- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
We've got two huge games this weekend -- one that will decide the winner of the Pac-12 South Division and one that could decide the Pac-12 North.
USC and UCLA is expected to be a thriller while Stanford heads to Oregon where the Ducks are favored by three touchdowns (give or take half a point).
These are the games where big-time players show up. It always takes a team effort, but usually a star transcends in these critical games and ends up being a difference-maker. But which ones? That's your Thursday poll question. Which big-time player has a monster game and leads their team to the win?
Matt Barkley, QB, USC: He's never lost to UCLA and in three games he's averaging 72 percent of his throws with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. Much of that average is aided by last year's 35-of-42 performance where he threw six touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 50-0 win.
Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon: He's going against the No. 1 rushing defense in the country. Last week against Cal, the Bears slowed him down by throwing everything at him. Does he break out against the Cardinal? There are only three Pac-12 teams he hasn't scored at least one touchdown against -- Stanford is one of them.
Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA: He's had some success against the Trojans with 25 carries for 192 yards over the past three years for an average of 7.6 yards per try. He also has one touchdown. While Brett Hundley has been UCLA's catalyst, Franklin has been its heart.
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford: As Taylor goes, so goes the Stanford offense. He'll go down as one of the Cardinal's greatest running backs. He was around for the 2009 victory, so he knows what it's like to beat the Ducks. In three games, he's averaging 5.4 yards per carry with a touchdown.