- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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Some notes to get you through the hours until Saturday. Thanks to ESPN Stats & Information for many of these numbers.
Utah leads the series with Arizona 20-16-2, but it saw a three-game winning streak snapped last year in Salt Lake City, 34-24. Utah’s first Pac-12 road win came against Arizona in Tucson in 2011, 34-21. This will be Utah's first out-of-state trip this season.
Utah received 47 votes in this week’s Associated Press poll, marking its first mention in the poll since 2010. Utah received 18 votes in the USA Today Coaches' poll.
Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey ranks second in the Pac-12 with 142.2 yards rushing per game. He averages 6.1 yards per carry.
Utah has the best kicking duo in the conference. First- year placekicker Andy Phillips is the only kicker in the nation to make 11-of-11 field goals to date (including 4-of-4 from 40-yards or longer) and is 27-of-27 in PATs, while sophomore punter Tom Hackett leads the Pac-12 in punt average (44.1), punts of 50-plus yards (9) and punts inside the 20-yard line (14).
While Arizona QB B.J. Denker ranks last in the Pac-12 in passing efficiency and last in passing yards per game (161.6 ypg), he threw for 363 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in the 38-31 loss at USC last Thursday.
Washington and Arizona State have split 30 meetings on the gridiron all-time, but Arizona State has won the last seven meetings. The last time the Huskies left the field as victors over the Sun Devils was in 2001 (a 33-31 win in Tempe).
Washington running back Bishop Sankey is presently second in FBS in rushing yards (899) and first in rushing yards per game (149.8). He has recorded 22 runs of 10 yards or more this season, tops in the Pac-12 and tied for ninth overall in FBS.
Washington’s Keith Price is completing 70.6 percent of his passes against five-or-more pass rushers this season, second best among AQ quarterbacks (min. 20 attempts).
Arizona State RB Marion Grice leads the nation in scoring (15.0 ppg) and rushing TDs (10). He has 15 total TDs this season.
ASU is No. 13 nationally (and No. 1 in the Pac-12) in fewest penalty yards per game (34.17).
Oregon State has dominated its series with California of late, winning 11 of the last 14 meetings. The Beavers have also won the last five meetings played at Berkeley. The Golden Bears haven't beaten the Beavers on its home field since 1997.
Oregon State QB Sean Mannion leads the FBS in both passing yards (2,511) and TD passes (25). Mannion is on pace to throw 50 TD passes this season. Only four QB in FBS history have reached 50 TD passes in a single season.
Oregon State has won five in a row following its shocking loss at home to FCS opponent Eastern Washington in Week 1.
California is trying to avoid its first 0-4 Pac-12 start since 2001, when the Golden Bears finished the season 1-10.
Colorado is playing Charleston Southern as a schedule replacement for the Sept. 14 game with Fresno State that was canceled due to flooding in Boulder.
The Buccaneers are unbeaten and ranked 24th in the FCS poll, and five of those wins have come on the road.
Oregon has dominated the series with Washington State of late, winning six straight meetings with the Cougars, averaging 50.8 PPG while scoring at least 43 points in every game.
QB Marcus Mariota has been unbelievable so far. He leads the nation in Opponent Adjusted QBR at 97.0 and yards per rush at 10.4, with 17 pass TD, eight rush TD, and no turnovers on the year. In the last 10 seasons, the highest opponent-adjusted QBR for a completed season by a qualified quarterback is 94.5 by Andrew Luck in 2010.
Turnovers should be a big factor: Oregon has forced 16 turnovers (T-7th in FBS) and scored 73 points off TO (T-13th), while Washington State has committed 20 turnovers (2nd-most in FBS) and allowed 76 points off TO (7th-most).
Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas is still nursing a sprained ankle suffered on the opening kickoff against Cal on September 28 and may miss a third straight game. It might not matter much though: including the Cal game, Oregon has rushed 160 times for 878 yards, with the main beneficiary being Byron Marshall (61 rushes for 358 yards and four TD).
Oregon dominates the first two months of the season. Since 2010, the Ducks are 29-1 in pre-November games, tied with Alabama for the best record in FBS in that time. They’ve scored at least 40 points in all 29 of those wins; no other team has more than 18 pre-November games scoring 40 in that time.
UCLA and Stanford will meet for the third time in the last 11 months. The Bruins are unbeaten and looking to snap a five-game losing streak to the Cardinal. Stanford lost last week, but hasn’t lost consecutive games since 2009.
UCLA is a top-10 team this week for the first time since 2005 under coach Karl Dorrell. The Bruins reached as high as No. 7 that season after an 8-0 start. That was also the year of UCLA’s last 5-0 start to a season.
Last week’s loss was Kevin Hogan's first as a starting QB (he’s now 10-1) and snapped a 13-game win streak for Stanford overall.
Stanford’s defense yielded big plays in each of the last two games after being stingy through the first four games of the season. In the first four games, Stanford surrendered 11.5 plays over 10 yards per game. In the last two, that number has increased to 16.5. That's increased the yards per play average of the first four games -- 4.6 -- to 5.6 yards in the last two games.
Stanford has won 29 of its last 30 games played in the state of California. The only loss in that span came in 2011 at home vs. Oregon. Stanford has also swept the Los Angeles schools (USC and UCLA) in each of the last four seasons (play at USC on Nov. 16).
Third down conversions have been key for the Bruins on both sides of the ball, where they rank in the top 10 in third down conversions and third down conversion defense. The only other team ranking in the top 10 in both categories is Louisville.
The only Pac-12 offense more explosive than UCLA’s this season has been Oregon’s. The Bruins are scoring either a field goal or a touchdown on more than 54 percent of their drives. That rate is second in the conference behind Oregon and sixth in FBS.
This marks the third time in the last four seasons that neither USC nor Notre Dame enters this matchup ranked in the AP Poll. Prior to that, at least one of these teams was ranked (sometimes both) in eight straight seasons.
Notre Dame has lost five straight home games to USC, last winning in 2001. Only one team has ever won six straight games AT Notre Dame (Michigan State from 1997-2007).
Notre Dame’s defense is a far cry from last year’s unit. In just six games this season, the Fighting Irish have already allowed 153 points. In 13 games a year ago, they allowed 166.
USC’s defense started fast but has struggled in the last two games. In the first four games, it allowed 11.0 points and 230.5 yards per game. In the last two, it has yielded 46.5 points and 560 yards per game.
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