- 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.
Arizona leads its series with Oregon State 21-13-1, but Oregon State has won five of the past six and 11 of 13. Arizona's last win in the series was a 37-32 victory in 2009.
Mike Stoops was fired as Wildcats coach after the Beavers' 37-27 win last year.
Defense has keyed the strong start for the Beavers, especially in pressure situations. Opponents are converting third downs just 13.8 percent of the time, by far the lowest mark in FBS, and averaging just 1.3 yards per play in the red zone (10th in FBS).
There are only two Pac-12 quarterbacks averaging more than 300 pass yards per game this season -- Oregon State’s Sean Mannion (327.5 YPG) and Arizona’s Matt Scott (301.3 YPG). In Mannion’s 12 career starts, Oregon State is 4-1 when he throws at least two touchdowns and 1-5 when he does not. Scott leads all Pac-12 players with 351 of total offense per game (eighth in FBS).
Arizona was shut out 49-0 by Oregon last week, the largest shutout loss for the Wildcats since a 54-0 loss to Washington in 1991. Arizona hasn’t fared well following shutout losses, with its last same-season win following a shutout loss coming in 1969 against Utah after losing 23-0 to Syracuse.
Rich Rodriguez is seeking his fourth win in his first season at Arizona. With a win, he would eclipse his first-season win totals from both West Virginia and Michigan, where he only managed to win three games in Year 1 in both instances.
Rodriguez has coached only four games for Arizona, but the Wildcats already have two of the three largest total offense outputs in school history.
Oregon State is ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 2010. The Beavers No. 18 ranking is their highest since being ranked 16th in November of 2009.
California leads the series with Arizona State 17-14, including victories in eight of the past nine meetings. Last season, the Bears beat the Sun Devils in a 47-38 shootout in Tempe. Cal won the last meeting in Berkeley, downing ASU 50-17 in 2010. Arizona State hasn't won in Berkeley since 1997.
Arizona State leads the Pac-12 in fewest penalties and penalty yard- age, averaging 5.0 penalties per game at 35.0 yards per game. Quite a change from a year ago when Arizona State posted a league-high 8.0 penalties per game at 79.8 yards per game.
Arizona State sophomore QB Taylor Kelly passed for a career-best 326 yards and 3 TDs in the win over Utah. He leads the Pac-12, ninth in the FBS, with a 182.2 passing ef!ciency rating while guiding the Sun Devils to 41.2 points per game.
California junior WR Keenan Allen hauled in another nine receptions for 93 yards in the loss at USC. He now has 173 career receptions for 2,142 yards. On the school’s all-time list, those numbers rank fourth and ninth, respectively.
No team has been more offensively dominant than Oregon since Chip Kelly took over in 2009. In that time, the Ducks lead FBS in scoring (44.0 PPG), games scoring 40 or more points (32) and are one of four teams with an average margin of victory of at least 20 points. Boise State, TCU and Alabama are the others.
Can Washington State keep up with the Ducks' offense? Recent history would say no, as the Cougars have eclipsed 40 points only twice since 2009, which is tied for 107th in FBS. Oregon has won the last five meetings between these teams by an average margin of 35.6 points.
Oregon shut out Arizona 49-0 last week and is seeking consecutive shutout wins for the first time since 1987-88 (beat Oregon State 44-0 in final game of 1987 and beat Long Beach State 49-0 in first game of 1988). Oregon hasn’t pitched consecutive shutouts in the same season since 1964 (21-0 over Arizona, 7-0 over Washington).
Oregon has quietly been very good defensively, especially at getting opponents off the field on third downs. They are holding opponents to just 21 percent on third down conversions, the fifth-lowest rate in FBS.
Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday has found his stride in the “Air Raid” offense. Over the last two weeks, he has thrown for 779 yards (most in FBS) and eight touchdowns (tied for most in FBS), and is scheduled to start again this week in lieu of the Jeff Tuel, who has been out with a knee injury.
Oregon’s De'Anthony Thomas had seven touchdowns on just 24 touches (13 runs, 11 catches) through three games, but had an underwhelming day against Arizona. Thomas tied a career-high with 14 touches (12 runs, two catches), but picked up only 59 total yards and did not score. It was only the fourth game out of 18 in his career in which he did not reach the end zone. While 12 of his first 24 touches this season went for at least 10 yards, only one of his 14 touches against Arizona went for 10 or more yards.
Thomas is one of two players (Chris Thompson, Florida State) who have at least 20 carries and average more than 10 yards per rush this season. On 11 of his 25 runs, Thomas has not been contacted until at least 5 yards past the line of scrimmage. His four touchdown runs of 30 yards or longer are the most in FBS.
UCLA leads its series with Colorado 5-2, including a 45-6 win last year.
Colorado did win the two previous meetings before it joined the Pac-12, winning 16-14 in 2003 and 31-17 in 2002.
Colorado overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter de!cit to tip Washington State, 35-34, on Saturday, as the Buffaloes won their first conference opener since upsetting No. 3 Oklahoma at Folsom Field in 2007. The win marked the largest rally from a fourth-quarter deficit on the road in program history.
Since 1996, Colorado is 7-0 in the second conference game of the season after notching a win in the league opener. During the same span, UCLA is 5-2 in the second conference game of the season after dropping the league opener.
UCLA junior WR Shaquelle Evans and Colorado freshman WR Nelson Spruce logged their first career 100-yard receiving games last week. Evans hauled in six passes for 148 yards and a touchdown. Spruce caught eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, and seven of his eight receptions were good for first downs.
Some notes to get you through the hours until Saturday. Many thanks to ESPN Stats & Information. Arizona leads its series with Oregon State 21-13-1, but Oregon State has won five of the past six and 11 of 13.