Saturday, November 24, 2012
What's coming up in the Pac-12
By Ted Miller
Here' what coming up today. All times are ET.
No. 5 Oregon (10-1, 7-1) at No. 15 Oregon State (8-2, 6-2) 3 p.m. Pac-12 Network: Oregon leads the rivalry series 59-46-10 and has won four in a row, including a 49-21 win last year. Another good defense to test Oregon after Stanford won the battle against the Ducks last week. The Beavers are 14th in the nation in run defense and 21st in scoring defense (18.6 points per game). Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota fell from first to sixth in the nation in passing efficiency after the Stanford loss. Both teams rank in the nation's top 10 in turnover margin. The Ducks are second in the nation in interceptions. Sean Mannion, who threw for 325 yards and four touchdowns in the win against California last weekend, will start at quarterback. He previously lost his job after throwing four interceptions against Washington.
No. 8 Stanford (9-2, 7-1) at No. 17 UCLA (9-2, 6-2) 6:30 p.m. FOX: UCLA leads the series 45-34-2, but it has lost three in a row to Stanford, including a 45-19 loss last year. The Bruins already have won the Pac-12 South Division and will play in the Pac-12 title game on Nov. 30. If they beat Stanford, they will play at Oregon, if the Ducks beat Oregon State. The Bruins will play at Stanford if they lose to the Cardinal (yes a second game within six days), or they will play host to Stanford if they beat the Cardinal and Oregon State beats Oregon. This will be another test for the Cardinal defense, which is fresh off shutting down Oregon in a 17-14 overtime win. UCLA ranks 16th in the nation in total offense and 20th in scoring.
No. 1 Notre Dame (11-0) at USC (7-4, 5-4) 8 p.m. ABC: Notre Dame leads the series 43-35-5, but USC has won nine of 10, including a 31-17 win in South Bend a year ago. If Notre Dame wins, it will play for the national title, likely against the SEC champion. If USC wins, it will keep Oregon's hopes alive for getting into the national title game. USC quarterback Matt Barkley won't play after he suffered a sprained shoulder late in the loss to UCLA. He will be replaced by redshirt freshman Max Wittek, the favorite to win the starting job next fall. Wittek will face a defense that is ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense and sixth in total defense.