Saturday, September 28, 2013
Saturday's Pac-12 slate
By Ted Miller
Here's a look at Saturday's games. All times are ET.
Colorado (2-0, 0-0) at Oregon State (3-1, 1-0), 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network
This is the first meeting of these teams as Pac-12 members. The Buffaloes lead the series 3-2, including a 28-21 win in 1988, the teams' last meeting. There should be plenty of passing in this game. Buffs QB Connor Wood has passed for 370.5 yards per game, which ranks fourth in the nation, while Oregon State's Sean Mannion has passed for 401.0 yards per game, which ranks second in the nation. Mannion also leads the nation with 15 touchdown passes. His top target is Brandin Cooks, who leads the nation with 10.8 catches per game and has caught seven of Mannion's TD throws. Meanwhile, Woods has Paul Richardson, who leads the nation with 208.5 yards receiving per game. The last time these teams played, Colorado rallied from a 21-16 fourth quarter deficit to pull out a 28-21 win. Buffs RB Eric Bienemy carried the ball 20 times for 211 yards and three TDs, including a 66-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to put Colorado on top. Oregon State QB Erik Wilhelm was 27-of-38 for 353 yards and 2 TDs.
Arizona (3-0, 0-0) at No. 16 Washington (3-0, 0-0) 7 p.m. FOX
Washington leads the series 18-10-1, but the Wildcats rolled the Huskies 52-17 last year in Tucson. Unlike the above game, this one might be about rushing. Arizona ranks fifth in the nation with 322.3 yards rushing per game, while Washington ranks ninth with 303.7 yards rushing per game. RB Ka'Deem Carey leads Arizona with 149.5 yards rushing per game, while the Huskies counter with Bishop Sankey, who averages 148.7 yards per game. Arizona leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense (8.7 ppg). Washington is third in the Pac- 12 in scoring defense (10.0 ppg). The Wildcats have given up only 26 points through three games. The last time they gave up 26 or fewer points through the first three games of the season was in 1996. The Wildcats are 2-9 over their last 11 league road games, with five of those nine losses coming against ranked opponents. The Huskies are 3-0 for the first time since 2001 and have scored 34 or more points in three straight games for the first time since 2002. UW senior QB Keith Price tossed three TD passes to add to his Husky career record total of 61 (tied for 20th all-time in Pac-12). Price has completed 77 percent of his passes this season with seven TDs and just one INT.
No. 5 Stanford (3-0, 1-0) vs. Washington State (3-1, 1-0), 10 p.m., ESPN (CenturyLink Field, Seattle)
Stanford leads the series 37-25-1, including a 24-17 victory last year. At 61 percent, Stanford is one of three Pac-12 teams with a third-down conversion rate better than 60 percent (UCLA at 68.3 percent, Washington at 65.9 percent). All three Pac-12 teams are among the top five nationally in third-down conversion. Stanford has won 11 straight dating back to last season, which is currently the second longest streak in FBS (Ohio State is at 15). Stanford is returning to CenturyLink Field, where it suffered its lone conference defeat last year, to Washington. Cardinal junior WR Ty Montgomery is third in the Pac-12 in all-purpose yardage (165.7 ypg) and averages 20.7 yards per touch. In the win over Idaho, Washington State junior QB Connor Halliday recorded his sixth career four-touchdown game, tying Ryan Leaf for most all-time in school history. With 346 yards passing, he also posted his third straight 300-yard performance, and eighth career 300-yard performance. Sophomore WR Gabe Marks posted career-highs with 11 receptions and 146 yards in the win over Idaho. His 31 receptions this season are currently tied for fifth among all FBS players. The Cougar defense is allowing just 221.7 yards per game over the last three games. The Cougars have won three in a row for the first time since the 2006 season and are looking to make it four straight for the first time since the winning the final game of the 2004 season and the first three contests of the 2005 season. In last season's surprisingly close game, Stanford sacked Cougars QB Jeff Tuel a record 10 times.
USC (3-1, 0-1) at Arizona State (2-1, 0-1), 10:30 p.m., ESPN2
USC leads the all-time series against Arizona State, 19-10. The Trojans are 12-1 in the series since 2000, with ASU's lone victory coming in 2011, a 43-22 win to end an 11-game losing streak. Before this millennium, ASU was 9-7 all-time against USC. The Trojans beat the Sun Devils in Los Angeles last year in a 38-17 rout in the Coliseum. Arizona State RB Marion Grice is ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring (16) and No. 5 in rushing TDs (6). Over the past six games, he has scored 14 TDs (11 rushing, three receiving), scoring once every 7.8 touches in that span. Sun Devils QB Taylor Kelly set a new career high with 367 passing yards against Stanford, and is sixth in the nation at 339.7 passing ypg. USC OLB Morgan Breslin leads the Pac-12 in sacks (1.3 per game) and tackles for loss (1.8 per game) -- Breslin missed the opener against Hawaii due to injury. USC has four players on its roster from Arizona (OLB Devon Kennard of Desert Vista HS, C-OG Cyrus Hobbi of Saguaro HS, SNP Peter McBride of Chaparral HS and S John Auran of Brophy College Prep), while the Sun Devils feature 39 Californians.
California (1-2, 0-0) at No. 2 Oregon (3-0, 0-0), 10:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network
California leads the series 39-34-2, but the Ducks prevailed 59-17 last year. In that game, Ducks QB Marcus Mariota completed 27 of 34 passes for 377 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions, which gave him a 230.79 passer efficiency rating. Cal is facing its second-consecutive top-five opponent -- two weeks ago the Bears played Ohio State -- and third ranked foe this season. Cal freshman QB Jared Goff tops the FBS with 435.3 yards passing per game. The Ducks are 13th in the FBS in pass efficiency defense, so Goff versus the Ducks secondary is an interesting matchup. Oregon leads the Pac-12 and is second in the FBS in scoring, averaging 61.3 ppg. It has scored 50 or more points in a game three straight times and in 10 of the last 16 games. The Ducks have scored in less than two minutes on 23 of 28 scoring possessions, and 12 different players have found the end zone for the Ducks.