- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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Some notes to get you through the hours until Saturday. Many thanks to ESPN Stats & Information.
California leads its series with Washington State 43-25-5 and has won seven in a row in the series, including a 30-7 win in Berkeley last year.
When playing in Pullman, the Cougars hold a 12-7-1 advantage, but the Golden Bears have won the past three meetings in Pullman and seven straight overall.
Cougs coach Mike Leach has faced Cal before, posting a 45-31 win over the No. 4 Golden Bears in the 2004 Holiday Bowl.
Oregon State's series with BYU is tied 5-5, but BYU has won the last two, including 38-28 last year.
Oregon State is 4-0 to start a season for the first time since 2002, when the Beavers lost their fifth game at USC and went on to finish 8-5.
Oregon State leads FBS in third-down conversion defense, allowing 20.4 percent to be converted into a first down. Aiding the Beavers is that 28 of their opponents’ 49 third-down attempts have come from seven or more yards away.
This is the 16th straight year that Stanford and Notre Dame have met. Stanford has won the last three meetings, which is the Cardinal’s longest streak in the series. Two years ago, Stanford won 37-14 in South Bend. That is the Cardinal’s largest win over Notre Dame.
Stanford will try to be the first team to beat both USC and Notre Dame in four consecutive seasons.
After being one of the most efficient offenses with Andrew Luck under center, Stanford has taken a step back this season. Stanford already has 18 “3 & outs” this season, after leading FBS with 14 last season. The Cardinal have gone “3 & out” at least twice in every game this year, including seven times in their loss at Washington.
Since the start of last season, Stanford has targeted its tight ends on 40.6 percent of its pass attempts, the highest percentage in FBS. Stanford led the nation in yards (1,638), touchdowns (25) and red zone touchdowns (17) by tight ends last season. This season, the Cardinal have targeted their tight ends at even higher rate, but have not been as efficient. But QB Josh Nunes may be finding a rhythm with his tight ends after Stanford’s victory over Arizona. In that game, Nunes targeted his tight ends on 61.8 percent of his pass attempts, completing a season-high 11 passes, including nine first downs.
Notre Dame has allowed opponents to score on 15.5 percent of their drives this season, the fourth-lowest percentage in FBS. The Irish have been even better when it comes to conceding touchdowns, with just 5.2 percent of opponents’ drives ending in a touchdown, the lowest percentage in FBS.
Notre Dame has allowed six or fewer points in each of its past three games. No FBS team has had a four-game streak of doing that since Alabama in 1993.
UCLA leads its series with Utah 8-2, but the Utes have won the last two by a combined count of 75-12, including 31-6 in 2011.
Last season, the Utes started 0-4 in Pac-12 play before winning their next four conference games, including that win over UCLA.
The Utes are the only conference team that averages less than 300 yards per game and they also ranked last in third down conversion percentage (29.7 percent).
USC leads the series with Washington 50-28-4, including a 40-17 win last year in LA. But before that game, the Huskies had won two in a row versus the Trojans. The series is 9-9-1 over the last 19 games.
USC’s last trip to Washington ended in a 16-13 loss in 2009, when Washington knocked off the No. 3 Trojans. That was Pete Carroll’s final season with the Trojans. USC QB Matt Barkley was a true freshman starter in 2009 but he was hurt and didn't play in that game.
Barkley needs four more TD passed to tie the Pac-12 career record of 99 set by fellow USC QB Matt Leinart.
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