- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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Some notes to get you through the hours until Saturday. Thanks to ESPN Stats & Information for many of these numbers.
Arizona leads the series with Washington State 25-13 and has won five in a row, including a 24-7 win in 2010.
Washington State ranks last in the nation in rushing offense, but its 52.1 yards rushing per game is significantly better than its 29.1 yards per game in 2012, which also ranked last.
Arizona ranks 11th in the Pac-12 in passing offense (187.6 ypg) and 11th in pass efficiency. Washington State is 10th in pass efficiency defense.
Washington State is minus-six in turnover margin. Arizona is plus-five. The Cougars have turned the ball over a conference-worst 27 times, including throwing 20 interceptions, second most in the nation.
Oregon State has won four of the last five matchups against Arizona State, but Arizona State has owned the series at home. The Sun Devils have won 17 of the last 18 meetings in Tempe with Oregon State’s lone win over that span coming in 2009.
Arizona State has won four straight and five of its last six games (lost vs. Notre Dame on Oct. 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas). The Sun Devils haven’t won five consecutive games in a single season since starting the year 8-0 in 2007. Arizona State finished 10-3 that year, its only 10-win season since going 11-1 and reaching the Rose Bowl in 1996.
Oregon State QB Sean Mannion leads the FBS with 393.3 Pass YPG this season and his 3,540 total passing yards are the most through nine games by a Pac-12 player since 2000. Nick Foles holds the Pac-12 mark for most through 10 games over that span with 3,612 in 2011 for Arizona.
Oregon State has gained 85 percent of its yards on passes this season (3,643 of 4,268), the second-highest percentage in the FBS behind only Washington State (88 percent). Arizona State is a bit more balanced with just 62 percent of its yards coming through the air in 2013 (2,743 of 4,414).
California leads the series with Colorado 4-2, including three consecutive wins. Though the last game between the two took place in 2011, this is their first meeting as Pac-12 teams. The 2011 game, which Cal won 36-33 in overtime, was the second game of a home-and-home series signed before the Buffaloes were Big 12 members. In that game, Colorado WR Paul Richardson caught 11 passes for a school-record 284 yards to help Colorado rally from a 10-point deficit in the second half. Buffs QB Tyler Hansen finished with a team-record 474 yards passing.
This meeting likely will settle which team finishes in the Pac-12 basement, as it looks like both teams' best chance to win a conference game. These teams rank at the bottom of the Pac-12 in most major statistical categories. They are 11th and 12th in scoring offense, scoring defense, total defense, run defense and pass efficiency defense. Cal ranks last in the conference in sacks allowed (30). Colorado ranks last in sacks (11).
This is the fourth AP-ranked team Utah has faced this season, most the Utes have ever faced in one year. They’ve beaten Stanford and lost to UCLA and Arizona State so far, with all three games decided by seven points or less.
These teams have only met once in the last 10 seasons: a 31-24 Oregon win in Eugene in 2009. It marks the first meeting as Pac-12 opponents since Utah joined in 2011.
Since the start of last season, Oregon has forced an FBS-high 63 turnovers and has scored the second-most points off turnovers (288) in the nation. Last week against Stanford, Oregon did not force a turnover for the first time in a game since Sept. 8, 2012, against Fresno State.
Utah’s defensive line is hoping for a little help from its secondary -- the Utes are first in the country with 3.7 sacks per game, but they have only two interceptions (T-122nd in FBS). They face Marcus Mariota, who hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 327 attempts.
Stanford has won four straight meetings between schools, already its longest win streak in series history. USC hasn’t beaten the Cardinal since 2008 when the Trojans went 12-1 and defeated Penn State in the Rose Bowl.
The Trojans are 4-0 in conference games under Ed Orgeron, outscoring opponents by 18.5 points per game.
Stanford RB Tyler Gaffney had a school-record 45 carries in last week’s win over Oregon. You might think such a workload would have an impact the next time out, but recent history suggests otherwise. Each of the last three FBS players with at least 45 carries in a game rushed for more than 150 yards in his very next game.
USC WR Marqise Lee has just two touchdowns through eight games played this season (DNP vs. Utah and Arizona). Lee had five touchdowns through eight games played as a freshman in 2011, and 11 through eight games in 2012 (including kick returns). From 2011-12, Lee had eight GAMES in which he matched his total scored in all of 2013.
UCLA has yet to lose at home this season, winning each of its previous four games at the Rose Bowl by at least 22 points. The Bruins have won seven straight home meetings with Washington.
UCLA has dominated its own division under Jim Mora, but has struggled mightily against the North division over the last two seasons. The Bruins are 2-6 vs. the North and 8-0 vs. the South. Against North teams, the Bruins average 22.9 points. Against the South, they average 40.2 points.
Since Jordon James' injury against Utah in UCLA’s fourth game of the season, the Bruins’ running backs have averaged fewer than 80 rush yards per game. James briefly returned against Colorado two weeks ago but reinjured his ankle. As a result, UCLA turned to (LB) Myles Jack, who led the team with 120 yards and one touchdown last week at Arizona. James is expected to play against the Huskies.
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