Saturday, November 9, 2013
Saturday's Pac-12 slate
By Ted Miller
Here's a look at Saturday's games. All times are ET.
USC (6-3, 3-2) at California (1-8, 0-6) 3 p.m., Fox
USC leads the series, which dates back to 1915 and is uninterrupted since 1926, 64-30-5 (not including the Trojans' 2005 victory that was vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 65-30-5). The Trojans have not lost to the Bears since 2003, and Cal has averaged just 10.2 points in those games. USC needs one more victory to become bowl eligible. California is the only Pac-12 team that can't become bowl eligible. Trojan defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast served in the same role at Cal the previous three seasons under Jeff Tedford. Under him, USC's defense is among the nation's best, ranking in the top 25 in total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, sacks, tackles for loss, interceptions, red zone defense, third down conversion defense and first down defense. The Bears rank in the nation's bottom five in total defense, scoring defense and turnover margin. They have allowed nearly 530 total yards and 43 points per game.
No. 22 Arizona State (6-2, 4-1) at Utah (4-4, 1-4) 4 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Arizona State leads the series against Utah, 18-6, with a 14-3 advantage at home and a 4-3 advantage in Salt Lake City. The Sun Devils have won nine straight against the Utes, the second-longest active winning streak by one current Pac-12 program over another, though that's spread across a span of 36 seasons. The Utes last beat ASU 31-28 in Tempe in 1976. The Sun Devils won 37-7 in Tempe in 2012. Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson was the head coach at ASU from 2007-11, and his team beat the Utes the last time the Sun Devils visited Salt Lake City in 2011. ASU has held its last three opponents to under 100 yards rushing (Colorado, Washington and Washington State) after holding WSU to just two total yards. The last time ASU accomplished that in three straight games was in 2009. ASU is 10-1 under coach Todd Graham when rushing for more yards than the opponent. Against Pac-12 South division teams, the Utes are 0-3 this season and 3-10 overall. Utah is 1-1 this season and 5-5 overall against the Pac-12 North. Utah has won its last 49 games when leading at halftime, which is the second-longest streak in the country behind Oregon (58). Sun Devils RB Marion Grice is No. 1 nationally in scoring (13.5), No. 11 in all purpose yards (162.25) and No. 4 in rushing TDs (12).
Colorado (3-5, 0-5) at Washington (5-3, 2-3) 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Washington leads the series 7-5-1, including four consecutive victories, the last two as Pac-12 foes. In last year's game, Huskies QB Keith Price threw five TD passes, and the defense held the Buffaloes to just 141 yards. Huskies RB Bishop Sankey enters the week as the nation's No. 3 rusher with 145.3 yards per game. His last time out, he rushed for a career-best 241 yards vs. California. Sankey, one of only four Huskies to surpass 1,000 yards in more than one season, also ranks No. 4 in the nation in rushing touchdowns, with 12. Colorado kicker Will Oliver has been named as one of 20 semifinalists for the 2013 Lou Groza Award, handed out annually to the nation's top kicker. Oliver has connected on 78 percent of his field goal attempts, including makes from 53 and 52 yards out, and has been perfect on extra points. Huskies QB Price moved into the No. 2 spot in UW career passing yards in Arizona State game. He now has 8,122 career yards, having moved past Jake Locker (7,639) on the career chart. The UW has scored on its opening drive of the third quarter in seven of eight games this season. The Huskies have turned the ball over nine times this year but have allowed only one of those turnovers to be converted into a touchdown. Conversely, the UW has converted seven of 11 takeaways into touchdowns. Colorado ranks 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (38.1 points per game) and 10th in scoring offense (26.4 ppg), but those totals are significantly better than 2012 (46 ppg and 17.8 ppg)
No. 19 UCLA (6-2, 3-2) at Arizona (6-2, 3-2) 10 p.m., ESPN
UCLA leads the series 20-15-2, but the Bruins are looking to win for the first time in Tucson since 2003. In fact, the Bruins have lost five of the last six matchups overall and have lost the last four meetings played in the desert. UCLA has played 18 true freshman so far this season, a school record and the most in the nation (Texas A&M 17), and started seven true freshmen position players (three on the offensive line) in each of the last two games (at Oregon, Colorado) and also has a true freshman punter. Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey leads the nation in rushing with 153.1 yards per game. He also has scored 10 TDs in seven games (he was suspended for the season opener). The Wildcats are second in the Pac-12 with 275.4 yards rushing per game. UCLA QB Brett Hundley had his 10thcareer 300-yard total offense game against Colorado (ran for 72 and passed for 273). Hundley’s dad (also named Brett) attended the Arizona and was on the football team as a running back in the mid-1980s. The Wildcats rank 11th in the conference in passing efficiency and have thrown the fewest TD passes (nine), though QB B.J. Denker has thrown seven of those in the last four games with just one interception. The Bruins are 13-0 under head coach Jim Mora when ahead at the half. UCLA OLB Anthony Barr has 34.5 tackles for loss in his two seasons as a defensive player. He has had at least 0.5 tackles for loss in all but one of his 22 games as a LB. He is second in the nation in forced fumbles at 0.50/g; Barr is ranked seventh in TFLs 1.6/g; Barr is 10th in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.38).