This week, there are 5 Conference games, and the early and late afternoon and evening time slots are all covered. Its a ROOT/FSN triple header, with Prime Ticket along for the ride for the opener and the closer of the series, with the "State" schools relegated to Fox College Sport Pacific (which means oblivion for many viewers, even with most premium packages). Fortunately, FSN Arizona broke from the ranks of the FSN network of regional channels, and will cover the Beavers and the Sun Devils. You'll need an expanded sports package to see it outside of Arizona, though.
Both teams will be looking to bounce back after being soundly beaten last week. USC lost 4 turnovers, and also lost track of the Sun Devils' Cameron Marshall, who ran for 141 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Half of that came on Arizona St.'s first score. It was too much for the Trojans to keep up with, and the Devils pulled away to a 43-22 win.
The Wildcats watched Oregon's LaMichael James run wild, for 288 rushing yards, and 363 yards of total offense, and a couple of touchdowns. Arizona's Nick Foles tried to counter by throwing for 398 yards and 3 touchdowns. But James got plenty of help, as Darron Thomas led an Oregon offense that rolled up 516 total yards in the Ducks' 56-31 win, while the 'Cats could only come up with 82 net rushing yards after several sacks were subtracted. As a result, Arizona lost their 8th consecutive game against FBS competition.
Washington St. (2-1) at Colorado (1-3) at 1:30 PM MDT (12:30 PM PDT) on Fox College Sports Pacific.
Washington St. and Colorado are the last two members of the Pac-12 to open conference play.
The Cougars had the week off to regroup from a late game collapse that cost them a 42-24 road loss against San Diego St. Jeff Tuel is still out with a broken collar bone, so Marshall Lobbestael will continue to lead Washington St. in the second of what will be 6 out of 7 games outside of Pullman.
The Buffs know all about the challenges of the road, and are happy to be home in Folsom Field for their first ever Pac-12 game (the overtime loss 3 weeks ago to Cal didn't "count"). Colorado was overwhelmed by Ohio St. in the Horseshoe, falling 37-17, despite a 238 yard, 2 touchdown passing performance by Tyler Hansen. It was the Buffs' 19th. consecutive road loss.
The winner will have a leg up on a finish at least in the middle of their division, but the loser will have their work cut out for them to rise far from the cellar, never mind making it to bowl eligibility.
The Huskies out-scored California 31-23, as Keith Price threw for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Chris Polk produced 145 yards rushing and receiving, and scoring twice. Price has now thrown for 14 touchdowns, which leads the nation. To put that in context, Jake Locker only threw for 17 in all of last season.
But the best news for Washington might have been the stand their porous defense made, stopping the Golden Bears on the 2 yard line. If the Dawgs can get their defense in order, with their offense, they could be a force in the already tough Pac-12 Northern Division.
The Utes spent the week enjoying their 54-10 rout of rival BYU on the Cougars' home turf. Utah starts a two game home stand that concludes with a visit from Arizona St., which will go a long ways to determining if the Utes will contend for the Pac-12 Southern Division, or have to settle for a middle of the pack position in their first year in a BCS Automatic Qualifier Conference.
The Beavers, one of only 7 FBS teams still without a win coming into the weekend, suffered a pair of turnovers, and UCLA did not, and as a result, it was the Bruins that came away with a 27-19 win.
The Sun Devils bounced back from a bad outing at Illinois, where they had allowed 6 quarterback sacks, with a pair of interceptions as well, and as a result, they claimed the win that ended an 11 game losing streak to the Trojans.
The key matchup will be between the struggling Oregon St. pass defense, 119th (out of 120 FBS teams) in opponent's pass efficiency, and Arizona St.'s Brock Osweiler, who completed 78% of his passes (25 of 32) against USC, for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns. If the Beavers don't improve, Osweiler could have a career night.
Oregon St. needs a win to avoid their fist 0-4 start in 15 years, and only their fourth such start in the last quarter century. Arizona St. will be looking to end a 3 game losing streak to the Beavers.
The Bruins got an error free effort from Richard Brehaut, and committed no turnovers in edging Oregon St. Derrick Coleman came up with a 100 yard rushing day in only about 2/3 of the game, after taking over for Johnathan Franklin, who suffered an bruised hip in the second quarter. Franklin will be back in action against Stanford, giving UCLA their 1-2 punch.
The Cardinal spent a week off shoring up their still stout defense, after losing LB Shane Skov for the season the week before in their 37-10 win over Arizona in Tucson. With Andrew Luck throwing for 325 yards, and Stepfan Taylor running for 153, the loss of Skov wasn't that devastating. The Cardinal are the best run defense in the conference, and while Skov was the centerpiece, hw was far from the only piece. And if the Bruins can't slow down either Luck or Taylor, there will be plenty of time to continue the defensive adjustment process.
#9 Oregon (3-1, 1-0) and California (3-1, 0-1) have the week off, to prepare for their meeting next Thursday evening at Autzen Stadium.