Friday, October 11, 2013
Pac-12 Week 7: Did you know?
By Ted Miller
Some notes to get you through the hours until Saturday. Thanks to ESPN Stats & Information for many of these numbers.
- Arizona State leads the series with Colorado 4-0, including a 51-17 win in Boulder last year. The Sun Devils have won two games in Tempe and two in Boulder against CU and have outscored the Buffaloes 153-48 in those contests.
- Arizona State WR Jaelen Strong is off to one of the best starts for a receiver in school history, amassing 569 yards (113.8 ypg, which ranks 15th in the nation) on 39 receptions (7.8 rpg) in his first five games in a Sun Devil uniform. Of those 39 receptions this season, 25 have resulted in first downs. He has also drawn six pass interference penalties against him this season, four of which have results in first downs, giving him a total of 29 of ASU’s 126 first downs this season (23.0 percent).
- Colorado WR Paul Richardson ranks second in the nation with 155.3 yards receiving per game. The Sun Devils rank 11th in the Pac-12 in run defense (182.8 yards per game), but Colorado only ranks 10th in rushing offense (110.2 ypg).
- The UCLA-California series has been dominated by the home team lately. UCLA has won five of the last six meetings in Pasadena, and Cal has won seven straight in Berkeley.
- RB Jordon James, UCLA’s leading rusher, is doubtful after leaving last week’s game with an ankle injury. The Bruins will rely on a combination of Paul Perkins and Steven Manfro in the backfield.
- UCLA continues to dominate the third quarter, entering this week as the only FBS team not to allow a point in the third. The Bruins have outscored opponents by 16.2 PPG in the third frame, most in the country.
- There will be a definite matchup of strength vs weakness, as UCLA’s offense is fifth in FBS with 48.0 PPG and fourth with 561.8 YPG, while Cal’s defense is 122nd in FBS with 45.0 PPG allowed and 121st with 524.0 YPG allowed.
- In his career, Brett Hundley has completed 71.9 percent of his passes off play action, with 18 touchdowns and three interceptions.
- UCLA is 4-0 for the first time since 2005, in which the Bruins started 8-0 and got as high as seventh in the AP poll. They have not been ranked higher than 11th since then.
- Washington-Oregon used to be a series the Huskies dominated, but Oregon has won the last nine meetings, each game by at least 17 points. That’s the longest winning streak by either team in the history of the series, which dates back to 1900. Washington’s last win against Oregon came in 2003, former coach Keith Gilbertson’s first season with UW. The nine-game win streak by Oregon is also its longest active streak against any Pac-12 opponent.
- The Ducks have won 17 straight on the road, the longest active streak in FBS and longest in school history.
- The teams rank first (Washington) and second (Oregon) in the Pac-12 in yards per play defense. A lot of that is due to a stingy pass defense. Nationally, Washington is second in the country in yards per pass attempt (4.30) while Oregon is fifth in the country (5.00).
- If Oregon can roll up 55 points in this game -- difficult since Washington ranks 10th in FBS in total defense (286.8 YPG) and is only allowing 14.8 PPG -- it will join Oklahoma’s 2008 team as the only teams to score 55 points in six straight games within a season.
- Ducks QB Marcus Mariota has also passed for a TD and rushed for a TD in seven straight games. That's by far the longest active streak in the country, and approaching the longest in the last 10 seasons in FBS.
- There’s more offense/defense balance for Oregon: Oregon’s offense leads FBS in 20-yard plays this season with 48. And its defense is tied for the fewest allowed in FBS with 10. One of the teams it’s tied with? Washington’s defense, which also has only allowed 10 such plays on the season.
- Washington QB Keith Price completes an AQ-high 80 percent of his passes against five or more pass rushers this season (min. 20 attempts).
- Turnovers haven’t bitten the Huskies yet. They’ve committed six, and surprisingly none of them have been converted into points by their opponents. Washington is one of five teams (Clemson, Houston, Navy, Oklahoma the others) that hasn’t allowed any points off turnovers on the season. That will be key to watch since Oregon is tied for second in the country with a plus-nine turnover margin on the season.
- Oregon State has won five of the last six meetings against Washington State. Oregon State enjoys playing this series away from Corvallis. In their last four games against Washington State held outside the state of Oregon, the Beavers have scored at least 30 points in each contest.
- Oregon State is trying to start 3-0 in Pac-12 play. Dating back to the days when it was part of the Pacific Coast Conference, Oregon State has started conference play 3-0 just twice since 1940 (2012, 1968).
- Washington State has already surpassed its win total of a season ago (3-9). The Cougars are looking for their first five-win season since 2007 (5-7).
- Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion is having an excellent season so far. Mannion is the only QB in the FBS with at least 2,000 pass yards (2,018) and is the only QB in the FBS with at least 20 TD passes (21).
- Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday is coming off a game in which he threw for 521 yards in a win over Cal last Saturday. The 521 yards are the most by any QB in the FBS this season.
- This is a matchup of two pass-first, pass-often teams. In fact, these two teams have the highest differential in FBS ranks from the passing offense to the rushing offense.
- Thanks to Pac-12 expansion, Stanford and Utah are meeting for the first time since 1996. In other words, the last time Stanford and Utah met in football, Ty Willingham was coaching Stanford, Ron McBride was coaching Utah (Urban Meyer hadn’t arrived yet) and Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala finished the season as Utah’s leading rusher. Utah won that meeting, 17-10 in Stanford.
- Stanford WR Ty Montgomery will look for an encore to his brilliant performance last week when he racked up 290 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. He had 204 yards in the game from kick returns alone, the second-most by a player this season (Brandon Smith, Texas State, 211 kick return yards on Saturday). Montgomery leads the Pac-12 with 176.6 all-purpose yards per game and is sixth nationally.
- Kevin Hogan took a step backwards last week in the win against Washington, posting pedestrian passing numbers (12-20, 100 yards, TD, Int) and just a Total QBR of 29.9, his lowest of the season. That dropped Hogan from sixth in FBS in Total QBR rankings to 20th. But Stanford is still undefeated (10-0) since he took over as the starter partway through last season.
- Stanford’s special teams have added 33.9 expected points this season, most in the FBS. The Cardinal posted a +15.3 special teams EPA last week against Washington, the highest for any team in a game this season. Expected points added are the contribution of each unit to a team’s net points in a game.
- Utah is looking for its first win against an AP top-five team since beating Nick Saban’s No. 4 Alabama team in the Sugar Bowl after the 2008 season. The Utes are looking for their first regular-season win against an AP top-five team in the AP Poll era (since 1936). They’ve only had six such chances and lost all six.