Monday, September 16, 2013
Quick look at Week 4 Pac-12 games
By Ted Miller
Here's a quick look at Week 4 in the conference. All games are on Saturday and times are ET.
Idaho State (2-0) at No. 17 Washington (2-0), 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network: First meeting. Huskies RB Bishop Sankey presently is the nation’s leading rusher with 184.5 yards per game. He has rushed for 1,142 yards in his last seven games, an average of 163 per game, and he’s rushed for 100 or more yards in six of the last seven and for 200 in two of his last three. The Huskies are fourth in the nation in total offense with 603.5 yards per game, and those numbers were run up against a ranked team (Boise State) and a Big Ten team (Illinois).
Utah State (2-1) at USC (2-1), 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN/ESPN2: USC leads the series 4-0 but this is the first meeting since 1989. The average margin in those four Trojans wins was 46 points. USC QB Cody Kessler was much better last week in the 35-7 win over Boston College. He completed 15-of-17 passes (88.2 percent) for 237 yards and two TDs. After barely missing on a bomb on the game's first play, he then completed his next 14 passes. USC’s defense is ranked in the national top 10 in rushing defense, sacks, total defense, interceptions, pass efficiency defense, tackles for loss and scoring defense.
No. 23 Arizona State (2-0, 0-0) at No. 5 Stanford (2-0, 0-0), 7 p.m., Fox: Arizona State leads the series 16-11, but the Sun Devils are 1-5 since 2000 in Palo Alto. The teams haven't played since a 17-13 Stanford victory in Tempe in 2010. The Sun Devils are ranked for the first time since Oct. 30, 2011, when the team was No. 20 in the AP Poll. Stanford is riding a 10-game winning streak that dates back to last season. The Sun Devils have won five in a row, including last weekend's controversial victory over then No. 20 Wisconsin. Don't expect a lot of penalties. ASU is ranked tied for third in penalties per game at 2.0 and is first nationally in penalty yards per game at 10.0 Stanford is first nationally with just 1.5 penalties per game and tied for fifth at 20.0 yards per game.
Oregon State (2-1) at San Diego State (0-2), 7:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network: San Diego State leads the series 2-1, but the Beavers won the last meeting 35-3 in 2000. Both teams won nine games last year and have had disappointing starts. San Diego State coach Rocky Long was the defensive co- coordinator at Oregon State from 1991-95, and Aztec defensive line coach Osia Lewis played for the Beavers from 1982-85. SDSU wide receiver coach LeCharls McDaniel coached at Oregon State under current head coach Mike Riley during the 2003-04 campaigns. Beavers QB Sean Mannion is second in the nation with 412 yards passing per game. He has 12 TD passes and just one interception. He's 11th in the nation in passing efficiency. On the other hand, the Beavers are tied for 109th in the nation in scoring defense (37 points per game). However, San Diego State is 115th with 41 ppg.
Utah (2-1) at BYU (2-1), 10:15 p.m., ESPN2: Utah leads the series 56-34-4, although the Cougars don’t recognize six games (split equally 3-3) when it was known as the Brigham Young Academy. With or without those six games, this is the second- longest rivalry in Utah history. Utah has won three straight and eight of the last 11 games with the Cougars, including a wild 24-21 victory last year in Salt Lake City. Utah appeared to win the game when a BYU pass fell incomplete as the game clock expired. Utes fans charged the field! No so fast. There was 1 second left. The field was cleared. That allowed BYU to set up for a 51-yard field goal. It was blocked by Star Lotulelei, but the Utes fans charged the field -- again -- before the play was over. That earned Utah a 15-yard penalty and BYU another field goal attempt. This time from just 36 yards. But the BYU kicker hit the left upright and the game was over.
New Mexico State (0-3) at No. 13 UCLA (2-0), 10:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network: First meeting. Randy Cross, a 1975 First-Team All-America guard at UCLA, will be the honorary captain against New Mexico State. Cross lettered three seasons for the Bruins (1973-75), culminating in UCLA's 1976 Rose Bowl victory over top-ranked Ohio State. UCLA's redshirt sophomore QB Brett Hundley racked up 355 yards of total offense at Nebraska. He completed all eight of his passing attempts in the second half, three for touchdowns. In the second half of games this season, he has completed 20 of 24 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns. And Hundley and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone might hit 100 in this one: The Aggies rank last -- 123rd -- in the nation in scoring defense, surrendering a lousy 47.3 points per game.
Idaho (0-3) at Washington State (2-1), 10:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network: Washington State leads the series 70-17-3, but the next-door neighbors haven't played since 2007, a 45-28 Cougars victory. The Cougars offense should get on track against the Vandals, who are tied for 117th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 42.3 points per game. Speaking of defense, the Cougars are 11th in the nation in total defense, fourth in pass efficiency defense and 23rd in scoring defense.