Photo by Associated Press.
Originally Published: September 22, 2016 11:09 p.m.
TEMPE — The Pac-12 season kicks into full gear this week with nearly every team playing another from within the conference.
And as first full weeks go, this is a good one, filled with great matchups, starting with Friday night’s game between Southern California and No. 24 Utah in Salt Lake City.
A few things to look for in the Pac-12 this week:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 7 Stanford at UCLA. The Cardinal (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12) have already taken care of one Southern California team, rolling over USC 27-10 last week. That one was at home. This one will be in the Rose Bowl on national television against one of the favorites to win the Pac-12 South. Stanford has dominated the series, entering Saturday night’s game on an eight-game winning streak against the Bruins.
The Cardinal are led by a stout defense and do-everything running back Christian McCaffrey, who has gained at least 200 all-purpose yards in eight straight games. The Bruins are led by sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen and a defense that held BYU to 23 rushing yards on 25 attempts on the road last week. Get ready for a prime-time show.
California at Arizona State. If you like offense, this could be the game for you. The Sun Devils are eighth nationally in scoring with 48 points per game, including a 68-point performance against Texas Tech two weeks ago. The Bears are second nationally in passing offense with 453 yards per game, third in total offense (580.3) and 10th in scoring, averaging 47 points. Cal enters the desert with an 11-game winning streak against Arizona State. The over/under of 82 ½ points may not stand much of a chance.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Washington has scored at least 40 points in eight straight games heading into Saturday’s game at Arizona. ... Colorado QB Sefo Liufau has thrown 89 straight passes without an interception. He is questionable for Saturday’s game against Oregon with an ankle injury suffered last week against Michigan. ... Washington State has its bye this week before facing a difficult stretch that includes Oregon, Stanford and UCLA. ... Oregon State hosts Boise State in the Pac-12’s only nonconference game this week.
Oregon QB Dakota Prukop. The transfer from Montana State is still developing a feel with his receivers, but has thrown for 748 yards and six TDs without an interception. He will get a test this week against Colorado, which is fourth nationally in total defense, allowing 239.3 yards per game.