Monday, November 12, 2012
Quick look at Week 12 Pac-12 games
By Ted Miller
Here's a quick look at Week 11 in the conference. All times are ET. All games are Saturday.
No. 25 Washington (6-4, 4-3) at Colorado (1-9, 1-6) 1:30 p.m. FX: Washington leads the series with Colorado 6-5-1 and has won three in a row, including a 52-24 win last year. The Huskies have won three in a row, while Colorado has lost six in a row by at least 25 points since it beat Washington State on Sept. 22. The Buffaloes are 120th or last in the nation (no, there aren't 124 FBS teams, so stop incorrectly saying that in the comments section) in scoring defense, yielding 47.20 points per game. They are 115th in scoring offense, getting 17.60 ppg.
Washington State (2-8, 0-7) at Arizona State (5-5, 3-4) 3 p.m. Pac-12 Network: Arizona State leads the series 24-12-2, but it lost 37-27 in Pullman last year, which ended a seven-game winning streak in the matchup. The Cougars are 103rd in the nation in scoring offense (20.7 ppg) in their first year running Mike Leach's "Air Raid" offense. The Sun Devils have lost four in a row but would become bowl eligible with a win. The Cougars have lost seven in a row since a 2-1 start, though three of those defeats came by eight points or fewer.
No. 18 USC (7-3, 5-3) at No. 17 UCLA (8-2, 5-2) 3:05 p.m. FOX: USC leads the series 46-28-7. The Trojans have dominated the series of late, winning five straight and 12 of the past 13. All five victories during the current winning streak have been by at least 14 points, including a 50-0 win last season. UCLA’s last win in the series came in 2006 when it upset the Trojans 13-9 at home, knocking USC out of the national title game. A key for the Bruins: Protecting QB Brett Hundley. USC ranks fourth in the nation with 3.7 sacks per game, while the Bruins yield 3.1 sacks per game, which ranks 107th in the nation.
No. 13 Stanford (8-2, 6-1) at No. 2 Oregon (10-0, 7-0) 8 p.m. ABC: Stanford leads the series 44-30-1, but Oregon has won nine of the past 10. The Ducks have scored 105 points combined in the past two games while winning each by more than 20 points. Stanford will be the highest-ranked opponent that Oregon has faced thus far this season. Both teams control their own Pac-12 destiny. If either wins its final two games, it will win the Pac-12's North Division and host the Pac-12 title game. A key question for the Ducks is the health of their defense, which might be without several starters due to injury. Stanford has the Pac-12's best defense. Oregon has the best offense. The critical matchup is the Ducks running game, which ranks third in the nation (325 yards per game), against Stanford's run defense, which ranks No. 1 in the nation (58.6 yards per game). Of course, California did a nice job against the Ducks running game last weekend, but QB Marcus Mariota passed for 377 yards and six touchdowns.
Arizona (6-4, 3-4) at Utah (4-6, 2-5) 10 p.m ESPNU: Utah leads the series 20-15-2 and has won three in a row, including a 34-21 win last year. The big question for the Wildcats is the health of QB Matt Scott, who sat out this past Saturday against Colorado with a concussion. Junior college transfer B.J. Denker made his first start, completing 12 of 14 passes for 136 yards, also running nine times for 44 yards. The Utes must win their final two games to become bowl eligible for the 10th consecutive season. The game presents an interesting strength-on-strength (Arizona offense vs Utah defense) and weakness-on-weakness (Arizona defense vs. Utah offense) matchup.
California (3-8, 2-6) at No. 16 Oregon State (7-2, 5-2) 10:30 p.m. Pac-12 Network: California leads the series 34-29, including a 23-6 win last year. But before that, the Beavers had won four in a row and 10 of 12 in the series. It's uncertain who will start at QB for either team. Cal starter Zach Maynard sat out the Oregon game due to a knee injury and Allan Bridgford got the start. For Oregon State, Cody Vaz hurt his ankle against Stanford, and he might give way to Sean Mannion, whom Vaz had replaced in the starting lineup. Whoever plays QB for the Bears will face a tough challenge against the Beavers defense. Cal ranks 90th in the nation in scoring with 23.82 ppg, and it has yielded 3.64 sacks per game, which ranks 118th.