The days of double digit games on the Pac 12 schedule are over for the season, as the Conference race starts in earnest. There are 4 conference games on the schedule this Saturday, plus a big non-conference game, while 3 teams have a bye week.
The league opener for both teams, and it already has the look and feel of an elimination game. The team that loses will be hard pressed to climb out of the cellar of their division after losing one of their most winnable games.
It's the only game this week not available nationally on base cable and satellite packages, though it is available with various premium packages on major carriers. And it will be streamed for a fee by osubeavers.com.
The Beavers had the week off to try to incorporate the switch from Ryan Katz to Sean Mannion at quarterback into their offense. Mannion will have TE Joe Halahuni as a target for the first time this season.
The Bruins have already switched from Kevin Prince to Richard Brehaut twice this year, once due to injury, and again last weekend, after Prince threw 3 interceptions in his first 7 passes, all of which led to Texas touchdowns, and the Longhorns went on to defeat UCLA 49-20. This week, its back to Brehaut as the starter.
California (3-0) at Washington (2-1) at 12:30 PM on ROOT and FSN's network of regional channels.
The game is vital to both teams' prospects for a finish in the upper half of the Pac-12 North, something not likely to happen to more than one of them with both Oregon and Stanford solidly in the top 10 nationally.
The Golden Bears hosed Presbyterian 63-12. California head coach Jeff Tedford picked up his 75th win, the most by any coach in Bears history. Cal rolled up 581 yards, while the Bears defense allowed only 48. But is was the Hose, not the Huskies, that lined up against them.
The Husky defense gave up 309 yards rushing, and 464 total, and as a result, lost 51-38 at Nebraska. Chris Polk ran for 130 yards, and Keith Price threw 4 touchdown passes, so the Washington offense continued to produce. If they can get any help from their defense, the Huskies will be tough to handle.
The Buffs bounced back after falling behind Colorado St. early in the Rocky Mountain Showdown to pull away to a 28-14 win. Rodney Stewart rolled up 200 yards of total offense on 28 touches for Colorado.
It wasn't at Folsom Field, but it wasn't a true road game either, being played in Denver. Colorado heads for the Horseshoe in Columbus hunting for their first true road win since 2007.
The Buckeyes fell 24-6 in Miami, and fell out of the top 25 in 7 years as a result. Ohio St. only completed 4 passes for 35 yards, and managed only just 209 total yards. The Hurricanes had 240 yards on the ground alone.
The question in this game is whether Ohio St. will bounce back, or if Colorado will break through for what would be a program changing win for first year coach Jon Embree.
The Ducks dominated FCS Missouri St. 56-7, as LaMichael James ran for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Darron Thomas threw for 3 more scores.
The Wildcats were roughed up 37-10 by Stanford, as Andrew Luck torched the Arizona secondary for 325 yards and a pair of scores. By the time the Cardinal were finished, they had rolled up 567 yards, easily outdistancing Nick Foles, who threw for 239 yards for Arizona, but got little help.
The Trojans dominated Syracuse 38-17, as Matt Barkley threw 5 touchdown passes, and earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, as well as the win, as a result.
The Sun Devils couldn't protect quarterback Brock Osweiler, who suffered 6 sacks against the Illini. As a result, Arizona St. lost 17-14 at Illinois, and lost their top 25 ranking in the process.
The Sun Devils have lost their last 11 meetings with the Trojans, but hope they can put some heat on Barkley in USC's first venture out of the LA Coliseum this season.
Here's the national schedule, complete with eastern times so you can remember to subtract 3 hours.
The schedule is unfortunate, with three games stacked opposite each other in the 12:30 PDT time slot, and NO game in the much more desirable 4 PM spot, when FSN, ROOT, and Prime Ticket all head off to cover baseball. As a result, there will be no prime time exposure for the conference in the midwest and east during prime time. The Pac-1x Network, scheduled to come online next season, CAN NOT COME SOON ENOUGH.
#5 Stanford (3-0, 1-0), Utah (2-1, 0-1), and Washington St. (2-1) have the week off, and need it.
The Cardinal lost LB Shane Skov to a left knee injury and TE Coby Fleener with a concussion in the hard hitting Arizona game (there doesn't seem to be any other kind in Tucson, where someone always seems to get hurt). Stanford WR Chris Owoso also suffered a bruised shoulder, though he did return to the game. Fleener and Owoso should bounce back with the extra time off, but Skov, a junior, is done for the season, and the Cardinal defense will need to use the time to develop a plan to go forward without their most dominant player.
The Utes were dominant as they ran off 47 unanswered points to come from behind to blow out rival BYU 54-10 in Provo in the Holy War. 6 Cougar fumbles, three of which led directly to Utah touchdowns, and an interception contributed to the blowout, and largely eliminated any scouting value the game might have had for Oregon St. as they anticipate next month's visit from BYU. The Utes are don't really have much in the way of problems after rolling to the dominant win, but after back to back road trips that started with their narrow physical and mentally draining loss in the Coliseum to USC, a week off before back to back hugely important home games against Washington and Arizona St. is a good thing for a team that has had about all they could process mentally lately.
The Cougars Couged it in their first road trip of the season, a 42-24 loss in San Diego that saw the Aztecs run off 28 unanswered points to overcome what had been a 10 point Washington St. lead after Marquees Wilson caught his second touchdown pass of 78 or more yards from Marshall Lobbestael. Defensive adjustments will be the priority for the Cougs, after giving up 500 yards, and in a balanced manner, 273 passing and 227 rushing.