- 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.
In USC, Arizona is facing its fifth ranked opponent this season, games in which the Wildcats are 1-3. Other than a blowout loss at Oregon, Arizona lost to the other ranked teams by six points or less. (It beat then-No. 18 Oklahoma State 59-38.)
Arizona’s offense has kept it in most games this season. The Wildcats have scored at least 35 points in five of their past six games. The Wildcats will challenge that USC secondary. Arizona is fifth nationally in passing and total offense.
USC has won nine of the past 10 meetings with Arizona, including five consecutive games in Tucson. But don’t be surprised if the game is close. The last five meetings between these two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley threw six touchdown passes last week against Colorado. He now has 102 touchdown passes in his career, the most in Pac-12 history. Colorado had the 117th-ranked pass defense in the nation entering that game. Barkley will now face an Arizona team that is ranked 111th nationally in pass defense.
UCLA leads the series with Arizona State 17-10-1, but the Sun Devils have won three of the past five. The Bruins, however, won memorably 29-28 in 2011. The Sun Devils missed a 46-yard field goal for the win as time expired. The Bruins' go-ahead drive featured a conversion on a third-and-29 play. That was the first of five consecutive defeats for the Sun Devils, and coach Dennis Erickson was fired.
UCLA is averaging 8.6 points more per game than a year ago while it is surrendering 8.8 points fewer.
The Bruins have 24 sacks. They had just 14 all last season.
Oregon dropped to fourth in the BCS standings despite a 22-point road win against an Arizona State team that entered the game 5-1. But perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into the Ducks' drop in the BCS. After this week, Oregon’s next four opponents are a combined 20-8 and that includes road trips to USC (6-1) and Oregon State (6-0). Oregon is sixth in the computer rankings this week despite being second in the Harris and USA Today polls.
Colorado ranks 119th in scoring defense (only Baylor is worse) and has allowed opponents to reach at least 42 points in four of the past five games. Dating back to last season, the Buffs have allowed 10 of their last 15 opponents to score at least 42 points.
Oregon has scored at least 30 points in 20 consecutive games dating back to last season, which is now the longest active streak in FBS (Oklahoma State’s 22-game streak ended earlier this season). It’s also the third-longest such streak in FBS history.
Oregon averages 15.6 seconds of possession per each play in the first half, the fastest in FBS. In the second half, the Ducks average 21.5 seconds per play, which is tied for 33rd in the nation. The Ducks have 13 one-minute touchdown drives in the first half this season; no team has more for the whole game.
Kenjon Barner has turned it on for the Ducks. After being held under 100 yards in three of the first four games, Barner has averaged 153.3 yards per game on the ground the last three games and visited the end zone seven times (including one receiving touchdown).
Oregon State is 6-0 for the first time since 1907; it has never gone 7-0. The only other time in school history it was unbeaten through seven games was 1914 (started 6-0-1; finished 7-0-2).
Oregon State has reached its highest position in BCS rankings since 2000, when the Beavers were No. 6 in the final standings. The Beavers have never lost when ranked in the top 10 in the BCS standings (3-0 in 2000, won last week).
The Oregon State-Washington series has been mostly dominated lately by the Beavers, who have won seven of the last eight meetings (only loss: 35-34 in 2010 in Seattle).
Washington quarterback Keith Price has suffered a nightmarish season. A year after throwing 33 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, Price has thrown eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. In his past three games, Price has 10 turnovers (six interceptions, four fumbles lost).
Stanford is 5-2, but has seen much tougher sledding than last season. Three of the five victories have come by seven points or fewer. Last year, only one of the Cardinal’s 11 wins came by seven points or less.
As Josh Nunes goes, so does Stanford. In four games with Nunes passing for more than 200 yards, the Cardinal is 4-0. In three games with Nunes passing for fewer than 200 yards, they are 1-2, with the lone win coming by three at home to San Jose State.
Washington State has lost 18 straight games versus AP-ranked opponents (Stanford is 19th in AP this week). The last time the Cougars knocked off a ranked opponent was 2006, when they beat No. 16 Oregon. The last time they beat a ranked team on the road was 2003, at No. 10 Oregon.
Washington State has lost its first four conference games for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The Cougars have lost four straight games and have struggled to score of late, an unusual occurrence for a Mike Leach team. WSU has thrown 14 interceptions this season, tied for second-most in FBS.
California leads the series with Utah 5-3, including a 34-10 win in Berkeley last year. The Utes, however, have won three of the past five meetings, all of which happened before they joined the Pac-12.
Utah is last in the conference and 112th in the nation in third-down conversion percentage on offense (30.1 percent). But Cal is 10th in the conference in third-down conversion percentage defense (42.9 percent).
Utah has just two interceptions this year, a big reason it's 11th in the conference in pass-efficiency defense.
In a bad field goal kicking conference, the Utes are the worst. They've converted just 3 of 8 kicks (.375).
California was held to just 3 yards rushing against Stanford. It entered the game averaging 195 yards per game on the ground. It now averages 171 yards. Utah ranks four in the conference against the run, yielding just under 114 yards per game.