This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week 4
LOOKING UP: The Pac-12 had 4 teams in the AP Top 25 poll this season and is 1 of only 2 conferences with 4 teams in the Top 20 (SEC). USC remained at #7 while UTAH moved up 1 spot to #13. OREGON made the biggest jump in the entire poll, moving up 10 spots to #15. After their win over then #11 Michigan State, WASHINGTON checks in at #18, their first appearance in the rankings since the 2021 preseason poll.The Pac-12 has 3 wins against AP Top 25 opponents this season, the second most among all conferences.
3 and OH...: While OREGON STATE and WASHINGTON STATE are undefeated, both are currently among the others receiving votes in the Top 25. This is the first time that both schools have started the season 3-0 since 1915.
AWARD TOUR: The Pac-12 earned national recognition from several awards this week:
- Oregon QB Bo Nix: Maxwell Award Player of the Week, Reese’s Senior Bowl Offensive Player of the Week, Rose Bowl Pac-12 Player of the Week
- Washington QB Michael Penix Jr: Davey O’Brien National QB of the Week
- Washington State LB Daiyan Henley: Bednarik Award Player of the Week
- Washington WR Ja’Lynn Polk: Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week
- Stanford Safety Patrick Fields: Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
- USC QB Caleb Williams: Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
- UCLA Kicker Nicholas Barr-Mira: Lou Groza Award Star of the Week
- Washington HC Kalen DeBoer: Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week
CHANGE IN TEMPE: ARIZONA STATE announced a change in leadership with Head Coach Herm Edwards relinquishing his duties by mutual agreement. RB Coach Shaun Aguano will take over as head coach on an interim basis.
COACH TO CURE MD: This week all Pac-12 football coaches are wearing a logo on their sleeve to support Coach to Cure MD. This signature charity initiative of the American Football Coaches Association raises awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the most common lethal genetic disorder affecting young men. Fans donate to research for the cure by supporting Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy at CoachToCureMD.org.
WEEK 5 SCHEDULE: Game time and TV assignments announced (all times local)
Friday, September 30th
- 7:30 p.m. PT - Washington at UCLA, ESPN (previously announced)
Saturday, October 1st
- 12:00 p.m. MT - Oregon State at Utah, Pac-12 Network
- 2:30 p.m. PT - California at Washington State, Pac-12 Network
- 6:30 p.m. PT - Colorado at Arizona, Pac-12 Network
- 7:30 p.m. PT - Arizona State at USC, ESPN
- 8:00 p.m. PT - Stanford at Oregon, FS1
AROUND THE PAC-12
UCLA (3-0) at COLORADO (0-3)
Sat., Sept. 24 • 12:00 pm MT • PAC-12 NETWORK
UCLA: Have won 6 straight overall, their longest win streak since the 2013-14 seasons. Looking to start 4-0 for the first time since 2015. Nicholas Barr-Mira's 24-yard FG as time expired was UCLA’s first winning score in final minute of regulation since November 2017 when JJ Molson beat Cal with 37-yard FG with 4 seconds left. Bruins have won 5 of their last 6 road conference games. In 2020 at Colorado, QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson became first UCLA QB with 300+ pass yards and 100+ rush yards in the same game.
COLORADO: Have won their last 3 home games against UCLA with their last loss coming in 2014, which the Bruins won in 2 OT. Have won 6 of their last 8 home conference games with 5 of the 6 wins by 6 points or less. Colorado converted four 4th downs last week, the most in a game by a Pac-12 team this season. Looking to be first 0-3 Pac-12 school to beat a 3-0 Pac-12 school in their conference opener since UCLA beat Washington State in 2019. Head Coach Karl Dorrell played WR at UCLA from 1983-86 and was their head coach from 2003-07.
#15 OREGON (2-1) at WASHINGTON STATE (3-0)
Sat., Sept. 24 • 1:00 pm PT • FOX
OREGON: 13-6 at Washington State since 1985 and have won the last 3 games in the series overall. Looking to start 3-1 or better for the 6th straight season. Scored 111 points the last 2 weeks after being held to 3 points in season-opener against Georgia. Bo Nix became the first Oregon QB since Marcus Mariota in 2014 to have 3 rush TD and 2 pass TD in the same game. Terrance Ferguson only the 2nd Oregon TE in at least the last 25 seasons with back-to-back games with multiple rec TD (Jake Breeland in 2019). 1 of 4 FBS schools this season to have not allowed a sack.
WASHINGTON STATE: Just the 2nd Power 5 team since 1996 to start a season 3-0 with a road win over a Top 20 opponent and not be ranked (2002 Kentucky). Looking for a win over a ranked opponent for the 2nd time in 3 weeks, would be their first season with multiple Top 25 wins since 2018. Looking for first 4-0 start since 2017. 14 sacks this season, tied with USC for 2nd most in FBS this season. LB Daiyan Henley had 13 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles last week. QB Cameron Ward 300 pass yards and 4 pass TD last week, his first 300-yard game with WSU after topping 300 in 11 of 13 games last year with Incarnate Word.
ARIZONA (2-1) at CALIFORNIA (2-1)
Sat., Sept. 24 • 2:30 pm PT • PAC-12 NETWORK
ARIZONA: Have won their last 6 meetings with Cal with their last loss coming in 2009 in Berkeley. Looking for first conference road win since Oct. 2019 at Colorado. Have scored 31+ points in both of their wins this season, scored 31+ points once in the previous 20 games. Forced 6 turnovers this season, the same amount they forced all of last season. WR Jacob Cowing 5 rec TD in 3 games with Arizona, most by a Wildcats receiver in a season against non-conference opponents since at least 1996. QB Will Plummer is the younger brother of Cal QB Jack Plummer. Looking to start 3-1 for first time since a 4-1 start in 2019.
CALIFORNIA: Last 6 losses to Arizona have all come by 7 points or less. Cal was without 7 starters due to injury or COVID protocols in last year’s 10-3 loss in Tucson. 5-game home winning streak, their longest since the 2015-16 seasons, and a win would give them their longest streak since winning 9 in a row in 2008-09. Held Notre Dame to 297 total yards last week, the fewest Cal has allowed in a loss since 2019. QB Jack Plummer had 34 yards rushing at Notre Dame but 4 runs of 10+ yards.
#7 USC (3-0) at OREGON STATE (3-0)
Sat., Sept. 24 • 6:30 pm PT • PAC-12 NETWORK
USC: Looking to start 4-0 for 2nd time in last 3 years. Have won 9 of their last 11 conference road games. 1 of 5 FBS teams that have not committed a turnover this season. QB Caleb Williams has multiple pass TD in all 3 games with USC and in 9 of his 11 career games. Only USC QB since at least 1996 to have 2 rush TD and 2 pass TD in the same game. RB Travis Dye back-to-back games with 100+ rush yard, second time in his career after doing it with Oregon in 2018. TE Malcolm Epps had a rec TD and an INT vs. Fresno State, just 2nd Pac-12 player since 1996 to do both in 1 game (WSU’s Marcus Williams in 2000).
OREGON STATE: 3-0 for the first time since 2014 and have not started 4-0 since winning their first 6 games in 2012. 68 points last week is their most since 2012 and their 6th most in school history. 34+ points in each of first 3 games for first time since 2002. Beat the Trojans 45-27 last season, their first win at USC since 1960. Have won their last 7 games at Reser Stadium, longest streak since winning 8 in row in 2007-08. 3-1 at home against Top 10 ranked USC since 2000. WR Anthony Gould had 2 rec TD and a punt return for TD last week, the first Pac-12 player to do that since UW”s Dante Pettis in 2017.
STANFORD (1-1) at #18 WASHINGTON (3-0)
Sat., Sept. 24 • 7:30 pm PT • FS1
STANFORD: Coming off their only bye for the season, will play the next 10 straight weeks. Have won 5 of the last 8 meetings in Seattle and are 5-1 against ranked Washington teams under David Shaw. With a win, Shaw will tie legendary USC head coach Howard Jones for 5th most conference wins all-time. RB EJ Smith, 2nd in the Pac-12 with 103.0 rush YPG, is out for this week. Cardinal had 221 rush yards last game vs. USC, their most since 2018. Stanford has defeated at least one Top 25 team on the road in 8 of 11 seasons under Shaw.
WASHINGTON: Looking to start 4-0 for the first time since 2017, when they won their first 6 games. QB Michael Penix Jr. 3 straight games with 300+ pass yards, first UW QB to do that since Cody Pickett did it in the first 7 games of 2002. Penix is 1 of 2 FBS QB this season with multiple games of 330+ pass yards, 4 pass TD and 0 INT (Ohio State’s CJ Stroud). Huskies have scored on 14 of 16 first-half possessions with 12 of them for touchdowns. Kalen DeBoer looking to become only 2nd UW coach in last 100 years to start their Husky career 4-0 (Chris Petersen, 2014).
#13 UTAH (2-1) at ARIZONA STATE (1-2)
Sat., Sept. 24 • 7:30 pm PT • ESPN
UTAH: Have won their last 2 meetings with ASU but have not played at Sun Devil Stadium since 2018. Only Pac-12 team currently ranked in the Top 25 in both scoring offense (15th) and scoring defense (T-24th). QB Cameron Rising career-high 4 pass TD last week, most by a Ute since Tyler Huntley in 2018. RB Tavion Thomas 25 rush TD since the start of the 2021 season, most in FBS. Utah gets 49.7% of their receiving yards from tight ends, by far the most in FBS with North Carolina second at 38.6%.
ARIZONA STATE: 15-4 all-time at home against Utah. Shaun Aguano will be ASU’s first interim head football coach since 1979. Have won their last 3 home games vs ranked opponents and 5 of their last 6 since 2017. First time with a losing record in non-conference play since 2017. RB X Valladay 100+ rush yards in all 3 games this season, first Sun Devil with 3 straight 100-yard games since Eno Benjamin in 2019. The last to have 4 straight 100-yard games was Demario Richard in 2017. 18 straight games without allowing play of 50+ yards, longest active streak in FBS.
PAC-12 ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
THE SUN GOD: Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC) had 9 rec for 116 yards and 2 rec TD while adding 68 yards on the ground against the Commanders. He became the first player in NFL history to have 8 receptions and a TD in 6 consecutive games. St. Brown was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, the 3rd USC WR to win the award and first since Robert Woods in 2020. Lions QB Jared Goff (CAL) had 4 pass TD in that game, the most he’s had in a game since 2018.
WAT’S ISLAND: Chiefs CB Jaylen Watson (WSU) had a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Chargers, the longest go-ahead 4th quarter TD scored by a rookie in NFL history. He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week, the first WSU alum to win the award since Marcus Trufant won the NFC weekly honors in 2007.
SUPER CHARGED: Despite the interception to Watson, Chargers QB Justin Herbert (ORE) had 334 pass yards and 3 pass TD in that game. Herbert now needs 2 completions to become the fastest to 900 career in NFL history (35 games, current record 38 by Matthew Stafford). The former Duck also needs 37 passing yards to reach 10,000 and become the 2nd fastest to do so in NFL history (35 games, record is 34 by Patrick Mahomes).
MAC is BACK: Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (STAN) had 128 scrimmage yards last week (102 rush, 26 rec) for his 26th career game with 125+ scrimmage yards, the most in the NFL since 2017. It was his first game with 100+ rush yards since November 2019.
RAVEN ABOUT MARCUS: Ravens Safety Marcus Williams (UTAH) had 2 INT against the Dolphins for his second career multi-INT game (the other in 2017) and now leads the NFL with 3 INT on the season. Williams is also 5th in the league in tackles with 22.
JACK-ED UP: Now in his first season with the Steelers, LB Myles Jack (UCLA) had 13 tackles against the Patriots, tied for the 2nd most in the league this week. Jack is one of 6 players so far this season with 10+ tackles both weeks, including Seahawks LB Cody Barton (UTAH). Jack is 2nd in the NFL with 23 tackles while Barton is tied for 7th with 21.