured The Axe last season with a 24-23 win in Berkeley and have won The Big Game in 10 of the last 11 years.  Last week, Ari Patu became the first true freshman to start at QB for the Cardinal since 1983 and the 4th Stanford starter at quarterback this season, a new school record.  TE Benjamin Yurosek is the only Power 5 tight end with 3 games with 90+ receiving yards this season.  20 Stanford players have made their first career start this season.


#3 OREGON (9-1, 6-1) at #23 UTAH (7-3, 6-1)

Sat., Nov. 20 • 5:30 pm MT • ABC

OREGON:  First meeting since knocking off then #5 Utah  37-15 in the 2019 Pac-12 Championship Game.  5-2 against the Utes since they joined the Pac-12.  Looking to start 10-1 for the 7th time in program history and first since 2014 when they made it all the way to the first ever CFP championship game.  306 rushing yards last week against Washington State, back-to-back games with 300+ rush yards for the first time since 2017.  Have converted 31 of their 47 (51.6%) of their 3rd downs over the last 4 games.  4 of QB Anthony Brown’s 8 rushing TD this season have come in the 4th quarter.  Safety Verone McKinley III is tied for the lead in FBS with 5 interceptions this season.

UTAH:  Won the last meeting in Salt Lake City back in 2018.  Kyle Whittingham has 141 wins at Utah, tied with Ike Armstrong for the most in program history.  The Utes are 4-0 at home this season and have won 17 of their last 18 at home overall.  6-1 with Cameron Rising as the starting quarterback.  RB Tavion Thomas expected to return after missing last week’s game.  Thomas had 337 rushing yards and 8 rush TD the previous 2 games combined.  Offense has 6 straight games with 450+ yards of offense and 34+ points.  Freshman safety Cole Bishop has 5.0 TFL this season, all in the last 2 games.


ARIZONA STATE (7-3, 5-2) at OREGON STATE (6-4, 4-3)

Sat., Nov. 20 • 7:30 pm PT • ESPN

ARIZONA STATE:  Third straight season they are playing in Corvallis, splitting the last 2 matchups.  Sun Devils ran for 375 yards last year in their 46-33 win over the Beavers.  Scored 21 points in the 4th quarter last week in Washington to turn a 24-14 deficit into a 35-30 road win.  RB Rachaad White has 386 rushing yards and 5 rush TD in the last 2 games and has 14 rushing touchdowns this season.  Held to 90 yards passing last week, their first win with less than 100 yards passing since 2000.

OREGON STATE:  Have won 6 of the last 8 home games against the Sun Devils. Last week’s win made them bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.  5-0 at home this season and looking to go 6-0 at Reser Stadium for the first time since 2000.  Have run for over 200 yards in all 5 home games.  RB B.J. Baylor is the 9th player in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.   OSU’s defense allowed 230 yards last week against Stanford the fewest they’ve allowed in a game under Jonathan Smith.